Reception Only Invite

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
754 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2008

Honestly, I am of the opinion that inviting someone to the reception and not to the ceremony is rude.  If you aren’t close enough to them to have them their at the ceremony, don’t invite them to any part.  If you are sure that is what you are going to do, at least give them the nice invite.  Even if they are B-listers, they shouldn’t feel that way.

Post # 4
Member
2324 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I agree with Niki. Why would you not invite them to the whole thing? My husband and I got invited to a reception but not a ceremony a couple of years ago and he was in heaven. He was so excited he got to go to the fun part without the "boring" part. LOL What a guy!

Post # 5
Member
2324 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I am also confused by your post…what do you mean by "drop the cash on food" Are you having food at your ceremony? Why would you not invite them to the ceremony if you are willing to spend the pp price for them at the reception.

Post # 6
Member
378 posts
Helper bee

Another confused poster here – it doesn’t cost anything to go to the ceremony – why wouldn’t you invite them to that? I don’t get that. Do you only want to party with them and not have them share in the special part?

Post # 7
Member
38 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2008

Maybe this is a regional thing, in the upper Mid-West it is common to invite people to only the dance part of the reception and not the ceremony and dinner.

So, in answering that question, just make up a cute one-sided card with information about the dance, mat it on the black paper and send it out.  Maybe add a little crystal or something to it.  That is my suggestion, you can still keep it simple, but make it look nice.

My FI and I were once invited to just the dance portion of a wedding and my FI thought they were just not having a dinner.  I think he felt a little bummed out that he did not get the full invite once he realized that there was a dinner involved.  Then again, we are not inviting them to our wedding so we saved money there.

Post # 9
Member
192 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

I personally would be offended to receive only an invitation to the reception. It looks like you’re more concerned about getting a present rather than having someone share your day (my opinion anyhow) If you can’t invite someone to both, and the wedding is the most important part.. why invite them at all. If your food budget is too small to invite more guests, then that’s your answer right there.

Post # 10
Member
754 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2008

Yeah, my opinion still stands.  Go with your first instinct, that it is rude.  Don’t know about the idea being regional, but I do know what the etiquette books say.

Post # 11
Member
1061 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

I would take your swirly design and print it out on white paper, back it with your pink stardream, and change the wording to "Please help us celebrate our marriage XX time XX place" so that they know you’re not inviting them to the wedding. You wouldn’t need your belly bands or pocketfold, since you wouldn’t have any enclosures. Good luck!

Post # 12
Member
97 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2008

I think it’s rude too and I would be sad/offended if someone did that to me.  If you can’t afford to feed them, don’t invite them. 

Post # 13
Member
9 posts
Newbee

Hi,

I’m originally from England and its really common there to have a wedding where you invite the closest family and friends, and then have an evening reception where you invite lots of people to share in your day. Maybe its different because the dinner is generally served quite soon after the ceremony and can be very expensive, so it would be almost impossible to be able to pay for everyone! Normally, people come later to the evening party, where there is a buffet as well and lots of dancing! I don’t think its rude – if you have friends who you like but are not hugely close to, or extended family who you don’t see very often, a large reception can be a way of celebrating with them whilst the ceremony is still kept intimate.

I’ve been to a few receptions without the ceremony and it was still great to celebrate with the couple at the party even when I knew they were having a very small family wedding or didn’t have a lot of money. 

Anyway, maybe that’s just because I grew up in a different country where it is the norm! On to the invitations…

I would suggest something with the same design as the main invitation, but possibly smaller/with less presentation (ribbons etc)? (so that it doesn’t look like a second choice type of thing, but isn’t overly flashy for the purpose) And use wording such as ‘an evening reception to celebrate the marriage of…’? That way its clear but still polite.

Good luck! 

Post # 14
Member
7 posts
Newbee

I don’t think its rude to have a reception that is larger than the ceremony itself. My fiance and I have discussed doing the same thing. I have been thinking of having a small and intimate ceremony and dinner with my very close family and friends, but we also have co-workers and aquaintances who would like to celebrate with us. We plan on having a cocktail party with dancing as a separate reception.

I love greenwedding’s wording, and I feel like if these are your friends, they understand that there are factors such as financial restraints that prohibit them from attending the dinner. And if they are your friends, they will just be happy to celebrate with the two of you no matter what.

I think a single card invitation – much like that to a regular party – would be appropriate, and should save you some money as well instead of the pocket folds.

Good Luck! 

Post # 15
Member
67 posts
Worker bee

Wow, I would be totally offended if I only got an invite to the dance part of the reception, no matter how it was worded or printed. I would not come and I would think less of the couple that deigned to "invite" me at all. If you can’t provide for your guests (at least a dessert reception, or apps, or a small luncheon– doesn’t have to be an all-out plated dinner) then I’d say cut the guest list. Otherwise it smacks of gift-grubbing.

Post # 16
Member
275 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I do agree that it’s a regional thing and I understand how some people think it’s rude, but I personally don’t think it is.

I agree with greenwedding as well!  

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