(Closed) 2nd reception to curb uninvited guests

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
13930 posts
Honey Beekeeper

Barring extenuating circumstances, such as the wedding is called off or postponed, anyone who gets a save the date is supposed to receive an invitation.  No gracious way to say ” We were thinking of inviting you to our wedding, but now that it’s a little smaller,  you didn’t make the cut.”    Isn’t there any other place or time you can have the reception? 

Post # 4
602 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Yeah, there’s no polite way to do this. Anyone who got a STD must be invited to the wedding.

Post # 5
532 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@Adrienneehawkins:  There’s no easy way around this, but if you don’t have space for 150 people there really isn’t much you can do besides explain to some people or try to find a bigger venue.

Post # 6
4 posts
  • Wedding: September 2012

Yes, it is rude.  You need to find a venue to accomodate all of the people that you already invited.  How would you feel if you received an invitation to something and were later told that people had to be cut and you were one of the people at the bottom of the list?  Also I realize that you didn’t ask, but it would be very rude of you to ask anyone to bring a dish.  Your reception is where you host them.  If someone close to you offers to help, that is fine. 

Post # 7
13930 posts
Honey Beekeeper

Yes, it would add insult to injury to ask  guests to bring potluck to the consolation prize meal. 

Post # 8
7960 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

i think you jumped the gun when you booked a venue smaller than your guest list.  surely you knew this at the time.  i would look for a larger venue b/c you have already told those 150 people to std.

those extra guests are now a) not invited and b) bring your own food the day after.  i think inviting them to a potluck would be doubly rude.

you need to find a better venue or change your date.

Post # 9
2001 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

Agree with PPs.  There is no polite way to exclude any of the STD recipients from the real, hosted reception.  Your only option is to find another venue that will accommodate all 150 guests.

Post # 10
5708 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

Beating a dead horse, there isn’t going to be a polite way to tell guests, so your best bet will need to be finding a venue that accomodates everyone.

Post # 11
1441 posts
Bumble bee

While not ideal, one possible solution might be to decide to have a VERY small wedding (maybe 10 people total, mothers, fathers, siblings) with no reception on the day of the wedding, and then have everyone come to a reception you host the next day.

I’d be hurt if I was one of 50 cut (with 100 attending).  If only immediate family was invited – I’d be a lot more understanding.

It’s still awkward because you’ve sent out STD’s but it might be less awkward than just cutting a few.


Post # 14
2001 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

It won’t comfortably fit 150 people for what, a sit-down meal?  If that’s the case, can you restructure your reception to be more cocktail party style (so you don’t need so many tables and chairs taking up all the space)?  Even if you had to change the time of your wedding to avoid a mealtime, that would be preferable to uninviting people who’ve been saving the date for you.

Post # 15
635 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

If you MUST do this, I wouldn’t have a 2nd potluck reception, it just adds insult to injury. I would personally contact each and every person who is having their invite rescinded, and apologize and explain that due to unforseen circumstances you are now having a family only reception.

Post # 16
7439 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

First and foremost… I see this is your debut post… so a BIG Welcome to “the Hive”

Etiquette Snob here… lol, comes from knowing too much about the topic because of my job.

Honestly as the others have said … THERE IS NO POLITE WAY to make this happen

NO WORDS to express the situation (hence why no one has given any proposed wording)

IMO at this point in time here are your options…

1- Change the Venue so it can accomodate all

2- Change the Date… so it all can work (that is acceptable, there is a Polite way to do that)

3- Have an Intimate Wedding… now and your Reception at another time

4- Elope… and have a Back Home Reception later.

Having an A-List and a B-List for Invites is one thing… having an A-List Reception and a B-List Reception is totally another

Just not polite whatsoever.

Sorry, I don’t have any better news

(( HUGS ))

EDIT TO ADD – And ya, a “Pot Luck” or “Bring Your Own __” is not cool for a Wedding Reception.  A Reception is meant to be HOSTED and the Guests to be doted on… not the other way round. 

PS… Maybe that is your solution… Don’t host a traditional Reception with a sit-down meal… have everyone in the venue you’ve chosen but do a stand-up Cocktail Hour, then Cake & Champagne.  Short & Sweet but can be classy too.


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