Post # 1
Is it rude to invite some guests only to the ceremony and not to the reception?
I graduated a number of years ago and my class of 60 was very close and still is. We still see each other on a regular basis but there is no way I could afford to have them all there with all my family. Only a handful of my close girlfriends and their partners will be invited to both the ceremony and reception.
And if I do invite some guests only to the ceremony, do they get invited to the engagement party?
I’m not sure what to do.
Is this making sense?
Post # 3
Yes, it’s rude. If you invite someone, you should invite them to the ceremony and reception.
You could get around this if you wanted to have the ceremony and reception on different days?
Post # 4
The whole point of the reception is to thank your guests for coming to celebrate with you. You can’t thank only some of the guests for coming. Each guest should be treated to the same level of hospitality.
Post # 5
Etiquette says that you need to host some sort of celebration after the wedding. Your guests traveled and took time out of their schedules to watch you get married. It’s rude to expect them to leave right afterward. You don’t have to do an expensive sit down meal. You could do something casual like a barbeque or just do cake and punch.
Post # 6
Yes, I am not a stickler for etiquette I think it’s rude, if you can invite them to the engagement party maybe do that instead. I think they would understand not getting invited to the wedding it would be crazy expensive.
Post # 7
Yes, that’s extremely rude. You and the other half of your guests will wave goodbye to them as you smile and jet off to the reception. “See you guys later!” I’d feel hurt, left out, and downright upset if someone did that to me.
I think an alternative would be to explain that you’re having a very small wedding on a budget, and I’m sure they’ll understand.
Post # 8
- Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House
I know someone who is having a light cocktail reception right outside the ceremony after for everyone who was invited to the ceremony, and then having a real reception at night for close friends/family. Then at least everyone she invited gets to go to a “reception.” Maybe that would be an option for you.
Post # 9
Maybe you could have a separate, more casual (read:inexpensive) party like a BBQ or something later just with friends, but don’t invite them to the ceremony. I feel like a totally acceptable explanation is that there wasn’t enough room at your venue after inviting family… maybe other bees will disagree… I just thought it might be a fun way to still celebrate with them still!
Post # 10
Sorry, yes, I agree it’s rude.
Post # 11
I probably come from different background than most people here. Because this is exactly what is the norm here – you invite everyone you want to to the ceremony and only some of them to the reception. There is usually some party after the reception (often at a different location) where yet a different set of people can be invited.
So usually it goes like this: everyone and their mother for the ceremony, family and VERY close friends (that would be wedding party in most countries represented on this board, I guess) for the reception and family and close friends for the party.
So even if most people tell you you would be rude, there are some out there that can think it is totally fine 😉
Post # 12
As a fellow Aussie I would say nope, not rude and it’s done often here. Just don’t send a formal invite, maybe just a pm on Facebook saying that people are welcome to come along to the ceremony and watch you get married. I would just leave a larger gap between heading off for photos so you can go and say hi to them afterwards…
Post # 13
Glad you posted this! I have a simillar problem..our wedding will be a very small one (51 – 53 people, us included), with just the close family invited (ceremony AND reception). Everyone was surprised i wasn’t inviting my old friends from high school, but although it hurt, i know we could not afford to have a big wedding so we made choices..painful ones. The thought of not having my long time friends around me that special day did make me sad (does make..) and i struggled with a very strong wish..finally i took courage and sent an e-mail to all..BLUSHING! I asked them to forgive me and that their presence in our day, even for just a couple of min would mean the world to me so…i wrote if it was too much to ask if they could be at my parents’ house, the place of so many shared memories, during the morning i am preparing to my W Day. I would LOVE to have my friends around me, helping me getting dressed, laughing and joking..of course i feel ashamed of not inviting them even to the ceremony :-(..I sent the e-mail with trembling hands “It is done” and the answers overwhelmed me :-). They understood and besides an answer i could tell the tone was a little hurt , they all said they would TRY and be there for me, just for a few hours and i was happy. You see, i have been there for them all my life..
So in my point of view it’s rude but if they love you, they will understand
Post # 14
I’ve had some friends have a very small wedding ceremony and reception to keep it intimate (while keeping the costs down) and have a big reception party later (after the honeymoon) with just desserts or appetizers so they can still share their wedding with all their old friends and extended family as well.
Post # 15
The best way I’ve seen this done is by having two receptions: an afternoon tea (or similar) reception immediately after the ceremony with the more private dinner reception in the evening. I’ve been an afternoon-tea-only guest and a both events guest and happy both ways.
As a both-events-guest, the information for the first reception was printed on the actual invitation card, and the information for the second reception was printed on a separate card. That way, we knew that not everyone was invited to the dinner and avoided awkwardly talking about it with someone not invited.
The other way, as noted by Peppy, is to make an announcement on facebook a few days before with only the information about the ceremony.
These are both pretty acceptable in NZ, so probably fine in Oz.
Post # 16
I’m Aussie too & I’m going to agree that it can be ok – if done right, is ok/encouraged by the couple & everyone knows it for what it is. It’s regularly done here where people who are acquaintances of the couple, or family friends, work mates etc are cool to come check out the ceremony.
I’ve been (among many) invited to come watch co-worker weddings, my mum has come to watch one of my school mates marry & she’s also been invited to see the ceremonies of kids of church friends. There’s no gift expectation (though my mum likes to give a little something depending on the couple, even if just a card) and I think if you’re open about the situation, it’s ok?
We’re having a small wedding, but my mum knows a million old ladies from her church who have all watched me grow up. They’re lovely, but there’s family on both sides we’re not inviting to the whole shebang, so I’m certainly not inviting acquaintances that are not a big part of our lives just cos I’ve known them for years. But I’ve got no drama if they want to come have a sneak peek at the ceremony.