guest list problem

Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.


Nov 9, 2008
We would like to keep our guest list as moderate as possible, we''re thinking around 200 people. FI and I both have large families. My family and a few close friends are already at 100 people, so it would honestly be just family and close friends.

So where the trouble comes into play is that we are members of a church congregation that we are moderately active in and where the ceremony will be held. It seems that traditionally, couples who are members of the church offer an open invitation to the whole congregation (I have even seen people do crazy things like announce the wedding/put it in the bulletin and then have a sign up sheet on a bulletin board to RSVP for the reception!!) We are having a sit-down dinner, so clearly, we aren''t going to be able to accommodate the entire congregation (although probably only a small percentage would come). I''m also nervous about only inviting a select few.

An idea that my FI had was to announce the wedding to the congregation (and not send formal invitations) and have a short cake/punch reception following in the church fellowship hall. Then have dinner/dance reception for family and close friends only after that.

I have a few concerns about this: 1 is that we live in a small town where people can be pretty clueless about etiquette and I''m worried that people will show up to the reception anyway, not understanding that they weren''t invited. 2 is that I might be offended if not invited to the real party.

Its not that we don''t want to have these people there - but there won''t be enough space/finances to open the floodgates. We''re just trying to find some kind of solution without being offensive and would love any feedback or ideas. Another issue is that our reception will include alcohol and dancing which many members of the church are strongly opposed to, so I''m not sure how comfortable some of them would be anyway.


Mar 2, 2008
Hey JR, I come from a big family too and totally get the 200 number being immediate family and just close friends. Crazy, isn''t it? My opinion is, invite the congregation to the ceremony. Be clear, and up front.

"JR320 and family would love for you to join in witnessing their marriage ceremony. While we would love for you to share our day, the reception will be for immediate family only."

Growing up, my family was invited to church ceremonies in this manor all the time. I think being direct is the best way to clear up any unintended guests.


May 27, 2008
Great idea mayachel! That''s what I''d do too.


Nov 22, 2007
Ugh ... guest lists always seem to be a challenge, don''t they?!
Have you considered maybe just extending an invite to include the congregation to the ceremony and leaving it at that? No mention of a reception? The select few who you would like to invite because they are close friends, etc, you can send a formal invite. It can be spread by word of mouth maybe that the reception is being held for family.
If they talk and get upset, that is unfortunate, however, it never ceases to fail that someone feels as though they weren''t included, right? People have got to understant that it just isn''t feasible to host a reception to accommodate both family and the congregation.
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.
Be a part of the community Get 3 HCA Results