Etiquette

Not going to ceremony but going to reception

My FI's friend is getting married end of August; the ceremony is at 11:00 AM, and the reception is at 5:30 PM (Cocktail hour). The church where they're getting married is down the street from their reception hall. The locations are about 45 minutes drive away from where FI and I live.

I don't want to go to the ceremony because I don't want to drive 45 minutes there, drive 45 minutes back home, wait a few hours, then drive 45 minutes back to the same location. Alternatively we could find something to do in the 5.5 hours in between the ceremony and reception, but what's there to do in a cocktail dress and heels in the suburbs?

Would it be rude to not attend the ceremony?

(this is why gaps suck, btw)

Re: Not going to ceremony but going to reception

  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    My FI's friend is getting married end of August; the ceremony is at 11:00 AM, and the reception is at 5:30 PM (Cocktail hour). The church where they're getting married is down the street from their reception hall. The locations are about 45 minutes drive away from where FI and I live.

    I don't want to go to the ceremony because I don't want to drive 45 minutes there, drive 45 minutes back home, wait a few hours, then drive 45 minutes back to the same location. Alternatively we could find something to do in the 5.5 hours in between the ceremony and reception, but what's there to do in a cocktail dress and heels in the suburbs?

    Would it be rude to not attend the ceremony?

    (this is why gaps suck, btw)
    In this instance, I would go to the ceremony only.  Their poor planning should not impact your day to the extent where you either need to sit in a car for an extra hour and a half or find something to do for 5 1/2 hours!
    Amanderson1290
  • I would either go to the ceremony or the reception, whichever makes the most sense for my schedule and for travel.

    I think this issue was beat to death in the other thread, but it's my opinion that it isn't rude to skip one of the events when the couple is rude and breaks the wedding into two events. 


    Interesting, I just started reading that as soon as I posted this. Looks like opinions are split down the middle, some think it's rude to skip, some don't.
  • I would either go to the ceremony or the reception, whichever makes the most sense for my schedule and for travel.

    I think this issue was beat to death in the other thread, but it's my opinion that it isn't rude to skip one of the events when the couple is rude and breaks the wedding into two events. 
    Ditto this.
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I would either go to the ceremony or the reception, whichever makes the most sense for my schedule and for travel.

    I think this issue was beat to death in the other thread, but it's my opinion that it isn't rude to skip one of the events when the couple is rude and breaks the wedding into two events. 
    This is me too.

    As a host, I'm appreciative of any time guests can give me.  

    As a guest,  time off from work is limiting for some.  

     I do not fault people for picking mowing the lawn, watching a kids sporting event, going to the grocery store, paying bills, working, whatever instead of coming to some or all of the event.   Just asking  someone to drive 1.5 hours round trip TWICE in one day for my event too much IMO.   Add in gas, babysitters, etc.      






    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. 
    [Deleted User]Amanderson1290
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I *generally* think it's rude to only attend the reception, but when the B&G do this to their guests, they are making two events.

    An hour and a half drive, times 2, is a lot of driving, and kind of ruins your day. I guess you could go grocery shopping or whatever, but if you're already dressed nicely for the ceremony you probably don't want to do something that is going to make you sweaty/dirty or mess up your hair and make up.... I know I wouldn't get much done.

    I this case, I would choose one or the other, and although I love the ceremony and think it is the most important part, I would probably choose the reception because it would give me more time to celebrate.

    I don't really think there is a right and wrong answer here- personal opinions, sure- but no etiquette standard as the B&G are the ones with the major etiquette fail.
    [Deleted User]
  • I'm in the skip whichever is less convenient for you camp, since your hosts were so rude.

    mrsdee15PrettyGirlLost[Deleted User]
  • I'd either go to just the ceremony or I'd skip the whole thing.
  • I don't think it's rude to skip the ceremony if there's a gap.
  • This is asking you to pick and choose. Figure out what works best for your schedule and go with that.
    MairePoppyPrettyGirlLostSP29
  • We had a similar situation not too long ago.  We went to both, but so many guests skipped the ceremony and just went to the reception.  We considered just going to one, but couldn't bring ourselves to do it.  I get why people chose, it was really inconvenient.  
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  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I'm in the camp that if you won't attend both, just attend the ceremony (and tell the couple that you'll attend the ceremony but don't RSVP for the reception, costing them money) or RSVP no complete and don't attend anything.   

