(Closed) Spinoff– why is it rude to attend the reception and not the ceremony?????

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 61
Member
13700 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

It’s rude because the reception is the “thank you” for attending the ceremony.  If you can only do one, OP, you should go to the ceremony.  You have yet to explain why only going to the ceremony isn’t one of your options.  Without any further clarification, it seems to me that you just want to go for the party and not be inconvenienced by that pesky “wedding” portion of the day. 

Post # 62
Member
390 posts
Helper bee

californiabride2013:  You have to decide for yourself what you will be comfortable to attend, and I agree that you should RSVP correctly to the couple if you are attending the reception as they will have to provide their caterer with correct numbers for you meal, but I think you should also keep in mind that the couple might not entirely be in control of the gap and are aware that it will be an annoyance for some guests.  Especially if they are having a religious ceremony, they probably had to take what time the could get on their chosen day.  

Post # 63
Member
1332 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I would be really hurt if people, that we wanted to be at our marriage celebration, whom are near and dear to us, would be offended by any timeline we did, or needed to establish.  So much so, they did not come to either part of the day!  I understand having more than one scheduling conflict that day, and so choosing to decline the reception, but attending the ceremony, or visa versa!

 

With that said, gaps are not that ‘crazy’ in my circle of friends/family.  We had to have an almost 5-hour gap between our noon ceremony, and 5:30 reception.  We would have loved a later ceremony time, but it was booked, and getting married in our Church was the MOST important.  I honestly think the only people inconvienanced by the timeline were me and my gals, because we had to be up at 430/5am that day to start getting ready.  But, in the event our guests were annoyed, then at least we suffered with them?!

The way I see it, the invitations – sent 3 months beforehand, clearly dictated the timeline for that day.  They know all the info at that point, and chose to come accordingly.  We absolutely catered to our guests needs by providing a hotel block, free transport to and from, notes upon check in of fun area things to do, great food at our reception, an open bar, and fun music.  Their needs/comfort were 100% our priority, much as the most important part for us remained a priority, the exchanging of vows in the place we wanted to have them done!   

Our ceremony was ‘full’ of people, but our reception had a lot more.  We had 14 no-shows, which was irritating after the fact because of the money we spent, but we did not notice their absence during the reception…at all.  Of those, they did not attend not because of the gap, but because something came up.  

At the end of the day, I do not think I would even notice who or who was not at the Church.  I was far too enamored in what we were doing to take that mental picture.  For me, I either attend ALL aspects of a marriage, or none (only because I had something else planned).  Seeing a couples vows is always my favorite part!

Post # 64
Member
757 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Our Backyard/Steakhouse

Jbunny:  I’m happy to hear you acknowledge that people won’t likely come to both.  At least you understand that in having a big gap, people will often choose to attend one or the other.

That being said, (and this is no snark intended) why are you having such a big gap? It would be lovely to attend a morning wedding and a lunch reception.  I can’t imagine getting dressed up for a wedding, then trying to stay ‘pretty’ until long after dinner.  I look like crap at the end of a work day…and that’s only 8 hours.  Logically, if you’re having a traditional dinner reception and dance these people will have been in wedding attire for more than 12 hrs…that’s a LOOOOONG time.  And if they go home and change into comfies in between – not sure about you but once I put on yoga pants there’s no turning back!

Post # 65
Member
757 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Our Backyard/Steakhouse

OUgal0004:  We would have loved a later ceremony time, but it was booked, and getting married in our Church was the MOST important.<br /><br />This is exactly the point.  If the church ceremony is most important then have an earlier RECEPTION.  You have decided to have a dinner reception because you’d rather have a big dinner and have your guests waiting around for 4 hrs than to have a cocktail reception in the afternoon.  That’s a choice.  You’re not forced into a gap, you’re choosing it.

Post # 66
Member
251 posts
Helper bee

I love how many people make assumptions on the part of the bride and groom. Honestly, I didn’t give a hoot who attended the reception but not the ceremony, and I certainly didn’t waste time flipping back and forth in my guest book to make sure everyone check in to both places.

If I had guests that just atteneded the reception (and I know for a fact I had a ton of 18-22 year old children of guests invited as ‘and family’ who didn’t attend the ceremony but attended the reception) I really don’t care and I don’t think that they were just there for free food and drinks. The alcohol was already paid for regardless of it was consumed. The food was paid for regardless of it was consumed. The dance floor was packed ALL night long and all my guests looked like they enjoyed themselves. 

