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Ok to attend wedding ceremony only if not invited?


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#176 Sweet.Pea

Posted 27 March 2019 - 12:20 PM

View PostKiwi Bicycle, on 27 March 2019 - 07:07 AM, said:

DH and I were invited to a cermony only wedding of a very good friend. It actually said, due to budget, the reception was limited but we were welcome to join the dance after the reception. Wedding was at 3pm, and after the ceremony we caught up with all our group of friends and we then found out who made the reception cut! It was horrible and we flagged going to the dance at 9pm.

And I have had two uninvited guests come to my destination wedding. MIL invited her two best friends, one who I had never meet before. They never received an invitation but booked airfares and then MIL told me. DH and I funded our wedding ourselves too. In the end I had to suck it up, seated them at the far end of the table and pay for their meals. I am still angry about it today. It was a small wedding of 12 guests too, just family and these ladies weren't part of the plan.

That's terrible on both counts. When I read you were invited to the dance, I assumed it would have been straight after the ceremony.

It's a bit like the couple thought they were more important to you, then you were to them.

As for MIL's friends going on a destination wedding...it's not an oldies trip away!

#177 vanessa71

Posted 27 March 2019 - 12:49 PM

I've read the majority of the replies and I think it is fine to take her along. An invite is not required to attend the ceremony, so your daughter is free to go, I wouldn't even ask if it's okay.

A colleague of DH's brought along his three year old to our ceremony, when there was no invite for her, it was not an issue. She did not attend the reception, that would have been an issue. My mum also invited a few of her friends along to the ceremony, once again, no issue.

#178 Hollycoddle

Posted 27 March 2019 - 02:09 PM

View PostSweet.Pea, on 27 March 2019 - 12:20 PM, said:

That's terrible on both counts. When I read you were invited to the dance, I assumed it would have been straight after the ceremony.


A good friend of mine had a similar thing, no-one was offended though.  For budget reasons the reception was limited but they had hired a very well-known Aussie band to play after the reception so they wanted to share that part with everyone.  People seemed to be understanding of this.

Edited by Mollycoddle, 27 March 2019 - 02:09 PM.


#179 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 27 March 2019 - 04:52 PM

View PostMollycoddle, on 27 March 2019 - 02:09 PM, said:



A good friend of mine had a similar thing, no-one was offended though.  For budget reasons the reception was limited but they had hired a very well-known Aussie band to play after the reception so they wanted to share that part with everyone.  People seemed to be understanding of this.

We were planning on going to the dance, we assumed the reception dinner was for family only. Then we found out in our group of friends from high school and university, who actually was invited to the dinner and who wasn't, immediately after the ceremony. DH who was particularly close to the bride and had holidayed with the bride and her family in the past, been her dance partner for ballroom dancing at high school etc was excluded. We were all a close group who hung out regularly. It was very awkward when one of the group offered to give others a lift to the dinner.

#180 Bam1

Posted 27 March 2019 - 05:23 PM

Did she maybe only invite the single friends? If limited invites than at least she is not wasting an invite on a plus 1?

Dont know if that’s a thing Ive never done it but cant think of another explanation for KiwiB

#181 alchetta

Posted 27 March 2019 - 10:08 PM

Haven't read all replies but just adding that I completely screwed this up as a bride - I had no idea that lots of people still treat ceremonies as open to everyone. I had not invited certain cousins with kids because our reception venue was very small and I had to be equitable with my DH's tiny family representation. They actually asked if they could come along and watch and I really stupidly said no, probably just not really thinking it through. On the day, one of DH's friends brought his two kids who we had never met before to the ceremony, so of course it would have looked even ruder to the parents of the non-invited cousins that their children were excluded.

Long winded way of saying, if the couple isn't warned then they may look bad to other guests whose children were excluded and didn't get to come. Check first. I know it's a public place but some people eill take the invitation as a very deliberate exclusion and might be offended to think others have been included and their kids left out!

