(Closed) Invite to Ceremony and Not Reception

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
124 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

HAHA, get reaady for these girls to bash you.

Post # 5
976 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Dont invite them at all then. The point of the reception is to thank them for comming to the ceremony. Your family doesnt have to drink or come but you cant invite them to the ceremony and not the reception.

Post # 6
302 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Is this customary in your family? Are you sure they would not want to be there with the alcohol? I would argue you still should invite them and make it very clear there will be alcohol there (maybe on the FAQ section of a website, word of mouth, etc., maybe even with wording on your invitation: “Drinks, Dinner & Dancing to Follow”), then give them the choice whether to attend or not. I can tell you’re thinking about their feelings and that’s nice of you, but if you are having a reception, I do believe everyone you invite to the ceremony should be invited to it. 

I really hope you don’t get bashed for this by the way–most people on here are very against inviting people to the ceremony and not the reception, but I hope they say it in a kind way, because I really don’t think you mean any harm to your guests and are looking out for them!! 

Post # 7
2567 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I’d recommend doing the celebration/reception before the ceremony instead of after, or having it on a totally different day, rather than having the two events back-to-back if you’re not inviting everyone. People WILL get their feelings hurt, at least here in the US, when they find out that there’s a reception and they weren’t invited. 

Consider having a punch-and-cookies reception after the wedding ceremony and inviting all, and having your bigger whoop-te-do the night before, or the morning of, or the night after.  Otherwise, those not invited to the reception will feel like “you like me enough to invite me to the free thing but not to the thing that costs money, and I’m socially expected to buy a gift.”  Not a good message to send.

Post # 8
3078 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Invite everyone to both.  If they don’t want to come to the reception because there is alcohol, that’s their decision.

Post # 10
107 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

@GroovyHippieChick:  +1

Personally, I don’t think it’s right to invite some people to the ceremony and not the reception.
But that’s just my opinion…

If you’re set on doing it that way (not inviting some people to the reception, and just having them at the ceremony), you can have traditional invitations that do not mention the reception (ie: … blah blah blah invited to witness the marriage of…. and ….. at “church” or “ceremony location”, then include reception cards in the invitations to people you wish to invite to that portion as well (blah blah blah invited to the reception following the ceremony… at…. ). Many  invitations include a reception card anyways, so you can just choose to omit it from some of the invites.
     If you choose this, just be prepared for individuals to ask about the reception, and try and get details so they can attend, possibly thinking you were just going to give that information seperately, or possibly that it is at the same location. (Just have a plan for when this occurs, so it doesn’t catch you off gaurd).

Post # 12
107 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

@CrystalLashea7:  Im not judging at all, just trying to help with suggestions and such.

Is it completely unreasonable to invite everyone and just expect those who would be upset or offended by alcohol decline the invite? IE: Im not a fan of hunting, therefore if I get invited to a hunting weekend wedding, I will decline… Will your guests who do not agree with alcohol not just do the same?

I have family who will be on vacation at the time of my wedding, even though I was aware of this, I still invited them to let them know they’re not being purposefully excluded. When they got their invites, they RSVP’d saying they wouldnt attend (just as expected).

It might surprise you, and your family may put aside their dislike of alcohol and attend your wedding?

Personally I believe feelings will be hurt either way… If you’re okay witht hat/ willing to accept that it will likely cause issues, then like I said go ahead… but personally, my thinking is, (if it were me) I would rather invite them, and have them RSVP “no” than not invite them and hurt their feelings.

(Once again, just my opinion, and just trying to help out… no judgement at all).

Post # 14
107 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

@CrystalLashea7:  Let us know what you’ve decided (when you decided), and keep us updated.

SIDE NOTE: In my experience, the only people who get “bashed” on here are the people who are asking for it. Posted post THEIR opinions, and suggestions, IMO, rightfully so, b/c when you post on here aren’t you asking for opinions?


Wishing you all the best with your upcoming wedding, keep us posted, and let us know if you need anything else.

Post # 15
1335 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I think in general, it’s human nature to be upset when a decision is made for you when you’re able to make decisions for yourself.  What you’re doing is making the decision for these guests that they don’t want to attend the reception due to certain aspects of it.  They’re adults, so I think it’s reasonable to invite them and let them decide if they’re offended by the alcohol or not.  Otherwise, it will be misconstrued as you not wanting them there to celebrate with you, or you not wanting to spend the money to have them there at your reception.  

Personally, I feel inviting them to the ceremony only will cause more drama and miscommunication rather than what you’re wishing to accomplish, and you’ll have a lot of making up to do after they’ve made their own assumptions as to why you didn’t invite them to the reception.  Once someone’s feelings are hurt, it’s going to take some work to get back into their good graces, so I recommend thinking very carefully about this before proceeding!

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