Post # 1
So, I’m having a problem with my guest list and don’t really know the “proper” way to deal with it. I’m from a very small southern town, and I go to a very small southern baptist church (think 70 people). Well, fiance has literally went to the church from the time he was born. Everybody knows him and has watched him grow up there.
Here’s the problem: who do we invite?
One of my best friends who goes to church with us got married a few months ago. She did an open invitation where the pastor read her invitation before church and set a basket of RSVP cards on the front bench for people to fill out at will. She basically had to do this because the pastor is her dad, and there would have been alot of offended people if they hadn’t been invited to the pastor’s daughter’s wedding.
Anyways, now my fiance and I are struggling with this. He has grown up in the church and we don’t know what to do. I’m not opposed to doing an open invitation, but it puts us around 200 guests total which is pricey, and I have a very small budget.
Then again, with an open invitation all of the people at church who I probably don’t really want there (we have a few oddballs…) will probably show up and bring a date, their cousin, and their cousins date.
BUT, I also don’t want to hurt people’s feelings or make a certain family feel left out.
I;m just really not sure how to handle the situation. There are quite a few families that I really, really want at my wedding. I also have quite a few close friends. Then again, there are some families that I just really would prefer if they didn’t show. But i’m afraid that those people will get really offended and be angry at us. They have watched fiance grow up, so how can we not invite them? As much as I love my little southern church, people tend to get hurt feelings and hold a serious grudge (I realize this is not very ‘church-like’, but it’s reality). I just don’t know how to only invite the people I want there without hurting feelings, but it would make my life alot easier if I didn’t have to budget for a 200 people wedding.
So…any advice? Words of wisdom? Similar experiences and how you dealt with them? Please?
Post # 3
Is it posible to extend an open invitation to the ceremony only? I have been to weddings where this was done . All the church ladies got to see the bride wed, but the couple didn’t have to fill up their reception with people they do not know well, other than through the church.
Post # 4
@julies1949: Hmm…i’m not really sure about that. I feel like that may cause even more drama.
Wouldn’t people see some leaving the ceremony to head to the reception and be like “why wasn’t I invited?”
Plus…all of the people who would feel that way would think that they should be at the reception (even though we aren’t close to them)
I’ve never heard of it being done, but I think i’ll ask fiance and see what he says…
Post # 5
Same as julies, belonging to a church where a wedding ceremony is seen as a church event/sermon open to the whole congregation is one of the few situations where from an etiquette standpoint, it’s ok to not offer every person who attends the ceremony an invite to the reception.
From a drama perspective though, I don’t know… I think even church people would have to realize that it’s incredibly expensive to invite every person you go to church with to your wedding.
Post # 6
Perhaps have something RIGHT after the ceremony in a fellowship hall or something with cake and punch for everyone you “invite” in the open invite to church members and have the “real” reception for specific invite only close people after that?
Post # 7
The only thing I could think of that might work is offering a “cake and punch” reception after Sunday service the week you get married. Invite your family and close friends to the regular reception, and then set up an open invite at the church for everyone. Something like “Mr. Bear and Mrs. Bear tied the knot on _______date. They would like to invite their church family to celebrate with them after sundays service. Please join them for a cake and punch reception at _____ oclock.” if your church has a fellowship hall, Ideally you would be paying for the cake, punch and some paper products. If possible you could use some centerpieces or decoration from the wedding. If anyone asks about the reception immediately after the wedding be honest and say “we would have loved to invite everyone, but money is tight. We really hope you’ll join us Sunday.”
Post # 8
@nikkialys: I really love this idea. I think it just might work. Thanks!!