    I did post in the other thread about this, that the ceremony is most important. I am of the opinion that it's tacky to attend the reception only without a good reason like time off work, cost of childcare, etc. 

    All that being said... an 11am ceremony with a 5pm reception is horrific. I usually am subject to 2pm ceremonies and 5pm receptions, with leaves me with about 2-3 hours to kill in heels, not a whole fucking day. Yowza. 

    For all those people who ask, "Can I invite just some people to the ceremony and lots of people to the reception, because we want our ceremony kind of private blah blah" well hell, just schedule a gap and you solved your whole problem. 
    This new "trend" of having a small and "intimate" wedding ceremony, followed by a huge, blow out reception for scores of guests, is both confusing and frustrating to me. As a guest, I find it difficult to attend a reception without attending the ceremony. I was just placed in this position yet again by a friend of my DD. She actually was so shocked that I declined her event, she put me on the spot and asked me why. I told her that her 3+ hour gap left it impossible for us to attend. How is it any less rude for a couple to "dismiss" the majority of their guests from the ceremony? To me, the message is, "We don't care if you witness the significant component", but join us for the celebration". Manners overall have been pushed aside and replaced with self importance.
    AddieCakeSP29thisismynickname2
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    My FI's friend is getting married end of August; the ceremony is at 11:00 AM, and the reception is at 5:30 PM (Cocktail hour). The church where they're getting married is down the street from their reception hall. The locations are about 45 minutes drive away from where FI and I live.

    I don't want to go to the ceremony because I don't want to drive 45 minutes there, drive 45 minutes back home, wait a few hours, then drive 45 minutes back to the same location. Alternatively we could find something to do in the 5.5 hours in between the ceremony and reception, but what's there to do in a cocktail dress and heels in the suburbs?

    Would it be rude to not attend the ceremony?

    (this is why gaps suck, btw)
    In this instance, I would go to the ceremony only.  Their poor planning should not impact your day to the extent where you either need to sit in a car for an extra hour and a half or find something to do for 5 1/2 hours!
    If you do this, OP, you need to let the couple know you are not attending the reception so they can take that into account when they give their venue the final headcount for dinner.

    There's no sense in them paying for two meals that no one is going to eat.


    MobKaz said:
    I'm in the camp that if you won't attend both, just attend the ceremony (and tell the couple that you'll attend the ceremony but don't RSVP for the reception, costing them money) or RSVP no complete and don't attend anything.   

    I did post in the other thread about this, that the ceremony is most important. I am of the opinion that it's tacky to attend the reception only without a good reason like time off work, cost of childcare, etc. 

    All that being said... an 11am ceremony with a 5pm reception is horrific. I usually am subject to 2pm ceremonies and 5pm receptions, with leaves me with about 2-3 hours to kill in heels, not a whole fucking day. Yowza. 

    For all those people who ask, "Can I invite just some people to the ceremony and lots of people to the reception, because we want our ceremony kind of private blah blah" well hell, just schedule a gap and you solved your whole problem. 
    This new "trend" of having a small and "intimate" wedding ceremony, followed by a huge, blow out reception for scores of guests, is both confusing and frustrating to me. As a guest, I find it difficult to attend a reception without attending the ceremony. I was just placed in this position yet again by a friend of my DD. She actually was so shocked that I declined her event, she put me on the spot and asked me why. I told her that her 3+ hour gap left it impossible for us to attend. How is it any less rude for a couple to "dismiss" the majority of their guests from the ceremony? To me, the message is, "We don't care if you witness the significant component", but join us for the celebration". Manners overall have been pushed aside and replaced with self importance.
    This trend makes no sense to me either.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


    AddieCake
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    MobKaz said:
    I'm in the camp that if you won't attend both, just attend the ceremony (and tell the couple that you'll attend the ceremony but don't RSVP for the reception, costing them money) or RSVP no complete and don't attend anything.   

    I did post in the other thread about this, that the ceremony is most important. I am of the opinion that it's tacky to attend the reception only without a good reason like time off work, cost of childcare, etc. 

