Invitation to a wedding with no reception?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Hostess
11469 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

@Happy Donut:  I would think they are better off having a simple reception of punch and cake and perhaps some easy snacks for everyone. They can find a local community center or church (with hall) to rent for a low cost.

If I was invited to a dinner after a wedding I would assume the bride and groom were paying.

Post # 4
Member
498 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

My SIL did this for her wedding, a civil ceremony where she invited friends & family and then a reception at a restaurant in which guests had to cover their own plates. She expected gifts as well (but in this case did not mention it on her invitations).

A lot of people spoke about how rude it was behind her back, but no one actually said anything to her. In your case, I probably would say something since she is looking to invite a 100 people. I may mention that it may be a better idea to invite less people, and not to mention any word of gifts on the invitation.

Post # 5
Member
2419 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I can see this causing conniptions.

It’s not a crime against etiquette to hold an after-wedding do without a formal, plated meal – we had a big evening celebration in a pub with an open bar and lots, and lots of cake – but we had a smaller family ceremony at 12.30 followed by a big and lovely lunch for everyone at the wedding.

To invite 100 people to the ceremony and then expect them to schlep off to have a meal that they are required to pay for is an odd idea that won’t go down well. There’s no need to spend thousands of dollars/pounds on hospitality but it’d be better to do something affordable that they can host. Even if that’s just a backyard buffet or drinks and hors d’ouevres or tea and cake. But you shouldn’t expect guests to pay for their own eats. If they can’t afford to feed 100 people then they need to scale the numbers down to a level that makes it possible.

Also, how will they manage the practicalities? You can’t just roll up somewhere with 100 people and expect to sit down and pass the menus around. So somewhere will have to be booked and people will have to be given the option of choosing what they want to eat ahead of the day. Otherwise there will be 100 already pissed off people standing outside a series of restaurants that won’t have room to accommodate them. 

To ask for cash gifts on top would be the giddy limit.

 

 

Post # 6
Member
6869 posts
Busy Beekeeper

I would tell her that there is absolutely no polite way to do what she is talking about.   You can’t “invite” people to pay for themselves.  A host, by defintion, is responsible for entertaining guests within their means.  Either she needs to cut back her guest list or have just a cake and punch type of reception.  She cannot go looking to her guests to fund her party and she cannot put anything on invitations related to gifts, period. 

Post # 7
Member
6273 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

@Happy Donut:  if she is expecting people to pay for their dinner.  she should expect that to be their gift.

if i went to any kind of party where i had to pay, i would not also bring a gift.

Post # 8
Member
1048 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@weddingmaven:  +1

Wow, your cousin is the most selfish and greedy person I have ever heard of on this board.

Post # 9
Hostess
9907 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

@Treejewel19:  ditto this. 

Have a ‘standing reception with light refreshments to follow’ affair.  I know lots of people who have done this. 

 If she has a house she could host this at home, have cheese and veggie trays from the grocery store, have a BBQ if she wishes and have a sheet cake.  We did this for my mom’s 50th birthday, hosted 100 people at her home, provided no alcohol and did the whole thing for less than $500.

Post # 10
Member
2565 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

If she is asking you for advice, advise her not to go forward with her current plan. If she has budget concerns, either have a very small wedding and host a restuarant reception afterwards or if she wants the 100 people she can have a cake and puch reception following either at a house or community center. Getting fruit/veggie trays and some other snack type foods would also be budget friendly.

Post # 11
Member
2454 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Meh. I had a friend in college who did this. They got married at town hall and then we went out to a super informal dinner. I will say that it made sense because there were only 15 of us. 100 people is extremely excessive. She should also check her town hall’s rules because most have a limit on how many people can be in the room (in Chicago, it’s like 20) during the “ceremony.” 

The friend who did go this route invited us verbally and explained. She did bring cake and bought drinks for her guests though.

Post # 12
Member
2454 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Meh. I had a friend in college who did this. They got married at town hall and then we went out to a super informal dinner. I will say that it made sense because there were only 15 of us. 100 people is extremely excessive. She should also check her town hall’s rules because most have a limit on how many people can be in the room (in Chicago, it’s like 20) during the “ceremony.” 

The friend who did go this route invited us verbally and explained. She did bring cake and bought drinks for her guests though.

Post # 14
Member
6869 posts
Busy Beekeeper

@Happy Donut:  You said in your OP that she’s asking for your advice.  If that’s true, I would just be honest with her. 

Post # 15
Member
1403 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

She should NOT register for any gifts and hope for the best.

 

Post # 16
Member
490 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I was a bridesmaid for a girl who exactly the same thing – they got married in a park and then had a ‘you pay for your own dinner’ at the restaurant across the street. On her invites, she even put that they had basement full of household crap and a small apartment, so they would appreciate cash or gift cards. I didn’t know it was tacky at the time, but apparently so. 

I’d advise that she make no mention of a registry at all and if people ask, they should just say yet don’t want gifts. People will give money no matter what in most cases. 

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