(Closed) how do I invite guests to ceremony only but not the reception?

posted 11 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 18
Member
515 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

@ninjagirl: Hmmm… that clarifies things a bit.  Would the guests that you are wanting to invite to the ceremony only have to travel or would it be local for them?

Post # 20
Member
515 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

@ninjagirl:Usually I would think ceremony only is rude, but in your situation it make sense.  I would do a ceremony only invitation.

Post # 23
Member
1648 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I think no matter what you do and how you do it, word will spread amongst your guests that there is a reception which they were not invited to. In my personal opinion, you are asking your guests to be hurt and upset by this. Putting the gift issue aside (which, I don’t think matters anyways because most people will give a gift no matter what you say), I think people are bound to be offended that they were only invited to the ceremony, which no offense, is not that much fun for people. People usually attend weddings for the reception.  If these people, whom you stated you are not that close to, don’t warrant being invited to the reception, I am not sure why you feel the need to invite them at all. 

Post # 24
Member
1837 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I wanted to do this, have a small reception but we had 250 guests & we could not afford food for everyone. We had a cake & punch reception, we wanted everyone there, we just couldn’t pay for food for everyone.

If its $$, you can do a “potluck style” reception, or you can do a “cake & punch” reception. I’d write that on the invitation/ put it on the website so that people KNOW this going there. I think its fine not to feed guests dinner, just let them know so they don’t expect dinner.

If you just want your family/ close friends there, I’d say its for “family only” if someone asks. Just let your friends know they are invited, just keep it on the downlow.

Post # 25
Member
2018 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

sorry, but i still think this is rude. you can invite guests to the reception and not the ceremony, but not the other way around.

Post # 26
Member
1676 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

@ninjagirl: I didn’t say anything about gifts. I said I think it’s about being a good host.

Most people wouldn’t attend only a ceremony because they don’t have a chance to say hello and visit with you – which is usually what a reception is for, it gives you time to catch up with those people which especially makes sense if they are people you haven’t seen in a long time.

Plus your question was “How do I do it without offending people?” Ultimately you can do whatever you want, but it’s almost certain some people will get offended not being invited to the reception.

Post # 28
Member
1648 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@ninjagirl: I am by no means saying that the ceremony isn’t the most important part of the wedding. Obviously, seeing you get married is why everyone is there. My point is just that the ceremony is mostly for you and your family and those closest to you and your fiance. The reception, where people get to be involved and celebrate with you, is the part of the wedding that is important to a lot of guests. For me, that is why I do not understand only inviting people to the ceremony. I’m not saying its not done or not do-able, but I can easily see how people would or could been offended that they are not worthy enough to celebrate with you.

Post # 30
Member
625 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Typically I would say you can’t really do that. I would never spend my time and money traveling to a wedding where they say “thanks for traveling all this way to spend 20 minutes at our ceremony! We are going to party with these other people now.” I would reccommend keeping those who are invited to the ceremony to the same people as are invited to the reception. It just makes for a more intimate wedding.

Post # 31
Member
983 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

@ninjagirl: I think that if you want to have someone at your wedding, you really have to invite them to the WHOLE wedding. Think of it as inviting 8 people for dinner and then 4 more with the stipulation”why don’t you come around 10 for coffee and desesrt since we don’t have enough steak?” The bees have given you good advice and explanations as to why most of us don’t think it’s a good idea.

The one exception is if the people you are talking about are members of the church in the sense that at many churches, wedding ceremonies are open to the entire congregation, even if the entire congregation is not invited to the reception. However, in order for that to work, that has to be the custom of the church and the invitation should probably be extended verbally over services or after services by a clergyman.

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