Post # 1
My wedding is 10/25/14 and we are running into a bit of an issue. We want to have a small wedding with just close family and friends, however we have a lot of friends that we would love to come to the reception after and just come “crash our party” if you will. The issue we are running into is the reception is at the same venue. Is it rude to send a reception only invite to aquantances and non close friends and family? THe dining hall will only hold 100 which is perfect for the ceremony and dinner but the barn where the reception is will hold up to 200. Please help with your input it would be greatly appricated!
Post # 2
MrsGubler: It depends on your social circle. Outside of the US, I believe that weddings are often done like this (I think some UK bees have mentioned it), however within the US tiered invites can be seen as rude.
Post # 3
Here in the UK, tiered receptions and “evening only” guests are customary and not a pearl-clutching breach of etiquette although there will occasionally be some people who throw the “so I’m not important enough to share the whole day?!” strop. But I’m never upset about getting an evening invitation and we did a family only ceremony with a huge evening celebration later.
Tiered receptions are not as popular in the US though.
Post # 4
Depends on where you live. Our friends/family were mostly from California. This would have been seen as incredibly rude (“You’re not good enough to see our wedding. However, you are cordially invited to give us money and buy us gifts!”)<br /><br />Not a fan of tiered weddings. I would be insulted to be on a “B” list. I’d rather just not be invited at all.
Post # 5
MrsGubler: I think it depends on exactly who you are inviting to the ceremony. I was invited to one wedding like this. the bride and groom married in her mother’s backyard, in a tent– and I’m pretty sure it was literally only family (and while they each have some family, it was definitley under 30 people) and then each of thier best friends.
Later that day, they had a wedding reception of 300 people in a country club. So if you’re having 100 people to the ceremony— I feel like that’s kinda rude– it’s not JUST close family (unless you have a seriously large immediate family).
I have to admit– as much as I’m not even a wedding person, I was *almost* offended after a bunch of mutual friends thought I should have been invited to the ceremony (even though they were not), as I am the one who went out of my way to introduce the two, thinking they would make a great couple.
I used to be close to the bride, and close enough to the groom– until they got married. Then she sort of drifted away from all of us.
Post # 6
Yes, it’s rude. The message that is sent to your guests is, “You weren’t good enough to make the cut for the ceremony, but you can come to the part where gifts are given.” It seem very rude, and gift grabby to me. I would not attend if invited like this, and I would not send a gift.
Post # 7
MrsGubler: I had my wedding like that and it worked out fine. Our ceremony and reception were at two different places and there was a 3 hour gap between them. We have large families and saw this as the only way it would work, space wise. We had mostly close family (parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins) and very close friends at the ceremony. The church only sat about 200 and it was packed. Both of our parents are divorced and three have remarried. Both of his parents have been remarried almost 20 years so we had 4 families just on his side. We ended up sending about 225 invitations to the ceremony and more than that to the reception only. This is pretty acceptable in my area because we live in a rural/small town area and everyone has such big families and circles of friends. We also didn’t keep it a secret when talking about the wedding with our friends and family. We made it clear up front why we were doing what we were doing and everyone was fine with it and understood.
Post # 8
It would be mostly people from our work circle. My FI has a very large family from Utah and OR ( counting cousins im talking 150) My out of town family that is for sure coming is 40. So we both have larger familys. THe people who I was thinking of inviting to the reception would be mostly work friends and coworkers. We both have a decently large connections at work and have both been at our jobs for over 5 years so there are quite a few people we are close enough with that have been there for us both at work and outside of work that we would like to share some of the day with howerver our large family will not allow it. Not all of his family of course but hwe have spoken with a good 30-40 ffrom his family that are going to make the trip to attend.
Post # 9
We are not expecting a gift from anyone in fact we have put this on our invites and STD also. We have lived together for two years, own our home and have everything we need.
Post # 10
I am having a 50 person wedding and have had to give the “Im sorry but were having an intimate wedding” line to a lot of people. Ive had people tell me that its ok and they will just come to the reception. Which i find funny since they basically invited themselves. Anyway since most of the non-close friends and acquaintances pry wouldnt go to the ceremony (or want to go) to the ceremony I dont think its rude. It may come off rude depending on how you word it so just watch the wording. In reception only invites I would say something along the lines that you would be honored by their presence for a celebratory dinner following an intimate ceremony. Dont make it obvious that the ceremony is only for close family and close friends. I mean come on, I love Sandy in accounting and we have a good time for after work drinks but do I really need her to see me exchange vows with my husband she barely know – not really. If people are offended they will get over it, but just like mentioned above though, you need to be careful on who deem as close family and friends.
Post # 11
I think most people are going to be reasonable about it. We are doing that as well, because of space issues, and most of our friends are happy to be included in the “fun” part of the evening rather than completely slighted with no invite. We will also be including some variation on “no gifts please” on the reception invite so they know we sincerely want their company and not their money.
I live in the Midwest, so maybe it’s less of a big deal here than other places. I find that most of the etiquette rules I’ve come across on the Bee would be no big deal in my area; people are generally pretty understanding and a lot less quick to be offended.
Post # 12
MrsGubler: FI and I got an invite to a wedding like this. We had to decline, but I was not turned off by the fact that we were invited to the reception only.
You shell out the most money for the reception (typically) with paying for guests’ food, drinks, and entertainment. I think it would be rude to invite guests to the ceremony only and not the reception. For that reason, it does not seem gift grabby to invite guests to the reception only.
Post # 13
MrsGubler: Actually it’s fine. I have friends who did a ceremony to family only, but reception for everyone. They wanted to keep the ceremony intimate, which totally makes sense. People will understand.
Post # 14
<br />I am in the midwest also that is why I don’t think its a big deal. I have spoken to people at work and there are a select 5 that I am very close friends with outside the office that will be at the ceremony one is a bridesmaid but everyone else was happy to just come to the reception and party afterword. I am too much of a people pleaser and I want to make everyone happy however I dont want one of my Husbands work colligues that I dont even know and have never met at my wedding ceremony.
Post # 15
My wedding was like this. We had 40 guests (family and close friends) at the ceremony and then another 60-70 came to dance after dinner. It was at the same venue but not in the same room. Like others have said, this is pretty normal in the UK. I think there’s more of a reserved attitude here. People find inviting hundreds of people to the ceremony and dinner as ‘showy’ because it’s not actually possible to be very (and appropriately) close to all of those people. Ceremonies and dinner are seen as private and emotional, therefore for family and the couple’s closest friends. The dance/buffet after is a celebration for co-workers, people from high school/uni who were friends with at the time but haven’t seen in a while etc etc toc ome and wish the couple well.
There is also a more forgiving attutide towards the couple here – it’s expensive to host a wedding and it’s seen as ridiculous to expect the bride and groom to be available to invite everyone they would like to (and plus ones). We don’t generally say ‘have a wedding you can afford instead of tiering the guests or only giving the serious relationships plus ones’. Instead it’s more like ‘well, it’s their wedding, they should only have people there who they feel comfortable expressing such emotion in front of. Obviously that doesn’t include me, their co-worker/distant relative/friends boyfriend who they have never met. No hard feelings. I’m still happy for them and would gladly come celebrate at a dance with free cake!’. Gifts are generally not expected from these guests either.
I think this is a nicer attitude than the US one and it works for everyone. The couple get to see and celebrate with everyone they would like to, only the relatives and close friends are expected to give a gift and people who would otherwise not see anything of the wedding, if it were limited to only the family and close friends that the couple can afford to feed, can come along and have fun. Win-win!