(Closed) invitations? …or not at all?

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
2712 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I wouldn’t do this.  What you’re doing is a tiered reception and tiered receptions are rude.  What would happen if dinner ran late and your other guests started arriving?  Would they just have to stand outside and wait while everyone finished eating?  Guests need to be invited to all events or non at all. =/  You can do a very small and intimate ceremony with only immediate family (parents, grandparents, and siblings but no friends, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) and then have a larger reception after.  You could also do heavy hors d’oeuvres instead of a meal and that way you don’t need tons of tables and chairs for everyone to sit down.  Remember, you don’t have to invite everyone.  I’d just stick with the close family and friends. =)

Post # 5
Member
2712 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

And I’m trying to tell you that they should get a full invite like the rest of your guests or none at all.  I’m not trying to be mean, I promise, I’m just trying to help you not be rude.  Honestly, there is no correct etiquette for this because it’s not correct etiquette to have tiered receptions (regardless of formality).  I really suggest you try and find a way for these people to be included in the ceremony and reception. Get a bigger tent and get more tables and chairs.  If that means you have to cut back on flowers or decror, then that’s what I advise doing.  I hate to rain on your parade, but do you really think they are going to tell you that they are not okay with only being invited to only the dance part?  Personally, I would tell you that understand and that I’d come to only the dance part (because I’m nice) but really I’d be a put-off that I’m not good enough to attend the ceremony and full reception – especially if I knew people who attended the ceremony and full reception.

 

Post # 6
Member
804 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@Nicoso:  I’m kind of with RunsWithBears on this one.  I think a lot of people on this particular board will be.  A tiered reception is kind of hard to pull off politely, and you could argue it’s impossible to pull off politely.  There’s probably no real etiquette to go with this situation, which means an email could very well work, but the guests might prefer an invitation.  I don’t know if that would help or hurt any guests who are unsure about it.  I’m guessing they’d probably want an invitation though.

ETA:  You also don’t need to invite anyone to the dancing part, except you sort of do since you already told them about it.  If your budget doesn’t hold room for people who are family friends who you “have to” invite, or neighbors, or coworkers, it’s acceptable to not invite any of them.  If they come and see that you have gorgeous centerpieces and a limo and a dress that cost thousands of dollars, they may be offended that you put the money into those things rather than providing dinner for them.  It’s hard to not feel like you’re on the B-list in that case.

Post # 7
Member
5475 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@RunsWithBears:  I think you said “You’re being rude” as nicely as possible.  I agree with everything you said- there is no proper etiquette on sending invitations to a tiered reception becase a tiered reception is not acceptable, per etiquette.

To the OP- I think the only way you’ll be able to get away with having a small ceremony & reception (because the reception is the event that you host as a thank you to the guests who came to celebrate your marriage) is to throw a non-wedding-related party at a later date for everyone who wasn’t important enough to make it onto the ceremony/reception list.

Post # 8
Member
3135 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

so let’s get past the part where people berate your choice since that’s not what you wanted help with.

i think you can send something less formal, but you should send something with wording like “after our private ceremony, please join us for drinks and dancing.” (better wording but you know what i mean.) it seems that most know you’re doing a small private thing so it shouldn’t be a big deal. this is more of an after party than a reception.

if it’s word of mouth, it may be a little too informal.

 

Post # 10
Member
5475 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@mamadingdong:  I think we were being as polite as possible, and the OP asked: “Where is the line drawn here with invitation etiquette?”

We were answering regarding etiquette.  I saw some honest opinions, but I didn’t see any berating going on :/

Post # 11
Member
804 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I think that’s the problem; “people who we want there are invited, people invited later are icing on the cake.”

Why are you inviting people you don’t want there in a way that makes it clear that they’re the people that you don’t want there?  I think this is where it’s hard for a lot of people to agree with you.  At best it comes off as a tiny bit inconsiderate, at worst it comes off as a gift grab (though I’m sure that’s not your intention).

I wouldn’t want to get an invitation of any sort that basically meant you’re not one of the people we want there but you can be there if you want.

It’s not that what you want is wrong.  It’s that it sends the message that you just stated; we don’t want you there.  But if your guests are okay with that, then whatever works for you is great.  And whatever way you wanted to handle the invite situation is great.

Post # 12
Member
333 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

in England, tiered receptions are pretty normal (and certainly not considered rude!!) so i have no issue with what you’re doing. 

I think it would be best to send them an actual physical invite (rather than an email or a sticky note).. but just adjust the info to talk about the drinks part of the day. It doesnt have t be the same invite as your all day guests, but just somehting pretty that thought and effort has gone into. That way they still feel like a legitimate guest, and not a Guest of list B, or someone you added as an afterthought.

Post # 13
Member
2712 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@HappierKate:  I agree.  OP, with that statement, you are basically telling your dance-only friends that they aren’t that important and you don’t really care about them.  No one wants to feel or be told that if they don’t come they won’t be missed.  If you don’t want them there, then that’s perfectly fine – just don’t invite them at all.  As I said before, you don’t have to invite family friends, people at work, etc.  People will understand if they aren’t invited, but they’ll probably be offended if they’re invited to only certain parts of the wedding.

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