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Etiquette

Can I invite guests to reception only?

Hey guys,

Really need some help with this. We are getting married at our college chapel and it only holds 165 people to the max. (it holds 150 but then can get an extra 15 in there i was told). Our guest list is at 235 and I'm assuming 20% won't show, which still puts me at the 188 mark. Which leaves us no choice but to invite some guests to the reception only.

Is this rude? Some people told me no, I personally have never been invited to a reception only wedding. We were going to word the invites something like (this is not exact verbiage): please celebrate with us at our reception after an iminiate ceremony.... is this okay or would people be offended?

We are not willing to change our ceremony site. Thanks for the help!!!!

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Re: Can I invite guests to reception only?

  • Yes, it is rude.  It's only ok if you have a very small ceremony with immediate family only.  You're going to have to cut your guest list to 165 people.  Plan on 100% attendance.
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  • Uh, no.  You cut the guest list down.  I'm pretty sure you can find a way to get rid of 80 guests.  It's not that hard, especially for that kind of number.

    Your choice is not to invite the reception only, but to cut your gust list to fit within the size of venue you chose.  If you aren't willing to change venue, that is. Reception only is rude as it implies they are good enough to attend the gift giving portion of the event, but not the whole reason behind the celebration.
  • I assume iminate was supposed to be intimate - 165 people is not intimate, sorry.  No, it would be rude, please don't do it.  How would you like to be one of the few at the reception who didn't get invited to the ceremony?

    The only way this is ever "ok" is if it truly is an intimate ceremony - immediate family only, usually 15ish people or less, and then a larger (100ish) reception.
  • In Response to Can I invite guests to reception only?:
    [QUOTE]Hey guys, Really need some help with this. We are getting married at our college chapel and it only holds 165 people to the max. (it holds 150 but then can get an extra 15 in there i was told). Our guest list is at 235 and I'm assuming 20% won't show, which still puts me at the 188 mark. Which leaves us no choice but to invite some guests to the reception only. Is this rude? Some people told me no, I personally have never been invited to a reception only wedding. We were going to word the invites something like (this is not exact verbiage): please celebrate with us at our reception after an iminiate ceremony.... is this okay or would people be offended? We are not willing to change our ceremony site. Thanks for the help!!!!
    Posted by jessicamk302[/QUOTE]
    If you are not willing to change the ceremony venue, you need to cut your guest list. You cannot invite people to the reception and not the wedding. It's rude.
  • mica178mica178 member
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    I'd be more than a little miffed if I was one of the 25-100 guests not invited to the ceremony if I knew that 165 were invited to it.  It's one thing if you're having a religious ceremony where people of other faiths cannot enter the temple or if you are having a very small ceremony (only immediate family -- parents and siblings, not even grandparents or aunts/uncles/cousins).  But if 2/3 of the guests get to see the vows and 1/3 of the guests are told that there's no room for them to have the option of seein the vows, that's not cool.
  • Do you HAVE to invite all 235 guests? I imagine you could save yourself some etiquette headaches and a few bucks by trimming your guest list to fit your venue. 

    If you lurk around here, you'll see that most people consider it inappropriate to do reception-only (or ceremony-only) invites. The only exception I can think of for this would be if you were having a very intimate ceremony. Personally, if I were one of the minority who had not been invited to the ceremony, I would feel like a B-list guest.
    "He who laughs at himself never runs out of things to laugh at."
  • Can you imagine the conversation at the dinner table?

    "I really loved the vows!  And the soloist had a beautiful voice.  Didn't you think so?"
    "Huh?  Wait...people besides immediate family were at the ceremony?  Why wasn't I invited?"
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    It only works when you only invite 10-20% of guest list to the ceremony.    Telling 10-20% of the guest list they are excluded is pretty rude.






    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. 
  • Please don't do that. Cut your guest list or switch venues. I would be very offended if I found out I was in the "select 25" that wasn't important enough to witness the vows. I would probably take my gift back at the end of the night.


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  • I would be pretty upset to discover that I was in the bottom 30ish of your friends. Better to not be invited at all. 

    Everyone has to make tough choices with the guest list. As long as you are even as far as family (for example, don't invite some first cousins but not others), people will understand. 
  • Understand not being invited at all, that is. No one would understand the reception only thing.
  • I would be very offended to be invited only to 1/2 of the event.
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  • Basically you have 3 options.  