#182 literally nobody

Posted 27 March 2019 - 10:49 PM

Honestly i was too busy walking down the aisle/red carpet (park wedding ceremony) and concentrating on not tripping, whilst only had eyes for my DH.. i wouldn’t have even noticed or cared about extra spectators tbh. nor would i care for it to ruin my moment.

#183 Hands Up

Posted 28 March 2019 - 07:07 AM

I think it should be an EB rule that we have at least one wedding/hens/baby shower thread per week.

#184 born.a.girl

Posted 28 March 2019 - 08:48 AM

View Postalchetta, on 27 March 2019 - 10:08 PM, said:

Haven't read all replies but just adding that I completely screwed this up as a bride - I had no idea that lots of people still treat ceremonies as open to everyone. I had not invited certain cousins with kids because our reception venue was very small and I had to be equitable with my DH's tiny family representation. They actually asked if they could come along and watch and I really stupidly said no, probably just not really thinking it through. On the day, one of DH's friends brought his two kids who we had never met before to the ceremony, so of course it would have looked even ruder to the parents of the non-invited cousins that their children were excluded.

Long winded way of saying, if the couple isn't warned then they may look bad to other guests whose children were excluded and didn't get to come. Check first. I know it's a public place but some people eill take the invitation as a very deliberate exclusion and might be offended to think others have been included and their kids left out!


If the other guests are the problem (thinking OP's child has been invited but not theirs) it's not going to solve anything with the wedding couple knowing. That's assuming the 'other couple' don't throw a hissy fit in the middle of the ceremony about it. :)

The best solution in this case, is for 'other guests' to mind their own business and not assume anything about anyone.

They'll soon find out when they get to the reception that the child wasn't invited and they can calm down.

#185 NoahWill

Posted 28 March 2019 - 09:42 AM

Check with the bride and groom. They may have agreed on a kid-free wedding. You just never know the thought process that goes into these things.

#186 timtam92

Posted 28 March 2019 - 05:58 PM

View PostMollycoddle, on 27 March 2019 - 09:30 AM, said:



Did you formally invite people to the ceremony or was it a just-turn-up affair?  If it were the former I would have just had the afternoon tea and drinks/snacks for everyone as the reception and be done with it.  My ex-SIL had her wedding at a homestead, all of it was invite only.  She had an afternoon cocktail reception at the venue with drinks and canapes then only close family and friends were invited to her parent's home for a night-time BBQ feast after that.  Those who were invited to the BBQ went straight on from the homestead to the parent's house.  I don't know when they had their photos done, whether it was at the homestead during the reception or whether it was before the wedding itself.

This thread reminds me of my in-laws not being invited to their nephew's wedding because FIL's hoity-toity sister said it was 'close family and friends only'.  They see the funny side now, it's become a bit of an in-joke now whenever a similar situation arises within the extended family.

Yes, we formally invited people to the ceremony only and afternoon tea. This was at the church. We stayed around for a little bit and then left to have photos and then onto the reception. I wanted a reception, not just the afternoon tea. We just couldn’t afford to have everyone there.

#187 Black Velvet

Posted 28 March 2019 - 06:40 PM

I'm Italian and all the Italian weddings I went to growing up there were so many that we just attended the reception only  and only a handful in comparison where we attended both ceremony and reception.

So the invitation stated "the marriage of X and Y at Blah Church and afterwards at Blah Venue' making it clear you were invited to both but it just seemed accepted and not rude if you only turned up for the reception. And the invite always included kids.

It seemed it was more offensive to go to the ceremony only and not the reception (excluding reasons of illness etc).

#188 Hollycoddle

Posted 28 March 2019 - 08:28 PM

View PostBlack Velvet, on 28 March 2019 - 06:40 PM, said:

I'm Italian and all the Italian weddings I went to growing up there were so many that we just attended the reception only  and only a handful in comparison where we attended both ceremony and reception.

So the invitation stated "the marriage of X and Y at Blah Church and afterwards at Blah Venue' making it clear you were invited to both but it just seemed accepted and not rude if you only turned up for the reception. And the invite always included kids.

It seemed it was more offensive to go to the ceremony only and not the reception (excluding reasons of illness etc).

