Post # 1
I need some advice. We are getting married in 3 months in our church that we have only been going to together for about 6 months, but we have quickly come to love it. The problem is that most of the friends/acquaintances we have formed there, are not quite high enough on our list to actually get invited to the reception. I think a few will, but not many. However since we are getting married AT the church, I would love for people to know that if they are not doing anything on that Saturday afternoon and want to stop by and see us get married, they are welcome to do so. . .but is that rude? Because as people chat, I’m sure they would realize that there IS a reception afterwards (at a nearby country club) and would realize they are not invited. What do you think–better just to send out our formal invites and not say anything to the congregation as a whole? or is it ok to invite the congregation to just the ceremony? It is not a large congregation at all so space in the church wouldn’t be an issue.
Post # 3
ps. feel free to comment even if you are not Christian, I just put it under this board cause that’s where it seemed to make the most sense!
Post # 4
I’ve heard of people doing that before 🙂
I’ve also heard of having a short cake-only reception just after the ceremony, so people can greet you and stuff, prior to a more full reception for close friends and family.
Post # 5
This has definitely come up on other board posts, and I would agree it would be acceptable for a short cake and punch reception right after the ceremony. Otherwise it’s a little tricky…
If that isn’t a possibility, maybe you can speak with your pastor to arrange for a special anouncement and/or blessing at a regular church service either during your engagement or after the marriage so it can give you the opportunity to express how much your church family means to you and how you appreciate their love and support – Growing up, our church would do something similar when couples had a simple renewal of vows or anniversary blessing during the service. And it was always for the service that had coffee and donuts afterward so you could easily congratulate them afterward!
Post # 6
I agree with the pp’s. I have been to several weddings in my church where this was done 🙂
Post # 7
I don’t know the etiquette on this, but I think it’s nice you want to include your new church family in your special day!
On another note… a friend of mine got married a few years ago. She was marrying a youth minister of a church other than her own. He (without thinking to speak to the bride first) announced after sermon, six days before the wedding, that EVERYONE was invited. He gave details for the ceremony AND reception. Close to a hundred people over the 300 person capacity for the reception venue showed up!
Post # 8
Echoing what PPs have said–I think inviting the whole congregation is lovely, and all you need is a cake (doesn’t have to be fancy) and some juice or the like for people to snack on after the ceremony. You can hang around and chat for a little bit and then head to the reception.
I’ve been to weddings where it was done this way, and I’ve always thought it was really nice.
Post # 9
Technically when you get married in a church you don’t “invite” people to attend the ceremony you “request thier presence.” All the church members are allowed to come to the ceremony because a Christian wedding ceremony is like a sermon and the congregation is allowed to attend without invitation.
It is perfectly acceptable to only send invitations to the people you intend to invite to the reception. Typically a church will announce a ceremony on the weekly bulletin.
Post # 10
@juhneenee: all I can say is wow! What was he thinking!?!
Post # 11
I’m late to this thread and contemplating what to do myself. Fiance grew up in the church (55 years) and I have been a member for 7. PLUS we are part of the church leadership. It has been very hard to decide how to handle it.
I like the idea of inviting all with an announcement in the bulletin. But not sure we would have time for a cake “reception”. UGH!!!
Post # 12
My Darling Husband and I are VERY involved in our 1200 member church! We both know a HUGE chunck of people from the church, but there was no way to include all the people that we knew! Plus, I work with children and wanted to include them, but wanted to have an adult only reception.
All that to say, we invited a large number from our congregation to our wedding ceremony and had a cake and punch immediately following (which was really cookies, cupcakes and punch). The cake and punch only lasted about an hour, and then we were off for pictures.
Post # 13
@hellorebecca: My family did this the opposite way. They were getting married outdoors and had to lugg chairs a great distance so invited a close few to ceremony (family only) and everyone (500+) to reception. I really thought no one would get mad. I mean most people want the great food, pretty decorations right? Besides who would want to trek that far in nice clothes? I thought a great favor was being done. So many peoples feelings were hurt by not being invited to ceremony that only 120 came to reception because of it. RSVP came back at just over 400. They still got to see bride in dress so go figure! You will never please everyone but it seems the ceremony matters more to most people, at least that was our experience.