does everybody that goes to the ceremony have to come to the reception?

June 14, 2013 | By

Question by kameetcha♥: does everybody that goes to the ceremony have to come to the reception?
im going to be an 18 year old bride next year and im confused on how most of this wedding stuff works. i have many friends who i want to go to the ceremony, but cant afford to feed all of them at the reception. since they went to the ceremony, do they HAVE to go to the reception? -- not trying to sound cheap or rude.

Best answer:

Answer by Colgal
Nope, they do not have to go to the reception its not mandatory, its your choice.

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Comments (17)

  1. BabeHeart

    Not kewl to invite people to the wedding but tell them they cannot come to the reception. Your guest list should be open to people who can attend both…more will want to be at the reception than the wedding, but it’s not polite to show up for the party if you weren’t at the ceremony (unless it was limited to close family/friends only).

    It’s actually more common to have a small wedding ceremony, but throw a big party/reception to celebrate afterward and have people there that didn’t attend the ceremony. I’ve never heard of having a wedding, but then limiting the reception guest list…although I imagine it’s occurred before.

  2. Garnet Glitter

    The proper way to do it is to invite the same people to the wedding & reception…..once you start segregating as in ‘You can only come to the wedding, not the party’, feelings get hurt and insulted friends is what you end up with.

    have a reception you can afford, even if it’s only cake & coffee for 2 hours after the ceremony…or invite family only to both.

  3. Leslie

    Usually it is the reverse the ceremony would be small but the reception can accommodate more..yours actually will have to be cut down to only those able to go to the ceremony and the wedding reception only.

    It would be rude to invite them to the ceremony but not the reception. So make your list working with your budget and only invite those that can come to the reception. Explain this to your friends if they still want to come to the ceremony then that is different.

    Also if you want to invite all that can you can have an open invitation reception, instead of having food, have finger foods and the wedding cake. People can come and go as they wish and it would not be as expensive and everybody can come. Congrats!

  4. Mersades

    Everything that happens is up to you and the groom if you are the ones paying for everything.

  5. adeletest2

    Most people who go to the ceremony expect to be invited to the reception but there have been times in the past when the reception card has been left out of the invitation and then only those who get the reception response card go to the reception. But today, that is really rarely done.
    If you can’t afford a reception for all those you invite to the wedding, then you should probably shorten down the list and only invite those who can go to both. Because you will insult your friends if they are only given the opportunity to see you get married but not get to go to the party. There is no easy way around that! But you could devise a reception somewhere where everyone can come, it can be done inexpensively and you could have all your friends and family attend. There are many ways to do that and you can have fun finding all those ways to do it! Good luck!

  6. Cloudy Onyx

    No one but your family actually WANTS to be at the wedding! Everyone wants to be at the party! Inviting people only to the ceremony is rude. Don’t invite anyone to the wedding you’re not inviting to the reception. When people say they’re going to a wedding they mean ceremony + reception

  7. vgordon_90

    First of all, you are too young to be married. At 18, you are just barely an adult.
    But, putting that thought aside, you should think about the ceremony and reception. It’s customary for the people who are invited to the ceremony to also attend the reception, not the other way around. If you cannot afford a large wedding, plan one where only your closest friends and family come to both. Try and find a place such as your church hall or VFW hall for rent and have a family style with family or friends making some good dishes to serve and then have a nice wedding cake for the finale.
    You don’t need to get fancy. You can even get married at your local City Hall.
    Have your parents approved this marriage and can’t you ask them for help financially? It’s customary for the brides parents to pay for the wedding.
    Good luck.

  8. apbanpos

    You can have an “open ceremony” – that is – you don’t send invitations, but you let everyone know by word of mouth when/where and they are welcome to come.

    It would be rude to “invite” people to the ceremony and not the reception, however it is not rude if you use word of mouth to let people know that although you are sorry you can’t invite everyone to the reception – anyone is welcome to the ceremony.

    It is polite to at least offer punch and cookies after, but not necessary. You should at least plan on greeting them. These people should not bring gifts.

    Then you send traditional wedding invitations to those that you wish to also come to the reception.

    Good luck – open ceremonies are a great way to include a lot of people on a budget.

  9. Nora

    yes, it is very rude to invite anyone to the ceremony and not the reception.

  10. Ashlee

    Congrats! =]
    I’m getting married next year as well, and it is all completely confusing. haha.

    I suppose the “proper” thing is to allow everyone from the ceremony to come to the reception.. it sounds a little silly to have an invite to JUST the ceremony but not be “allowed” at the reception.. But in the end, it’s always completely up to what you and your groom want/can afford. A much cheaper, but still very nice, alternative is to have a buffet style dinner or hors d’oeuvre selections.

    PS.. To the person who commented saying “First of all, you are too young to be married. At 18, you are just barely an adult.” No one on here knows this girl or her life at all… So I feel that the need for you to include that in your comment was completely unnecessary, and frankly, very rude. I’m 22 and I know quite a few people older than myself, that are much less mature than they should be.. As well as people younger than me, who are mature beyond their years. Age has nothing to do with it. =]

  11. Elizabeth S

    Hon, I would have to begin by cautioning you to wait until you are 21 to get married. At 17, it’s really hard to understand the depth of making a lifelong committment.

    With that said, do not invite people to the ceremony and not the reception. Should someone ask if they can attend, which is rude to ask anyway, tell them you really don’t know yet. You and your family are trying to keep the costs really low since you are so young. Too, remember, you are in high school, and those kinds of friends may seem important to you now but won’t bother to show up to the wedding and/or won’t be speaking to you regularly after graduation.

    What do you parents think of you getting married so young?

  12. Tamar C

    Okey on your invitation don’t say reception following ceremony and print on your home computer a separate RSVP on a small strip of paper. I did this when I got married in 2000 and it worked well. I had sitting for about 150 guest at my reception, but we had over 300 guest at the wedding. You don’t have invite all your guest to the reception.

  13. D4Pres2012

    yes. you can’t invite people to the wedding without feeding them at the reception. don’t worry, they’ll bring you gifts that will hopefully equal the amount of the meals you’re providing, so it evens out. but you can’t have 2 separate guest lists and just invite 1 group to the ceremony only, because that’s like telling those people ‘I like you enough to be around to see me exchange vows, but if you think I’m feeding you afterward and providing entertainment and cake for you, forget it.’ that’s pretty rude.

  14. Lady Kelly

    No, you can’t do this. The whole point of the reception is to thank the people who came to the wedding and it’s tacky to want them to share in your big moment and then not invite them to the reception.

  15. Heather

    You cannot invite someone to the ceremony without inviting them to the reception. If you cannot afford to feed all your friends, then cut your guest list and only invite the number of people that you can afford to feed. Or else have your reception at a non-meal hour and serve just dessert or appetizers.

  16. Alice

    No they do not have to all go to the reception. If you decide to invite only certain people to both the ceremony and reception make sure all your invites include only the ceremony information. Enclose a seperate reception card with the invitation for those who are invited to both.

  17. Anne

    You can have an open ceremony and publish it that way (anyone who wants to attend the ceremony at the church at such and such time is invited to witness the marriage…………..). Then, you can invite just specific people to the reception. Usually those invited to the ceremony are also invited to the wedding , but if you have an unusually large amt of people wanting to witness the ceremony, you could do this.