Post # 1
Okay, I have seen people pull this off without a hitch. The only thing is……our ceremony and reception venue are one in the same. I have been thinking about inviting lots of people to the wedding, plus randoms will show up anyway. And having a “by invite only” reception. That means that everyone that attended the ceremony couldn’t stay for the reception. It woul donly be for family and very close friends. Food costs so much!! If we decided to do this how could we make it work? Ideas? Experiences? Please share
Post # 3
I hate to be a downer but I don’t see how this could possibly work. People are going to bring gifts and such to the ceremony and then you’re kind of going to be kicking them out so that only certain people can enjoy the reception.
Could you cut your budget elsewhere? Or have a cocktails/apps reception?
Post # 4
So your ceremony and reception is in the same place and you are having a bunch of people at the ceremony and limiting the reception? So essentially you’d be kicking people out after your wedding ceremony. I would strongly suggest you not do this. Just limit the ceremony to the guests who will be invited to the reception if you cannot afford to have all the ceremony guests attend the reception. It sucks to cut the guest list down, yeah, but it’s really kind of rude to invite people to the ceremony and not the reception. If I knew about this beforehand, I probably wouldn’t even go to the ceremony because I’d be offended that the couple didn’t consider me a close enough friend to invite me to the reception; if I didn’t know until I got there, I’d be angry instead of offended.
Post # 5
You could make it work if you send out two different sets of invitations. But I’d probably be a little bummed if I got an invitation that invited me to a ceremony only then on the wedding day I saw how other people were going in for a reception. It would help if they weren’t at the same place and then you just had a close friends/family dinner or something at a different location.
Or if you wanted the location to stay the same, could you do a appetizer or desert only reception? I think it’d be tough to pick and choose who didn’t get to celebrate with you.
Post # 6
I’m going to be completely honest with you…If I was only invited to the wedding ceremony and not the reception, I probably wouldn’t go. Especially, if it was happening in the same place! Maybe if you stated explicitly that the reception is for family only but even then some might be put off. Is there ANY way to have the ceremony somewhere else? It would be a lot less awkward.
Post # 7
I am worried about all of the “extras” showing up. I am pretty sure that people that aren’t invited are going to show up anyway and expect to get fed.
What are your suggestions for appetizers? I was planning on serving light foods anyway, but that still has proven to be kind of pricey for 150 people! I think I would feel alot better if I knew who in my family was coming from IL. There are lots of them and, since the invites aren’t even out yet, I don’t know how many will really show up.
Post # 8
Oh my. I hate to be harsh, but it would be really tacky to invite people to the wedding and not the reception. I’ve never heard of this.
I agree with @Kitty – you’d be kicking people out of the venue. That would be really rude (not to mention stressful and awkward).
Post # 9
Um maybe keep the people who are going to the reception around for pictures and just have a long wait? The only problem is that’s “hiding” the reception from your other guests which would be stressful I think. Especially because some people are going to hang aorund likely to watch and chat, and then do you just hang out and wait until they finally DO leave?
Good luck with whatever you do.
Post # 10
I think you are putting alot of faith in people’s ability to follow directions. I am having my ceremony and reception in the same place and there is no way you will be successful at inviting some to the ceremony and some to the reception, unless, maybe you could time the reception alot later than the ceremony and give people time to leave. Since only close friends and family will be invited to the reception know one will question them hanging around and talking later than others. Possibly. Also your ceremony would probably have to be long enough that people are ready to leave afterwards. I am not sure that it would work though. Most people expect to be invited to both if both are occuring.
Post # 11
Sounds like a logistical and etiquette nightmare! The “by invitation only” part would confuse me….it sounds like an exclusive P Diddy VIP party or something.
I’d do what hotchild said and do apps and drinks. Kicking people out of the same venue doesn’t sit well with me. It’s not like they’re at different spots
Post # 12
Since your reception and ceremony are in the same place, I don’t think this is a good idea. If you need to cut corners in other ways that would be the best thing to do IMO.
Make sure that you stress to your family and friends over and over that if they don’t RSVP, they won’t be able to get in. Then if you haven’t already…get a couple of hostesses/hosts to usher everyone out after the ceremony and then check names as guests come in for the reception. This way, you will make sure that the people who rsvp-ed will have a place to sit. Any extra spots you can do on a first come first serve basis until all of the seats are filled.
This is the approach we are taking for my younger sister’s wedding…and we picked the two bossiest sisters we have to be hostesses =)
Post # 13
As far as uninviteds go, I would indicate how many spots you have reserved for each invite you send out, like “Two seats have been reserved in your honor” or whatever the number may be. Then I would do assigned seating at the reception site, only people that RSVP get seating. If unexpected people show up then there won’t be anywhere for them to go. I think it would be incredibly rude of guests to come when they are not invited. Also, think about having a B-team of invitees maybe. So like when you start to get “no” rsvps, maybe you could extend your guest list to other parts of your family.
But, I don’t see how you can invite lots to the wedding and only a few to the reception unless it’s somewhere else and a very small gathering.
Post # 14
I don’t think it’s appropriate to invite people to the wedding and then tell them they can’t stay for the reception. I would be offended if I were invited to the ceremony portion only. To me it’s kind of an all or nothing deal. You are asking people to get all dressed up, come to the ceremony to witness your wedding then not allowing them to partake in the celebration afterwards.
I think the ONLY way it could work, would be to have a ceremoney followed by a cake and coffee reception. Make it clear in the invitation that you are inviting people to partake of cake and coffee afterwards. Then wrap things up and have a small, intimate dinner with family and close friends at a different venue.
Post # 15
I just think it’s rude if your wedding guests see the reception being set up and feel left out of the party…
Post # 16
Planning a wedding, you’re pretty much putting faith in people for everything anyway. I just don’t want there to be too many “extra” people showing that expect to be fed along with the invited guests. This is one of my biggest worries.
Jamaica, that sounds pretty good. I have hostesses already. So you are saying that when everyone is at the cocktail hour, while we’re finishing pics, they can set up a “table” at the door and allow invited guests in that way?