Invite to Reception Only?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from shoppinggirl. Show shoppinggirl's posts

    Invite to Reception Only?

    Hi Everyone,

    I'm new here, but have a question that I would love your advice on. My church only allows Saturday weddings to take place until 1:00 pm but I would prefer to have an evening reception. I don't want to put my guests out by having a long time between the events, so it is possible to invite people only to the reception, and tell them when the cereomony is only if they ask?
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from WhirledPeasPlease. Show WhirledPeasPlease's posts

    Re: Invite to Reception Only?

    Hi shoppinggirl, 
    Welcome to the boards. They're a wealth of knowledge!

    I don't mean to sound harsh, but an invitation to the reception only sends the message, "You're good enough to come to my wedding and give me a present, but not good enough to see the important part of us getting married." Not saying that this is your attitude--just what it may seem like to guests. 

    How long will your ceremony be? If it ends at 2 and you start your reception at 5 (cocktail hour, then really starting at 6) you could end at 10 or 11 and have your evening reception. Guests would have some time to kill, though. Are most of your guests local or out-of-towners?
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from NorthernLghts. Show NorthernLghts's posts

    Re: Invite to Reception Only?

    Hi Shopping, welcome!

    Most guests are use to a "catholic gap" due to when churches will do ceremonies and when the reception hall will let a reception start. So I wouldn't worry about "putting them out" with a few hours to kill. Most of them will figure something out :-)

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from princess-cal. Show princess-cal's posts

    Re: Invite to Reception Only?

    That's tough - I agree that many of your guests would feel that you did not think they were "good enough" to be invited to the ceremony.  Also, if there is a big gap, you are going to get a lot of people that skip either the ceremony or the reception.  I would choose to invite everyone, with the gap.  That way they can decide how they are going to handle it.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from lucy7368. Show lucy7368's posts

    Re: Invite to Reception Only?

    Welcome!

    I would be offended if I were invited to the reception, but not the ceremony.  I also wouldn't want to sit around for three hours in between the ceremony and the reception - especially because I feel like different attire is appropriate for a daytime wedding and an evening reception.

    Does your church do weddings on Sunday afternoon?  Honestly, if you have your heart set on using that church, and you can only do it on Saturday at 1, I would just have the reception on Saturday at 2:30 or 3 (depending on whether you're having a full mass).
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Invite to Reception Only?

    Welcome!

    I hate to rain on your parade, and I sense your heart is in the right place, but that's the wrong thing to do if I might be so bold.  The ceremony is the whole point.  Not inviting people to the ceremony is offensive.  I'm being blunt simply to hopefully ensure you won't do it, not to be mean.

    Either let guests live with a long gap (it won't be the first or the last) OR move up your reception time to an earlier dinner.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from cosmogirl. Show cosmogirl's posts

    Re: Invite to Reception Only?

    Hi, shoppinggirl.  Welcome to the boards!


    Yup, have to agree that not inviting people to the ceremony will be perceived as rude.  Also have to add that I think that a huge gap between ceremony and reception is also inconsiderate.  Not to mention, the  main result is that at least some of your guests, who have no place to go all dressed up in the hours in between, will be quite hammered by the time your reception begins.


    Is a Friday wedding an option?

    What is it about the "evening reception" idea that appeals to you?

    What kind of venue are you thinking about?

    How far between church and reception?

    Are most guests likely to stay overnight?
    Is using a different church an option?  Not all have this restriction. 

    Inquiring minds want to know!  Again, welcome!

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from Trouble30. Show Trouble30's posts

    Re: Invite to Reception Only?

    For what it's worth, DH is from England and this is a very common practice there.  I thought it was so strange when I went to my first wedding where this was done though!  Usually just family and close friends go to the ceremony and a "dinner" and then there is a big dance party where many people come.  But since this isn't England and it's not common here I agree that people might think its strange and get offended.  But you could say you're doing it English style!
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from shoppinggirl. Show shoppinggirl's posts

    Re: Invite to Reception Only?

