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Every year, I get a couple of brides who want to do something that, as a planner, makes me break out in hives. They want to invite EVERYONE to their wedding ceremony, but they only want to allow SOME of those people attend the reception. Often, this is an issue of budget. The bride feels that they can’t afford to feed everyone at the reception, but they can invite everyone to the ceremony.

I hate this.

First, it’s tacky, tacky, tacky. It’s like saying that you want everyone see you walk down the aisle and bring a gift, but all of those guests aren’t special enough to dine and dance with you and your new spouse. Second, it’s potentially a logistical nightmare. Often, guests just assume that everyone is invited to the reception since everyone was invited to the ceremony. This is often an issue when brides opt to invite their entire church family to the ceremony and communicate this by having the invitation read during church service. This is the issue I will address since this is something that is quite common in the South.

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As a planner, I will always discourage a bride from inviting everyone to the ceremony and not inviting them all to the reception. BUT…if you insist on doing this (sigh,) I will explain the best way to avoid having a lot of uninvited guests at your reception.

Scenario: You’ve read your wedding invite during the church morning announcements to the congregation of 500 people. But only 150 people are invited to your plated reception. This excludes the vast majority of your church family.

How do you pull this off?

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