We are having the ceremony and the reception at the same site. Our officiant is a wonderful man who we like very much, but we only met him recently. We are paying him for his services, but I thought it would be appropriate to ask him to stay for the wedding reception. My mother thinks that it's not necessary, and that we should ask him to stay only for cocktails. My father doesn't think we need to invite him at all. What should we do?
It's traditional to invite the officiant to the reception -- and not just to part of it. That said, he is most likely used to receiving invitations and is probably also used to politely declining or just staying for cocktails to wish the couple well one last time. Especially if you just met your officiant, and he doesn't have a special bond with your family, chances are he'll either say, "Thank you, but I really can't," or "Sure, I'll stay for a little while." If he accepts the invite, you should assume that he'll stay for the meal, and you should seat him at a table with close relatives or your parents or grandparents. There's just no tactful way to ask the guy who just married you to leave before dinner, especially if the festivities are taking place at the same site.
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