(Closed) Cake & punch for all, dinner and dancing for close friends/family?

posted 6 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
3316 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

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
9952 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

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 # 6
2775 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

@2dBride:  +1.

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.

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