Don’t Forget the Rabbi!

The Wedding Guru Judy Lewis fields this week’s wedding questions. Today: Who should you send invites to?

Phyllis asks: “Should I invite my wedding officiant to my reception?”

Dear Phyllis: My rule of thumb is this: Would you feel guilty if you chose not to invite someone, and then see that person out in public? If so, then by all means, invite them! Your choice also depends on the type of wedding you’re having; the relationship you have with your officiant; and, of course, your budget. In past years, the officiant was usually a friend of the family or the spiritual leader of their congregation, so naturally the officiant was invited and treated as an honored guest.

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For couples with few budget restrictions, an invitation to the officiant — regardless of relationship — is a lovely gesture. Today, many bridal couples prefer having a civil and nondenominational wedding. This results in the need for a professional wedding officiant (usually a person unknown to the couple or their families). If your ceremony is officiated by an unaffiliated clergy person, someone you don’t know and most likely won’t continue a relationship with after your wedding, you needn’t extend an invitation, just like you wouldn’t consider inviting any of your other wedding professionals. However, if you’re having a religious ceremony officiated by a member of the clergy whom you or your family knows, then an invitation is appropriate and you may feel that he or she “fits” best at the family table.

Even if you don’t extend a guest invitation, many couples provide their wedding professional with a “vendor meal,” especially if they come to your wedding from far away. Your officiant would be included in this category. If you do offer “vendor meals,” make sure you tell your service providers in advance so they can make appropriate plans.

Joyce asks: “My son has been married before and plans to wed a girl who has never been married. My question is this: Should our son’s new fiancée send out wedding invitations to our side of the family since it’s his second wedding?“

Dear Joyce: The groom’s side should certainly get invitations, but since it’s his second marriage, it is appropriate for him to limit his invitations to his immediate family and close friends.

Got a question for the Wedding Guru? E-mail, or write your comments in the box below.

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