Reception only

posted 4 months ago in Guests
  • poll: Is this ok?


    Perfectly ok!

  • Post # 2
    9869 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    I’m confused – are you saying you’re planning on the 10 guests at the ceremony and then a larger reception? 

    Post # 4
    755 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2021

    I don’t see why that would be rude! I went to a wedding once that had a family-only ceremony in the morning and then a reception for everyone in the afternoon. I was not in the family, so I just went to the reception and had a great time. Just do what works for you and your people and don’t worry about what’s considered “acceptable!” 

    Post # 5
    1000 posts
    Bumble bee

    How many people are we talking for each? Super small ceremony and then much larger reception? Fine. Adding like 1-3 families for the reception (maybe ~15 people) feels really personal

    Post # 6
    737 posts
    Busy bee

    I don’t think that would be rude at all! I don’t think it’s super uncommon to have a small ceremony and large reception.

    Post # 8
    3149 posts
    Sugar bee

    It really depends on who you’re cutting from the ceremony. If it’s a family only ceremony or immediate family only ceremony, I think it’s fine. But if you’re excluding certain family or friends from the ceremony, but inviting others, then yes, it’s rude. 

    Post # 9
    1144 posts
    Bumble bee

    I don’t think it’s rude, but I also don’t think it’s perfectly OK.  Will it pass etiquette muster, most of the time yes.  But inviting someone to only the reception and not the ceremony is telling that person “you aren’t important enough to me to be invited to watch me get officially married, but you do make the cut for celebrating my marriage (and giving a gift)”.  The ceremony is by far the most important part of a wedding.  If someone is important enough to you to have at your reception, they should be important enough to you to have at your ceremony.  You are otherwise sending the signal that they are a second tier guest.

    Post # 10
    1258 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: February 2018 - UK

    I think it depends on where you are. In the U.K. it’s totally standard to have a smaller number at the ceremony and then more guests arriving for the evening reception. I don’t think it’s rude because it’s the norm here, but I think how your guests respond might depend on what’s common where you are and what they’re used to.


    Post # 11
    1916 posts
    Buzzing bee

    My first wedding we had a smaller, more intimate evening ceremony and dinner with family, and had a larger party the following day for all friends and family at a local park. I didn’t hear any complaints. People still got an opportunity to celebrate with us, and most were grateful to skip the ceremony, especially those with kids, and just come to enjoy the more casual park atmosphere.

    Post # 13
    249 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2022

    My sister did this (tiny ceremony followed by large reception several months later). I think it’s totally OK, especially with COVID; many people are waiting until restrictions are lifted to have the bigger celebration.

    Post # 14
    1144 posts
    Bumble bee

    View original reply
    @lauralaura123:  I’m not going to minimize your fear of being in the spotlight, but it might help you adopt a different mindset if you consider that the people you should want at your wedding (even 50 people) are your nearest and dearest.  I’m assuming nobody is a stranger or acquaintance.  If these are all people you love, then having them in attendance when you officially get married will hopefully be a joy rather than a stress.

    Post # 15
    4577 posts
    Honey bee

    I think it depends on where you live. In the US, it’s gift grabby to me. If you want a small ceremony, then have a small reception.

    I’m terrified of speaking in public and was afraid I would be a wreck saying my vows, but the audience just melted away. Also, repeat after me vows are much less stressful.

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