WEDDING GUESTS AND INVITATIONS

posted 1 year ago in Etiquette
Post # 17
Member
433 posts
Helper bee

How would this even work? Will it be first come first served – the first 50 people to arrive are allowed inside to witness the ceremony and everyone else is stuck outside? Or are you only inviting certain people into the church while the rest are receiving invites to stand around outside of a church and not even see the ceremony?

You need to start looking for alternatives for a reception if you’re afraid that your venue will cancel. Anyone who is invited to the ceremony should be hosted at a reception. 

Post # 18
Member
7965 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

View original reply
@whiteswan:  First come, first seated? So Great Aunt Mary who flew to your wedding and just had a hip replacement could end up stuck outside and not even see you married while some ten year-old cousin you’ve met once is seated in the church? Is this for real? Listen to your fiance, Bee. 

Post # 20
Member
1927 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2020

It sounds like there’s a very different expectation in OP’s culture. I think if there was a separate and comfortable seating area with video/audio of the ceremony AND they could attend a reception later, it would be acceptable, given that you’ve said it’s appropriate to have people outside the church in your culture (and because COVID makes us jump through weird hoops). However, if you can’t host them at some sort of reception/dinner afterwards, I do think it’s inappropriate to invite them and keep them outside the ceremony. 

Post # 21
Member
1510 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

Bee, I would wait a little longer. For your October wedding, invitations don’t need to be sent until August at the earliest. Talk to your most important guests to be sure they know the date, but just wait to order and send out invitations. There are many websites you can order invitations from that you won’t need to order for at least a month or two. If you have a better feel for how restrictions are being lifted, you can make a better plan for how many guests to invite. Which country are you in?

Post # 22
Member
1868 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2020

There is a difference between guests choosing to sit outside of their own accord and being forced to sit outside because there isn’t enough space indoors.

Just because a 100 guest wedding is permitted does not mean it is wise.

I get your dilemma. It kills me to cut my guest list. We’re losing money and the wedding experience to do so. But it has to be done. 

I think you should limit your guest count to however many you can comfortably and safely seat inside the church. To the rest, I’d send invitations to watch your ceremony via livestream. 

For my livestream invites, I intend to put something like, “Although we’d love to have you here in person, your safety is our priority. Please join us for our socially distant but virtually connected wedding from the comfort of your home.”

Post # 23
Member
47 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2020

Also getting married in October and while we have discussed the possibility of limiting the guest list, we have decided to wait until July to make any decisions.  Things can change drastically between now and then, as they have in the past few months.  If your area is doing as well as you say it is, then they may lift the restrictions soon and you won’t have to worry about any of this.  I’ve been thinking about ordering invitations now (there’s been a lot of sales) even though we don’t plan on sending them until August. 

Post # 24
Member
1016 posts
Bumble bee

It seems you have a few options but the one you’re proposing should be off the table. Whatever the customs in your country regarding large weddings, inviting cousins, etc – people will know you’re getting married in the middle of a global pandemic and you might not be able to follow “customs” if you still want to get married this year.

 

Option 1: Make your list of 50 (or 30 or 40 depending on what your reception venue says). Order invitations for everyone but know that come August, you may have to invite your short list only.

 

Option 2 : find a bigger reception venue. I cannot imagine traveling to a weddkng where I can’t see the ceremony and am not invited to the reception. This is the pinnacle of rude.

 

Option 3: Delay until 2021 and have the wedding you want.

Post # 25
Member
7866 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

I am clearly missing something here. What’s the point of inviting people to see you get married, then them not being able to see you get married AND there being no reception to thank them for sitting outside while you got married in the building they couldn’t go in? That just seems rude beyond belief.

Even in countries where the custom is to invite everyone and their second cousin, it is acceptable to have a strict immediate family only wedding in the midst of a pandemic. 

Post # 28
Member
628 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

View original reply
@whiteswan:  yeah, people seem to be struggling with what is obviously a cultural difference. I’ve been to a number of weddings like what you’re describing (also Orthodox) and so while I don’t have advice about your guest list, I can confirm this is common and expected. There are plenty of customs at American weddings that are “insanely rude” in the context of other cultures. 

When we were planning ours, my family thought it was strange that my friends would want to sit in a church. Our church has pews but most do not, just seating on the side for the elderly and those unable to stand. That’s considered rude on WB but it’s just a reality of our religious services. 

Post # 29
Member
340 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 1969 - Montsalvat, Victoria

Ok honestly I see the dilemma but pre-Covid I went to a recent wedding at a country club style venue where the bride and groom had an outdoor ceremony but only had enough seating laid out for 20 of the 60 odd guests. It was insanely awkward with people rushing for seating and it was a really hot day so to be standing around sweating it out was horrible (luckily I’m pregnant so hubby made sure I got a priority seat). To not have enough seating at the ceremony was enough to make me cringe but in your case to not even have everyone inside the venue able to witness I think would honestly not go over well. It completely sucks but I’d wait till restrictions allow lore guests or have the amount you can comfortably seat. 

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