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May 2010 Weddings

Guest List Question

I live in a small community where everyone knows everyone and an "open" wedding means anyone can come. Our church holds over 400 people, but the reception site will only hold around 200. We are trying to keep the guest list around 250 (it is very hard!), but I know that there will still be unexpected guests who show up as well.

How do I tell people -- especially my family -- that if your name isn't on the invitation, you aren't invited? For example, I'm sure that any of my cousins with a significant other at the time will bring them along.

I know this is commonly known etiquette among Knotties, but not in my community.

Re: Guest List Question

  • There really isn't a polite way to say that unfortunately. You just can say because of space unfortunately we can only have this many people or for the significant others you can say unless you are engaged or married they cannot come. Good Luck
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  • This was common in my dad's church community as well.  The whole church was invited to the wedding ceremony, but only family and close friends were invited to the reception.  It generally wasn't a big dea.

    I think the bride and groom issued separate invitations for each part.  A general invitation to the ceremony was sent out, with the wording clear that the invitation was ONLY for the ceremony. (I.e.- nothing indicating that a reception was to follow).  A second invitation for just the reception was then mailed.  If I recall, a few of the ones I went you, you had to present your invitation at the reception location to be permitted in.

    Also, the wedding party often had a long period of time between the ceremony and the reception site.  I think that would also help, if you're able to do that.  You can take pictures, or whatever, but that way guests do not feel snubbed, like you're stuffing it in their face they're not permitted to attend the reception.
  • Oh, when my dad got remarried, he and his wife invited the whole church to the wedding.  They had their reception the next day- BBQ style at a local park.
  • If you don't want to have this conversation with your guests and think they will miss the hint of only those named are invited, you could put something on your RSVP card to the effect of "We are looking forward to celebrating with you!  We have reserved X seats in your honor."  A knottie on my local board did something like that.  Another knottie actually listed on the RSVP card all of the people invited and had a box next to each name so they could check whether or not they were coming,
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  • Thanks ladies! These are all great ideas. Unfortunately, FI and I didn't grow up in the same church and are now attending a different church than those. So it isn't just one church, its three!

    We have also already ordered our invitations/RSVPS, but I think I can make something work. Thanks again!
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