While the ceremony is important, the reception is also a celebration of my marriage, and those guests that chose to only attend the reception contributed to the celebration in my mind. I really don’t care if etiquette says I should be clutching my pearls and deeply offended, I was not. Not at all. So to answer your question, in relation to my opinion regarding my OWN wedding (not speaking for others as so many here take the liberaty of doing), I’m glad that those who chose to come, regardless of if they attended both or not,  actually chose to come. It was better than them not coming at all. <br /><br />Perhaps this stems from the fact that my family members who AREN’T from the US often have smaller ceremonies and larger receptions, but I don’t find it offensive at all.

Post # 67
Member
6291 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

LDay1983:  Personally I don’t see 12 hours as a long time. Our wedding ceremony is at 1pm,so guests will likely be ready in their attire at 11am to allow for travel time. Our reception ends at 1am. So, that’s 14 hours. That’s pretty standard over here. Though I agree it would be annoying to be waiting around for 4 hours all dressed up as it does limit what you can do. 

Personally I think a 1.5-2.5 hour gap is fine provided the guests are looked after eg given food and drinks and provided with seating. I also think that the couple should be mingling with them for at least some of that time ie I think it’s worse if they’re off having photos done the entire time. I think anything over 2.5 hours is excessive and should be avoided at all costs. 

Post # 68
Member
182 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Where I am from it is very common to have a gap, especially if you are getting married in a Catholic Church.  My mass is at 1 and my reception starts a couple towns over at 6. In these situations most people do not go to the church. People can’t be bothered to spend an hour at mass. I have 365 people on my list and hypothetically if I have 350 people actually come to the reception I would be lucky to have 100 people at church. It is unfortunate but its just how it is around here. 

Post # 69
Member
804 posts
Busy bee

ZebraPrintMe:  Rachel631:  I’m also from the uk, but I think it’s only normal to only attend the reception if you haven’t been invited to the ceremony. If you’ve been invited to the ceremony as well but choose to only go to the reception then that’s pretty rude (particularly if there’s no gap). Of course there are exceptions e.g. I have friends who teach Saturday school so if they skipped the ceremony to teach then of course I would understand.

Post # 70
Member
12288 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

I think the gap is inconsiderate.  Unfortunately, it’s common enough around here as well, and I’m invited to two with big gaps this summer.   Most out of towners take a hotel room and essentially get dressed for two separate events, which is a big pain, not to mention a big expense, especially if it means needing to book two nights instead of one.  

Post # 71
Member
602 posts
Busy bee

californiabride2013:  I may be one of the few here who honestly do not care if you attend the ceremony as my guest. The only person I really care about showing up for the ceremony is my groom. we are having a Friday wedding and while its starting later (530) I understand that is still an inconvenience for some of my guests. But if you don’t show up to the reception that my family just paid good money for then I will be PISSED. 

Post # 72
Member
2942 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I can get not showing up for the ceremony, and we had quite a few people unable to attend the ceremony for various reasons.  My cousin’s kid had a soccer game in a different city, my DH’s coworker had a volunteer event earlier in the day which would have made him painfully late for our ceremony, and a few of my parents friends finished up farm chores and showered durring our Mass.   We also had a few cousins with young children who were at the hotel watching them durring nap time.  If there is an excuse like that, I could care less.  I’m just glad people want to celebrate with us. 

I think the only thing that would have made me mad is if someone didn’t RSVP, didn’t bother showing up for the ceremony, and then was at our reception.  No one did, but I would feel a bit used then. 

Post # 73
Member
351 posts
Helper bee

I think the Ceremony is the most important part of the whole wedding event. 

We are having an intimate wedding all at one venue, so problem is kind of solved for those instance, bcause then yo ucan go right into cocktail hour..with the couple leaving for portaits what not and arriving back in time for dinner.

 

Hopes this helps

 

Cristina

Post # 74
Member
96 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

LDay1983:  we’re having a casual dinner reception. BBQ, badminton, corn hole, Shorts and t shirt. everything will be outside on august 2, it’s going to be very hot so we chose to do the ceremony in the morning rather than at the hottest part of the day. We’re not doing pictures beforehand and we want to have enough time to do pictures. I could give other reasons but it’s just what we wanted to do. I’ve found no matter what you do someone won’t be happy about it so you might as well do what you want and realize that people can make their own decisions in reaction to it. 

Post # 75
Member
560 posts
Busy bee

I am seriously suprised at how many people would be offended if someone missed the ceremony and went to their reception.

I am going to have a small ceremony with immediate family (aka the people who really want to see me get married) that will then be followed by a huge reception with a ton of our friends who would love to celebrate with us, but who I don’t want to bore with my ceremony.

I guess I am different though- I don’t feel like my wedding day is “all about me,” I don’t need all of my friends/relatives staring at me while exchanging my vows. I just want to marry the man I love and then PARTY 🙂

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