Post # 1
we are having a traditional ceremony, & afternoon reception which is mostly family & family friends. then a few hrs later that evening we are hosting a happy hour at our local bar with food & free drinks; This is for everyone from the reception who’s willing to party, But also approximately half the guest list of the PARTY would not be invited to our ceremony & reception.
#1) how would you handle this etiquette/invitation-wise? we plan on sending a normal/ formal invite with an enclosed card inviting them to the Party later on, and just sending that card as a postcard to our local friends/coworkers/etc for the party (Basically a second reception).
#2) if you werent invited to the ceremony (10am!) & reception (boring family!) would you be offended, or happy to be invited to the PARTY? I’d hate to offend everyone I know, so tell me the truth! 🙂
Post # 3
I’m just not sure how I feel about the invite-only-to-the-after-party thing. I’ll be interested to hear what other people think. Part of me thinks I’d be relieved, but part of me thinks I’d be annoyed – I’d feel obligated to bring a gift, but not be able to see the ceremony…I just don’t know. I don’t meant to talk you out of it – I just want to know what others think. I can be swayed either way.
Maybe if you word the invite something like, "After an intimate ceremony for family, we would love for our friends to join us at X," or something like that.
Post # 4
i think your solution is fine! i think you’re probably going to get people asking when the ceremony is, and you could just explain how it’s small, only family, that kind of thing. but i don’t think you’ll offend anyone, you’re going out of your way to include everyone!
Post # 5
ok, yes, rebecca has a good point: look at it as a way to include everybody, not exclude some.
Post # 6
hm,, that’s a good point about feeling obligated to bring a gift.. honestly we’re not expecting/ wanting any gifts from the "party-only" guests, but youre right im sure some people would feel guilty not bringing anything.
Post # 7
I think that as long as your ceremony and reception really does only have family, then it is more than fine. I would only be offended if I knew that other friends were invited to the "real" stuff and I was only invited to the after-party. I would also feel guilty about not bringing a gift so I would just feel a little hurt, I think. IMHO.
Post # 8
I like amysues’ idea. I have had several people suggest to me, since our wedding is pretty small (and they are angling for invitations) that we could have an after-party. So I assume that they mean they would be happy to be invited to the after-party, as they already know that we can’t invite them to the actual wedding. Since you are hosting the after party (and paying for their drinks) I would think that you shouldn’t feel too bad if they bring a small gift.
You could think of it this way – I have several cousins who are LDS and so we only ever get invited to their after-parties. We still bring presents even though we didn’t see the ceremony, just because we are happy for them (and because we appreciate them going to the trouble to have a party). And those are just food – no drinks!
Post # 9
I think its a great way to include everyone especially if its a fairly casual affair with an invite that clearly indicates that you’re opening up to a bigger party for the after-party. I don’t know that you would even necessarily imply that they need to bring a gift if you created a friendly casual invite.
Post # 10
I was recently invited to an after-party of a wedding by a co-worker. He explained they were having a smaller wedding (less than 100 people) but would love it if I came to the after-party and gave me the info. I wasn’t insulted at all, nor did I think I was to bring a gift. I ended up not going b/c I had another wedding to attend but I thought it was fine and a nice idea.
Post # 11
- Wedding: August 2007 - The Wellington House in Fayetteville, NY
We did something very similar, we had a morning wedding, afternoon reception and then a big after party.
(you can read my old posts about it here: http://www.weddingbee.com/2007/07/23/our-happily-ever-after-party/
and here: http://www.weddingbee.com/2007/08/07/diy-publisher-invite/)
We did end up inviting some people to just the after party, but we saved that just for some of our younger friends who we knew wouldn’t be offended, and we explained that there was limited room at the reception site.
If you are really only inviting family and very close friends, I don’t think anyone would be offended. Most people understand nowdays how expensive weddings can get if you invite a million people and they know that you always have to invite family first.
Hope that helps.
~ Mrs. Radish
Post # 12
FMIL suggest this for a few of her friends she wanted to invite, let them come to the reception. Being that I don’t really know them I was a bit ok with this though my first instinct was to find it rude.
Like Radish said – if it’s just family and very close friends at the wedding and recpt. then I don’t think the party-only-guests would be offened. Just put something on the invite like:
-Come party it up with us to celebrate our newly exchanged vows-
Most of these people might think that they didn’t miss anything anyway, since it will feel like the reception 🙂
Post # 13
thanks for all the advice. mrs radish your invites are great. your reasoning behind the after-party are very similar to our initial reasons- an afternoon reception made us feel we were missing that "dancing all night" wedding feeling (because of an early ceremony time). when we realized our guest list of just family, wedding party & family friends (not even OUR friends) was 150+, the after party idea became more like a second reception for all our local friends, coworkers, etc. recently we stopped calling it an "after party" & now just refer to is as "the party"… i dont want our guests to feel like an "after" thought!