Inviting guests to ceremony and dance only, OR, should I keep my mouth shut?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: What should I do?
    Don't say anything about it : (12 votes)
    16 %
    Tactfully suggest inviting all guests to the same events : (39 votes)
    52 %
    Tell her it's rude! : (24 votes)
    32 %
  • Post # 3
    1367 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    Ugh. If that was acceptable, more people would do it and have lots more guests attend portions of their wedding.

    Maybe that’s a hyperbole but I was once invited to the dance portion of a reception only and have to admit I found it rude (I would have preferred not being invited at all.)  I was happy to turn it down. 

    I would say something – at least give her advice to reconsider.

    Post # 4
    1103 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    Really depends on the country of wedding?  That’s perfectly normal in some areas to do. 

    Post # 5
    600 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 2014 - Historic cinema

    Where do you live? Completely acceptable some places…like NZ….although I don’t believe in it!

    Post # 6
    4404 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    I would say something to her– once. After you’ve said your piece, it’s up to her to change her mind or not (most likely not!). 

    Post # 8
    5787 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: October 2014

    Tell her it’s the equivalent of saying “I like you enough to accept your gift and maybe say 10 words to you at the reception, but not enough to buy you dinner.”

    Post # 10
    4072 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: January 2014

    If she is American, I am pretty sure it is unacceptable to do this in any part of the country. You’re either invited to the whole thing or nothing at all.

    In AUS, NZ, and the UK, it is quite normal to have evening guests who arrive after dinner to party. It is absolutely acceptable to do this in those regions – however, they do not attend the ceremony then show up later. The evening guests only arrive for the party after dinner.

    I personally think evening guests are a great idea, but in the US it’s a no-no. But your friends seems to want folks to come to the ceremony, then again after dinner, which is such a hassle, and it won’t go over well with anyone. I’d politely tell her people will be offended.

    Post # 11
    677 posts
    Busy bee

    I have no clue how to word this, but I have heard this is (or was) common. My FFIL said most weddings were done this way when he got married, including his. For a frame of reference, this was in Toronto in the late 70’s in the wealthy Jewish community.

    Post # 12
    32 posts

    When you say ‘prairies’ it makes me think of Canada (Manitoba/Saskatchewan/Alberta). If this is the case what she is doing is very much so geographically acceptable (and normal) even if other bees don’t agree with it.

    Post # 13
    1248 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2014

    @bowsergirl:  I have never encountered this at any Australian weddings, definitely not the norm/acceptable here.  Very common in the UK though.

    Post # 14
    497 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: March 2013

    Do as she requests. I would say design two separate invitations (one for folks invited to everything and one for folks invited to ceremony only).  I know this is typically judged as not classy, but I am of the opinion that it’s your wedding and you can do as you please. A wedding is an event for those CLOSE to you. If someone is close to you, they should understand that you cannot afford to host them at a reception, but would still like their presence at the MOST important part, your ceremony.

    Post # 15
    107 posts
    Blushing bee

    Are the dinner and the dancing in the same place? If you can’t appeal to her sense of etiquette, appeal to her sense of logistics–I have heard of several instances where the dinner ran long and wasn’t fully cleaned up when the dance guests got there, and so the dance guests were hit right in the face with their second-tier status. Or one guest will casually mention the upcoming dinner to another guest, not realizing the other guest didn’t know about the dinner.

    Post # 16
    3217 posts
    Sugar bee

    @alex88:  If she wants guests to not be invited to the dinner, then they absolutely cannot be invited to the ceremony.  You cannot say come to the important part, then go fuck off for a while, while I host guests I actually care about, then come back and keep celebrating me.

    Guests can be added but never subtracted.  So once you are in for one portion, you are in for all the remaining portions.

    There is no polite way to phrase an impolite thing.  I suspect if this were kosher in her area, that she would know what wording to use as she’d have seen it on other invites, or her caterer, florist, DOC would know.  But since she doesn’t know how, I suspect it’s actually rude in her area .


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