(Closed) “By Invitation Only” Reception

posted 12 years ago in Reception
Post # 17
675 posts
Busy bee

That sounds really stressful.

Post # 18
301 posts
Helper bee

“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.”  Make it clear among your circle of family and friends that people MUST rsvp or there will not be seating for them. 

Honestly, do inexpensive appetizers and a little bit of other food buffet style.  Pasta with sauce, salad, perhaps cold sliced roast beef with warm au jus (spelling?) and rolls.  You don’t need an open  bar ~ beer, wine and soft drinks.  You can feed a lot of people very inexpensively. 

Post # 20
2148 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011


That’s exactly what we are doing for her reception. Since we have to flip the room, all of the guests will be in a different area of the same venue for the cocktail portion. Since that’s just going to be drinks and some light finger foods it won’t be that much of an additional burden…when the food is gone, it’s gone…you know? When it’s time to start seating guests for the reception, they will be seating according to a seating chart (based on rsvps). If the guests aren’t on the list, they have to hope there are some no-shows. The costs for extra guests can add up fast…not to mention space constraints.

Post # 23
413 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

I went to a wedding where there was an invite only reception. However, the bride and groom hosted a cake and punch reception first. It was costco sheet cakes and punch only, for about 1 1/2 hours after the ceremony. The other reception was at another site too. For your guests who aren’t invited, you really should do something. They are bringing you a present and coming to your wedding afterall.

Post # 25
301 posts
Helper bee

YES!!!  People MUST rsvp.  You have to have a head count.  I would suggest being a little lenient with…. let’s say 80 something year old Great Aunt Sarah, but people have to rsvp.   You may want to appoint a few family members to call invitees who didn’t respond just to remind them or ask them if they are coming.  There is no way that you can have 100 people who did respond and you plan on food/drink/seating for those 100, then an additional 50 or so show up with expectations of being accomodated.    

Post # 26
1511 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011 - Bartram's Garden

Sorry, but I don’t see how this could work. I think it would be better if you just scaled back on food as much as possible and let everyone who is invited to the ceremony come to the reception. I’m a pretty easygoing person, but even I’d be offended if I realized that I had to leave before the reception while others got to stay.

Post # 27
2492 posts
Buzzing bee

That won’t work. If one event is “by invite only” (which most weddings are anyway) then both are required to be. It’s rude to invite people to the ceremony but not the reception or to the reception but not the ceremony. That said, it makes no sense when people try to justify inviting a ton of people to the reception but only a handful to the ceremony saying they are doing it because they are on budget, when the ceremony costs nothing and is the most important part of the day and 99% of the costs of a wedding go to the reception. Otherwise, you seriously risk offending people to the point of breaking off friendships and relationships because of it, even if they don’t say anything directly to you.

Post # 29
1676 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I agree that if I were only invited to a ceremony I probably wouldn’t go. Since as a guest you don’t have any time to visit with the couple and ceremonies usually aren’t that long (unless they’re traditional or Orthodox)

I would suggest that you have the ceremony and reception at the site but only do a cocktail reception or just a dessert reception and have a much smaller party for family later in the day.

We’re thinking about doing something similar since our wedding will be at 2 and we expect to be done by 5 or 6 and having family and close friends out for dinner afterwards – to relax and gossip.

Post # 31
23 posts
  • Wedding: September 2013

Rude and reeks of gift grabbery.

No offense, but no one wants to get dressed up and buy you a gift to come watch you get married and then leave while others get to stay for the party.

If you can’t afford it, scale back on people altogether or in other areas but your idea is just terrible.

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