Etiquette

Reception Only Invite

A friend of mine is having a private ceremony (as in only them, the officiant, and photog and videog) followed by a dinner/dance reception that evening.

How do you suggest wording the invitations to the reception? Should the private ceremony be mentioned to avoid confusion or spread by word of mouth so people know they aren't attending a PPD? Should it even be mentioned at all? Thoughts appreciated. :)
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Re: Reception Only Invite

  • Annnnd here I go asking a question before checking for similar posts. It's been a while since I've been around. :)
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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod
    I've been invited to 2 such events.  One I was invited to the ceremony, the other not.

    Both were invitations to the reception. It was clear it was the reception and not the ceremony.  I forget the wording but is was something like: 

    Together with our families we invite you 
    to celebrate the marriage of 

    John
    and
    Jane

     blah, blah.


      The one where I was invited to the ceremony we got a little enclosure card.  Much like some people do for the reception if the reception is at a differently location then the ceremony.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    Sharpschruter22
  • edited June 2015
    Great advice! Thanks! Good to "see" you again. :)
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    lyndausvi
  • You can do this and it's not rude?

    Isn't this a tiered wedding? I'm confused as to why this is ok.
  • It's not a tiered wedding at all. The only people attending the ceremony are the bride and groom. No family, no friends, just a private ceremony with the officiant and photographer/videographer.
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  • The pleasure of your company is requested
    at the wedding reception of
    Bride's Full Name
    and
    Groom's Full Name
    Day. date
    time o'clock
    Venue
    Address
    City, State

    I would decline this event if I was not invited to the ceremony, but that's just my own humble opinion.
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  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited June 2015
    You can do this and it's not rude? Isn't this a tiered wedding? I'm confused as to why this is ok.
    A tiered wedding is when you treat some of your guests differently than your other guests.  For instance, If you invite half of your guests to your reception for dinner and dancing, and the other half only for the dancing, that is a tiered wedding.  If you invite half of your guests to the ceremony and then everyone to the reception, it is a tiered wedding, but if the ceremony is truly private (immediate family only) then it is acceptable etiquette. 
    Acceptable, but often not well liked by guests unless the wedding is being held at dying Grandma's bedside.
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  • I've been to a few of these, and I think they can be done tactfully.  The first one was when the couple married on a boat with only their parents, wedding party, the officiant, and a photographer present.  The reception was held later that evening following formal photos.  I think the wording on the invite was something along the lines of "We invite you to celebrate the marriage of...." and it was obvious that the invite was for the reception only, not the wedding.  While I love going to weddings, I've got to be honest: it was a relief to only go to the reception instead of going to a long ceremony, followed by 4 hours of wondering what to do, then a reception.  They hosted a lovely reception, and I don't think anyone minded not being invited to the ceremony because it was so small. 

    The second couple that did this did not handle it so well.  They opted for a destination wedding across the country (not a problem, totally their choice) but then they invited people to come to the wedding (but for the dinner after the ceremony, they refused to pay for anyone but themselves, even though they invited these guests).  When they returned home, they hosted a reception to celebrate their marriage.  They asked the members of the wedding party (most of whom could not actually attend their destination wedding) to buy dresses and rent tuxes for photos, which was silly because they weren't actually at the wedding and the photos were not from the wedding.  Basically, it turned into a PPD for the bride, who wanted a destination wedding but also wanted attendants and a big blowout party, but didn't want to choose or pay for either.  Don't do this.
    japrincess24
  • I'm pretty sure any guest who is invited to the reception must also be invited to the ceremony.  It's kind of like saying, "Hey...you aren't special enough to witness our lives being joined together, but you can come to our party and don't forget the gift!" 
  • I'm pretty sure any guest who is invited to the reception must also be invited to the ceremony.  It's kind of like saying, "Hey...you aren't special enough to witness our lives being joined together, but you can come to our party and don't forget the gift!" 
    This isn't true.

    BUT, it only works if the ceremony is truly intimate.   Like B&G (or B&B or G&G) get married in city hall w/ 2 witnesses each and THEN have a big party to celebrate with 100 other people.   It isn't OK to invite 20 people to the ceremony and then another 20 to the reception.

    And even if it's OK on paper, that doesn't mean that there won't be hurt feelings. 
    HeffalumpPrettyGirlLostnovella1186SP29
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    I'm pretty sure any guest who is invited to the reception must also be invited to the ceremony.  It's kind of like saying, "Hey...you aren't special enough to witness our lives being joined together, but you can come to our party and don't forget the gift!" 
    Generally, this is true, but etiquette recognizes an exception when the ceremony is truly private (meaning just the couple or only a tiny handful of guests.) 

    Still, many people are hurt to be excluded from the most important part of the day, and take it the same way you would. 
    PrettyGirlLostSP29
  • I'm pretty sure any guest who is invited to the reception must also be invited to the ceremony.  It's kind of like saying, "Hey...you aren't special enough to witness our lives being joined together, but you can come to our party and don't forget the gift!" 
    Generally, this is true, but etiquette recognizes an exception when the ceremony is truly private (meaning just the couple or only a tiny handful of guests.) 

