(Closed) Some guests responding "Just coming for the ceremony"?

posted 5 years ago in Guests
  • poll: Is it normal to have some guests skip the reception?

    Totally normal

    Kind of, maybe occasionally some will skip without telling you

    Usually it's the other way around! Skip the ceremony but come for the food and dancing!

    Nope. Not normal.

  • Post # 2
    30399 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    View original reply
    chevaldame :  The ceremony is actually the important part of your wedding, so I wouldn’t be too upset.

    I would however, tell them that we need a definite yes or no for the reception. “Probably” won’t cut it for the caterer. You are also entitled to know this information for your seating plan.

    Post # 3
    175 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: August 2017

    Actually I thought it was more common for guests to skip the ceremony and show up at the reception. Made the wrong selection lol.

    Could there be any logistical reason that people would not show up to the reception? Is your wedding going to be on a weeknight? 

    Post # 4
    9315 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper

    View original reply
    chevaldame :  We had one extended family member and his wife RSVP for the ceremony only. They were hosting out of town guests that weekend, but still wanted to come see us get married even though they couldn’t stay for the reception all night. Be flattered that it means more to them to see you get married than to skip the ceremony and just take you up on your hospitality. 

    Post # 5
    1409 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2015

    I had guests do that.  One was a friend of mine who drove all the way from several states away, but couldn’t stay for the reception because she was pregnant and had a bout of morning sickness.  Another guest had a relative’s birthday party that evening and she did not want to miss either, so she and her spouse RSVP’ed for the ceremony only.

    Post # 6
    357 posts
    Helper bee

    That is extremely rude! If they are going to come, they should come. Other than health reasons, I can’t imagine a good reason for why anyone would change their response for only part of the wedding after the RSVP deadline. Outrage for you!

    Push the probablys for a definitive answer. I would call them up and say that you have a catering deadline and you want to be sure that if they plan to attend the reception that they have plenty to eat and a place to sit. And you need to know today, tomorrow at the latest. You shouldn’t have to pay for their head if they are going to skip out on your awesome party. 

    Post # 7
    1221 posts
    Bumble bee

    How is it rude? They are coming to see her get married, which is the important part. Just push for a definitive yes or no for catering purposes.

    Post # 9
    13782 posts
    Honey Beekeeper

    Typically, no reply is needed for the ceremony, which is often in a church or venue open to the public. Either way, RSVPs are meant for the reception. What’s rude is to reply with a “maybe.” 

    I would call and tell them that you’re sorry if there was a misunderstanding but you need firm numbers in advance for the caterer. If it’s possible to give them a little more time, which, truth be told there usually is, that’s up to you. Otherwise, tell them you’re afraid you’ll have to count them as a no and see them another time. 

    I think these replies are due to the timing of your wedding being on the last weekend of the summer. Unfortunately, many people are just not willing to sacrifice their holiday weekend for anyone who is not a best friend or immediate familly. 

    You may be disappointed or even frustrated by some of these replies, but it’s not rude to decline an invitation. 

    Post # 10
    2263 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    We actually had a friend of the family who’s day was double booked (another wedding same day for his niece) who came for our ceremony because he and his wife love our church, and then went to the other wedding’s reception for dinner, and back to ours for more drinks.  Maybe you have a few guests who are double booked? 

    Post # 11
    3756 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2015 - Hotel Ballroom

    It’s odd, but better than skipping the ceremony and only coming for the reception.

    Post # 13
    184 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: June 2016

    We invited a couple to our wedding, unfortunately the husband couldn’t make it because he was a groomsman at another out-of-state wedding, but his wife RSVP’d yes for herself and her plated meal selection (and ‘no’ for her husband). No biggie. It was great she had let us know she was coming solo! We arranged it so she should be seated at the same table with a few friends she knew already so it wouldn’t be awkward.

    Come wedding day. I saw her during our cocktail hour and there is a photo of her during the ceremony.. but when DH and I went and greeted each table, I never saw her. No photos of her either during the reception. I suspect she took off at the end of cocktail hour and didn’t stay for the dinner reception. Which is fine, but I wish she had told us she was going to come for only the ceremony so I wouldn’t have to pre-pay for her meal. Didn’t receive a card nor a gift from her either. Kinda miffed that she did that ’cause she was a bride herself and she should know how costly RSVPs are.

    I wouldn’t worry about it too much if they said they’re staying for only the ceremony. It’s actually really nice of them to give you a heads up now vs finding out on day-of that a handful of guests disappeared and you’ve shelled out more money for food than you needed to.

    Post # 14
    397 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2017

    I think it’s very thoughtful of them, actually. In some instances, they can’t stay for the whole thing. Health reasons, recovering from alcoholism, long drive, etc. It think it’s nice that, rather than skip the whole affair, they can come for the REALLY important part: you becoming man and wife.

    It’s sweet, and not abnormal at all.

    Post # 15
    5886 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: January 2017

    Make sure they respond with a firm ‘yes’ or ‘no’ for the reception.  The ceremony is the important part but you need numbers for the reception and a maybe isn’t going to cut it. Good luck.

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