    Thank you all for your responses! It seems like there is consensus that not inviting people to the ceremony is the wrong way to handle things. I guess it is time to come up with a "Plan B!" :)
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Re: Invite to Reception Only?

    Hi shoppinggirl, welcome to the boards!
    I guess you have already heard this enough, but I can only agree it is not a good thing to just invite your guests to the reception and not to the ceremony. You mean well, but your guests may not think so.
    I understand you would like an evening reception. When is the date? If it is in the wintertime it gets dark early enough - so you could have your reception right after the ceremony.
    Otherwise pull all the blinds and close the shutters - light the room with candles and pretend it is 7pm. Many reception venues are dark w/o windows anyway. We attended an 11 am wedding with a 2 pm reception. It was in late June and the only difference from an evening reception was, that we were "blinded" by the bright light, when leaving the reception hall. But then again we had a chance to visit casually that evening with some of the OOT guests, we had not seen in a long time. We threw an "on-the spur-of-the-moment" BBQ for some of the guests and had a great time. The bride and the groom even surprised us by stopping by.
    Another alternative is, as some of the other posters already mentioned - keep it on a Friday or Sunday afternoon/evening (you can even save a bundle that way). You need to do, what is best for you. You really cannot please everyone no matter how hard you try.
    Good luck to you with your planning and come back again if you have more questions - you found the right place


     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from trex509. Show trex509's posts

    Re: Invite to Reception Only?

    Hi Shoppinggirl!  I heard of another bride who had this issue (the Catholic gap they call it?) and she organized some activities for the guests to do after the ceremony and before the reception.  I think her wedding was downtown so she hired trolley tour buses to take all the guests on a tour of Boston.  Great for out of towners (but also probably pretty pricey!).  But you could do something else low key, maybe have someone host a casual get together at their house nearby so guests have a place to hang out before the reception.  If it is summer, you could have an outdoor picnic with lights snacks and lemonade, maybe some games for the kids (if you are inviting any).  I heard of one bride who had a long-ish drive to the reception, they organized a scavenger hunt for people to follow along the way with stops at neat or historic locations.  The people who had the most items won a prize at the reception!

    I think you have a lot of options and can be creative to make the whole day a blast for your guests!

    PS.  Although, the truth is that if you have a large gap, people might choose to skip the ceremony anyway.  But I think the polite thing to do is invite them all and let them choose whether or not they attend the ceremony rather than you choosing for them by not inviting them.  Good luck!
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Invite to Reception Only?

    Well I think you have to go with the majority on this, but for what it's worth I wouldn't be offended if I were only invited to the reception.  I would probably hardly notice.  But I do agree that having a few hours between ceremony and reception is a bad idea.  S*cks that the church doesn't do later services.

    ETA: Walking down the aisle and seeing all of our friends and family waiting, not to mention my husband, was AMAZING.  You don't want to miss it :o)
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Invite to Reception Only?

    I'd never skip the ceremony if there were a large gap.  I would not be happy about the time gap, but I'd certainly not just show up for the party and miss the actual wedding.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from lizinboston. Show lizinboston's posts

    Re: Invite to Reception Only?

    In Response to Re: Invite to Reception Only?:
    [QUOTE]Hi Shopping, welcome! Most guests are use to a "catholic gap" due to when churches will do ceremonies and when the reception hall will let a reception start. So I wouldn't worry about "putting them out" with a few hours to kill. Most of them will figure something out :-)
    Posted by NorthernLghts[/QUOTE]

    Thats the ONE thing about the Catholic Church that drives me insane. Most of the churches have masses at 4pm on Saturdays! So it's either a 2:30 ceremony or you have to wait until 5:30! Drives me nutso!!
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from FriarGirl03. Show FriarGirl03's posts

    Re: Invite to Reception Only?

