Post # 1
Hey bees –
I need your help!
My Fiance and I are getting married in three months – eek! – and we initially decided we wanted to have an immediate family only wedding. But the more and more we think about it, we really wanted a few of our very close friends. We’re paying for the wedding ourselves, the plan was to do it sort of on the cheap and just have abeach ceremony – we live in Florida – with a family dinner afterwards. We had also planned on meeting for cocktails with our friends after dinner.
Here’s my question: Is it wrong/inappropiate/rude to invite friends to the ceremony, but not the dinner? We were thinking about sending them invitations that said something like "please join us for our wedding. The ceremony will begin at 5 p.m., with a family-only dinner to follow immediately. While we can’t accomodate all of you at dinner, please join the bride and groom for drinks at such-in-such bar for celebratory drinks afterwards."
What do you guys think? I’m desperate for advice.
Post # 3
Are you going to pick up the tab for the drinks? If so, you might just invite your friends to that and not mention the dinner. Kind of like people who have two receptions and invite some people to one, and some people to the other. If you are expecting your friends to pay for the drinks themselves, I think it would be rude. Maybe have celebratory drinks with your friends another time so that it does not seem like you are asking them to pay for the "reception?" If you are really short on cash but still want your friends to be there for the ceremony, maybe you could have a little reception with nibbles and punch at the beach immediately following the ceremony, and push your dinner reservations back a bit. That way, you can treat your friends to a little something at least.
Post # 4
I think its fine, honestly. It is clear so there shouldnt be any question. Problems usually stem from when people have certain expectations and you have made it clear. ENJOY!
Post # 5
We didn’t intend on inviting folks to the ceremony, then out for drinks, and expect them to pay for themselves/us
We planned to pay for the first hour or so of the cocktails, much like a 1-hour cocktail hour before the reception. The wedding’s at five, family dinner is at 7, so we figured by 9.30 we’d be ready for an hour or so of celebrating with our friends, before bailing for the night.
Post # 6
Think of it this way . . . you have your primary invitation to the ceremony that everyone gets (which is fairly standard, not everyone puts "reception to follow" on thier invitation to the cermony, many keep it on a separate insert for those they are inviting to the reception as well as the wedding) and then you have two inserts with the invitation. One insert goes to family inviting them to the reception/family dinner. The other insert goes to those friends that are invited to the cermony and discusses the "cocktail" hour.
It’s actually not rude at all. I would suggest not discussing with each side (family vs. friend) what the other group is doing on their invitations.
Post # 7
I think Pelikila said it perfectly — You can do one formal invitation for everyone to the ceremony and have two additional cards – one for the family for dinner and one for the friends for the "cocktail hour" – I think it would be cute. I’m sure most of the friends you are inviting are local, but if not I would maybe suggest a place for them to grab dinner while you are celebrating with your family.