Can guests be invited to ceremony/reception and not dinner?

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
2401 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@mrsalexander:  Yes. You can’t tell them to come and not eat.

Post # 4
Member
2295 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Yes, I think it is in poor taste to invite someone to only a part of the festivities. I know in some countries it is common only to be invited to the dance portion, but I don’t think that is true for Canada.

What does your Fiance say about all of this? I feel like he needs to step in and deal with his mother. I would stay firm. It sounds like you’ve explained this all very reasonably, so I don’t know what to tell you other than to try and put your Fiance between his mom and you.

Post # 5
Member
7904 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

In America, yes, it is poor etiquette. It’s called a tiered reception and you are pretty much directly telling certain guests that they are less important than others. You should only invite those you can fully host. I think it’s the same in Canada, but I know that tiered receptions are not taboo in Britain.

Gifted money does not come with strings. She gave the money freely, and if she wanted to put conditions on it, she needed to do that when she gave it so that you would be free to refuse if you didn’t like the conditions. She can’t go adding conditions now.

Post # 6
Member
237 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Yes. Inviting guests to the ceremony and telling them they have to wait or go elsewhere while everyone else eats dinner, but then they can come back for the dancing is incredibly rude. If that was me, I would be highly offended and probably not attend at all. 

I think maybe your Fiance should talk with his mom and stand his ground and say that unfortunately the guest list is final and we cannot fit anyone else. And if she insists, then maybe offer the suggestion that she can pay to add these extra people.

Post # 7
Member
3569 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Yes, this is wrong and just plain rude! Don’t let this women drive you crazy. Have your Fi tell your Future Mother-In-Law he doesn’t care nor does he want these people there. And the guestlist is final.

Post # 8
Member
11752 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@mrsalexander:  no you cannot invite people and not feed them. either she pays up for their plates or they don’t get invited. they can’t come to a wedding you don’t send an invitation to.

Post # 9
Member
4464 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

I think you either invite them for the whole celebration or not at all. Your fiancé should really be standing up to his mother. 

Post # 10
Member
6015 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2012

so rude.  How would you feel?  Come to the ceremony give us a gift and then the rest of the people are staying for dinner but YOU have to leave.

Your FH needs to make his mother chill out about this.

Post # 11
Member
46371 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Previous responses have addressed the etiquette issue.

My suggestion? Give up on trying to get her to understand. She already has a majority of the guests and she just doesn’t get it. Get the invitations printed and mailed . Done deal.

Post # 13
Member
2401 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@mrsalexander:  Let her tell people. Who cares it’s YOUR wedding. Tell her if she wants to invite more people she foots the bill for food, dancing, and ceremony space. Stand up to her.

Post # 14
Member
1431 posts
Bumble bee

you cannot invite people and not provide them with a meal. It is rude. What is more rude is your pushy Future Mother-In-Law. Stand you ground and don’t let her invite any more guests. You will regret it believe me. People who aren’t important to you and your fi don’t belong at your wedding. If she brings it up again I would say, ” I understand that there are certain people you want there to celebrate with us, but seeing how we can’t accomodate them at the wedding if you want to throw us a seperate party after the wedding for those we couldn’t invite we would be happy to attend” 🙂  

Good luck, my Mother-In-Law sent me a list of 35 people she wanted to invite-who my husband didn’t know or hasn’t seen since he was a kid and we were only having 100 people at our wedding. I guess I am lucky she dropped it after we explained the situation. 

Post # 15
Member
1358 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@NAvery:  +1

Everyone should be invited to all parts of the wedding. 

The real issue here that needs to be addressed is your FMIL’s meddling. It’s bad enough for her to assume she has a right to control your guest list (the exception would be if she’s footing a large portion of the bill, which she’s not), but even worse, she’s tattling on you to other family and trying to pull them into her meddling game.

I think it’s a bad idea for you to confront her yourself because you could risk burning bridges. Talk to your Fiance gently to see if he shares your concerns. If he does, suggest that he have a conversation with her, telling her:

  1. You are both grateful for the gift she gave you, but a gift is a gift and should not come with restrictions or expectations.
  2. You are glad that she is so excited for the wedding that she wants everyone to be able to come, but you unfortunately cannot afford to host such a large affair.
  3. You are trying to follow your hearts to plan a day that will be special to both of you for the rest of your lives, and you would appreciate it if she would respect your wishes concerning the wedding. He should emphasize that her opinion is important to the two of you, but you unfortunately cannot comply with her wishes in this case.

Post # 16
Member
3108 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

@mrsalexander:  I don’t even know how you would do that. I would politely return the money and keep her mitts off the guest list. Money rarely comes without strings.

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