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Invited to shower, invited to reception, not invited to wedding

A friend has invited me to her shower, her bachelorette party, and just the reception after the wedding. I'm not sure what etiquette calls for here, but I'm tremendously curious. Personally, I would never do this. Maybe I'm wrong. Please let me know. Thanks!
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Re: Invited to shower, invited to reception, not invited to wedding

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    The invitation says 'dinner, dancing, and drinks' after the wedding. No mention of a private ceremony. There is a wedding website listed on the invitation, not sure if that matters. Again, not something I would do, though.
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    Meddied since 6/15/13!
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    If the ceremony is really really intimate then this wouldn't bug me.   If it isn't then I'm with you - rude.
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    If she is having a truly private ceremony (usually meaning immediate family or a very small percentage of the guest list), then I personally wouldn't be bothered by this.  If this isn't the case, though, I would be hurt.
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    I'm not sure the size of the 'wedding' invitation list, but I do know that she has 8 bridesmaids, so that calls for a larger wedding in my experience.
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    Meddied since 6/15/13!
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    I understand that it's not rude to have reception only invites if the ceremony is truly private? But I thought you were only supposed to invite people to prewedding parties that are invited to the whole wedding. Am I wrong on that? I think that's what would bug me.
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    It sounds fishy. I'd personally try to get more info. I wouldn't attend a tiered wedding.
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    libby2483libby2483 member
    5 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper First Comment
    edited April 2013
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_invited-to-shower-invited-to-reception-not-invited-to-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:f3a9d4b7-c5d9-403e-b81b-a13a52dbbd37Post:490097bc-3163-450d-b4e1-b52a915fab53">Re:Invited to shower, invited to reception, not invited to wedding</a>:
    [QUOTE]I understand that it's not rude to have reception only invites if the ceremony is truly private? But I thought you were only supposed to invite people to prewedding parties that are invited to the whole wedding. Am I wrong on that? I think that's what would bug me.
    Posted by misshart00[/QUOTE]

    <div>This is a good point.  As I said in my earlier post, it personally wouldn't bother me to be invited to just the shower and reception if I knew that the ceremony was truly private.  But, the advice that we always give brides on here is that anyone invited to showers must be invited to the wedding.  So, either way, what she has done is against etiquette.</div>
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    Did she tell you specifically that you were just invited to the reception? Or was it just that it wasn't in the invitation?

    You could maybe play dumb and call her up, "I'm so excited for your wedding, but my invite didn't have the ceremony information. When/where?"

    Her response might have more info.

    And then further prying probably isn't polite. But I'm not a good person.So I'd probably be all cheery but say something like, "Oh! With all the bridesmaids I hadn't put it together that it was a family-only wedding," and then see what she says to that.
    But I just like instigating awkward situations.....
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    radleybooradleyboo member
    First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited April 2013
    The invitation was clearly a reception only. FI opened the mail when he got home, when I came in later I literally asked him, 'Where's the rest of it?' One of my closest friends is a BM, and she said that there were going to be certain people invited to the wedding, and others to the reception, but she was surprised we didn't have a 'wedding' invitation and just a 'reception' invitation. Frankly, I'm not surprised about any of this. The shower invitation included a Honeymoon Registry card, so there you have it. Edited for poor punctuation.
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    Meddied since 6/15/13!
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    Call her and play legally blonde

    "Oh my gosh, I feel so silly, but I'm just confused by the invite!"

    Don't make me mobilize OffensiveKitten

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    Anniversary

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    One of my cousins had something similar a few years ago. She invited only family to the ceremony and had nearly 300 guests at the reception! Everyone understood because it was very clearly a private ceremony. Of course, she also only had one attendant (and he had none). It was small and intimate, but I can't get a read on whether or not it's the case for this wedding. 

    If she just arbitrarily invited half the group or something, I'd be pissed. Otherwise, it's probably just a private ceremony with a reception for everyone. 
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_invited-to-shower-invited-to-reception-not-invited-to-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:f3a9d4b7-c5d9-403e-b81b-a13a52dbbd37Post:b4039d20-79e8-4adb-9b17-bbc19fbc5d94">Re: Invited to shower, invited to reception, not invited to wedding</a>:
    [QUOTE]One of my cousins had something similar a few years ago. She invited only family to the ceremony and had nearly 300 guests at the reception! Everyone understood because it was very clearly a private ceremony. Of course, she also only had one attendant (and he had none).<strong> It was small and intimate, but I can't get a read on whether or not it's the case for this wedding.</strong>  If she just arbitrarily invited half the group or something, I'd be pissed. Otherwise, it's probably just a private ceremony with a reception for everyone. 
    Posted by fionahalliwell[/QUOTE]

    I agree truly private, mostly immediate family ceremonies are ok etiquette wise (though I am confused why a couple would want to share their day with everyone at a big reception, but not at the ceremony, but that's just me).
    But the OP mentioned later that the gal has 8 bridemaids. So unless she's got 8 sisters it's already sounding not so intimate.

    OP, does your friend you talked to know if other friends not in the wedding party got invites to the ceremony? If so, I'd probably decline the whole thing. Family is one thing, but when you're ranking several friends higher than the others like that for a tiered wedding.... ehhhhhhhhh. Also, odds are if they broke etiquette on one thing, they'll break it on another. It could potentially be a reception worth missing.
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    OneLuckyNurseOneLuckyNurse member
    First Anniversary Name Dropper 5 Love Its First Comment
    edited April 2013
    I had an experience like this too! I also thought it was strange. I was invited to all pre-wedding events and attended some of them and then received what I thought was a wedding invitation, it sure looked like one to me anyway. I was later informed by a friend (who was an usher) that Mine was a reception only invite because of the time it listed. So apparently the Bride and Groom sent out separate wedding invites and reception only invites where the only difference was the time listed to attend. I couldn't go to the wedding anyway, but I thought it was strange too. 

