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Invitation to the Ceremony - Not the reception
By pokomember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 9026, member since Sun Oct 31, 2004
On Thu Feb 27, 2014 05:07 AM

Very quick one

I have quote a few friends I wasnt able to invite to the wedding due to financial reasons (weddings are expensive, who knew? Hah) and on my Hens day last weekend, a few girls in my soccer team asked if they would mind if they came to the ceremony to watch. Of course I said yes, but now should I offer that invitation out to the other girls in my team/others I wasn't able to invite? Or is that really tacky? It's happened to me a few times and I was never worried by it, I know weddings can be political and a huge financial strain...plus, the ceremony is the special part in my eyes.

Thoughts?

14 Replies to Invitation to the Ceremony - Not the reception

re: Invitation to the Ceremony - Not the reception
By Tishwah Comments: 586, member since Sun May 17, 2009
On Thu Feb 27, 2014 05:50 AM
The ceremony IS the important part, I have been to loads of weddings where I had a ceremony only invite because friends I loved didn't have thousands of spare dollars! Do it!
re: Invitation to the Ceremony - Not the reception
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member Comments: 7417, member since Sun Apr 18, 2004
On Thu Feb 27, 2014 05:57 AM
Edited by AlwaysOnStage (90901) on 2014-02-27 05:58:34
Here's the tough part--traditionally, this is considered very rude. Now, not everyone still thinks this way, but unless you've spoken with every single one of your friends, it is a possibility that they have been taught this to be rude within their family groupings and will be very offended. Honestly, I would be offended if I go a "Ceremony only" invitation. It is even rude (traditionally speaking) to be invited to a pre-wedding party, but not the the whole wedding.

I only say this to inform your decision--traditions are broken at some point and when I got married I did break some traditions and I was absolutely informed about other people's feelings on the matter; but I know that was a possibility when I made the decision. I don't want you to be blindsided if one of your friends takes this invitation as rude.

ETA: I should also mention that being invited only to a ceremony is also NOT common in my area / my experience. So people in my area are more likely to be offended because it is not something they'd have come across before.
re: Invitation to the Ceremony - Not the reception
By slice Comments: 1247, member since Fri Oct 15, 2004
On Thu Feb 27, 2014 07:23 AM
As AOS said, technically it’s rude.

You are under no obligation to invite certain people to your wedding. Now if it’s a public venue and some people happen to stroll by and watch your ceremony, that’s another matter since it’s not like those people were invited, thus it’s not rude that they observe your ceremony but don’t take part in the reception. But otherwise, inviting people to one part of your day and not the other is like saying, “You’re important enough for me to invite you to X, but not X.” In this case, “You’re important enough to see me get married, but not be fed and celebrate with all my friends and family.”

Of course the tricky thing now is you've already invited those extras, so it's a little less defensible for you to not invite those other people. Is there a way you can squeeze in some extra plates/seats for the people you already invited at the reception? That way they can participate in the whole day and you still have a perfectly solid reason not to invite the rest of the team.
re: Invitation to the Ceremony - Not the reception
By kandykanePremium member Comments: 16415, member since Mon May 01, 2006
On Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:12 AM
It's more acceptable to invite someone to the reception only. Many couples have a small, private ceremony and then open the reception to more people. I'm going to one of those next weekend. But the other way around is kind of, um... rude.

kk~
re: Invitation to the Ceremony - Not the reception
By saaammiemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 440, member since Thu Apr 01, 2010
On Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:26 AM
Don't know about US customs, but here it's totally acceptable (at least traditionally) to only invite someone to the ceremony and not the reception. It might be what you would do with your colleagues, for example.
re: Invitation to the Ceremony - Not the reception
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member Comments: 8688, member since Sat Jul 10, 2004
On Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:37 AM
Edited by YumYumDoughnut (99333) on 2014-02-27 10:38:35
Just make it very clear that you don't expect a gift from them.

