Wedding Party

People not invited to the reception going to the church?

Hi all, just curious about this. I want you to tell me how this was for your wedding or what you know of it.

I'm talking about the CHURCH-- the ceremony, NOT the reception which of course has invitations and all of that.

I was wondering how typical it is for people to sort of just show up to the church?
I'm a very private person and I like low key, but getting married in a church has meaning to me as I am religious.
I totally understand how anyone can just show up to the church.

I was wondering, how was this part for you? Did you see faces of people that are friends of relatives or old coworkers or neighbors down the street or people you just plain didn't know- anything like that?

I'm really nervous about standing up there in the church, I feel nervous about people I don't know being there. I felt comfort at the thought of it just being people that my fiance and I know, but I have a feeling there's going to be way way more than that like from family members inviting people only they know to "see us get married."

So anyway, how was it for you?

Re: People not invited to the reception going to the church?

  • We had some people come to the church who were not invited to the wedding ... relatives of invited guests (for example, we invited our neighbors and although we knew the lady's elderly mother we didn't invite her to the wedding, but she came to see us anyway), some of my parents' coworkers (including a lady I'd never met, who sent us a couple gifts before the wedding because she liked my mom so much, and she introduced herself in our receiving line at the ceremony), some people brought their kids (since no kids were invited to the wedding at all). A coworker of mine drove from about 2 hours away to see our wedding, which really meant a lot to me.

    I didn't really notice most of who was there or what was going on when the ceremony got started. I was in my own little world and nowhere near as nervous as I thought I'd be ... the only part of the wedding that really stressed me out beforehand was the thought of walking down the aisle, and as it turned out on the wedding day it really wasn't a big deal.

    I really only noticed the non-invited people when we did the receiving line after our Nuptial Mass. And honestly it was quite touching to see how many people were there to see us and support us and wish us well. I can totally understand being an introverted person and being nervous about being in front of so many people (especially those you don't know), but from my experience I can tell you that it will be nowhere near a big deal as you are thinking it might be.
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  • Thank you for writing, that is good to know!! Definitely have been nervous in general, then I thought of this fact.
  • Kate61487Kate61487 member
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary 250 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited April 2011
    I've never really seen anyone come to the church that wasn't invited to the wedding.  But I doubt you'd notice until afterward anyway, since you'll be so focused on your FI :-)

    [QUOTE]the ceremony, NOT the reception which of course has invitations and all of that.
    Posted by loopla[/QUOTE]

    For what it's worth: the invitations are to the WEDDING, not the reception.  They then usually have an insert about the reception or a line at the bottom like "reception immediately to follow", but the invitation itself IS to the church.
  • I'm not sure, but assuming you are members of the church you are getting married at, some other members may come without being "invited"
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  • Our church is open to the public, so I guess technically anyone could walk in - we don't have the right to exclude anyone from the service just because it's a wedding. However, I've never heard of people having much of an issue with this. 

    I doubt you'd notice unless you're only inviting a tiny amount of people. 
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  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Most churches have a policy of being open to the public, or at least to the congregation.  It's not uncommon for churches to publish ceremonies in the bulliten, and for members to show up at weddings.  However, I doubt random strangers are going to show up, it would be the people from church that you know, but just aren't close to.

    I don't recall seeing anyone at our wedding that wasn't on the guestlist, and I have a pretty clear recollection of looking at people while walking up the aisle.  I could have missed someone, but I doubt it.  
  • One of my professors, who did our premarital counseling, demanded an invitation. IT was weird at first, but then we realized he simply wanted to  come to the ceremony to show his support of us. It was weird at first, but ended up being a sweet thing.

    I know no one came to my sister's ceremony that wasn't invited, and I really don't expect it, out side of my prof I know about.

    Most people (at least in my region) understand the etiquette of weddings, I think you can rest easy about this :)
  • I don't know why anybody who wasn't invited to your wedding would come to your ceremony, church members or not. That seems weird to me.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_wedding-party_people-not-invited-reception-going-church?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:37Discussion:b11d7d49-d4f0-4570-90b8-06042ec84badPost:0120a9af-6097-447d-b12e-e210d5df6812">Re: People not invited to the reception going to the church?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I don't know why anybody who wasn't invited to your wedding would come to your ceremony, church members or not. That seems weird to me.
    Posted by sdose13[/QUOTE]

    Because in some religions, even a wedding still counts as a weekly service/Mass. Plus the congregation is considered a community and therefore it's inappropriate to turn away members of the community.

    If it's a really small church where strangers would stick out like a sore thumb, and/or the strangers were being loud or disrespectful or taking seats away from invited guests, then I would agree that they were rude for being there. But if they wouldn't really be noticed, I don't see the big deal.

    I used to be an altar server (Catholic) and sometimes I would serve at weddings. If my mom was picking me up to drive me home, sometimes she'd slip in the back of the church, sit in a back pew and watch the end of the wedding while she waited for me. It never caused a disturbance and I'm sure the couples never noticed she was there. And I had no idea who was present at my own wedding, really, until we did the receiving line. I also looked at the photos and saw a small girl I didn't recognize ... a coworker of my mom's came to wish me/her well, and brought along her granddaughter. I wouldn't have known they were there unless I saw the photo.
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  • The only time I've ever seen uninivited guests at a wedding, was when my mother married my stepfather and the pastor, who was not the one marrying them,  invited everyone in the congregation the week before their wedding to join them for the ceremony AND RECEPTION on the following saturday, which my parents were extremely unhappy about as there was not enough food/chairs for that many people....
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