Post # 1
Ok, I have another etiquette question…I am DIY my invitations which will be taking place in France. Anyways, this is a big cultural no-no in the USA, but my Mother-In-Law and Father-In-Law will be inviting some people just to the ceremony and cocktail hour, but not dinner and brunch the next day. The cocktail hour, dinner and brunch will be at their parents house. It’s a little awkward, but it’s cultural so I’m just going with it.
So, for the invitations I have to add a separate card for the French side who are also invited to dinner. However, everyone I am inviting for my side will be attending both. Should I still translate the card into English and add it for my guests? It all at the same place anyways so I’m thinking it might be a little weird…because it’s assumed you’ll go to both, would it be odd if you got one invite saying you could go to the cocktail hour, and another inviting you to dinner? Right now I have “Cocktails immediately following the ceremony” on the invite, should I change it to “Reception” instead? Mind you both translations are on one invite, and while most people who aren’t invited don’t speak English, it’s still a little wierd for me that the translations selectively do not match up depending on the guests’ nationality.
Any advice on how to word this for my English guests for the dinner and brunch? Unfortunately their isn’t a Franco-American rule book I can follow, so I’m interested in what the hive has to say! Thanks ladies
Post # 4
Can you do a separate English and French invitation instead of translations on all invitations?
Post # 5
I would keep the invitations as close to matching as possible, and include the dinner card for your English-speaking guests. That way you don’t risk confusing the French-speaking guests who are not invited to the dinner but may see “reception” on the English translation and get either hurt or confused. Your English-speaking guests may find the card odd, but since it’s inviting them somewhere extra rather than excluding them from something, I think that’s the safest way to go.
Post # 6
May I ask how soon following the cocktail reception that the dinner will be held? I must admit, I am wondering how this is all going to work, if everyone who is invited to the ceremony is also invited to your future in-laws’ home for cocktails, and yet many of the guests will then be expected to leave prior to the dinner, while others are invited to remain. (Keeping these two reception events separate would be much simpler if both were not taking place at the same location, with one likely immediately following the other.) I know that there are cultural differences that you are attempting to accommodate and that you are not asking for advice about whether or not to do this. However, if we understand better how your in-laws plan to logistically divide the cocktail-reception-only guests from the those who also are invited to remain for the dinner, we may be able to help you better with the invitation wording.
Post # 7
…. Yeah I think I’ll just do separate invites. We have a friend who is a designer and she is helping us, so we need to get the wording down before she can make it look pretty…so I thought if it was all on one invitation it would be less work for her.
Um, yeah, I’ve known lots of weddings where the cocktail and dinner following are at the same venue, and when people start taking their seats those not invited head for the door…it’s a little odd, but it will be coworkers of FI’s dad mostly and I’m not doing that at all with my side. I guess culturally they’d prefer to be invited to half rather than nothing at all? Anyways, thanks for the input.
Post # 8
I would say the easiest thing is to do seperate invites for the French and English guests. It sounds like you’ll only have to change a few words so it shouldn’t be that much more work for the designer.
My second choice would be to include the dinner card in English for the American guests but keep all language the same. You don’t want someone to assume they are invited to the dinner when they are not, (I’m sure some French people have enough English proficeincy to read and understand the English version).