Wedding Etiquette: Can I Just Go to the Reception?

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Wedding invitations usually include the reception information, unless the reception is going to be held on a different date. This sometimes happens when the couple has families who live far apart. The couple holds the wedding ceremony in one location near the groom's family, for example, and then a separate reception on a later date near the bride's family. In this situation, it is acceptable to go to just the reception. Otherwise, most guests should not skip the ceremony.

When to Skip

Weddings sometimes have limited space. If you were invited to the ceremony, it may have a been a very deliberate decision, and an invitation you shouldn't take lightly. For this reason, if you are invited to the wedding, you should attend both the wedding and reception. Still, there are some instances that might make it difficult for you to attend the ceremony. If you have to travel a long distance and jump through a lot of logistic hoops to attend, it might be OK to skip the ceremony, according to Another reason it might be OK to skip the actual exchanging of the vows is if the groom or bride is your ex, and it is just too painful to be there. Finally, if you can't get childcare for the ceremony but children are welcome at the reception, you might just come to the reception with your little ones. Otherwise, much as you might think the ceremony is boring and would prefer to skip right to the food, dancing and fun, you should attend the wedding.