(Closed) Inviting Guests to a Wedding Ceremont but NOT the reception

posted 5 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 2
1832 posts
Buzzing bee

Don’t do it.  When you invite someone to the wedding, you invite them to the reception, period.  Most people understand that everyone can’t be invited to weddings.  If you tiptoe into this territory you will be in rude territory and it sounds like that is what you don’t want.

Post # 3
47429 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

View original reply
audmar89:  I find it hilarious that you are upset that people don’t pay attention to etiquette!  The one who hasn’t paid attention to etiquette is you.

Churches traditionally are open to their members at all times. That means church members are free to slip in the back of any wedding ceremony held in their church.

That does not mean that it is ok to extend an invitation to other people in your life-friends, family, work colleagues etc to attend the ceremony ONLY.

I personally think it is rude for someone to get offended by not going to the reception, because the reception is the most expensive part of the wedding.

Thank goodness that you do not set the standard for good etiquette. The reception is the most expensive part because it is your thank you to your guests for attending your wedding.

Post # 4
8769 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: Dorset, UK

In my mind people should really be invited to all or nothing and you have to draw the line somewhere.

Post # 5
1185 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

The reception is your way of thanking the guests for attending your ceremony. So no, you can’t invite people just to the ceremony, it’s extremely rude.  If they insist on coming to the ceremony anyway there’s not really any way for you to refuse if your church is open to the public, but make it clear they are not being invited by you.

Post # 6
1338 posts
Bumble bee

No, just no.

And you expect them to still give you a gift? I am praying this is fake.

Post # 7
4093 posts
Honey bee

Invite people for the whole day or don’t invite them at all. It is rude to only invite to the ceremony. My office had a bridal shower of sorts for me and also gave me a wedding gift, that didn’t cause me to feel the need to invite them all to my wedding. My mail man delivered my RSVP’s, but I didn’t feel the need to invite him either. Just because someone knows you’re getting married, doesn’t mean they expect or should be involved. Stop talking about your wedding to random people who aren’t invited and if someone brings it up tell them its sweet to think about you and you’d love to share pics when you get them.

Post # 8
4943 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Sorry bee, I’m with the others. I think it’s rude to invite them to the ceremony and not the reception. Either they are invited to both, or they are invited to neither. If you can’t afford to have them all at the reception, then don’t invite them to the ceremony.

Post # 9
7627 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

I guess it was rude of your coworker to call you out but she’s right… I’m guessing she isn’t the only one who feels this way.

Post # 10
640 posts
Busy bee

One of my coworkers did this a few years ago.  She didn’t invite anyone from work to the wedding/reception (no problem, we all understood weddings are expensive) but a couple of days prior she sent everyone an email stating the time and location of the church ceremony and said all were welcome to attend.

I think one or two people attended the ceremony, no one else did.  We were told that the couple had a basket at the back of the church for cards, presumably for those people that only attended the ceremony.  People talked about it for months!  She came across as being very gift grabby.

If I’m not good enough to be invited to the whole shebang, don’t just invite me to the ceremony.  I think it’s rude and people will talk about you.

Post # 11
1135 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I agree that’s rude 🙁 It turns the whole situation into a “A List” invite-only type thing. It is EXTREMELY RUDE to just expect someone to realize they aren’t worth $50 a plate to you. Oh and to still buy you a gift? Girl, please. Plus you’re telling them they can go to the boring (no offense) ceremony part but then have to leave once the party starts…

Post # 12
3679 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

What I’m getting out of this is that you want and expect lots of presents from people you don’t want to buy dinner for. 

Post # 13
3470 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA

View original reply
audmar89:  I think the key part that you’re missing is that the reception isn’t for YOU, it’s for your guests.  The point of a reception is to thank your guests for attending the ceremony and supporting you and your new spouse.  That’s why it’s largely considered rude to invite someone to the ceremony but not the reception. 

That being said, if someone ASKS to come to just the ceremony, then it’s perfectly acceptable to give them the details without inviting them to the reception, but to invite someone to the ceremony but not the reception is just plain rude because what you’re effectively telling them is “I want you to come celebrate with me, but I don’t want to foot the bill” 

Post # 14
742 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

No.. just no. Inviting someone to see your ceremony, but not to celebrate with you after is incredibly rude!

Post # 15
179 posts
Blushing bee

well, I am not very qualified to answer since I am proposing in 20 days!!!!but I find this thread very interesting. this kinda popped on my radar last night as a colleague joked that since I talk to her off and on a lot about my engagement that she would be invited to the wedding. well, we never hang out after work or speak on the phone but she has been very supportive/insightful. 

is it bad to have like an engagement party celebration meetup to enjoy the company of people not coming to the wedding? I dunno. 

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