Can you have a small cocktail hour AT the venue? Cookies, finger sandwiches etc. That way, you aren't sending them home hungry.
re: Invitation to the Ceremony - Not the reception
By Louisemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 17315, member since Thu Jun 06, 2002
On Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:41 AM
^^ Poko's Australian, not American. I think Aussie customs seem to follow British customs more than American, and I've never, ever heard of someone being invited to the ceremony and not the reception except children. As a family we went to a church wedding when I was about 8 and Becky about 5. The two of us were invited to the ceremony but then we went to my nan's and the parents went to the "do". I guess it saved the parents getting a babysitter for the whole day, and saved the couple from buying us two (and the other kids) a token meal.
re: Invitation to the Ceremony - Not the reception
By Tansey Comments: 2367, member since Fri Mar 27, 2009
On Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:49 AM
It would be considered very rude here in New England, for the reasons stated above. I know you're not in the US and have no idea what the accepted norm is in your area, etiquette-wise. In my area people who are not invited to the reception are never invited to a bridal shower or bachelorette do (which I think is our closest equivalent to a hen party). It is acceptable here, however, to just show up at the church to watch the ceremony from the back, uninvited. Some people do this as a way to wish you well even though they aren't invited to ceremony/reception. Naturally this only happens if the ceremony is in a church or other location that is totally separate from the reception.
re: Invitation to the Ceremony - Not the reception
By Lauretta Comments: 1048, member since Wed Dec 01, 2004
On Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:15 AM
I was invited to (and attended) a wedding for the ceremony only. The bride in question explained the budget and reception venue were both extremely small and they were maxed out primarily with family. I didn't think anything of it - they were on a tiny budget and I didn't know anyone else at the wedding anyway so it's likely I would not have attended the reception were I invited.

How well do you know these girls? If you know them well enough to have the honest conversation my bride had with me then I don't see the problem. If not, then I might just leave it to those who have asked you if they can come.
re: Invitation to the Ceremony - Not the reception
By pokomember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 9026, member since Sun Oct 31, 2004
On Thu Feb 27, 2014 01:18 PM
To answer some questions:

Yes, I am Australian.
We have requested no gifts.
I know these girls very well, we have played soccer together for the past 3-5 years.
They approached me about coming to the ceremony.
It's mostly so when I say "Sure, come along" the rest who didn't ask me don't think "Oh, well I didn't even get invited to the reception" which I'm sure none of them would think.
I'm very open and honest with these girls.
They won't be going hungry....lol.

I guess I don't see it as rude because I guess where I live we are pretty laid back, no worries and cruisy. I've been invited to plenty of ceremony-only because I know most of my friends are not made of money. Tishwah is Australian, so I guess it is common in Australia for this to happen!
re: Invitation to the Ceremony - Not the reception
By Shhaan_Dmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1159, member since Wed Mar 03, 2004
On Sun Mar 09, 2014 01:37 PM
I live in Scotland and am Christian if this makes any difference I don't know

HOWEVER:

Recently what has happened is you get invited to the ceremony. And then back later to the dance reception when evening invited guests arrived. So therefor you are not having to pay for them as a "meal" guest!


I don't think it's rude! They have asked so yes I would maybe say that it was girls on your team suggested it and invite the others :)

When I had a ceremony then dance invitation a group of us decided to hang out and go for dinner after the service and. Then we all travelled for he evening reception together! We had so much fun and didn't feel we missed on anything by not being part of the meal and speeches!

Shannon xx
re: Invitation to the Ceremony - Not the reception
By PogMoGilliesmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3157, member since Tue Apr 24, 2007
On Sun Mar 09, 2014 03:48 PM
At my wedding, we had a few friends bring grandkids who I knew to the ceremony, but took them home before the reception (because the friends had been invited, but not the grandkids). I've seen invitations at churches for people who are really involved at their church for people to come to the wedding, and the bride and groom held a receiving line after the ceremony, since everyone wasn't invited to the reception.
re: Invitation to the Ceremony - Not the reception
By toroandbruinmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 3627, member since Fri Oct 10, 2008
On Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:30 PM
Here in the US I've lived in places where only immediate family were involved in a small, intimate ceremony but everyone and anyone was invited to the reception. Traditions differ. Basically, I'd be thrilled to get any kind of invite to a wedding and would not feel slighted if the couple could not afford a huge reception which included me or if they were not comfortable with a spectacle-type ceremony which included me.
re: Invitation to the Ceremony - Not the reception
By chrispbinmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 2188, member since Sat May 06, 2006
On Thu Mar 13, 2014 05:28 AM
I think that keeping it to a casual "at the time" invitation to the ceremony is fine. People understand that the whole shebang is expensive and that sometimes it's just not possible to invite everyone.

Mentioning to work mates/colleagues/team mates/less close friends/etc who know you are getting married but also know they aren't invited as such that your ceremony is at such and such place at this time and you'd be happy if they could come and watch the actual wedding part, is perfectly acceptable.

Actually having a 'ceremony only' invitation, though, feels a bit odd.

C

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