(Closed) invitation question–how to invite only certain people to ceremony?

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Best way to order invites?
    order separate invitations (one set inviting to just reception and one set for ceremony & reception) : (9 votes)
    56 %
    do insert card : (7 votes)
    44 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    1668 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 2012

    I would do the insert card.  I don’t think two totally different invitations are necessary.   If you need to know how many people are attending the ceremony then I would include a different RSVP card for the folks invited to both that allows them to rsvp for both.  I wouldn’t have 2 separate rsvp cards. Just put both events on one card for the ceremony folks.  The other folks would just have a reception rsvp.  But if it’s not totally necessary for you to know who’s coming to the ceremony or not I would skip the ceremony rsvp.

    Post # 4
    Member
    1736 posts
    Bumble bee

    I think the insert will be fine so long as you don’t need a head count for the ceremony.

    Post # 5
    Member
    1375 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I would hesitate to exclude some guests from the ceremony.  Since the reception is the ‘thank you’ for those who saw the ceremony, some guests may think you are rude for excluding them.  What is your reasoning?  If it is space, perhaps you should find a larger ceremony venue. 

    The only way to do this politely is to include ONLY immediate family in the ceremony.  No friends or extended family at all.

    Post # 6
    Member
    9955 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    The correct process according to Etiquette for a small “private” ceremony and its invites is handled differently than a normal situation where one is having an all-inclusive Ceremony & Reception

    According to Peggy Post’s Wedding Etiquette Book the correct process is…

    When the wedding ceremony is private and a large reception follows, the Invitation to the Ceremony is extended orally, or by personal note, and the wording to the formally printed Reception Invitation is…

    Mr & Mrs ___ request the pleasure of your company at the Wedding Reception for their daughter ___ and ___ Day, Date, Year, Time, Reception Location, Address, RSVP

    So one mail-out to all Invitees… and just include the personal note into the envelope to those you wish to have attend the smaller private Wedding Ceremony

     

     

     

    Post # 7
    Member
    1736 posts
    Bumble bee

    @This Time Round:  +1

    Excellent post (and taught me something I didn’t know)! I was reading etiquette on this earlier and saw that it is acceptable to have a small ceremony and a large reception, (but not the other way around as we all know!) – but I didn’t know that there are rules that govern invites for those circumstances. Yay for learning something today!

    Post # 8
    Member
    1935 posts
    Buzzing bee

    I dont understand why you would only invite a few people to the ceremony and more to the reception. the wedding is not the reception.. the wedding is the ceremony. The reception is toe celebrate the ceremony. As a guest if I was only invited to the reception I would be very offended and not attend.

    Post # 9
    Member
    1935 posts
    Buzzing bee

    I think the only way I personally would understand is if the ceremony was at a different location on a another day.. example destination wedding with a reception at home.

    Post # 10
    Member
    1243 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: December 2010

    @This Time Round:  Woo…!  This is what we did!  I’m glad that it was correct.  lol

     @violet25:  We had our ceremony on a different day (at City Hall) that was for family only.  Afterwards, we all went out for dinner (hosted by my inlaws).  We had a big cocktail party the next day for all our friends, etc.  We handwrote inserts inviting people to the ceremony and dinner and just put them in the right envelopes with the standard invitations for the reception.  We did this on a different night from the big envelope stuffing party so that we didn’t get anything mixed up.

    I know that you didn’t ask this, but I will add that we had some hurt friends initially (oddly including people who had eloped?!!?).  What made this work for us, was that we made the ceremony family only.  That way, when friends (and really, there were only a couple that expressed anything to us) were confused or hurt, we just explained that the ceremony was family-only…we didn’t want to “tier” our friends.  After a bit, they apologized for causing stress.  We honestly did things the way we did for two reasons: 1) both my Darling Husband and I have gone to and been in many weddings and we didn’t want to take up people’s entire day, and 2) we really just wanted a super simple and very VERY short ceremony, so for us, the focus was on the party.  There are so many people who often don’t even come to the ceremony and just go to the party…we just wanted things to be easy on our friends and family.  Day of the party, we had nothing but compliments.  The focus at the party was on our friends and family NOT us, which is what we wanted.

    Post # 11
    Member
    1668 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 2012

    OP, do what works for you and Fiance.  Do what you want to do.  If you want a small ceremony regardless of the reason, you can have it.  You don’t owe anyone an explanation for the decisions you make about how you want to celebrate your wedding. 

     

    Post # 12
    Member
    1941 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    @This Time Round:  this! (#5)

    and 

    @NJmeetsBX:  this! (#10)

    Sorry I have nothing of substance to add, since these replies covered everything I would have said!!

    Post # 13
    Member
    9955 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    For the record, because some have asked above…

    The Wedding Reception, may not be the MAIN EVENT of the day, but it is the MAIN EVENT when it comes to the Celebrations… and the one that inevitably has CO$T$ associated with it, which is WHY there are printed Invitations printed to it… so that folks can RSVP

    IF someone wants to have a very intimate ceremony (ie an elopement) or just a few people present, technically NO Invitations are required

    Small private ceremonies can be done for a variety of reasons including illnesses, family feuds etc. (Weddings & Funerals are sort of cousins in this regard… so in the same way taht there are small private funerals / burrials for family only)

    On the otherhand, in some places that have large churches, it is not uncommon for well-wishers who are not invited to any of the events show up to watch the ceremony from the back pews or balcony / gallery if the church has one (or in the case of celebrities getting married, perhaps streetside).  Although, anyone doing show should make a STRONG EFFORT not to interupt / inconvenience in any way the Wedding, the Wedding Party, or the Attendants from performing their duties… they are strictly on-lookers

    Gate-crashing though of a Reception is ALWAYS in bad taste… because this is the event that costs money !!

    — — —

    According to Peggy Post…

    Reception Cards are used when

    (a) Ceremony & Reception are held in different locations

    (b) Or when the Guest List for the Ceremony is larger than that for the Reception (yes folks it does happen… think Royal Weddings)

    — — —

    Another scenario… when the Reception is not held the same day as the Wedding… (such as after an Elopement or a Destination Wedding)

    The the wording for that invite is slightly different…

    Mr & Mrs ___ request the pleasure of your company at a reception in honour of Mr & Mrs Newlywed, Day, Date, Year, Time, Location, Address, RSVP

    OR if the B&G are hosting the Belated Reception, they can do the inviting themselves… using a similar format

    Looks like I myself will be doing this last version, as we are heading off to a Destination Wedding / Elopement over Christmas, and then having a Reception for friends & family to celebrate with us after we get back home around New Years, so that all can share in our good news, and also wish us well, before we set off on our official Honeymoon later in January

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