(Closed) Inviting Guests to the Ceremony but not the Reception

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
1030 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I personally would shy away from that, because it might be seen as “i like you, but not enough to pay for you.” Maybe a verbal invite if they expressed they really wanted to go, but no more than that. 

Post # 4
2951 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 1998

@MaheeMoo:  I wouldn’t invite them then. It seems rude to do so. 


Post # 5
633 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Don’t do it. It’s not etiquette, and I’d certainly be offended

Post # 6
8684 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Personally I would still think it was a gift grab even if you said no gifts. If you want them to share your special day invite them to the whole thing. If you can’t do that (for space or financial reasons) share you day with them through your photos when you return to work. Everyone knows that weddings are expensive and numbers can be tight.


Post # 7
5064 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2014

I would do it. UK weddings must be different because its very common to invite to the ceremony only with no bad feelings or offense caused.

Post # 8
9954 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Hi @MaheeMoo: first and foremost I see this is your Debut post on WBee… so a BIG Welcome to “the Hive”

Etiquette Snob here… lol

Never should one be invited to the Wedding Ceremony and not the Reception*

The accepted Rule is once someone is invited, they are there for the duration… so Ceremony & Reception & Dance… OR Reception & Dance… OR Dance only.

Altho this type of thing isn’t all that common in the USA… it is more seen in Canada and other Commonwealth Countries (known as a Tiered Reception.

All that aside…

While we are on the topic of Etiquette.  There is no obligation to invite one’s co-workers whatsoever.  Infact, traditional etiquette would advise against it.  It is always best to keep one’s work life seperate from one’s personal life…

Opening up that can of worms can backfire on you down the road professionally otherwise.

If you aren’t close enough to these folks to have them as full-fledged “friends” at your Big Day… in so much as they won’t be blabbing back at the office about Uncle Bob who had too much to drink and hit on one of the Bridesmaids, or the Groomsman who called you a Bridezilla etc.  Then go ahead, otherwise… my best advice… give em a miss.

Hope this helps,

*I can think of only ONE acceptable exception… and that is if either the Bride or Groom are mentors to a youth group.  So it would be ok for example to invite the kids (and their Parents to accompany them) from your Sunday School Class, Brownie Pack, or the Hockey Team that your Fiance Coachs for.  In which case the Invites would either go out verbally to the Kids & their Parents, or you could write an informal note to each explaining the situation (Ceremony Only as we thought you might like to see me / us get married).  BUT this particular situation is ONLY acceptable when there are kids involved… NEVER would this be ok for anyone over the age of 18.


Post # 10
268 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

You might ask around and see if it’s common practice in Australia…it seems to be fairly common in some EU countries.  I know it’s not uncommon in the UK and I’ve been to several in the Netherlands that are like that.

Here in the NL, usually there’s a little reception after the ceremony with finger food, cake and a champaign toast.  Then the wedding party and close friends/family go off for dinner.

I can understand why they do it since it seems everyone and the dog (not kidding) seem to be invited.  Even neighborhood friends they haven’t seen for 10 years.  So if it’s a common practice where you are, go for it.

Post # 11
68 posts
Worker bee

You could always frame a wedding photo for them and give it to them after the wedding and, of course, share photos.

Post # 12
2481 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

It’s not uncommon in the UK but it isn’t usual either. It is more commonplace to have a limited number of guests to the ceremony and wedding breakfast and then have a separate evening reception to which workmates would be invited. Also, if inviting to ceremony only you have to be extremely careful how you word your invitation to make this absolutely clear.

Personally I don’t think it is terrifically good form to invite people to the ceremony and then expect them to disappear afterwards without some form of refreshment or opportunity to toast the bride and groom. So if you do plan to have ceremony-only invitations, consider putting on a little canape and champagne reception afterwards.

Post # 13
5400 posts
Bee Keeper

I would NOT do this as it is incredibly rude. 

{unless it is a very common thing in your social cirlce/culture/etc}

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