Post # 1
We’re having an evening wedding and plan to stay until very close to the end, which will be quite close to midnight. My Mother-In-Law is quite traditional and she doesn’t like the idea of us staying on very much but she says that she’ll be ok with it if we just announce that the formal part of the evening is over and that people are welcome to leave. Mostly she’s worried that some of the older people will be tired and ready to leave but will be waiting for us to leave before they do (because they don’t want to be rude).
I’m happy to make an announcement but have no idea how to phrase it. I’d think I was being told to leave if I were a guest and someone said that I was welcome to go home. Has anyone else said anything like this at their reception?
Post # 2
- Wedding: October 2014 - Church
miharu: Never heard of this. I found most of the older people at any weddings I have gone to just go to the bride and groom to say their goodbyes when they are ready to leave (typically around 10 p.m. or after cake cutting). I do not believe there is any need to say anything because it would be sort of awkward.
Post # 3
Just do the cake cutting a bit earlier than you normally would, and keep the bar open. Those who want to stay will stick around as long as there’s booze and music, and the cake cutting is a nice and subtle signal to everyone else that the official activites are over and they can leave at their convenience.
Post # 4
miharu: In my opinion, such an announcement iwould be weird, inappropriate and confusing. If your Mother-In-Law is concerned about older guests wanting to leave before you do, she can approach them quietly herself and let them know you intend to stay on.
Another way to handle it would be to have an “exit” to go change clothes and then return. This would allow people who want to leave to see you off and also signal that the reception has wound down/the formal celebrations have concluded.
Post # 5
Thanks laceydoilies and Horseradish! I agree. Maybe we’ll just “forget” to make the announcement. 🙂
Post # 6
Thanks Zhabeego – those are really helpful ideas, too. The first one sounds like a really good compromise.
Post # 7
miharu: I’ve only been to one wedding where the couple left early and they actually realized around 9:00 that a lot of the elderly guests were waiting for the cake to be cut (something they hadn’t actually planned to do).
I would suggest doing the cake cutting at the ‘end’ of the night.
Alternately, you could have your DJ make a fun announcement ‘now that all the fancy/formal/business stuff is done – let’s get this party started and the dance floor is OPEN!’ or something to that effect – make it an upbeat kind of funny announcement.
Most weddings where the couple didn’t leave early, I’vee noticed the grandparents and other elderly guests usually leave after the dancing starts and things start getting silly.
Post # 8
My mom (she’s 78) usually sticks around weddings until the first dances and the cake cutting. Then she feelsl like its ok to leave. I don’t think an announcement is necessary as long as you do thank yous and cut the cake early.
Post # 9
Generally most weddings in my area, the bride and groom say a thank you speech after the cake cutting. It’s generally accepted that after the bride and groom say their ‘thank you for coming’ then it’s ok to leave
Post # 10
I’ve never heard of such an announcement. Older people just leave when they’re ready after dinner. It’s pretty obvious that the party portion of the night has started.
Post # 11
I have never heard of anything like that before and I find it kind of weird. If your Mother-In-Law doesn’t want to stay late, she can leave. Same goes for anyone else who doesn’t want to stay there too long.
It reminds me of a conference where they announce that the formal part is over and now it’s networking time.
Post # 12
Never heard an announcement like that. Also not sure why it is considered traditional for the bride and groom to leave their party early either….. Darling Husband and I were the very last people out the door!!
I would just stay, enjoy your party, and as people leave they will most likely find you to say goodbye. No awkward announcement needed.
Post # 13
- Wedding: December 2014 - Norton Country Club
I’m with the PP on this- cake cutting and the “Thank You” from the couple are usually the signal to leave if you’re ready. I love the idea of having the DJ do it- maybe yours will have wording for this sort of situation already?
Post # 14
miharu: This thought never occured to me; in the UK it’s common for weddings to last until quite late and usually the bride and groom stay until the end, and the other guests don’t feel obligated to stay. If that’s different where you live then I agree with the poster who suggested that your MIL/another relative quietly approaches people and lets them know that you will be staying until the end, and that of course they are welcome to, but fi they’re tired it is absolutely fine if they wish to retire earlier.
In our case, the DJ will finish at 1am, and we will then have quieter music playing through the PA system. OH and I have no intention of goign to bed at 1am, and plan to stay up until around 2/3am relaxing and chatting and just having a laugh. The bar will also stay open. I expect that certain people will stay up with us (eg parents, bridal party, and the more hard-core crowd), but that others will leave much earlier. So that guests know roughly what is hapening (we didn’t want to put ‘carriages at 1am’ as that isn’t strictly speaking the case) we’ve put something on our website that says ‘The music will finish at 1am, however, we have no intention of retiring at that time and so guests who wish to are welcome to join us for a drink at the bar’. That way people can choose to book a taxi earlier if they wish, or choose to stay on with us; their choice, no pressure either way.
Post # 15
Horseradish: +100 this
For the record I have never heard of what your Mother-In-Law is talking about. Been to tons of weddings and I notice everyone stay for dinner then leaves at their convenience. Some stay all night, some wait for the cake cutting, some duck out after the first dance. Old ppl just say bye to the bride and groom themselves