    1. Change your ceremony venue to one that holds your entire guest list.

    2. Cut your guest list down to 165.

    3. Make your ceremony truly intimate, and only invite immediate family, like 20-30 people.  


    Like all the PP's said, inviting 165 out of 235 to the ceremony is just plain rude to the other 70 people that wouldn't be allowed to see you get married.
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  • amys325amys325 member
    500 Comments
    I'm in the minority of people who would love to only get invited to the reception/party, but I agree with the PPs that you really can't call 165 people intimate. If you wont change the venue, then make the ceremony actually intimate with 10-20 of your closest friends/family. Then invite everyone to the reception.
  • In Response to Re: Can I invite guests to reception only?:
    [QUOTE]I'm in the minority of people who would love to only get invited to the reception/party, but I agree with the PPs that you really can't call 165 people intimate. If you wont change the venue, then make the ceremony actually intimate with 10-20 of your closest friends/family. Then invite everyone to the reception.
    Posted by amys325[/QUOTE]
    Look amy, this is an ETIQUETTE board. Lurk for awhile. Learn what actually is correct (and incorrect, such as here), and then post. 
  • mica178mica178 member
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    Thank you Ghoti.  ;)
  • amys325amys325 member
    500 Comments
    I said the same thing as DNBeach....I don't see you calling her out.
  • In Response to Re: Can I invite guests to reception only?:
    [QUOTE]I said the same thing as DNBeach....I don't see you calling her out.
    Posted by amys325[/QUOTE]

    On this post you were right.  Every other post you have made on this board has been urging brides to say screw etiquette and do what they want.  If that's your stance, so be it.  But then please don't post on this board.  
    Also, I never said I would be happy to be only invited to the reception. 
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  • Amy, I seriously don't understand why you would "love" to be singled out as the lowest rung of guest. 

  • amys325amys325 member
    500 Comments
    In Response to Re: Can I invite guests to reception only?:
    [QUOTE]Amy, I seriously don't understand why you would "love" to be singled out as the lowest rung of guest. 
    Posted by SirJuliusVonHaast[/QUOTE]

    Since my answer would not be etiquette friendly, I'm not allowed to answer your question. You can PM me if you'd like.
    [Deleted User]
  • Amy, just answer here.  The only reason I can think of for wanting to only be invited to the reception is because you only care about the party and not about the reason for the party.  Sorry, but it's the only thing I can come up with.
  • amys325amys325 member
    500 Comments
    In Response to Re: Can I invite guests to reception only?:
    [QUOTE]Amy, just answer here.  The only reason I can think of for wanting to only be invited to the reception is because you only care about the party and not about the reason for the party.  Sorry, but it's the only thing I can come up with.
    Posted by DramaGeek[/QUOTE]

    I'm sorry Drama, this is not a place for real life opinions. I'm only allowed to answer if I lurk long enough to regurgitate the proper etiquette rules from the Knutties.
  • In Response to Re: Can I invite guests to reception only?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Can I invite guests to reception only? : I'm sorry Drama, this is not a place for real life opinions. I'm only allowed to answer if I lurk long enough to regurgitate the proper etiquette rules from the Knutties.
    Posted by amys325[/QUOTE]
    Oh FFS. 
  • OP: Is it common in your family/friends circle to attend both ceremony AND reception with a 100% rate?

    I ask because my dad always jokes that brides and grooms should hand out reception "tickets" at the wedding ceremony because some people skip out on the ceremony and focus on the party instead.  He's not entirely wrong in his observation and I am wondering if you can invite everyone but be somewhat assured you would still only have about half the people show up.

    (I think you should plan on 100% attendance, but I am just curious.)

  • In Response to Re: Can I invite guests to reception only?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Can I invite guests to reception only? : I'm sorry Drama, this is not a place for real life opinions. I'm only allowed to answer if I lurk long enough to regurgitate the proper etiquette rules from the Knutties.
    Posted by amys325[/QUOTE]

    soo true! LOL!
  • In Response to Re: Can I invite guests to reception only?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Can I invite guests to reception only? : I'm sorry Drama, this is not a place for real life opinions. I'm only allowed to answer if I lurk long enough to regurgitate the proper etiquette rules from the Knutties.
    Posted by amys325[/QUOTE]

    Ghoti said it best.  Wow.
    PS - there is a difference between an opinion and accepted proper etiquette.
  • don't do this. it's horribly offensive to those who actually want to see you get MARRIED...you know....the whole frickin reason for it all?


    unless you're of a certain kind and are only crossing your fingers to see a money dance....

     

  • amys325amys325 member
    500 Comments
    In Response to Re: Can I invite guests to reception only?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Can I invite guests to reception only? : Ghoti said it best.  Wow. PS - there is a difference between an opinion and accepted proper etiquette.
    Posted by DramaGeek[/QUOTE]

    Yes, that's what I said. Me = Winning!!! Duh!
  • The thing is . . . your opinion is a little out there. . . or, hard to understand at least. 

    If you have a logical reason that you would love to be not invited to something, I think you might want to put it out there. 
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