Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions
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Large Ceremony/Private Reception

We have a large church(seats 1000+) however our reception venue(seats 150), what we could afford, is smaller. We've explained to associates and friends wanting to celebrate with us that they are more then welcome to the wedding but the reception is private due to space and budget limitations. (Both FI and I have large families so we could only invite immediate family, close mutual friends, and church friends, who are like family, in that we truly commuinicate with or spend timewith almost).

Has anyone else run into this issue and what did you do about it?
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Re: Large Ceremony/Private Reception

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    Avion22Avion22 member
    5 Love Its First Comment
    edited February 2012
    Generally speaking, you should only invite people to your ceremony whom you can also host at the reception.   The reception is a "thank you" to guests who attended the ceremony.

    The exception is that since churches are public places, you can't keep people from coming to your church wedding.   Most people will let their church know of their ceremony plans via word of mouth or via the church bulletin.   But these if these people can't be accomodated at the reception, then they should NOT receive an invitation to your wedding, because you should host all invited guests to your reception.

    You do not need to have every butt filled in your ceremony site, but you SHOULD have chosen a reception venue that will hold all guests invited to your ceremony.   
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    We SHOULD have but we did not. And the motive is not to have every seat filled in the ceremony site. We have been very involved in our church as well as me being very involved for several years in my previous church. So we know a lot of people besides having very large families. Most family and friends would have been more offended by not being invited to either.

    *Please note that my question was if anyone had run into this issue and what did you do about it. If this was not an issue for you feel free to comment on another thread. Thanks.
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    Ditto  PP.  It is not very polite to tell people they are invited to one part of the wedding, but not the other.  I was married in a very large church, but DH and I limited our guest list to the number our small reception venue could accommodate.  You really should only invite people to the ceremony if you can also accommodate them in the reception. 
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    Our church was huge but hall could only fit 100 (with dance floor. 125 with out dance floor).  Because it is rude not to invite all guests to the both ceremony and reception I say invite what you can afford...if that is 150 then it will be fine.
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    You cannot send an invite to the ceremony only.  Very rude and gift grabby.  If someone gets an invite either word of mouth or paper, they must be invited to the reception.

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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_ceremony-ideas_large-ceremonyprivate-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:10Discussion:56dc0d06-8e7d-49ae-bd07-f3953c691120Post:012dd86e-3fce-4801-9e26-d8c73fc0ae53">Re: Large Ceremony/Private Reception</a>:
    [QUOTE]You cannot send an invite to the ceremony only.  Very rude and gift grabby.  If someone gets an invite either word of mouth or paper, they must be invited to the reception.
    Posted by vsgal[/QUOTE]

    Actually it would be gift grabby if they invited to reception only.  But none-the-less ceremony only is rude...it says "yes come to our wedding but we will not feed you because you are special like the other 30 people we invited to both."
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_ceremony-ideas_large-ceremonyprivate-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:10Discussion:56dc0d06-8e7d-49ae-bd07-f3953c691120Post:35e61735-d7a1-42e9-94b0-699e47279dc2">Re: Large Ceremony/Private Reception</a>:
    [QUOTE]We SHOULD have but we did not. And the motive is not to have every seat filled in the ceremony site. We have been very involved in our church as well as me being very involved for several years in my previous church. So we know a lot of people besides having very large families. Most family and friends would have been more offended by not being invited to either. *Please note that my question was if anyone had run into this issue and what did you do about it. If this was not an issue for you feel free to comment on another thread. Thanks.
    Posted by Elizabeth80[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>I guess I should have been clearer.  Only send an INVITATION to the people who will also be invited to the reception.  Let eveyrone else (church family) know via word of mouth or church bulletin.   This is acceptable for church acquaintances.   </div><div>
    </div><div>However, I would just consider whether or not this is normal for members of your church.  It sounds like it probably is, and it's common in many parts of the country.  However, if it's NOT common in your church for whatever reason, just be prepared for the possibility that Cousin Sally might accidentally mention the reception to Church Friend Jane (who isn't invited to the reception), and Jane goes, "Oh, reception, how lovely!" and decides to show up.     From what I gather, in churches where it's common to post information in a bulletin, everyone understands that if they don't receive an inviation, they aren't invited to the reception.</div><div>
    </div><div> </div><div>
    </div>
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    Sounds good! And thank you ladies for the feedback. I really appreciate it!!-)
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    We were running into the same problem.  Most of our family and close friends are out of state.  Since I work at the church and we are both involved we wanted to invite the church members but can't afford to have everyone at the reception.  What we plan to do is have our wedding cake after the ceremony with coffee and punch for everyone who comes to the ceremony so we can have a mini reception for everyone.  Then our dinner reception would be more private for family, close friends, colleagues and anyone involved with planning/participating in the wedding.  We are going to have different invitations for the various groups: directions to the dinner reception for those going to that and cake reception to follow for all other invitations.  We've talked to many people at the church (those who are helping us with the wedding) and they said this was a good compromise and would be well accepted. 

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    Good call!:-)
     
    I think ultimately you have to do what works best for your circle. My friends and collegues 'get me' and realize that for them the importance is being there no matter the capacity.

    *Truly the only people who have had an issue with it are friends of my mom's who aren't related and who crash family gatherings. They've never taken time to know me or spend time with me or my FI until now. And by now I mean the wedding day as that is the only thing they reference in communicating their need to spend time with us.

    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_ceremony-ideas_large-ceremonyprivate-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:10Discussion:56dc0d06-8e7d-49ae-bd07-f3953c691120Post:fc278933-dbaf-4808-8764-e277f1b58ffa">Re: Large Ceremony/Private Reception</a>:
    [QUOTE]We were running into the same problem.  Most of our family and close friends are out of state.  Since I work at the church and we are both involved we wanted to invite the church members but can't afford to have everyone at the reception.  What we plan to do is have our wedding cake after the ceremony with coffee and punch for everyone who comes to the ceremony so we can have a mini reception for everyone.  Then our dinner reception would be more private for family, close friends, colleagues and anyone involved with planning/participating in the wedding.  We are going to have different invitations for the various groups: directions to the dinner reception for those going to that and cake reception to follow for all other invitations.  We've talked to many people at the church (those who are helping us with the wedding) and they said this was a good compromise and would be well accepted. 
    Posted by amottl13[/QUOTE]
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