     

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    I disagree with the party-line that " truly private" ceremonies followed by a large reception are okay for precisely this reason. How is someone who is invited to the reception only supposed to know whether it was "truly private?" The invitations could even SAY "private ceremony" but then the couple invites 50 out of 100 people. I think if it's that important to the couple for the wedding to be tiny, they forfeit a giant reception. No matter how you spin it, you're still saying "we like you enough to party with you, but we don't feel comfortable with you watching us get married."
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    I am thinking that if she is having 8 BMs then she is most likely not having a "truly private" ceremony.

    Most likely she picked a ceremony venue that wasn't big enough to hold all of her guests and had to start making cuts on who was invited to the ceremony and unfortunately you were one of those cuts.

    But I also agree with NOLA.  I understand that having an intimate ceremony and a larger reception afterwards is etiquettely correct, but I just think it is dumb.  If you want a small ceremony then you should forfeit the large reception.  The entire point of the day is to witness and celebrate the marriage.  I would be irked if I wasn't invited to the ceremony.

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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_invited-to-shower-invited-to-reception-not-invited-to-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:f3a9d4b7-c5d9-403e-b81b-a13a52dbbd37Post:3e20e04a-a215-4998-a532-d658c968e03d">Re: Invited to shower, invited to reception, not invited to wedding</a>:
    [QUOTE]I am thinking that if she is having 8 BMs then she is most likely not having a "truly private" ceremony. <strong>Most likely she picked a ceremony venue that wasn't big enough to hold all of her guests and had to start making cuts on who was invited to the ceremony and unfortunately you were one of those cuts.</strong> But I also agree with NOLA.  I understand that having an intimate ceremony and a larger reception afterwards is etiquettely correct, but I just think it is dumb.  If you want a small ceremony then you should forfeit the large reception.  The entire point of the day is to witness and celebrate the marriage.  I would be irked if I wasn't invited to the ceremony.
    Posted by Maggie0829[/QUOTE]

    This.  I spoke with my friend who is a BM, and this is exactly what happened.  I guess I just need to weigh whether or not FI and I will attend the reception after the wedding or just send regrets. I see the bride in our circle of friends quite often, two of my closer friends are BMs, and I really don't want to cause a rift.  Between the tiered wedding and the honeymoon registry, my side-eyes are going berserk.  Evidently there are 50+ people invited to the shower, I may go just for entertainment purposes, it should be interesting at the very least. 

    FI and I are planning our wedding, it's going to be quite small, 50-60 people.  We made these choices based on what we can afford. We would never to this to any of our friends, so I guess that's why I'm so annoyed that someone did it to us. 
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    Meddied since 6/15/13!
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    Wha? Boo. This would say to me:

     "We didn't want to change the ceremony venue to fit everyone we want gifts from because we only wanted super special people to be part of our super meaningful moment. Clearly, you didn't meet the super special, meaninful requirements but hey, bring us something from Macy's or Bed Bath and Beyond and we'll give you chicken dinnah!"

    image   imageimage
    You'll never be subject to a cash bar, gap, potluck wedding, or b-list if you marry a Muppet Overlord.

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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_invited-to-shower-invited-to-reception-not-invited-to-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:f3a9d4b7-c5d9-403e-b81b-a13a52dbbd37Post:274d4ed5-0568-409d-a649-c94c6f01fb98">Re: Invited to shower, invited to reception, not invited to wedding</a>:
    [QUOTE]Wha? Boo. This would say to me:  "We didn't want to change the ceremony venue to fit everyone we want gifts from because we only wanted super special people to be part of our super meaningful moment. Clearly, you didn't meet the super special, meaninful requirements but hey, bring us something from Macy's or Bed Bath and Beyond and <strong>we'll give you chicken dinnah!"</strong>
    Posted by MuppetFan[/QU

    LMAO!  This absolutely made my day!  Thanks for the laugh!

    I know, I know...  FI and I should cut our losses and just forego the whole thing.  My biggest concern here is honestly not causing a rift in this circle of friends.  To just decline everything would definitely cause a problem. 

    How can I RSVP no and not upset my two friends who are BMs and super close with the bride, not to mention the bride herself? She's not my nearest and dearest, but she is a friend who obviously just has no idea what she's doing. Ugh.
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    Meddied since 6/15/13!
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    How can I RSVP no and not upset my two friends who are BMs and super close with the bride, not to mention the bride herself? She's not my nearest and dearest, but she is a friend who obviously just has no idea what she's doing. Ugh.


    Do you feel terrible when people decline your invites? I think mostly, we understand that not everyone is coming when we invite them and it's not a snub against them.

    I just turned down an invite to a wedding for a friend of a friend, and I'm going to send a wedding card in a few weeks to make sure they know that I thought of them on their wedding day.


    image   imageimage
    You'll never be subject to a cash bar, gap, potluck wedding, or b-list if you marry a Muppet Overlord.

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    Regarding the "private ceremony but large reception" question, we've chosen a "wedding for two" because of our religious differences.  Rather than picking one of our churches for the ceremony or combining elements into a blended ceremony lacking our respective religions' vows and traditions, a civil ceremony with just us and the officiant seemed the best compromise.  That being said, we still want to celebrate with our families and friends, so we're inviting people to our "marriage celebration" (reception).  Hopefully none of our guests are offended - even our parents are only invited to the reception.  Now I'm nervous . . .

    And curious about OP's invitations - that sounds strange! 
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