    I would leave it up to your guests whether they decide to skip the ceremony or not. I imagine some will for the sake of convenience, but at least give them the option.

    FWIW, I was in a 2:30pm Catholic mass and I think the reception was something like 4-9. Let me just tell you that I was thrilled to get to bed at a normal hour. (Yes, I'm the oldest 28 year-old you'll ever meet!) After all of the running around you do on the wedding day, it was kind of nice to not have a super-long day. I felt more awake during the reception, danced more, etc. The bride and groom were originally planning on renting a party bus that night and taking the wedding party into Boston all dressed up, but then they booked a crack-of-dawn flight to get to their cruise and were just as happy to get some more sleep.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Invite to Reception Only?

    This reminds me of a general axiom my mom taught me that I always appreciated and have often relied on.  Don't make people's decisions for them that are theirs to make.  (She taught me because oftentimes I'd not tell her about a class trip or whatever because I assumed she wouldn't let me go or it would be too expensive, or whatever.  By not telling her, I decided I couldn't go for her, and it wasn't my decision to make.)

    By not inviting them you make their decision for them...they can't go to the wedding because they aren't invited.  By inviting them, you let them make their decision.  They CAN come, but they don't have to.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from wendy98. Show wendy98's posts

    Re: Invite to Reception Only?

    In Response to Re: Invite to Reception Only?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Invite to Reception Only? : Thats the ONE thing about the Catholic Church that drives me insane. Most of the churches have masses at 4pm on Saturdays! So it's either a 2:30 ceremony or you have to wait until 5:30! Drives me nutso!!
    Posted by lizinboston[/QUOTE]
    Ahh Liz that is what I love.  I go to the 4 PM Mass and then out to dinner with my DH and then we sleep in on Sunday morning.  And you could have a morning ceremony:)

    I am like Friar I am not really into the late stuff.  I was very happy with my 10:30 wedding and 12-5 reception.  Afterwards we hung out with some close family and friends at the hotel and had room service for dinner around 8 and we were good to go.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from lizinboston. Show lizinboston's posts

    Re: Invite to Reception Only?

    Wendy, I don't mind it any other Saturday...but I was frustrated when it came to planning my wedding, I will admit :/
    But my wedding is on a Sunday, following a holiday the day after, so I am all good. My ceremony is at 4pm!
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Invite to Reception Only?

    my only concern would be if you were having a kid-free wedding. finding someone to watch and sit your kids from 12:00pm to 11:00pm is a big chunk of time, and possibly change.
    of course if you do invite the kids, they're going to be tired and cranky toward the end there.

    My guess is that if you do hold out and have an evening reception, very few guests will stay to the end unless they have a hotel room nearby.

    I think you'd be better off going for a reception that starts at 3:00pm.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Re: Invite to Reception Only?

    Pinkey, you have a very valid concern. But then again - the idea is to send out the invitation, and then have the guests worry about what they will do. Everyone has their own problems. The bride and the groom have enough to worry about already, and should not have to take everyone else's worries upon themselves.
    No matter how hard you try, you will not be able to make everyone happy.



    In Response to Re: Invite to Reception Only?:
    [QUOTE]my only concern would be if you were having a kid-free wedding. finding someone to watch and sit your kids from 12:00pm to 11:00pm is a big chunk of time, and possibly change. of course if you do invite the kids, they're going to be tired and cranky toward the end there. My guess is that if you do hold out and have an evening reception, very few guests will stay to the end unless they have a hotel room nearby. I think you'd be better off going for a reception that starts at 3:00pm.
    Posted by pinkkittie27[/QUOTE]
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from whatawagSBNy. Show whatawagSBNy's posts

    Re: Invite to Reception Only?

        People mostly do prefer to go to the actual ceremony.

         I do not get upset when I know most guests are not invited to a very small ceremony because the people involved are intensely private about religious observances,  or do not feel guests of other religions share theirs.  Small ones because of recent deaths or illness of loved ones that make family very emotional - these things all call for understanding.

