- 3 years ago
Sorry in advance for the big message 🙂 We are planning on getting married next year, so no invites/anything has been sent out yet, but any advice would be very greatly appreciated 🙂
Basically, we orignally had 170 planned guests, but the reception venue we want (and believe me, I have looked at so many options and this is the best for us) can only sit 110 people. So although our list for the ceremony/reception was originally 170 (which included everything from immediate family to sort-of friends), the FI and I had cut down on the guest list, because we didn’t want to break the ‘If People Are Important To You Then They Better Be Invited To The Reception Too’ rule that is found on lots of sites and forums.
Quite a few people that we know quite well, but are not super-close with, have asked us where the ceremony will be held – not in a rude way, they are just genuinely interested. One of my work collegues, for example, is this lovely 60 year old lady who has said (honestly) that she and the other work ladies would just love to see me and the FI get married, and they don’t expect to be invited to the reception because they want us to save our money for our futures together.
At our venue, the ceremony is on site (under a nice tree), then we are having a ‘garden party’ with canapes and cocktails, before entering the lovely done-up house where we will be having the reception. We thought that the entire venue could only hold 110 people. But they have just let us know that they can fit around 180 in the ceremony and ‘garden party’ space, and they can also provide lovely canapes & cocktails for those 180 people (at an extra cost of course).
So what we are planning now is to invite all of our original guests (including the old ladies, etc) to our ceremony and cocktail hour, before going inside with just a very select number (maybe cut it down our immediate family, bridal party and a few close family friends).
Our friends who we originally cut are all very lovely people, and while I know on websites and forums, there is a big push to either give them ‘a full invite, or none at all’, and not to ‘make b-list guests’, I know (and have been told by) some people that they cannot imagine anyone getting offended if they are just invited to the ceremony. In fact, in Australia it is quite common I think. And all those that might be offended (eg. grandma, uncle’s wife) are invited as they are family.
We do not expect gifts from anyone, least of all those that are only attending the ceremony, so this is not the reason for us to re-invite them. Rather, we know that many of them would like to come to see us married (which might seem presumptuous, but many have told us so). I would still be providing them with a cocktail & canape time, as well as a nice favour. We were thinking of writing ‘You are blessing enough blah blah, no gifts please’ on the really casual invites that we give in person (just saying the date, time, place, etc) to further clarify matters, but we don’t want people to think we’re trying to reverse psychology them, and that we actually do want gifts. ( I think this is the main reason people get offended at only being invited to the ceremony)
Anyways, I can’t deny that it might be a bit awkward on the day, solely because the ceremony and reception are at the same site. So I guess I’m wondering if anyone has been in a similar situation, and what are the ways to minimize the awkwardness. The most awkward part, I think, will be the transition from the cocktails & canapes, to the reception, so all advice about this part would be much appreciated. Because even though people won’t be offended that they aren’t invited to the reception, there will still have to be a moment when some people go home, and some people go into the reception.
**Like, what does the MC say? Should we (bride and groom) stay and have canapes for an hour, take ‘group’ photos and then have a ‘everyone group’ photo before leaving to take photos, thus signalling a clear end? There’s nothing more awkward than being at an event, knowing that you are meant to leave at some point, and honestly being okay with that, but not knowing when that time is.
I know this may seem ‘wrong’ in terms of the formal etiquette (ceremony but not reception), and I DO understand that. I also understand that maybe people will think that there are other ‘solutions’, such as changing venue, or cutting down the list completley, but I would love to have feedback on how to make this particular situation the least awkward. It’s just that in particular circumstances, as explained above, the FI and I really honestly feel that it is more polite to welcome people to our ceremony, rather than not allow them to attend. And if people are coming only to the ceremony, I’d love to provide as much as I can for them, which is why we’re doing the canapes & cocktails and favours.
If anyone could help me with the sitation that would be so appreciated :))