That sounds so rude by our standards! 'Oh we couldn't care less about seeing you pledge lifelong commitment to each other but we'll turn up after for the food and drink!'  Just goes to show how norms can vary in different places.

#189 Black Velvet

Posted 28 March 2019 - 08:45 PM

View PostMollycoddle, on 28 March 2019 - 08:28 PM, said:

That sounds so rude by our standards! 'Oh we couldn't care less about seeing you pledge lifelong commitment to each other but we'll turn up after for the food and drink!'  Just goes to show how norms can vary in different places.

I know right! But apparently it seems the view is that the ceremony is meant more for those who are close to the family (though all are welcome) but the reception is for all and sundry (even those you haven't seen in 20 years because they invited you to theirs blah blah). I don't know, may be different nowadays but that was what I remember growing up.

Anyway, yeah different cultures and expectations and all that. :yes:

#190 got my tinsel on

Posted 28 March 2019 - 10:12 PM

View PostMollycoddle, on 27 March 2019 - 02:09 PM, said:

A good friend of mine had a similar thing, no-one was offended though.  For budget reasons the reception was limited but they had hired a very well-known Aussie band to play after the reception so they wanted to share that part with everyone.  People seemed to be understanding of this.

Interesting that they couldn't afford to invite good friends to their reception due to budget constraints but they could afford to hire a 'very well-known Aussie band' to play.

The band would not have been cheap.

I would prefer to celebrate with my friends and tune into a radio station instead of that situation.

#191 JBH

Posted 29 March 2019 - 08:49 AM

Off the OP’s topic a bit, but I don’t necessarily mind a ceremony-only invitation, but it’s specific to the circumstances.  First, never include details of a gift registry or cash with a ceremony invitation. Second, I think it’s really only for people who are in a category of those with an interest in your life but who would never expect a wedding invitation, and I often think of them in a group - your mum’s bridge club you knew when you were little, the children in a teacher’s class, the people who you see weekly in a fitness class who have been cheering you on trying to get fit for your wedding, rather than some sort of B list guest class.

#192 SummerStar

Posted 29 March 2019 - 09:08 AM

View Postfancie shmancie, on 28 March 2019 - 10:12 PM, said:



Interesting that they couldn't afford to invite good friends to their reception due to budget constraints but they could afford to hire a 'very well-known Aussie band' to play.

The band would not have been cheap.

I would prefer to celebrate with my friends and tune into a radio station instead of that situation.

Exactly what I was thinking. If the band had been friends and done it for free I could see how that would be an option but to actually hire them over getting a much cheaper DJ and having all your friends there... Certainly seems priorities are way off there.

#193 Hands Up

Posted 29 March 2019 - 11:21 AM

View PostSummerStar, on 29 March 2019 - 09:08 AM, said:



Exactly what I was thinking. If the band had been friends and done it for free I could see how that would be an option but to actually hire them over getting a much cheaper DJ and having all your friends there... Certainly seems priorities are way off there.

Maybe they wanted a smaller group but couldn’t figure out how to say so without hurting people’s feelings. Easier to blame budget.

#194 born.a.girl

Posted 29 March 2019 - 11:22 AM

View PostBlack Velvet, on 28 March 2019 - 06:40 PM, said:

I'm Italian and all the Italian weddings I went to growing up there were so many that we just attended the reception only  and only a handful in comparison where we attended both ceremony and reception.

So the invitation stated "the marriage of X and Y at Blah Church and afterwards at Blah Venue' making it clear you were invited to both but it just seemed accepted and not rude if you only turned up for the reception. And the invite always included kids.

It seemed it was more offensive to go to the ceremony only and not the reception (excluding reasons of illness etc).


I went to one a few years ago like that - one had come from Rwanda, and the other from the Democratic Republic of Congo, so I don't really know which side the traditions came from, or if it was a mish mash of both.

The invite stated the time of the church ceremony, that all we welcome to come to the gardens for photo taking, and that the reception would start at 6:30.