         But when may people are not invited, or there is a terribly long gap  which makes the time of a wedding, reception and time between stretch to 8 to 12 hours plus travel ( sometimes more)
    just because they want a particular venue,  or want an evening affair ---  then I think the people are just damm selfish to put such things ahead of the needs and wishes of most of the guests.   Maybe a few more people will dance more, or will dress with more evening elegance at an evening affair or fancier venue.  But that does not cut it when 80% of your guests arrive ticked off at aimlessly killing time for hours, or stop and drink too much, and then feel miserable and tired 2 hours into a reception because they left the house or hotel at 11 am ( already taking time to dress, do hair etc)  and by 8 pm  have no more interest in being sociable.
         You ruin the party before it starts.
         Do something.  Different ceremony place and time,  or a different reception time ( and if necessary different place.)  The reception is just a party, unlike the ceremony.   Guests who arrive unhappy, or just stay home, do not have a better time because it is evening or a nicer place.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Invite to Reception Only?

    my concern isn't making people happy. my concern is getting all the people you want at your wedding to come and stay for the whole thing. isn't that why people try very hard have weddings on the weekends anyways?
    When you're inviting guests for a 12+ hour day in order to do so, you're not likely to get many takers. Granted, your nearest and dearest will happily make the sacrifice, but many others won't.
    Whether you think that's a good thing or a bad thing is entirely up to you.

    In Response to Re: Invite to Reception Only?:
    [QUOTE]Pinkey, you have a very valid concern. But then again - the idea is to send out the invitation, and then have the guests worry about what they will do. Everyone has their own problems. The bride and the groom have enough to worry about already, and should not have to take everyone else's worries upon themselves. No matter how hard you try, you will not be able to make everyone happy. In Response to Re: Invite to Reception Only? :
    Posted by pingo[/QUOTE]
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from trex509. Show trex509's posts

    Re: Invite to Reception Only?

    Funny, I was also in a wedding recently with the ceremony at 2 PM, full mass and then reception, dinner and dancing.  We had an absolute blast!  We stayed till the very end, and were happy and tired... I got to the car thinking it was like 11 PM and to my shock, it was only 8 PM!!!  It was so funny, but FI and I were also happy to be home relatively early and slept really well.  And everyone had a blast!  It might have helped that it was in October, so it was pitch black at like 6 PM.

    I also do tend to agree, I have a limit for how long I can party.  The long gap in the middle is tough for guests.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from lucy7368. Show lucy7368's posts

    Re: Invite to Reception Only?

    You could hand out favors early and give everyone a Charlie card with $1.70 on it so they could ride the T around for a few hours.  Lots of fun for the out-of-towners!  Cool


    Ok, seriously, I feel like I'm channeling TarHeel Chief.  It's been a weird couple of days.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from FriarGirl03. Show FriarGirl03's posts

    Re: Invite to Reception Only?

    In Response to Re: Invite to Reception Only?:
    [QUOTE]I got to the car thinking it was like 11 PM and to my shock, it was only 8 PM!!!
    Posted by trex509[/QUOTE]

    That's exactly how I felt after the wedding I was in! (Of course, with the time change, I feel like that every day now. Is it midnight? Nope, 7!) Smile

    The other thing that I liked about the mid-afternoon ceremony is that we ate dinner at a normal time. The last wedding I went to was one of the After-4pm-Mass variety and we didn't eat dinner until 7. I'm sorry, but a girl can only eat so much cheese and bacon-wrapped scallops before she starts to get hungry (read: cranky).

    Not that this is at all related to the OP's question. If you have your heart set on an evening ceremony, go for it. Just don't expect a full church in the afternoon and a full dancefloor at night.  If you feel more flexible about the time or having a full church/dancefloor are important to you, I think the concensus of the board is that you shouldn't feel weird about moving the reception up.
     

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