(Closed) How to invite people to Ceremony but not Reception

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 32
Member
472 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

It may be unusual, but just explain it to them the way you did here. I would call them to invite them though rather than by post, it’s more personal. I have a couple of friends coming to my hen do who I don’t have space for at the wedding. I was worried about asking them but they were very understanding and it’s been fine

Post # 33
Member
229 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@asianbarbie:  This actually happened to me. A good friend invited me to her wedding, but I didn’t make the cut for the reception. I still view her some type of way until today.

Needless to say, I think the ceremony and no reception is a no, no. Just don’t invite them at all.

Post # 34
Member
50 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Not really much to add except: there’s a reason traditional church invitation “request the honor of your presence” rather than “the pleasure of your company” as nonchurch invitations do. You are not “the host” at a church, God is. You are simply taking part in a church service, though a rather specific church service ;). With rare exceptions, marriage services are always technically open to the church community, and you are just specifically requesting that your particular guests honor you with their presence at that particular service.

As has been mentioned above, if you wish to make the broader church community aware that a service will be taking place that they may or may not be interested in attending, do it in whatever manner is established as the norm at your church (bulletin board, newsletter, announcement at service). It would be gracious to serve some refreshments and perhaps a sheet cake or something in the church afterwards, and obviously you will stick around and thank everyone for coming to witness your marriage. Save the actual invitations for the guests you will be inviting to the reception, and obviously you would not expect a gift from the church guests.

Post # 35
Member
1692 posts
Bumble bee

@Kimberley25:  Really? I was helping my sister’s various girlfriends stuff invitation envelopes back in the nineteen-sixties, and sorting which got or did not get the reception  cards was just a normal part of the organization. And the same with my own friends when they started hearing wedding bells in the seventies. It seemed they all understood it was just part of the process — though if they had wondered about it, the procedure was covered in the various magazine etiquette columns and manuals that the brides and their maids relied upon in those hallowed pre-internet days, so it seems unlikely to have been a mere regionalism.

Post # 36
Member
1443 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I live on the west coast, and I’ve had various friends who have had weddings since the early 80’s, and I’ve never encountered this.  I remember bridal mags for myself in 1984, the first time I was engaged, and don’t remember this, either.  Maybe it was a trend before my time.  If that’s the case, maybe it’s just an outdated tradition. 

Post # 38
Member
885 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

@asianbarbie:  I would not do this no matter the circumstances.  I would be offended as a guest. 

Post # 39
Member
854 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@Kimberley25:  For reference (adding on to my previous post about my 1st wedding and having a separate reception from the ceremony) the wedding was in the SF Bay Area in 1999. 

Post # 40
Member
1443 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@CARA1978:  Hmmm, well, if you witnessed it first hand, then okay, I guess someone must be doing it.  I’ve lived in California, Oregon, and Washington, and I’ve never heard of it.

Post # 41
Member
2075 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - British Columbia

My FI’s best-friend (also best man) gave us this best piece of advice: you will piss anybody off regardless of what you do or choose not to do. Do what makes you and your Fiance happy.

Agree with PP that having a coffee/tea with fruits/cakes after would be a nice touch after the ceremony.

Reception is meant to be a private celebration anyhow — only invite the ones that mean most to you and your family. Social entitlement is also kinda rude, likewise, it goes both ways. (It’s like.. just because I know the bride doesn’t mean I’d automatically get an invite.) If I was a guest invited just to the ceremony, I’d be thrilled to see the B & G getting married in a holy matrimony. (I’ve attended church members’ wedding as a kid who went to Sunday School often, but didn’t get invited to the reception. As a kid, I was thrilled to get glimpses of the bride’s wedding dress, lol)

Post # 42
Member
854 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@Kimberley25:  Not trying to make anyone wrong, just giving my own personal experience.  I’m no longer a part of any church community so I don’t see it now.  If I were, I’m sure it would still be in practice and I would see it more. 

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