(Closed) Inviation Wording Etiquette – Family Only Reception – Friends After ???

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
4352 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@Mgoose:  I don’t think you can invite people to a reception without inviting them to the ceremony. I suspect most people will be offended that they weren’t important enough to see you get married.

Post # 4
635 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

This is a tiered reception. It’s common in some parts of the world, but incredibly rude in the United States. Where do you live?

Post # 6
2863 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

There is no way to do this as it is extremely rude. Basically what you are saying is ” Hey you weren’t important enough to see us get married or to eat, but come pay for your own drinks once all the important people leave!”

Post # 8
635 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Host who and what you can afford, but each and every guest must be treated equally. It sounds like you need to memorize and repeat the following line whenever asked about the wedding: “Unfortunately we couldn’t invite everyone we wanted. Only family will be there.”

Post # 9
11270 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

@Mgoose:  not sure where you are from but where i am from it was quite common many years ago.  close family members would come to the ceremony and dinner and then friends would be invited to the reception only.

they would have 2 invites printed out.  one would be for everything and the reception invite would be less formal stating the celebration of the marriage.  kind of like this one.

bride first bride last and groom first groom last

invite you to share in the celebration

of their vows of love

on saturday, may 5, 2012

at 9 o’clock in the evening

drinks & dancing

Post # 10
7901 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

If you are in America, this is extremely rude. Friends will understand, even if they are hoping to be invited, if you are seriously, truly, honestly, having a family-only wedding. Even if you weren’t and were inviting some friends and not others, that’s the reality of weddings. You cannot invite everyone. But, everyone you do invite should be invited to the entire affair from beginning or ceremony to end of the partying.

Post # 11
9916 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

Could you compromise, in a way?  Invite everyone to the ceremony, and afterwards have a cake and punch reception.  

Post # 12
1954 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@mypinkshoes:  She isn’t planning on inviting her friends to the reception, though. She wants them to come after the dinner is over, and just come for dancing & paying for drinks. 

I don’t think it’s appropriate. Could you do a brunch or lunch reception instead so you could include your family AND friends? Or even a cake and punch reception? Otherwise, I’d just stick with inviting your family only. As your friend, I’d probably be more offended to be invited after the dinner is over than not at all if I understand that your budget is really tight.

Post # 13
705 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

It’s pretty common and normal in many countries in Eurpope but if you’re in the US, OP, I’d recommend against doing this as it’s very rude.

Just tell your friends that you have to keep things small due to budget and that you can’t invite everyone you’d like to.  Some may not understand but most will.  You’re not made of money and you’re under no obligations to invite anyone at all to your wedding.  

If you could swing an open bar for the later part, then I’d probably say to go for it because then you’d be like “Look we had to keep this part small but hey free drinks and come party with us!” and it would be better for most people.  Cash bars are pretty shaky etiquette-wise so a tiered reception with a cash bar would be considered very rude by a lot of people.

Post # 14
2335 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Basically what you are saying is ” Hey you weren’t important enough to see us get married or to eat, but come pay for your own drinks once all the important people leave!”  +1

I would rather not be invited to my friend’s wedding than to a cash bar after all of the real guests left.  Just go out for drinks with your friends some other time.

Post # 15
89 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

This is easy. Essentially you send out a notice – not an invite. Saying “We got married! We had a small, intimate affair for family, but will be continuing the celebrating at X, Y, Z bar. Join us if you can!”

Or better yet – just have a close friend spread the word. Make it clear it’s not a party you are hosting, but just hanging out at a bar and hoping people come and hang out too.

Post # 16
14 posts
  • Wedding: June 2012

@EricaBee:  this!

There is no non-rude way to say “hey, we’re having a small family only ceremony and reception, but we still want to include you somehow, so come hang out at the bar and buy your own drinks.”

However, if you say it like EricaBee did, it’s not implying that it’s a reception. You’re saying “hey, we wanted a small family only ceremony, so we did it, but we know you like us, too, so come party with us!” It’s not implying the party is on us.

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