Post # 1
Congratulations to all!
Please kindly share your thoughts about inviting guests to a church wedding mass/ceremony (with beverages and pastries, etc. to follow for us to greet everyone for about thirty minutes, etc), but no invitation to a wedding reception. We have a tight budget and can only invite family and a handful of close friends to the reception. He has a lot of friends whom he’d like to invite and whom we would like to attend, but we cannot host everyone to a meal or cocktail reception. (I’ve looked into every possible venues/scenarios, etc.) We wish to share our day as much as possible with all our friends and family in the mass/ceremony in a beautiful landmark church. I am thinking a week before the wedding to meet those friends who are not invited to the reception for dancing, etc. Please kindly share your thoughts.
Post # 3
no. I’m in the camp that believes people should be invited to both parts.
Post # 4
A reception is how you thank your guests for attending your wedding. There are a few exceptions: some churches (since they’re public) will allow any member to attend any event at their church, including weddings. In this case, I am under the impression that invitations are not sent to these people, it is just public knowledge (aka in the bulletin, etc). The other exception is when the ceremony is private. I mean parents and siblings ONLY… not your parents, siblings, and 50 closest friends.
Your best bet is to either trim the guest list, or brainstorm some options to properly host those who are invited to your wedding.
Could you do an early wedding and host a brunch reception? Could you get married at a non-meal time and host appetizers, beer, and wine? What about a dessert only reception with a fancy coffee bar and a champagne toast?
You have a lot of options that don’t involve a tiered reception or blatantly being unintentionally rude to an entire group of guests.
Post # 6
@GroovyHippieChick: I agree.
I hate to object but if you are going to invite everyone to the ceremony, you have to invite them to the reception. There’s nothing wrong with a smaller intimate wedding. If you cannot accomodate everyone, then you can have a larger party later when finances are better. Fiance and I are only having 75 guests and that’s close fam and close friends. What is your budget range? Ours is approx 3-4K but I’ve seen even the nicest weddings for $600. We are here to help if you have any issues. I’ve stalked all kinds of wedding websites to give you links for help and I’m sure there are more brides on here more than willing to help.
Post # 7
Is this where a cake and punch reception would be a good idea? I’m not actually sure what a cake and punch reception is, I’ve only seen it around here and never in real life, but I’m guessing it’s just like drinks and snacks and not full blown meal. Might be worth looking into.
Post # 8
- Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA
Instead of doing a formal meal/reception for a few guests– why not do an extended version of what you’re already planning and make the “beverages and pastries, etc. to follow” your reception? I think that woudl be more comfortable for everyone and then you’ll be able to afford to host everyone you want to.
Post # 9
If you do a cake reception for everyone following the ceremony, followed by a dinner for your VERY close friends and family, I don’t see a problem with it.
Post # 10
Ladies – thanks so much. I will look into the options mentioned and links. Any further thoughts, suggestions, etc. are welcome …
Post # 11
@lindseyl06: Thanks so much, Lindsey. We have the same budget. I will look into these links …
Post # 12
My feelings would be hurt if I was only invited to the ceremony!
Post # 13
I would suggest a cake/punch reception for those you want to invite to the other reception but can’t afford to. Have it at your ceremony venue and that shouldn’t cost much.
Or host a BBQ or informal brunch of some kind at a later date maybe and invite everyone. This is all I can think of at the moment.
Post # 14
I want to do the same thing! My FI’s family is massive and mine is teeny tiny! (two sisters and a mum only!) He’s already 80% of the gues list and that’s only his immediate aunts/uncles and cousins. His parents are on us to invite all the greats aunts/uncles etc but we just can’t afford it! (we’re paying for everything and his parents haven’t offered to help at all even tho they can because they feel like it’s the brides responsibilty. Never mind the fact that i don’t have a dad and my mum works minimum wage and lives in a bachelor pad! errr.. seems to have gone off topic here ~_~)
Any who, I thought a good comprimise would be to invite all the older family members to the ceremony but not the reception. Part of this is because we’re doing a buffett, and at the last family wedding, they hardly ate anything and the other reason is that they left an hour into the reception so to me, it seems a bit of a waste to have them there any how. But as you see here already, most people think it’s bad taste. But eveything situation is different, what you could do is sort of float the idea to some people and see what the reaction is, and play it by ear? I’m going to get Future Mother-In-Law to run the option by the great aunts/uncles and if they like it, great! if they don’t, well then they won’t come at all so it’ll be fine.
Post # 15
@MrsVandykins: Let me know how it goes … It is a tough situation. We want to celebrate the special day with people we care about, but all the quotes I am getting here in Los Angeles are ridiculous (i.e. down payment to a home) even for a park reception.
Post # 16
You shouldn’t invite people to the ceremony without being invited to the reception. It’s rude. Unless, like PPs have said, your church has an open wedding policy.