(Closed) Awkward Etiquette Question

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
1920 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

I probably wouldn’t say anything. Even though I think thats a terrible way to go about things I would just let her make her own wedding decisions.

Post # 4
2496 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

Ehhh… yeah that’s awkward.  But, I would honestly not really say anything unless she specifically asks what your opinion is.  It’s not going to reflect on you, and I wouldn’t run the risk of making her upset by stating your opinion if it’s not asked for, ya know?

If she does ask, I would definitely say that you have heard that isn’t good wedding etiquette anymore, and they might offend some of their guests by not inviting them to both.  And, there will DEFINITELY be some party crashers, whether intentional or unintentional… then after that, just let it alone, there’s only so much you can do!

Good luck! 🙂

Post # 5
6065 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2012

@AmeliaBedelia: It depends on how close you are to her, and if you think she’d be receptive to what you have to say. What does your gut tell you?

If it were one of my close friends I would probably say- “Hey, just throwing a suggestion your way, you of course can ignore if you wish, but…etc etc.” I think if you worded it in a nice way, and as a suggestion rather than a criticism…would she really get angry?


Post # 7
6065 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2012

@AmeliaBedelia: Yeah, I hear ya. If she probably wouldn’t be receptive there is no point. And if you aren’t super close, it could definitely be akward. I hope she sees the light by herself, thats a big faux-pas!

Post # 8
5095 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Maybe you could anonymously mail her a photocopy of Miss Manners or Emily Post freaking out at the prospect. 😉

Kidding. Mostly.

Post # 10
724 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I was invited to just the ceremony of a friend’s wedding, but it was because they couldn’t afford to have everyone come to the reception. She’s from a large Italian family and profusely apologized for not being able to invite me, but she was being forced to invite cousins, etc. and there just wasn’t enough room for all the friends they wanted to bring. Since she wasn’t footing the bill, she had to concede to her parents.

Of course, she actually EXPLAINED this instead of hiding it. And honestly? People will talk. How is she supposed to prevent people from saying “Well, see you at the reception!” and then having people go “What reception?” and then get mad that they were only invited to the ceremony. ESPECIALLY if any of these people are from Out of Town. I just think it’s incredibly rude to not be up front with people.

Post # 11
9824 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

I’d just be honest, and explain that it might cause headaches she probably doesn’t want to deal with on her wedding day. If she doesn’t want to take your advice, at least you tried.

Post # 12
64 posts
Worker bee

If you are not very close friends, I think you may need to let the bride come to the realization (hopefully!) on her own. It is a bit awkward to be aware of the faux-pas and not be able to relay the information. 

Are the bride and her family having a large ceremony and a smaller reception due to financial or religious reasons? 


Post # 14
2889 posts
Sugar bee

I think this may be more common than it appears. I was just at a wedding last night were some guests were only invited to the church and the dancing part of the reception (so excluded for dinner). I thought this was terrible and aparently some of the B-list guests did as well and turned down their invites but there were others who completely understood and were happy to attend the church ceremony and return several hours later for dancing. In this case the couple served sparkling wine and canapes after the ceremony in the church garden where people hung around for about an hour. The gap between the ceremony and start of the reception was about 4 hours so there was also time for the bride and groom to hang around with guests before taking photos. It appeared they had about 200 people in church and under 100 for dinner. I counted about 10-15 post dinner guests all who were local friends/former colleagues. In this case they told the guests they simply could not accomodate everyone for dinner but would like to celebrate with them and it seemed to work out. I don’t think I would have been able to do that but at least, I think it is best to tell the guests they are only invited to the ceremony so they don’t find out by accident. Another wedding I attended for a cousin of Darling Husband excluded many aunts and uncles from the reception but invited cousins because they wanted a party atmosphere and prefered to invite more younger guests. DH’s mom attended the ceremony with us and then went home, she seemed to understand as they are not very close to begin with. Honestly, I don’t think you can do anything about your friend’s decision other than gently suggesting she consider not hiding the reception from her ceremony only guests and hope for the best. 

Post # 15
2373 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

I’m not big on etiquette, but this is pretty bad. I’ve actually seen it done and I don’t think explaining yourself makes it any better. If someone throws any kind of event where they invite people they are a “host.” If you can’t host all the guests equally you invite less guests. But, I would also stay out of it. It’s her wedding- she and her fiance can do what makes them happy. 

Post # 16
128 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I have no idea what Ms. Post would say about this situation, but I don’t know that it is necessarily “bad etiquette”.  I agree that it’s not ideal, and I would not do it myself.  BUT – why do you think that reception cards are traditionally separate from the ceremony invitation?  It’s because not everybody would also be invited to the reception. 

My sister is getting married next year in our hometown church, and she, my mother, and my father are all very active in the church, participating in several choirs, etc.  So they have a lot of church friends.  Many of these church friends, esp. all the older ladies, would love to see my sister get married.  However it’s not practical to invite all of them to a reception.  So they will get the invitation to attend the ceremony, but not the separate invite to attend the reception.  Not ideal, but this is not a “new” thing,  And it is probably becoming less common as more couples do not get married in a church and instead have ceremonies at the reception place with the party starting right away (which is what I did, several states away from my hometown so I could avoid this problem Wink).   

Anyway, I think you could ask kindly ask her what she thinks the reaction would be of the people who are only invited to the ceremony.  If she can’t deal with how to handle it, then she might want to re-think it.  Otherwise I would leave it alone, you may not know the whole backstory.

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