Post # 1
Member of a large church for many years. We both have somewhat of a big family but our budget is limited for the reception. We want to serve a meal for family, close friends and bridal party. Do you think it would be rude to have a cake/punch reception at the church and then an actual reception with food and drinks at another location for family and bridal party?
Post # 3
I think you should do whatever you want, and whatever fits your budget. It’s YOUR wedding! There are always going to be those who complain, but in the end you just have to do what fits you. Trust me, I’ve had to put my foot down on so many things, it’s rediculous! Be tough, do what you think is best, and everyone will be happy that they got to share in your special day, no matter what!
Post # 4
The idea of the congregation goes to everyone’s wedding is a bit foreign to me. Are the church folks going to get formal invitations? Or is it customary that they are simply free to show up to the ceremony? I think it would be fine to have cookies and punch for the church folks, especially if they don’t really need a formal invitation. If they do somehow require an invitation, I guess I would say, don’t send the invitation. Then you shouldn’t have to worry about too many guests. What would happen if you just didn’t send them one? Would they show up anyway?
Post # 5
Hmm. What would keep the masses of people from crashing your reception? Technically, it’s proper etiquette to only invite people to the ceremony who you invite to the reception. Now, you can do whatever you want of course, but keep in mind the protocal–people at the ceremony are going to be expecting a reception. I wouldn’t want any confusion.
One idea would be to do an earlier ceremony with cake/punch at the church for an hour or so, and follow it up with a small reception at a different location like a restaurant a few hours later. That way people wouldn’t wander in to a private reception and make themselves at home.
Post # 6
I’m also part of a big church so I can understand your pain! I avoided this altogether by having a destination wedding. 😛 Normally, formal invites are only given to the members that are invited to the reception afterwards in a separate location. So people figure out – no invite, no reception. Of course, this doesn’t guarantee that there won’t be hurt feeling because of course, people talk and find out that so-and-so got invited and they didn’t.
Can you discreetly ask around to see what other members of the church have done? I think it makes sense to have a cake and punch reception for everyone at the church and then a small reception at a completely separate location afterwards for just family and close friends. Only send formal invitations to those that are invited to the small reception and ask them not to spread the word so that people don’t find out where it is and "assume" they are welcome to join.
Post # 7
A friend’s father is the lead minister of a very large congregation…to avoid offending anyone, they had a small ‘congregation reception’ with just cake and bunch before the full’ sit down dinner reception’. To my knowledge, none of the congregation was offended.
Post # 8
I would invite the congregation to the ceremony only. No reception. Then have a reception for friends and family at another location. Two receptions is a little bit of a stretch.