(Closed) Light refreshments after ceremony, dancing etc, then invite only sit down dinner

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
12827 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Well, first of all, I don’t agree with this whole scenario but..

I’d suggest that you have a separate invitation for the people invited to the dinner.  But you’re going to have trouble getting these people to keep their mouthes shut so the non-invited people don’t hear about it.  Quite frankly, I’d be really angry if I found out about the actual reception and I wasn’t invited.

Post # 4
Member
2106 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Unless you live in England/another place where the ceremony is traditionally for everyone in town, including your doctor and sister’s teacher… then it is extremely rude to invite people to part of the wedding.  I recommend moving the sit-down dinner to the day before or after so that is it clearly separate from the wedding. 

How to word the invite:  “Informal Reception to Follow” , “Casual Reception to Follow” “Light food and dancing to follow”

Post # 6
Member
28 posts
Newbee

I don’t think there’s anthing wrong with what you’re doing. Since you’re doing the bouquet toss and dancing, that is the actual reception. It’s not like you’re doing a cocktail hour for all and then doing a real reception for selected guests. 

That being said, I do agree with PP that you should clearly separate the dinner from the wedding. I don’t think you need to move it to another day, though. Since you’re doing an afternoon reception, you’re gonna have to eat dinner later that night and I don’t see anything wrong with including family and close friends. I think to keep it separate from the wedding, you should either do word of mouth or do a separate invitation. Maybe evite? And just call it a dinner. I wouldn’t use any words that have to do with wedding or marriage.

For the reception wording: “Hors D’oeuvers Reception to follow” or “Afternoon reception with light refreshments to follow” 

Post # 7
Member
12827 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@Bravebird:  To answer your question, yes, I would be offended if I found out there was another reception after the hors d’ouervres reception that I wasn’t invited to.  I’d feel like a B-lister at your wedding…like, I was good enough to come watch the ceremony, but not good enough to celebrate with you after.  Just my opinion though!

Post # 8
Member
102 posts
Blushing bee

I would go with word of mouth for the dinner and treat it as an after party, not the reception.

 

Post # 9
Member
2204 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

“save the cost of feeding 100 people”… Then don’t invite 100 people. A light refreshments reception is fine (with proper wording on the invite) but I think it’s really rude to then separate out guests for an invite only dinner. 

Im thinking about how this would play out…you end the party and certain guests stay? Or guests ask who’s on the “special” list?

If you do this, I think you have to really separate the events out. Treat the dinner like an after party?

Post # 10
Member
375 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I think that as long as you make the 2 very distinct, different events, it should be fine. If the wedding ends at 5 and dinner is at 7:30 in a different location (and maybe with different attire), then it’s not like you are kicking the “extras” out so you can narrow it down to the people you really care about. After all, if you have an afternoon wedding, you still have to eat dinner later and there is no reason you can’t continue to celebrate the fact that you just got married. 

Post # 11
Member
1471 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I would be offended too, like i wasnt good enough to come to the dinner… I dont like this Idea just doesnt sit well….

Post # 12
Member
9 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2012

See, I understand budgetary constraints and all, but this typeorg reception will likely make the “non-dinner” guests feel like second tieR guests. I would scale down the meal so everyone could  take part of the entire reception. This might mean cutting your guest list, or choosing cheaper catering/bar, but this way no guests will feel like they’re not important enough. 

Post # 13
Member
2105 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Someone posted about this in another thread, but they were a guest in this type of reception.  They were at the refreshments part of the reception and noticed lots of guests leaving, mainly the family and the bride and groom.  They started to get upset wondering why they didn’t know what was going on and where people were going, then they overheard others talking about the “dinner reception” that others were going to.  It did end up making the rest of the people angry. 

I think your best bet is to do this on different days or the refreshments early in the day (brunch time) and the dinner later in the evening, that way nobody has it thrown in their face that they aren’t invited and left feeling like they weren’t worth being at the dinner as well.

Post # 14
Member
66 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

@Bravebird: Is this dinner in a separate location and/or some time after the “light refreshments” reception ends? If this is the case, I would probably go with an invitation completely separate from the wedding invitation or word of mouth for the dinner. For the wedding invitation I would include information for a “light refreshments” reception immediately after the wedding with no mention of the dinner, like PP said.

I was just assuming that this is what you meant, which is totally fine because you have to eat dinner some time, why can’t your family join you? However, if you mean that you are having dinner in the same location or immediately after the real reception, please be aware that people will take offense to this. There are very many entries on Etiquette Hell about guests being rushed out of a reception so the A-List can enjoy a nicer dinner. 

http://www.etiquettehell.com/content/eh_wedding/weddingsfhell/weddingfromhell.shtml

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