(Closed) Can we invite people to the reception only??

posted 11 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Is it OK to have reception only guests?

    Yes! Its your day, if you want a small ceremony go for it!

    No! People will be offended.

  • Post # 17
    983 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: February 2011

    To some extent, you can have a separate reception be “just like a regular wedding”–you can do dinner and dancing, do the cake, wear the dress again, have a first dance, and all those little trimmings that people associate with a wedding (place cards, favors, photobooth, etc.) There are a few things that might be a little odd (tossing a bouquet might be a little out of place because you’d be buying a bouquet strictly for the purpose of tossing, unless you plan on drying the one you’d used in the ceremony). Some couples also do things like restage their vows, putting up photographs of the ceremony or playing a video, and other things to cement the occasion.

    Also, just because you don’t have a big reception immediately after the ceremony, you CAN still do something special with your small ceremony guests–like go out to a special dinner or hire a private chef at home. Postponing the reception doesn’t mean that you have to get married and then just pack up and go home.

    Just pointing this out so you don’t feel like you have to sacrifice the “wedding dream” by separating the events.


    Post # 18
    881 posts
    Busy bee

    Honestly, I don’t ever want to go to the ceremony.  I just don’t care for them.  But really, we are planning on either doing it in such a remote place that no one could come or eloping and having a reception when we get home because we just don’t want everyone there gawking at our very private moment.  If someone doesnt’ understand that then they dont’ deserve to come to the reception anyway, in my opinion.  Or if they feel that the ceremony is the only point to the whole wedding then they should decline the reception so you can invite someone that actually wants to celebrate your wedding.

    Also, I think it’s really rude for people to think that they deserve to witness every little thing and use their own insecurity to make you feel bad about it.  If where you want to say your vows only holds 20 people then it only holds 20 people.  I would not change your dream venue because someone wants to stick their face up to yours and listen to you say I do.  It’s more important that you are happy.

    Post # 19
    188 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    We’re having a teeny-tiny-over-in-ten-minute-ceremony in the garden of the place where we are having our reception 2 hours before the reception starts. We are only having my parents and my sister and her husband, my two nephews, my FI’s best friend and his sister and brother in law and niece.

    Not one person has said anything negative about it to us at all!

    Post # 21
    660 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    That is definetly not a big deal where I come from. For lots of people, they would rather only go to the reception. That’s in my family anyways. Your the one who is paying for their evening so really, they shouldn’t complain! IMO!

    Post # 22
    1114 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 2011

    I agree with PP’s that if you have the reception a few weeks later it would be fine….but immediately after could lead to some hurt feelings.

    Post # 23
    197 posts
    Blushing bee

    I don’t know that I’d be offended if I wasn’t invited to a ceremony, but I would absolutely be sad and disappointed. I feel that the ceremony is the most important (meaningful) part of the wedding and if I care about these people, I want to be there to witness the moment at which they become a married couple! I know for us, having all our loved ones around us as we got married made it even more wonderful, so I suppose I am projecting that feeling on others, but that is the way I feel.

    Post # 24
    188 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    @Miss Sardine: We will put:

    Sesame and Sesame Snap invite you to join them in celebration of their marriage

    on 17 September 2011

    The Hotel (and address etc)

    Pre-dinner drinks served at 6:00


    We have done our groundwork with word of mouth and we aren’t mentioning anything at all about the ceremony in the invitation. Our save the dates ask people to reserve the evening to help us celebrate.

    It may be a purely cultural thing here in Australia, but we don’t seem to be so formal about weddings here.

    Post # 25
    2294 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    We did our ceremony the day before our reception.  Our ceremony had only family and just those close friends that were in the wedding party and was about 30 people.  Our reception was 76 people.  A few people mentioned that they would have liked to see the ceremony, but all in all, everyone was just happy to celebrate with us.  We did include several photos from our ceremony the day before (and because we were legally wed in April, we also had a bunch of photos and video from that day in our slideshow), and everyone enjoyed seeing those.  ๐Ÿ™‚  

    This is how we did our reception only invites:

    Dad and Mom Dodgercpkl

    request the pleasure of your company

    at the reception to celebrate the marriage of their daughter




    Mr. dodgercpkl

    Son of Dad and Mom Mr. dodgercpkl

    Saturday, the Sixteenth of October, Two Thousand and Ten

                             From five o’clock to nine o’clock in the evening

    Post # 26
    1696 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: January 1991

    I think it’s better inviting them to the reception only rather than the ceremony only. When people only invite others to the ceremony I think it’s kind of mean. But that’s just me ๐Ÿ™‚

    Post # 27
    438 posts
    Helper bee

    @luckyprincess:  I’m glad you said it first, but I totally agree with you about the ceremony.  ๐Ÿ™‚

    My SO and I were invited only to a reception last year and we were okay with it.  I assumed they wanted to keep it intimate/family only.  We were still able to celebrate their marriage at the reception. 

    Post # 30
    47 posts
    • Wedding: November 2011

    I went to a reception-only wedding recently for my cousin.  She just had a very small, private ceremony, and I don’t think anyone was offended.  Bottom line — this is your day, and if people are offended by it, they will surely get over it.  <3

    Post # 31
    259 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    I think it’s pefectly fine. However, I was a guest at a wedding where I was only invited to the reception and while it was still fun, I kinda felt like something was missing.

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