(Closed) Invitation Only

posted 11 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
192 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2008

So are you saying you want to invite people to the wedding and not the reception or are you saying you just want to keep unwanted guests out?

It is very hard to invite only some to the wedding and not to the reception with out feelings getting hurt.

If you are just trying to keep uninvited guests/No RSVP guests out then I would suggest having a check in at the door and if they are on the list great give them a name tag with their meal choice or something. I think that is the easiest way to keep people out! Good luck.

Post # 4
1078 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2009

Placecards at your tables (assigned seating) for your dinner reception, that would do the trick! I also agree that someone should be checking in guests at the door. That way if someone didn’t RSVP, but was still invited, they can keep them off to the side. Maybe add an extra table after everyone’s seated, if there are no unclaimed seats for them to sit at.



Post # 5
220 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I understand your concern.  I come from a small town.  When I was growing up, most weddings were "open church" where anyone could come.  The receptions were very informal — cake, punch and snacks.  There were no per person charges, seating cards, etc.  Though things are changing, I think many people from my town still have that "come if you can" view.  

Most wedding etiquette books would be unhelpful, because the books assume guests know proper etiquette.  I am not sure that you can put anything on the invitation to prevent unwanted guests from coming without seeming rude. Could you have friends somehow spread the word to those who would be inclined to invite extras that this would be a no-no?

I think Miss Pinot Grigio is right that seating cards would send the signal to unwanted guests that there presence is not welcomed.  You should put the cards near the venue entrance so the message is clear.  Have someone stationed there to help with cards.  If someone wasn’t invited but shows, the card table person can politely tell them that space is limited and the party cannot accommodate additional guests.  If you have a wedding coordinator, she or an assistant would be ideal for this role.

Good luck!   

Post # 6
1048 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2009 - City Hall

Oh, I know what you mean. I would suggest that if you’re getting married in your small town, definitely do the dinner place-cards, and have someone at the door checking names (a "bouncer"? lol). I’d expect that you’ll still see people you dont’ want there though – they’ll INSIST to they bouncer that they know you and that you’ll be cool with them coming in – be prepared for how you’ll respond to this.

One thing I’d suggest to keep the hubub down is to forgo an engagement announcement in your local paper, instead do a marriage announcement that appears a day or two after your wedding day. And if you’re getting married locally at a church, some pastors will announce the upcoming wedding at their sunday sermon – you’ll want to quash this too – make sure your pastor knows it’s to be an intimate ceremony and that you don’t want everyone in town to show up.

And finally, I’m not sure how to put this info on your invitation. this might be more of a word-of-mouth kind of thing. Let your friends who ARE invited know the nature of the event, and ask them to refrain from blabbing about how fun a party it’s going to be to others who might just show up.


Post # 7
225 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

A friend of mine put this on her website:

"Due to the small size of the venue, this is a INVITE ONLY event.

Please account for only the name(s) listed on your invitation. Everyone has an interesting friend, and we’d love to meet yours, just not at our wedding. Just joking, but seriously."

(They had online RSVP). 

You can do a variation? I found this online: 

<font size=”2″>Kerry Jacoby & Gordon Roger Scott
request the pleasure of your company at our wedding
in celebration of life and our commitment
Saturday, the ninth of August
at seven o’clock in the evening
Seattle Asian Art Museum
Seattle, Washington
dinner reception to follow </font>


Maybe you add "invited guests only"? But I do concur with the place cards. =) 


Post # 9
2640 posts
Sugar bee

Is the concern that some of the people invited will spread the word to some peole who ar not invited?  And that’s why youwanted to mention something on the invitiations?  I’m unfamiliar with that being commonplace with weddings.  So maybe in that case, saying something like, "Please join us for the invitation only reception to follow…" would be OK.  Or word of mouth.

Post # 10
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

Is this a situation where you want to invite people to the ceremony but not the reception, or where they haven’t been invited to anything in the first place and you just don’t want any reception-crashers?

If it’s the latter, I would have a dinner with placecards/assigned seating. Or, just keep your wedding/recpetion location on the down-low. They can’t crash if they don’t know where it is.

Post # 12
1276 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

Is there a way you can put number of guests attending on the RSVP?  That would send the signal that you need a head count, and hopefully you want have people responding 10:)  If you do, then you could probably deal with those few individually.

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