(Closed) Is it wrong to invite friends to ceremony but not reception?

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
175 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

In my opinion, I think it’s really rude. I would be offended if someone did that to me – but that’s just me. Other people may feel differently.

It’s like saying “come see me get married, bring a gift but no party for you”

Post # 4
2362 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - New York Botanical Garden

I agree – I think it’s all or nothing – just based on how I would feel if the roles were reversed and my feelings would be pretty hurt if I were invited to the ceremony and not the reception

Post # 5
987 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I definitely think this is an “all or nothing” situation.  It would absolutely be rude to just invite them to the ceremony and it would probably be awkward all around anyway.

Post # 6
573 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I don’t think you can invite them to the ceremony and not the reception, but I DO think that friends should understand if you tell them you had to have a small guest list due to (budget, space limitations, etc) reasons. 

Post # 7
332 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

I’ve definitely heard about this, but I’ve never known anyone who actually did it. If you have a significantly larger number at the ceremony vs. the reception it might work, but if you’re just excluding a few people that might be more upsetting for those who are left out.

Maybe you could have a larger, more casual get together after the wedding, where you could celebrate with everyone?

Post # 8
2015 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I’ll be honest, I’d be pretty mad if I got an invitation to the ceremony and not reception. Less mad if it was for the reception and not the ceremony, but still miffed. Reasons being:

– I’m apparently not important enough to you to be included, and I’d be really curious to find out who made the cut to both events.

– If they’re invited to just the ceremony, and not the reception, it looks like you’re gift grabbing, and then not thanking them for attending (usually the reception is the bride and groom’s way of thanking guests for coming by providing food, drinks and entertainment.

Either invite them to both, or none at all. For those you can’t invite, just say, “I’m really sorry, our venue has limited space and we decided to have a small wedding. I hope you understand.”

Post # 9
1638 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I agree with other bees saying that it’s all or nothing. I personally think it is rude to invite people to wedding showers, bachelorette parties, ceremonies and not the reception. I understand you are on a budget and need to be careful of the number of people you invite but I think if they can’t go to the reception then leave them out of everything. Maybe you should call each of them or have a lunch and explain the situation, if they are good friends then they should understand.

Post # 10
6572 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2010

i’ve heard the opposite, people invited to the reception but not the ceremony, but not being invited to the ceremony and not the reception. i definitely wouldn’t be ok with just being invited to the ceremony. it would be different if your friend specifically said that they understand that you have a small guest list and that they aren’t being invited, but they’d still like to witness the ceremony. than i think it would be ok.

Post # 11
4001 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I wouldn’t do it.  I don’t even know how you could do it, logistically.  You’d have to create separate invites.  But, inevitably, their feelings will get hurt.  I’d say either don’t invite them at all and explain that you can’t afford it.  Or, invite them to the whole thing.

Post # 12
39 posts
  • Wedding: March 2010

I agree with everyone.. i think it’s rude to invite them to the ceremony but not reception. It’s seriously like… bring a gift for me but no food and party for you…

Post # 13
3124 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

no, shouldn’t do it.  It never really happens, so if I got an invite for just a ceremony, chances are i wouldn’t even read the fine print and then up for dinner. if i got kicked out from dinner at a close friend’s wedding? Ouch. 

Post # 14
5977 posts
Bee Keeper

I’m with the other bees who say that it’s not right. I wouldn’t be very happy if I got an invite to only the ceremony and not the reception too. It just makes me feel like I’m good enough to bring you a gift, but apparently not good enough to help you celebrate. Sorry…but I definitely think this one is a no-no.

Post # 15
14183 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

If you explain to your friends that you don’t know if you can invite them b/c it’s a “family first” kind of affair, and a very small one of only 80 people, i’m sure they’d understand. it’s relatively common around here to invite only a small handful of friends b/c families come first, and families are quite large and local in the midwest it seems. I had a friend tell me that just a couple months ago and i didn’t even think twice about it. All it hought was that I hoped a friend of hers threw a shower that i got invited to (i don’t care if i couodn’t go to the ceremony) so i could congratulate her and bring a gift! But i totally get weddings…at least now after planning my own =]

Post # 16
1260 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I agree with the above posters. Might I suggest, for those you can’t invite, to have a small celebration later, like a house party? A friend of mine did this, and it was a great, inexpensive way to celebrate their love for all who either couldn’t attend or couldn’t be invited due to size constraints.

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