(Closed) Mini-reception for big guest list, formal reception for family

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
4352 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@Princesstrimm:  Bad. Everyone only invited to the first reception will be offended that they didn’t get invited to the formal reception. Plus they will all find out before/during the first reception that there is a second one for family. Just have the formal reception and don’t invite your coworkers to the wedding. Or have a less expensive casual reception for everyone.

Post # 4
Member
12569 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Bad idea.  It shows favoritism, and tells the guests who weren’t invited to the formal reception that they just weren’t good enough to make the cut.  I would be upset and offended. 

Post # 5
Member
386 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Bad idea, they will know and will be offended. Only invite those you can have attend everything. I know in some places inviting some guests to the ceremony and reception and then adding more to the “after party” later at night after dinner is common but I was invited to one of these once and was really offended. So I say just invite who you can afford to have come to all events.

Post # 6
Member
3569 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I agree bad idea. I think having punch and cake to celebrate your marriage at a later date is a better idea.

Post # 7
Member
1831 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I think you should have the cake and punch reception the day/week after the wedding (or after your honeymoon if you’re taking one). That way guests can still celebrate with you, but won’t feel like “B” listers.

Post # 8
Member
1141 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Bad idea! It makes people feel second rate.

Post # 9
Member
4804 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I know most of us girls have been through the awkwardness and hurt of having your friends talk a bunch in front of you about a party you weren’t invited to, or being invited out with people but not being welcome at the afterparty. That is how your guests would be feeling – but worse. I totally understand the sentiment of wanting to celebrate with everyone, but I don’t think it is right to invite people to the ceremony and not the real reception. You’re trying to make them feel included, but in the end it will likely just make them feel even more left out.

Post # 10
Member
1686 posts
Bumble bee

@Princesstrimm:  What you are proposing is very traditional and quite proper. The event you refer to as a “mini-reception” is actually a “reception”. By definition a “reception” is a daytime party where light refreshments are served, featuring mingling and conversation as the principle entertainment. They are the most formal of daytime parties.

Other posters are quite correct that, if people find out that someone else has been invited to adifferent party as well; and finds herself asking “Why is she do special? Why not me?” that you are likely to cause hard feelings. But these are your work colleagues: they should if they have the common sense of spaniel puppies, be able to come up with the answer “because I am a colleague and not a close personal friend or relative, duh.”

Offering hospitality to guests is a generous virtuous act. I have never been able to fathom why people should find yourhospitality offensive, or why inviting people to one thing automatically  entitles them to more. True, it can be hurtful if people around you are talking about a party you are not invited to. But when you make it clear that the wedding breakfast (that is the old name for a husband and wife’s first meal together, even of it happens at dinner time) is a separate stand-alone event, then those guests ought not to be talking about it at the reception.

I am quite strong on the acceptability of separating the wedding breakfast from the wedding and reception, because I truly enjoy those, more than I enjoy the typical dinner-dance in fact. And I do NOT feel happier to be left out of those because a bride got told tiered receptionswere rude; I feel even more left out. But the bottom line is,you know your colleagues, and know whether they feel entitled and take offense, or would regret more being left out entirely.

If you do go ahead with the reception plan, please have a wedding cake at the reception — it is iconic both as a decor item and a dessert. You can serve the bottom teir along with punch and tea, and reserve the higher tiers for your smaller evening party. Make sure the evening party is at a separate location so that there is no risk of guests from the first party having to be asked to leave, and make sure that there is enough of a gap between  the two that you can enjoy the reception without feeling — or giving the impression — that you are rushing off to something else.

Post # 11
Member
1375 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@aspasia475:  a wedding is an all day event. It’s all or nothing. People understand not being invited to a wedding. Not a big deal. There are very few people right now who would offend me by not inviting Me to their wedding. But I would be offended if I were invited to only one piece of a wedding.

Post # 12
Member
250 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

The only way I can see this working out is if the ceremony and mini-reception are earlier in the day, with the mini-reception including all the ritualistic elements (cake cutting, toasts).  Then there could be a family-only get-together or after-party several hours later when the full wedding is definitively over.

Your best option is likely to scale back the reception plans so as to include everyone, or to limit your guest list to what you can accommodate for the dinner reception.

Post # 14
Member
2442 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

I don’t think it’s a good idea. I’d be offended as a guest if I found out there was another reception, in the evening, that I was not invited to.  I know this isn’t your intention and that you just want to celebrate with them but I’d just be thinking you wanted more gifts (therefore inviting 300 people) and that I’m not important enough to feed.

Post # 15
Member
3569 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@princesstrim

 If you are in the us I advise aganist simply because we don’t have that type of culture and norms when it comes to weddings. I think invovling your work friends is nice and it’s understandable that they wouldn’t expect you invite all a hundred of them.

I still think the best option is sending a nice note or evite and saying that you love to celebrate your marriage with them and invite them to cake and punch the week later. Or perhaps after work one day.

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