    All that being said... an 11am ceremony with a 5pm reception is horrific. I usually am subject to 2pm ceremonies and 5pm receptions, with leaves me with about 2-3 hours to kill in heels, not a whole fucking day. Yowza. 

    For all those people who ask, "Can I invite just some people to the ceremony and lots of people to the reception, because we want our ceremony kind of private blah blah" well hell, just schedule a gap and you solved your whole problem. 
    This new "trend" of having a small and "intimate" wedding ceremony, followed by a huge, blow out reception for scores of guests, is both confusing and frustrating to me. As a guest, I find it difficult to attend a reception without attending the ceremony. I was just placed in this position yet again by a friend of my DD. She actually was so shocked that I declined her event, she put me on the spot and asked me why. I told her that her 3+ hour gap left it impossible for us to attend. How is it any less rude for a couple to "dismiss" the majority of their guests from the ceremony? To me, the message is, "We don't care if you witness the significant component", but join us for the celebration". Manners overall have been pushed aside and replaced with self importance.
    I agree 100%. I hate this "we want a small intimate (they ALWAYS use "intimate") ceremony" and blah blah blah but they also want the huge blowout party with everyone dancing (and probably lots of gifts). That's not how it works. You don't get both. You have to pick or the other. When I go to Wendy's, I do not have enough room in my belly for a meal and a Frosty. So I choose. 
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    PrettyGirlLostOllisaurusRexbizzy592
  • Toss out the nasty fries, have the Frosty. I win.

    Skip whatever part is more inconvenient. I just skip all gap weddings.
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I'm in the camp that if you won't attend both, just attend the ceremony (and tell the couple that you'll attend the ceremony but don't RSVP for the reception, costing them money) or RSVP no complete and don't attend anything.   

    I did post in the other thread about this, that the ceremony is most important. I am of the opinion that it's tacky to attend the reception only without a good reason like time off work, cost of childcare, etc. 

    All that being said... an 11am ceremony with a 5pm reception is horrific. I usually am subject to 2pm ceremonies and 5pm receptions, with leaves me with about 2-3 hours to kill in heels, not a whole fucking day. Yowza. 

    For all those people who ask, "Can I invite just some people to the ceremony and lots of people to the reception, because we want our ceremony kind of private blah blah" well hell, just schedule a gap and you solved your whole problem. 
    You joke about this, but this is a real thing.

    A former co-worker once told me that she is getting married at 11 and having the reception in the evening specifically because she doesn't want that many people at the ceremony. 


  • If you do this, OP, you need to let the couple know you are not attending the reception so they can take that into account when they give their venue the final headcount for dinner.

    There's no sense in them paying for two meals that no one is going to eat.




    Honestly?  If a couple poorly schedules the gap like this they deserve the extra financial hit of people RSVPing for the reception and then not coming.  



    ShesSoColdPrettyGirlLostlembaslover
  • If there's a movie theater nearby I might consider going to a movie in between assuming timing worked out. However if there isn't anything that remotely interests me I'd just go to the reception. While I love seeing ceremonies they are a half hour and unless they have a receiving line you won't even get to see the bride and groom. At least at the reception you can celebrate with them.

    Also I agree with PP if you schedule a gap like that you have to expect that you're going to be paying for people who RSVP yes and then don't end up showing. Hell 5 hrs might not seem that long until the 2hr movie you just sat through to kill time has been out for 2 hrs and you still have another hour to wait...
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    PrettyGirlLost
  • snowywintersnowywinter member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited August 2015
    RSVPing yes to the reception, knowing you're not going to go is about as petty as it gets.
    PrettyGirlLostILoveBeachMusicSTARMOON44


  • Toss out the nasty fries, have the Frosty. I win.

    Skip whatever part is more inconvenient. I just skip all gap weddings.

    You dip the fries IN the Frosty.  BAM! It's so good :-) <------ This!!!!! Greatest of All Time!

    PrettyGirlLost


  • Toss out the nasty fries, have the Frosty. I win.

    Skip whatever part is more inconvenient. I just skip all gap weddings.

    You dip the fries IN the Frosty.  BAM! It's so good :-)
    That's nasty. I do not go near the foul Wendy's fries. Gross.
    thespeshulestsnowflake
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