Post # 1
Hi everyone. I am having this dilemma between my mother and myself. Basically I don’t want a huge wedding and neither does my fiance. 50 people is how much we would like to have at the dinner reception, which will include very close family such as siblings, parents, grandparents and family we see at least a few times a year, and very close friends.
My mum has this grand idea of inviting the whole family except for cousins and some of her close ‘family friends’. I am happy enough for them to come to our wedding but I cannot afford to invite people at the reception who I am not super close with. My fiance’s mum is trying to be understanding, and has suggested that maybe after the wedding we could have a cake, bun and punch reception (like an afternoon tea with sweets, punch and tea/coffee) and then just have the selected 40-50 come to the dinner reception. Our dinner reception venue is about a 45min drive away from the church, but the priests will allow us to host an afternoon tea at the church gardens if we choose to.
What should we do? I like what my fiance’s mum has said but I’m unsure about whether this would be rude to the other guests. I don’t want to cause any arguments or have anyone feel offended, but really we don’t want a huge dinner.
Post # 3
This is a recipe for disaster. The ones invited for only cake and punch are sure to hear about the later reception. (If it were immediate family only, you might be able to clue the attendees in that they should not mention it to anyone else, but there is no hope of keeping 50 people quiet.) And at that point, they’ll be wondering why they were good enough to come to the cheap reception, but not the “real” one.
You’re going to need to make up your mind. You can either invite only 50 people to the ceremony and reception, and do the dinner and dancing, or invite everyone and just have cake and punch. But trying to have a tiered reception is just going to offend a bunch of people.
Post # 4
Tiered Receptions are waaay more common in Commonwealth Countries (see you are from Australia) than they are in America
Consequently, expect to take some flack here on your suggestion, strictly because there are more US Bees in “the Hive” than representation from anywhere else
The easy way around this though, might be to have the two events on different days… or many many hours apart.
So, Wedding & Light Eats Reception on Day One… and then a Sit Down Dinner on Day Two.
Morning Wedding followed by a “reception” (meet & greet) with Light Eats, Punch etc. And then a long intentional gap (good time for a photo session)… with the Invitees regrouping late in the Afternoon for Cocktail Hour, Dinner… and the Dancing aspect of your Reception.
(Think the British Royal Family here… this is pretty much how they do it)
Hope this helps,
Post # 5
@2dBride: I understand this may be an issue, which is why I asked it on here to see what anyone else thought. I really just want to invite the people I want at my reception, but it is my mother who has all these people she wants there. I’ve tried saying I only want to invite who I want to be there and no one else will be coming, but she is being difficult and has even rang some of the people she wants there to tell them I will get an invite to them.
Post # 6
This is not okay and is bound to cause hurt feelings and resentment among those excluded from the dinner reception. Word WILL get out that there is a better, more extravagant party happening later in the evening and anybody excluded will feel like second-class guests.
Either stick to your guns and invite your 50 people to the ceremony and dinner reception, or expand the guest list and scale back your plans to cake and punch for all (or however you can afford to host all guests equally). You could always go out to dinner with your immediate families afterward, but a full-on reception with dinner, dancing, and wedding fanfare for ~50 people is going to cause offense.