Wedding Etiquette Forum

Should I have a social hour for those NOT invited to the reception?

My future fatherinlaw is the pastor of church with a membership of 2,000. My fiance and I serve in several ministries and want everyone to share in our day. We can't invite everyone to our reception but have considered a social hour to greet our church members not attending the reception . What does eveyone think. Then how will we have this time and still maintain an appropriate reception start time? Any suggestions?

Re: Should I have a social hour for those NOT invited to the reception?

  • My cousins wife was married in a similar situation. They invited everyone from the congregation to the ceremony and reception but they did meat and bread for sandwiches and salads so it was rather inexpensive. But I know for situations like this it's rather common to invite the congregation to the ceremony in the newsletter or Sunday sermon but not invite them to the reception. It doesn't have to be explicitly explained but more like "we invite you to the ceremony of marriage..." Most church goers understand that they're only invited to the ceremony unless sent an invitation.
  • Anyone receiving an officialy invitation - as in, you've invited them personally via a verbal or written invite - needs to be invited to the reception.

    Those who find out about it via church bulletin do not need to be invited to the reception.  The only way I can think of to make it work is to do all your photos ahead of time,  have the social hour be your cocktail hour and everyone is invited (and hosted properly) and then start the reception within an hour of that, preferably at another venue so it's not so awkward.
  • Back in the day, my mom was the church secretary. After the 3:00 ceremony, they went to the church fellowship hall and had cake and punch. After that, at 5:00 they had a dinner reception for family and close friends. That's what I suggest.
    image
  • edited September 2012
    Assuming that the church guests are only invited either via bulletin or by announcement during the regular church services (because if they are invited personally by you the entire plan is rude), I would purchase cake, punch, and maybe some light snacks like veggie trays etc. and have them available in the church hall after the ceremony with a little saying "Compliments of the Bride and Groom," but I personally wouldn't attend this portion.   To me it's just a little too awkward and very much bordering on a "tiered reception." 

     ETA:  I don't think it's necessarily rude to attend this portion, but I personally wouldn't feel comfortable with that sort of thing.  
  • Don't feel bad about this. It happens all the time. The only time it is ok to have a separate reception for close friends and family with a bigger ceremony is in this instance. All of the church members who are invited by a general bulletin announcement are not always invited to the actual reception. I grew up in a church in which this happens all the time. After the ceremony, you should feed them cake and punch though...not just have a "social hour". Most folks won't even bat an eye and will just assume the cake and punch reception is the only one. It's not logical to invite all church members to your actual reception if there are hundreds and in your case, thousands of people. Have a beautiful cake and if you don't think it will be enough, have extra sheet cake that can be supplemented. In my mom's case, they had way too much cake and the leftover cake was brought to the dinner reception so those wanting a piece after dinner were able to have some, even though they already had some at the first reception.
    image
  • TheVirginiansTheVirginians member
    500 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper First Anniversary
    edited September 2012
    "Back in the day, my mom was the church secretary. After the 3:00 ceremony, they went to the church fellowship hall and had cake and punch. After that, at 5:00 they had a dinner reception for family and close..." by Sharps... What Sharpsc said is what we do at my church. We also usually do a receiving line at my church so all can greet the B n G. Everyone feels hosted, yet close friends and family then move onto dinner.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_should-i-have-a-social-hour-for-those-not-invited-to-the-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:a426b2de-48d5-4add-85b8-be369946ae3cPost:b5d650fa-651b-4f63-8c07-a88d4801ed91">Re: Should I have a social hour for those NOT invited to the reception?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Assuming that the church guests are only invited either via bulletin or by announcement during the regular church services (because if they are invited personally by you the entire plan is rude), I would purchase cake, punch, and maybe some light snacks like veggie trays etc. and have them available in the church hall after the ceremony with a little saying "Compliments of the Bride and Groom," but I personally wouldn't attend this portion.   To me it's just a little too awkward and very much bordering on a "tiered reception."   ETA:  I don't think it's necessarily rude to attend this portion, but I personally wouldn't feel comfortable with that sort of thing.  
    Posted by NOLAbridealmost[/QUOTE]

    <div>That's exactly what we did.  We were taking pictures during this time and did not attend.</div>
  • Back when I was young, the church my family attended always announced anniversaries, baptisms, milestone birthdays, weddings, etc in the sunday bulletin. Then they'd have cake and punch in the reception hall after service. It's part of what the collection plates went towards.
    Don't make me mobilize OffensiveKitten

    image

    Anniversary

  • edited September 2012
    This is a little sticky.. traditionally, etiquette says that those who are invited to the wedding are invited to the reception, not because it's some stuffy old rule, but because otherwise you run the risk of people attending and possibly bringing you gifts and then being shut out of recieving your hospitality. It's likely that some or many of those not invited to the reception will feel slighted.

    On the other hand, there are social circles out there who have accepted that and don't mind, and your church/multple ministries might be like that! I'm just throwing it out there in case you want to consider it.

    If you feel confident that having different invite lists for ceremony and reception is a good idea, then yes,  a sandwich and cake reception post-ceremony at the church would be nice! If you're budget-conscious, then maybe just dessert and coffee/tea or just light appetizers. 

    Good luck!

    Vanessa
    Zebrafish Events
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards