Post # 1
We’re having a fairly small ceremony and reception (meal), and then inviting quite a few more people to the evening celebration (drinks, dancing, cake). So, splitting our guests into ‘whole day’ and ‘evening only’ guests. It’s the only way we could invite everyone we wanted and keep costs down and it’s not an unusual thing to do in my area.
In the past couple of days, one ‘whole day’ person who originally RSVPed yes has said she can’t come to the ceremony and meal after all due to work commitments and will only be coming to the evening celebration.
Now, this doesn’t matter too much yet as it’s just one person. But I’m really worried that we might get several other ‘day’ people who RSVPed yes and suddenly find they can’t come in the days before the wedding. I will be quite frustrated if this does happen, as we had a real struggle to narrow down the guest list and there were a few people we really wanted to invite for the whole day but couldn’t.
My question is – if you were an ‘evening’ guest and the bride contacted you in the days before the wedding to say that there was an unexpected space for the ceremony and meal and she would love it if you could join for that too (if still free), would you be pleased? Or would you just feel like a last minute substitute?
Post # 3
@guineapig45: So, Im already invited to the reception, then you let me know I can attend the ceremony too? I would be ecstatic! I wouldn’t care, I would assume someone flaked on you and I was the next choice on your obviously tight list – that’s a compliment to me 🙂
Post # 4
@guineapig45: To me it says “Hey, now we have room for you! (cause you didn’t rate high enough to begin with)” But that’s just me. Even moreso if it was less than a week before the wedding. I probably wouldn’t go even if I was available.
I don’t think you’ll have too many people cancelling before the wedding after they’ve already said yes anyway.
Post # 6
Well in that situation (already a guest to part of the day) I would be less offended than if I wasn’t a guest at all until I was a last minute invite. To me the ceremony is the point of the whole day so I would prefer to be a part of that, so yes I would be a little offended if I was told last minute I was good enough on the friends ranking to get a place at the ceremony. But that’s just me. I prefer that way as opposed to the other way around, being told I am no longer invited to the ceremony but could I attend the crazy party part. That would be awful.
Post # 7
Etiquette Snob here… lol
Hi @guineapig45: your Post doesn’t tell us much about you (ie Your Wedding Profile, where you are from etc) but based on your post you are of course talking about a Tiered Reception…
These aren’t that common in the USA as they are in other parts of the world (particularly Commonwealth Countries)… so do expect to probably take some flack from US Bees who will not understand the concept… and see it as being RUDE (all or nothing in their book)
The rule of thumb when it comes to a tiered event is “Once you are there… you are there for the duration”
So the person who gets invited to the Ceremony, will be there for the Cocktail Hour & Dinner – as well as the Dancing
The person who gets invited for Cocktails & Dinner – will also be there for Dancing
And then there are some who just get invited for the Dancing portion of the evening.
If you are a Commonwealth Bride (or in a part of Canada where this tradition is also popular) then I would think your Guests would be thrilled to hear they’ve been UPGRADED as space opens up.
I know I would be. Call me up a week to 10 days before and say “Glad to see you’ll be coming to the Wedding Dance… just wanted to let you know we’ve had several RELATIVES ** who cannot make it… so now we are asking CLOSE FRIENDS if they’d like to join us earlier in the day….” (and then give them the details over the phone, and get their RSVP asap)
** NOTE you want to say RELATIVES… even if it isn’t those who are going to send their Regrets as that will “smooth” over any awkwardness. And be sure to refer to these last minute add ons as CLOSE FRIENDS… again to “smooth” things over nicely.
Hope this helps,
Post # 8
@This Time Round: What she said about saying “RELATIVES” that can’t make it. Would make it a lot less of an insult to me.
FTR, I wouldn’t be annoyed at only being invited to the party, just the last minute upgrade. But if you say relatives vs. guests I think it sounds a whole lot better.
Post # 9
Offended? No. But i wouldn’t be thrilled or attend either.
I don’t really consider being invited the honour like some posters on here. I see it as something I do to support a friend. Supporting them is more important to me then doing what I actually want to do.
I would think that you are trying to fill seats, or get more gifts.
Post # 10
@This Time Round: Thanks for your reply – you’re right, I am from a Commonwealth country where tiered receptions are very normal (in my area I think they’re actually more common than ‘all or nothing’ weddings).
ETA: And your suggestion of saying that ‘relatives’ dropped out is a great one! If I do end up doing inviting people, I was wondering how I would phrase it – that would solve my problem for sure.
Post # 11
To @andielovesj: you said:
I would think that you are trying to fill seats, or get more gifts
YES… except you are already invited. And have already said you are attending (hence the invite to upgrade when space opened up). So one would assume with 7 to 10 days out, you’ve already bought (or sent) the gift that you intended.
Post # 12
For the record, I definitely wouldn’t be doing this just to fill the space or get more gifts – it’s just that there are some people that we really wanted to be there but couldn’t invite for the whole day and it seems such a shame not to invite them if there does end up being room in the numbers. But I can see how people might get the wrong impression.
We definitely wouldn’t invite anyone at the last minute who wasn’t on either of the original ‘whole day’ or ‘evening only’ lists.
Post # 13
@guineapig45: I also agree with @This Time Round: . I am well aware that you either can’t afford to invite everyone, or there are space restrictions. I especially understand when you have rather large families that you’re obligated to invite, which restricts the amount of friends you can invite. I would have no issues at all with being invited to the whole bit later on. This is pretty common where I’m from too, and for the most part, no one seems to be bothered (or if they are they don’t say it and just stay home I guess).
And I mean “you” in a general sense of anyone getting married and having a wedding – not you specifically.
Post # 14
@This Time Round: Well as I usually give cash, I wouldn’t have bought anything yet, and as I am invited to only a portion of the event, my level of closeness is also lower, as is my gift.
My understanding of traditional tiered weddings is that dance only guests do not typically gift much if at all.
And you onbviously are trying to fill the ceremony/dinner seats or you wouldn’t be scrambling at the last minute to invite someone extra.
Also I have a pressing social calendar, and wouldn’t love that you thought you could invite me to something and that I’d be able to attend.
Post # 15
@guineapig45: I think you’re on the right track with the relatives thing. Try something like:
“Hey, I was kind of happy to hear that my aunt couldn’t come. You know families are with weddings, even if we’re not that close. I’m so excited that we have a little space to invite people we really want now!”