We got to the church about ten minutes before the start, to find only a few other people there.  Finally, an hour and a half later the couple turn up, along with more people who obviously knew the ropes.

At the gardens we just ended up wandering around on our own - we seemed to be the only ones outside the wedding party there.

Finally we get to the reception place, ravenous, and again, almost no one else there, in this room that could hold many hundreds.  People slowly started filing in a few hours later and the food was served about 9:30.  In the meantime we'd bought a bottle of the only wine at the bar, and extremely sweet white.   So desperate for a few calories were we that we went to buy another bottle but they'd sold out of the 8 or so bottles that were there earlier.

I hadn't enjoyed food so much once we were eating for a long time!


A friend who was born and married in India said his wedding was many hours late and didn't start until midnight, which is apparently not uncommon there.

#195 Hollycoddle

Posted 29 March 2019 - 11:33 AM

View Postfancie shmancie, on 28 March 2019 - 10:12 PM, said:

Interesting that they couldn't afford to invite good friends to their reception due to budget constraints but they could afford to hire a 'very well-known Aussie band' to play.

The band would not have been cheap.

I would prefer to celebrate with my friends and tune into a radio station instead of that situation.

One of the band members was a friend of the groom so it wasn't as dear as it otherwise would have been.  I get what you're saying though.  It was a great wedding in any case and those who weren't at the dinner/reception part didn't seem to mind.  Some didn't even come to the ceremony but just turned up to the 'concert' at the end ie. workmates etc.  It was a good concept overall, the wedding invites were printed out like a concert ticket stub with 'It's a nice day for a white wedding' on them, fancy lettering like circus tickets.

Edited by Mollycoddle, 29 March 2019 - 11:35 AM.


#196 SummerStar

Posted 29 March 2019 - 11:34 AM

.

Edited by SummerStar, 29 March 2019 - 11:34 AM.


#197 *bucket*

Posted 29 March 2019 - 05:56 PM

View Posttimtam92, on 28 March 2019 - 05:58 PM, said:



Yes, we formally invited people to the ceremony only and afternoon tea. This was at the church. We stayed around for a little bit and then left to have photos and then onto the reception. I wanted a reception, not just the afternoon tea. We just couldn’t afford to have everyone there.

This is exactly what we did. The ceremony only people were ex-teachers, friends of parents etc. We couldn't really think of another way of letting them know about the event and that we'd like them to be there (I'm old, it was in pre social media days!).

To the OP, I'm on team just take her.

#198 Bam1

Posted 29 March 2019 - 06:10 PM

Welcome to Africa time Born a Girl.

#199 Billy Shears

Posted 29 March 2019 - 09:04 PM

View PostBlack Velvet, on 28 March 2019 - 08:45 PM, said:

I know right! But apparently it seems the view is that the ceremony is meant more for those who are close to the family (though all are welcome) but the reception is for all and sundry (even those you haven't seen in 20 years because they invited you to theirs blah blah). I don't know, may be different nowadays but that was what I remember growing up.

Anyway, yeah different cultures and expectations and all that. Posted Image

Italian also, and while some parts ring true, my experience growing up was quite different.    Ceremony was always at a (Catholic) Church and like others have mentioned, anyone was welcome.  If you were not particularly close to the couple, but still invited to the reception, you could even get away with wearing nice "Sunday best" to the church and save the formal wear for the night.  
I remember my parents being invited to weddings where Dad would say he didn't even know the couple, but the parents were 'paesani' from Italy so that was important enough to be invited.  Mum and Dad always went to both Mass and reception.  We were never invited as kids to our cousins' weddings until we were about 13/14.  Not sure if it was our family or maybe it's a regional thing? My family were from the north.

#200 Billy Shears

Posted 29 March 2019 - 09:09 PM

View Postborn.a.girl, on 29 March 2019 - 11:22 AM, said:




A friend who was born and married in India said his wedding was many hours late and didn't start until midnight, which is apparently not uncommon there.

Yep! We attended friend's wedding in India and it started two hours late.  No one seemed to mind.  The venue started serving food before the ceremony was even over and people walked over and started eating!




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