    Still, many people are hurt to be excluded from the most important part of the day, and take it the same way you would. 
    I think it's important to note though that this is one of those times that we need to note what *is* proper along with the feelings.

    We have similar discussions on dry weddings being OK.  
    PrettyGirlLostMyNameIsNot
  • That is a fine plan. It is a closed ceremony with full reception treating all guests the same. 
    japrincess24
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod
    As I said, I've been to 2 of them. Both OOT.  Both times we attended.   I do not need to see the ceremony in order to celebrate with the couple.  It was still their wedding day and they had the wedding day glow.

    The first one was my cousin.  Her and her husband wanted to get married in their childhood church.  Sadly it was VERY small.  So they only invited family.   Which came to about 20 of us.  Then the reception was afterwards with about 200+ people. 

    The 2nd one was DH's cousin.  It was his first marriage, her second.  She wanted to elope, he wanted a wedding.  Their compromise was the ceremony was in a park with just parents and siblings (about 7 of them).   Then a reception later that night for about 60 of us.   Not seeing the ceremony didn't stop the celebration.


    I get why people get disappointed, I'm just not one of them.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    abcdevonnjaprincess24
  • I'm pretty sure any guest who is invited to the reception must also be invited to the ceremony.  It's kind of like saying, "Hey...you aren't special enough to witness our lives being joined together, but you can come to our party and don't forget the gift!" 
    You need to research this in an etiquette guide.  Don't just give your personal opinion as fact.  You are wrong about this.
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  • Thanks CMG! Your invitation wording is very helpful.
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  •  

    CMGragain said:
    I'm pretty sure any guest who is invited to the reception must also be invited to the ceremony.  It's kind of like saying, "Hey...you aren't special enough to witness our lives being joined together, but you can come to our party and don't forget the gift!" 
    You need to research this in an etiquette guide.  Don't just give your personal opinion as fact.  You are wrong about this.

    I may have misread the original post.  I have no issue with the ceremony being just the bride and groom as long as all guests are properly hosted.  My bad!
  • mikenbergermikenberger In a f'n cornfield
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    member

     

    CMGragain said:
    I'm pretty sure any guest who is invited to the reception must also be invited to the ceremony.  It's kind of like saying, "Hey...you aren't special enough to witness our lives being joined together, but you can come to our party and don't forget the gift!" 
    You need to research this in an etiquette guide.  Don't just give your personal opinion as fact.  You are wrong about this.

    I may have misread the original post.  I have no issue with the ceremony being just the bride and groom as long as all guests are properly hosted.  My bad!
    Well...

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  • sorry its still rude you are getting married people are coming to see you and your fi get married in front of a jop or in a church then the reception is the thank you for coming and sharing in our special day...

    this is a tiered wedding and its very rude.

    she needs to accommodate everyone to the ceremony no if ans or buts if i got an invite like this i would decline asap 
  • SP29SP29
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    @hyechica81 But that is your personal opinion, not the etiquette standard, which makes an exception for a truly private ceremony.

    However, as an invited guest, one is always free to decline.

    Personally, I really enjoy the ceremony, so I would prefer to be invited, but if it was a private ceremony and I knew what the reception was for, I'd be fine with it.

    For example, my friend is Mormon, and being married in the temple is a very private affair. Her immediate family waited outside the temple for them, as they were not allowed to be present. They had dinner with their families that day, then a large reception for friends and family the next weekend. I would never be like, "OMG! How DARE you not invite me to your ceremony that you are not allowed to invite me to due to your religious beliefs!"
    CMGragainpinupbride6189colasudajaprincess24
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited July 2015
    sorry its still rude you are getting married people are coming to see you and your fi get married in front of a jop or in a church then the reception is the thank you for coming and sharing in our special day...

    this is a tiered wedding and its very rude.

    she needs to accommodate everyone to the ceremony no if ans or buts if i got an invite like this i would decline asap 
    Please go read a wedding etiquette guide, @hyechica81, before you give more incorrect advice.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    japrincess24
  • bride2b71614bride2b71614
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    member
    edited July 2015
    @hyechica81, it's not rude. The bride isn't inviting only some guests and excluding others from the ceremony. The bride and her FI, officiant and both the photographer and videographer will be present. No one else. Yes, hurt feelings may be had, but it's not a tiered reception because no other guests will be present for the ceremony.
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    @hyechica81 This isn't a tiered wedding.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    japrincess24
  • adk19adk19
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    CMGragain said:
    sorry its still rude you are getting married people are coming to see you and your fi get married in front of a jop or in a church then the reception is the thank you for coming and sharing in our special day...

    this is a tiered wedding and its very rude.

    she needs to accommodate everyone to the ceremony no if ans or buts if i got an invite like this i would decline asap 
    Please go read a wedding etiquette guide, @hyechica81, before you give more incorrect advice.
    Also read a grammar and punctuation guide.  I can't read any of your posts.  Ever.
    mrscomposerMyNameIsNotjaprincess24
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