Post # 1
We are getting married in October in the afternoon- it is the second wedding for both, we are having only family which is about 60 people for the ceremony and reception. We both have so many friends and don’t want to leave them out but we can’t afford to have everyone which is why we decided on the family only wedding. After the reception we will be moving downstairs to the outdoor patio, is it tacky to invite friends after the reception for drinks with a cash bar? If it is acceptable, should I send out invitations inviting people after a certain time and they are welcome to come celebrate with us but it is a cash bar? How would I word the invite?
Post # 3
@Mgoose: I don’t think you can invite people to a reception without inviting them to the ceremony. I suspect most people will be offended that they weren’t important enough to see you get married.
Post # 4
This is a tiered reception. It’s common in some parts of the world, but incredibly rude in the United States. Where do you live?
Post # 5
I apologize – All our family is invited to the ceremony and reception – we wanted to have our friends after the whole wedding and reception thing is over.
Post # 6
There is no way to do this as it is extremely rude. Basically what you are saying is ” Hey you weren’t important enough to see us get married or to eat, but come pay for your own drinks once all the important people leave!”
Post # 7
I know it’s rude that ‘s why I am having such a problem with it. Alot of our friends are going to be offended if we don’t invite them or let them know about it.
Post # 8
Host who and what you can afford, but each and every guest must be treated equally. It sounds like you need to memorize and repeat the following line whenever asked about the wedding: “Unfortunately we couldn’t invite everyone we wanted. Only family will be there.”
Post # 9
@Mgoose: not sure where you are from but where i am from it was quite common many years ago. close family members would come to the ceremony and dinner and then friends would be invited to the reception only.
they would have 2 invites printed out. one would be for everything and the reception invite would be less formal stating the celebration of the marriage. kind of like this one.
bride first bride last and groom first groom last
invite you to share in the celebration
of their vows of love
on saturday, may 5, 2012
at 9 o’clock in the evening
drinks & dancing
Post # 10
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
If you are in America, this is extremely rude. Friends will understand, even if they are hoping to be invited, if you are seriously, truly, honestly, having a family-only wedding. Even if you weren’t and were inviting some friends and not others, that’s the reality of weddings. You cannot invite everyone. But, everyone you do invite should be invited to the entire affair from beginning or ceremony to end of the partying.
Post # 11
Could you compromise, in a way? Invite everyone to the ceremony, and afterwards have a cake and punch reception.
Post # 12
@mypinkshoes: She isn’t planning on inviting her friends to the reception, though. She wants them to come after the dinner is over, and just come for dancing & paying for drinks.
I don’t think it’s appropriate. Could you do a brunch or lunch reception instead so you could include your family AND friends? Or even a cake and punch reception? Otherwise, I’d just stick with inviting your family only. As your friend, I’d probably be more offended to be invited after the dinner is over than not at all if I understand that your budget is really tight.
Post # 13
It’s pretty common and normal in many countries in Eurpope but if you’re in the US, OP, I’d recommend against doing this as it’s very rude.
Just tell your friends that you have to keep things small due to budget and that you can’t invite everyone you’d like to. Some may not understand but most will. You’re not made of money and you’re under no obligations to invite anyone at all to your wedding.
If you could swing an open bar for the later part, then I’d probably say to go for it because then you’d be like “Look we had to keep this part small but hey free drinks and come party with us!” and it would be better for most people. Cash bars are pretty shaky etiquette-wise so a tiered reception with a cash bar would be considered very rude by a lot of people.
Post # 14
Basically what you are saying is ” Hey you weren’t important enough to see us get married or to eat, but come pay for your own drinks once all the important people leave!” +1
I would rather not be invited to my friend’s wedding than to a cash bar after all of the real guests left. Just go out for drinks with your friends some other time.
Post # 15
This is easy. Essentially you send out a notice – not an invite. Saying “We got married! We had a small, intimate affair for family, but will be continuing the celebrating at X, Y, Z bar. Join us if you can!”
Or better yet – just have a close friend spread the word. Make it clear it’s not a party you are hosting, but just hanging out at a bar and hoping people come and hang out too.
Post # 16
There is no non-rude way to say “hey, we’re having a small family only ceremony and reception, but we still want to include you somehow, so come hang out at the bar and buy your own drinks.”
However, if you say it like EricaBee did, it’s not implying that it’s a reception. You’re saying “hey, we wanted a small family only ceremony, so we did it, but we know you like us, too, so come party with us!” It’s not implying the party is on us.