(Closed) Do we have to invite everyone for the reception?

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
1987 posts
Buzzing bee

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NandaSantana:  You could have a morning ceremony followed by champagne/punch/cake for all guests who attend the ceremony: this would be the reception.  Then, in the evening, long after the reception is over, you could have a separate event–that is NOT your reception (all guests who are invited to the ceremony should be invited to the reception)–where you invite a select number of intimate friends and family to dinner to celebrate being a newlywed couple.  

Since the dinner would be separate from the ceremony/reception, there would need to be separate invitations mailed for the event.  There would also need to be enough time between the end of the reception and the start of dinner as to make sure that none of the reception guests who weren’t invited to the dinner feel like they’re being rushed/pushed out of the way for the “real” event.  Usually dinners like these are also more intimate affairs: inviting 80% of your guests to the dinner virtually ensures that they’ll be talking about it during the reception and the 20% of guests who weren’t invited to the dinner will probably feel second-rate (whereas only an exceptionally self-centered associate, casual friend, or distant relative would feel slighted at not being invited to dine with your very closest friends and family).

Post # 4
47430 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

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NandaSantana:  If you have a ceremony at 10 or 11 am, your guests most likely would be expecting that you will feed them brunch. A lot depends on what you call the reception on  the invitations.

The standard is that yes, you do invite everyone you have invited to the ceremony to a reception following the ceremony.

If you plan to invite the bridal party, family and friends who are coming from all over the US and Brazil to the dinner, who is it that you are not plaanning to invite? There is potential for hurt feelings when some of your guests find out that they are not invited to the dinner.

Post # 6
94 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

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NandaSantana:  My cousin was in a similar situation as you in that she didn’t want a big wedding. Her family members had certain expectations though so she compromised. She wanted a small ceremony and a larger reception so she ended up having a church ceremony on weekday followed by a small dinner at a nearby restaurant. Then on the weekend she had more people over for a casual backyard BBQ. She wore her dress again and had a small cake that she bought from a grocery store.

Because she had the events on different days most people didn’t feel left out. You could do something similar and have a larger ceremony with a cake/punch/champagne reception like a PP suggested. Then the next day have an intimate dinner with your close friends and family.

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