(Closed) church ceremony open to people including kids not invited to the reception?

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
9056 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

Aren’t most churches open to the public no matter what event is going on? I know for sure here that Catholic and Anglican churches are. My cousin’s child had her christening at a local Cathedral and there were at least 20 strangers in the pews.

Honestly I would skip putting anything in the newletter. If anyone asks directly, like your friend did, then just say of course they are welcome to attend the church service.

Post # 3
546 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

I think that if someone knows they’re not invited to the reception and reaches out and says they’d like to come to the ceremony, that’s fine. I definitely wouldn’t contact people and tell them that they can come to the ceremony though. And I wouldn’t put anything about it on the website. 

Post # 5
1430 posts
Bumble bee

I would just leave it as it is. I would personally feel uncomfortable seeing people at the ceremony and knowing they weren’t invited to the reception after. Also, I would be more concerned having a lot of kids at the ceremony than a reception (cost aside)  They are more likely to get bored and act out which I wouldn’t want during my vows. 

Post # 6
125 posts
Blushing bee

Here at my church, it’s generally the norm that most couples have an open invitation to the ceremony, put on an afternoon tea (or cake and tea/coffee) and then go on to more of an intimate reception dinner of 80-100 friends/family.

It all depends on what’s accepted in your neck of the woods! I know in other circles, this would be the height of rudeness, whereas here, people would be hurt if they couldn’t come watch the ceremony!

Post # 7
257 posts
Helper bee

I’m pretty sure Churches are open to anyone, even during a wedding ceremony. I know we had a few unknown faces at ours and that was fine. I’m not sure it’s something you need to state in writing. 

Post # 8
2733 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Yep, people understand (at least where I’m from) that Church ceremonies are open to anyone. My FSIL’s wedding a few people showed up to the church who weren’t invited to the reception.

I think actually stating it on the invitation may come across the wrong way. It will either sound like an open-invite party “Hey… bring your friends! Got a neighbor that wants to attend? Bring them too!” or some might take it as “Well, we are only inviting the IMPORTANT people to the reception but any of the stragglers who didn’t make the cut are welcome to come see our ceremony!”

Post # 9
1576 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Yea – this should be implied. We had quite a few memebers of our church community ask to attend our ceremony because they know us and wanted to share our day / critique my dress / whatever little old church ladies like to do with their time. 🙂 Don’t state anything special anywhere. It’s much better left unstated. You don’t want it to seem like you’re inviting people to the ceremony and not the reception. Church people know that they are free to attend if they like.

Post # 10
2969 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

If someone asks then tell them they are welcome at the church.  Don’t put anything on invite/website/anything.

I once got a Facebook invite to a ceremony. I was insanely offended. It was something along the lines of “Come on down and see us get married if you want”

Whereas when my one close friend got married, my mom and grandma came to the church. Now, 5 years later my friend frequently mentions how glad she was that they came to the ceremony. (By frequently I mean whenever I’m having a spaz attack about my guest list)

Post # 11
2394 posts
Buzzing bee

We’re doing something similar. Our recption is 18 and older, but we’re leaving the ceremony (outside, not in a church) open to anyone who wants to attend. After the ceremony we’re providing babysitters for the young kids, and pizza and movies at my mom’s house for the older (but still under 18) kids.

We’re going to include a little card in the invitation saying: “While children are a joy and a blessing, we can unfortunately not accommodate them at the reception. If children would like to attend the outdoor ceremony earlier in the day, they are welcome to do so.” – or something like that 🙂

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