Ceremony, not formal reception.

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
Member
89 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Hpppc:  I think it is fine to have a champagne and cake reception and you should have an invitation for it. I would say “cake and champagne reception following the ceremony” and have an RSVP card.

It could get awkward though, if only some are going to be invited to dinner later. Especially if your extended family has travelled and were looking forward to catching up. Like your aunt and cousins want to hang out with grandma only to learn grandma is invited to dinner and they aren’t. I think your best options are 1) don’t invite extended family at all and have dinner with immediate family 2) invite extended family and all to dinner, or 3) keep a low-key reception but include more time and food for all guests – rather than cake and champagne, have cocktails and hors d’oevres and cake.

I think it is rude to invite guests to a wedding, where they are expected to travel and implied that they gift, and then give them a “second class” treatment. All guests should be hosted equally, or else it could get awkward!

Post # 3
Hostess
9892 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

Hpppc:  You’re perfectly fine.  Just say ‘champage and cake reception to follow’ or something a long those lines and send a separate dinner invite those those invited.  I’ve been to weddings like this before.

Post # 4
Member
2395 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I think your cake/champagne IS the reception.  Then you’re going to dinner with your family that night.  Tiered receptions are totally tacky, but I don’t actually think that’s what you’re doing.  

I would send invitations to everyone you want to invite, and put a line on the bottom that says “Cake and champagne immediately following the ceremony.”  In other words, just do it like normal, ask for RSVPs, etc.

The fact that you’re going to dinner with your family later is neither here nor there.  Your ceremony is at a non-meal time, and what you’re doing is totally appropriate.  Don’t call the dinner later a “reception.”

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