Post # 1
My mother and fi and some friends keep telling me this (I’m having guest list trimming issues, esp. with groups of friends and inviting only some), but I don’t believe it!
The people who are getting the cut, or not getting invited when other friends are, are our (therefore younger) friends – few of who have had much to do with weddings. I don’t think they know how much it costs, and so won’t understand that it’s only because of budget restrictions, not because we don’t love them.
And while it’s true that people can decline invitations if they don’t wish to attend, we are inviting people because we WANT them to come and share with us! What’s the point of extending an invitation that they’re likely to decline?
They’ve also suggested inviting people to the ceremony and after-party, but not reception itself. I think that is SO rude – most of our guests are travelling, first of all. To me, that’s like saying “Hey, spend a bunch of time and money to get here, pay for your own accommodation, and buy us a present – but we don’t want to pay to feed you”. ??!?!! The ONLY people I can see this being okay for is local guests who I’ve known for a long time but aren’t super close to, and who are older (or who have ‘old school’ parents) and would understand this form of invitation (apparently it used to be common-place).
Fi is from another city, and only moved here at the start of the year, so every single person from his side is travelling (most 4-5 hours), and the idea of extending anything but the kindest hospitality to them seems abhorrent to me. Some of my local friends we can be a little bit flexible with… but that’s less than a dozen friends out of a 120+ (so far) guest list! Fi’s hoping to have a reception of only 70-80 but I just don’t think that’s possible. (But then, he’s also estimating a cost of $100/head, which I think is way OTT! We’re not having anything elaborate…).
Oops, I’ll stop rambling. Are my mum and fi and friends right?
Post # 3
Etiquette-wise, it is <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>not okay to invite someone to your ceremony, but not the reception. It’s just like you wrote, “Hey, spend a bunch of time and money to get here, pay for your own accommodation, and buy us a present – but we don’t want to pay to feed you.” That’s really rude, especially when people are travelling from out of town.
$100/head for the reception is pretty reasonable in some cities, but it may be cheaper where you are. If you’re finding a sit-down dinner too expensive, why not consider an hors d’oeuvres or dessert reception. You can also save money by having a brunch or luncheon instead of dinner; people don’t expect alcohol earlier in the day, so you can save a lot of money.
Who’s paying for your wedding? If it’s you and your FH, then the mom’s shouldn’t really be dictating most of the guestlist, IMHO.
Post # 4
I think you’re 100% right. It’s rude to invite people to everything but the reception!
I was invited to something similar & it put such a bad taste in my mouth. I would have been happier for the couple had I not been invited at all… instead I (and a ton of other guests in my situation) totally resented the after party & blew it off. It felt like a ploy to get a gift.
Post # 5
I’ve been having the same problem! My very supportive Mom, told me that in the end, it’s our wedding, and this is the one day in our lives that is truly all about us. So invite who you want and if anyone’s nose is out of joint about it, then they aren’t considering your feelings so screw ’em! This may seem like its oversimplifying the situation, but life’s to short to let such a thing shadow your wedding day! Good Luck!
Post # 6
I think a lot of couples go through this. Who to ask? Because my FI and I have large families, we are going to be limited on the number of friends we can invite. We are explaining to them that we can’t invite them, not because we don’t love them, but because we have big families that we need to put first.
Good luck. I know it’s hard but it will work out in the end.
Post # 7
schnoogles, I’m pretty sure it will be cheaper. Under $50/head if we really try (doing some self catering, for example – this large extended family of mine that is filling up the guest list are very pitch-in, know-how people, and would happily organise nibbles for cocktail hour etc). I’m pretty keen on having a dinner, not necessarily 3-course flash as, but yummy and hearty.
Our parents (well, mine so far, haven’t discussed it with his yet!) are mostly paying, I’m still at uni (nearly done!) and he’s just out of it, so we’re not super flush, but it is a year away so we will be able to contribute some.
@RecessionistaBride – that’s how I would feel too. What if we put “please, no gifts” on the afterparty invites? Would it be better if they were just invited to that and not the ceremony?
@JBeebe – the thing is, the conflict is between fi and me too 🙁 So I can’t have who I want he’s half in charge. We’re getting there though! More discussions tonight, it’s just as well we have plenty of time to discuss, sleep on it, discuss, sleep on it… lol.
@CharmBracelet – that’s a good explanation, I might use that. He denied it when I asked, but I think a little part of it might be that my family is much bigger than his (more than twice the size), so even though as it currently stands we’d invite a similar number of friends, my overall list is definitely bigger than his. I don’t think it’s fair to count family though, since they’re compulsory (we’re quite tight-knit). Anyway, thank you!
Post # 8
Maybe instead of throwing an after party for the people you can’t afford to invite for the reception (i.e. lots of friends), you can invite them to a “wedding celebration” at a local restaurant, making it clear (through word of mouth) that in lieu of gifts, they will be paying for their own meal/drinks. At least that would give you an opportunity to celebrate with them but not spend as much money on everyone as you would on your family.
Post # 9
um, I understood getting a ceremony-only invite twice in my life: once, when I met the bride and got to be quick friends with her about a month before her wedding (duh – she’d booked her numbers AGES ago!), and another time when I was a middle schooler getting invited to my sunday school teacher’s wedding. She invited us all to the ceremony but not reception. We all went together and sat in the back and felt grown up for getting to go to a wedding and not sit with our parents. Hah!
I think it would be harder for the early-20s folk to understand; are there other places you can trim your budget instead of heads? J and I decided we’d rather have more people and feed them less (which is it’s own breed of tacky), because it’s more important to us to be literally surrounded by those we love than it is to make everything look (or taste) perfect/up scale. 🙂
Post # 10
I would rather not be invited to a wedding than get a “non-reception” invite, especially if I had to travel to be there. If there isn’t any other place to cut back on the budget to include those people, then just be honest with them that it is a budget concern.