Post # 1
We are having a very small wedding with approximately 30 of our nearest and dearest. That being said, a few issues have arose with family members disappointed. FI and I wanted to do something following our “reception” (which is dinner with those 30 people) and had planned on going out with a few friends or having some people over.
NOW we have decided to have an after party (very casual, BYOB, etc.). I NEED help with invitation wording and what you think we should do in terms of “work” (decor? blankets? idk?). We will be inviting many people to this event, but want to keep it casual. It will most likely be held on a family friend’s large property outdoors.
We were also thinking of including a little message on the after party invite stating where our ceremony is and if they would like to join us, they may. (The chapel fits a lot of people and I know some, esp. my aunts, cousins, would love to be there).
Please let me know your thoughts and ideas for the after party – please keep in mind that we do not wish for it to be a big “to-do”
I thank you in advance!!
Post # 3
@ashleekathryn: We ended up having an after party at our house that kind of happened organically. We had all the catering leftovers and a bunch of people who helped bring gifts and supplies back, so much of our wedding came back home with us. If it’s BYOB, I’d let someone in my wedding party coordinate it with an evite and stay out of it. You can’t really invite someone to the wedding but not the reception, but then to an after party. It’s kind of awkward. Keep it as a separate event, IMHO.
Post # 4
I think adding a line to say they can come to your ceremony is rude — basically, you’re saying “come for the marriage celebration, but you didn’t make the cut for the reception.” Same deal with the after party, unfortuantely. You are making tiers in your guest list, and I find that to be rude.
I would maybe have a celebration a week or two later that’s more inclusive, if you don’t want to include all of these people at the reception.
Post # 5
Yeah, I’d make it word-of-mouth or e-vite that “The Bride and Groom will be celebrating at (so and so’s) property, (address), at (time, date). Feel free to BYOB!”
Post # 6
If you want to expand the guest list for the after party beyond those who are invited to the more formal reception, that should be fine since the after party is very casual, but I would NOT include information about the ceremony. You’d basically be saying “come to the cheap events but you’re not welcome at the expensive ones.”
For anyone getting the invite to the afterparty only, make it absolutely clear that gifts are not expected.
I would also not make the afterparty BYOB. If anyone is traveling, it will be a pain for them to pick up their beverages, and it’s just a bit too casual for anything related to a wedding to expect people to bring their own booze. Since it is a summer event, you have a ton of options for low-cost alcoholic and non-alcoholic punches. Make a massive batch of sangria using cheap wine and whatever fruits are in season since the in-season fruits are generally also very affordable, or a big batch of rum punch which can be done with the gallon plastic bottles of no-name rum rather than something higher end. If anyone inquires about gifts that isn’t invited to the official reception, then you can ask them to bring some wine or beer for the party.
Post # 7
I would skip the larger celebration if you can’t afford to include them at your wedding celebration. You’re sure to have hurt feelings with guests that are only invited to the ceremony and this BYOB event.
Post # 8
I think doing something a week or so later is a good idea (and not just because that’s what we’re doing, lol!). We are having a super-casual party about a week after our intimate wedding so that we can celebrate with aunts/uncles/cousins, whatever. We’re having it at my dad’s building’s clubhouse (so, free) and just providing some BBQ and beverages.
I think doing it the night of the wedding can make it seem a bit like an afterthought. Doing it this way makes it seem a bit more formal/planned.
Our invites say, “Sweet and Mrs. Sweet are tying the knot! Please join us for a casual family reception at…” Then on the back, they say, “Sweet and Mr. Sweet will be married in a small ceremony on January 6. We hope you’ll join us the following weekend to celebrate their new life together….” (and then a bit more about it being a casual event, BBQ, etc.
Hope that’s helpful!
Post # 9
@ashleekathryn: I’m not sure I like the fact that you are inviting people to BYOB and other items, but not inviting them to the ceremony. Echoing a lot of other Bees, it’s like saying, “Yeah we couldn’t pay for you to attend the wedding or ceremony, but pay your own way to come to an after party.”
If you do this, I would do it by word of mouth, nothing included about the ceremony, and have it later than the wedding. Not the same day. That could warrant some uninvited guests because they may assume they are invited then.
Post # 10
Thank you all so much for your thoughts and opinions. I TOTALLY agree but everyone else seems to think it’s a good idea. My MIL and mother said that famiy members would rather be able to come to the church than not be a part of it at all and FI really wanted an after party. That’s why I came here because I feel really stuck and unsure of what to do. I don’t want to make people feel like they’re an afterthought or that they’re not good enough, we are just trying to include those who would love to come even though we are having an intimate wedding. 🙁
Still feeling stuck but I REALLY appreciate the input…. keep it going ladies 🙂 thank you
Post # 11
We are doing something along these lines and I have been deliberating long and hard on the wording for the after party! You want people to know you’d love to have them celebrate with you, but not dwell on the fact that they’re not invited to the actual event. We’re having our ceremony/reception(aka small dinner) out of town, and a big cookout party two weeks later. We’re only having nearest and dearest at all out of town events so I can’t give advice on that aspect, but here’s my wording for the after party invite– we’re sending it in the format of a party invite…
“Together with family and friends, we joyfully invite you to celebrate our marriage!
Bride & Groom’s Names
Please join us for a party upon returning home from our destination ceremony
Please RSVP online or by phone
Hope this helps! I was aiming to have the wording upbeat and fun, while making it very clear that this was a PARTY, not the actual wedding! 🙂
Post # 12
use a word of mouth do not make real invitations. Maybe even a facebook event. An invitation to join you in the party after the reception could come off a little rude. We are having an after party with
Post # 13
@Horseradish: +100000 You can definitely do low cost drinks! Adult iced tea (peach crystal light or lipton made with 1/3 malibu/captain blend) is so good, or adult lemonade (countrytime or real with the addition of a raspberry vodka and some real raspberries floating in it). SO easy to do!
Post # 14
@SoonToBeSimmons: If you’re inviting them but they’re bringing their own booze, at the last I would go with a “no presents just your presence” note on the invite so you know it’s just for their company and not for gifts.
Post # 15
@orchidblooms: I’ve been wondering about how to word that we don’t want or expect gifts, but I think I’m just going to leave it off the invite. On the wedding website I explicitly did say something along the lines of “We’re so glad you’re coming! We will not be having a registry because your company is our gift”.
I’m not having people bring alcohol or food (although I did briefly consider a potluck kind of deal). I’d rather just take care of the food and alcohol so people can come and enjoy the day without extra stress!