Is it Rude To Just Go To a Wedding Reception?

Sometimes important dates just don’t line up for friends and family, such as the case of a wedding ceremony that you can’t make it to (but have been invited).

In such a case, is it rude to just go to the wedding reception? Read on below and find out!

Is it Rude to Just Go To a Wedding Reception?

Attending just a wedding reception is considered highly rude if you have received an invitation to the actual wedding ceremony as well. Only in the case that you have only been invited to the reception is it ok to just go to a wedding reception. 

How Rude Is it?


Skipping the wedding ceremony itself and just going to the wedding reception rates 9 out of 10 on the rude meter. In the case that you are only invited to the reception, which is a rare occurrence, it is perfectly fine to go just to the reception.

Why is it Rude?

Skipping out on the wedding ceremony, but showing up for the reception might feel like the thing to do in your case (if you can’t make it to the wedding ceremony, or you simply don’t want to go). However, it is considered very rude to only attend the reception if you have also been invited to the wedding itself.

Other Options to Do Instead

Instead of just going to the wedding reception, you may want to consider sitting through the wedding ceremony itself (even if you don’t really want to) if you don’t want to be seen as rude. 

On the other hand, you could also merely send your regards to the newlyweds rather than attending the reception only.

If the wedding is for a close friend or family member, you should take the time to explain to them why you can’t make it to the wedding. 

In this case, you may also ask them whether or not you should try and make it to just the reception or not.

Common Questions

Is it ok to attend a wedding reception only?

It is ok to attend a wedding reception only if you have no other choice or have only been invited to the reception (rather than being invited to both the wedding ceremony and reception. Only in the case that you have been strictly invited to the reception only should you attend it and not the wedding itself.

Is it bad to skip a wedding ceremony?

It isn’t proper to skip a wedding ceremony you are expected to be at unless you have a really good reason. That said, if you have been invited to a wedding ceremony by people you don’t know well, it’s fine to skip it. But, in that case, you should skip the reception as well.

What’s the difference between a ceremony and a reception?

The difference between the wedding ceremony and the reception is quite massive. The ceremony is the actual wedding, that part that results in legal marriage between two people. The reception is more like a party after the real wedding has already taken place.