(Closed) Invited to a 5:30 pm wedding but no dinner will be served. Rude or OK?

posted 4 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Is it acceptable for a 5:30 PM wedding to not include dinner?
    Yes, it's fine. Weddings are expensive. : (59 votes)
    11 %
    No, that is terrible! Cheap! : (490 votes)
    89 %
  • Post # 2
    2076 posts
    Buzzing bee

    Wait, was “no dinner will be provided to save costs” noted on the invite?  Oh god I hope so, because that just makes this even better.

    I can probably bet you all the money in the world that if they aren’t serving a meal to “save on costs” that they will most likely have a cash bar and probably just cheese and crackers for the duration of the reception.

    This wedding will probably be extrememly short since everyone will want to leave to go and get a meal.  If I were you I would make a reservation at a nice restaurant for 7pm and duck out of the wedding early.


    Post # 3
    47278 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    raspberrybidet:  If you are entertaining guests over the hours when a meal would traditionally be served, you need to serve one, period.

    If you can’t afford dinner, plan an alternative time for your wedding and serve refreshments that you can afford; brunch, lunch, cake and punch etc.

    Post # 4
    2600 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    I’ve heard of weddings with heavy appetizers at 5:30pm. I’ve only heard of “cake and punch” being at like, 2pm, but I don’t really see a problem wtih having a wedding at 5:30, toasting the couple at 6:15, and being done by 6:30-7pm. 

    TBH, I don’t see as big of a problem since they did the right thing and informed guests about it so that people would know to make their own plans. Maybe they couldnt’ get the ceremony site until that time or something. And if people are so put out by not receiving a meal or if they feel the time is inappropriate, then they can decline.  

    Post # 5
    3563 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    Well….I sure hope they don’t have an open bar when they aren’t providing food! 

    This may be another area/culture thing…but I personally find this rude.  You just don’t host a party, expect wedding gifts, and not give your guests something to eat for dinner.  That’s just poor taste. 

    Post # 6
    2180 posts
    Buzzing bee

    raspberrybidet:  Man, even events that aren’t over typical mealtimes should have some kind of refreshment. Even piano recitals as a kid had lemonade and cookies afterwards.

    I second a PP–make dinner reservations and leave early. I hope they didn’t plan a typical 4-6 hour reception without enough food for a meal for their guests, no one’s going to stick around long enough for their exit.

    Post # 7
    9899 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2016

    So rude. If you want to skip dinner to save costs (totally understandable!) you need to not have your wedding at a meal time!

    Post # 8
    2119 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    raspberrybidet:  i went to my friends wedding that started at like 2 and had some cheesy apps. i was kind of pissed. i was so hungry. we went to the bars after i got a burger at like 10pm.  if they have heavy apps then its totally acceptable.

    Post # 9
    1377 posts
    Bumble bee

    raspberrybidet:  Guests comfort should take precident over an expensive dress, flowers, decorations etc etc. Are they serving alcohol and not serving food, cuz people are going to be hangry and wasted.

    When will people learn, IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD IT, DON’T HOST IT. 

    Post # 10
    893 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    I wouldn’t go.  Sounds like a janky affair.  I bet anything she’s got an expensive dress and flowers and decor, etc.

    Post # 11
    268 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2016

    I think if you are going to have a dinner time wedding.. such as 5:30.. than at least serve something. if you are planning on cutting the dinner, at least have it at a decent time such as after dinner.. maybe 7..8? which would give people a chance to eat? i went to a wedding that had no dinner before. i left within an hour.. along with about 1/2 the wedding.. people with kids, or people who didnt know there was a dinner are obviously going to be hungry i just don’t understand the thought process on this really


    Post # 12
    1746 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2018

    hmmm. I don’t know if it’s rude, but it sure strikes me as super strange. If you don’t have a big budget there are so many alternatives. (Like PP said) Or totally pare back the guest list. (no idea which relationship OP’s boyfriend has to the couple. raspberrybidet is your boyfriends a super close friend or relative?)

    (also about the “no dinner will be provided to save costs.” that is probably just translated into manspeak and I am thinking the original explanation was a lot more thoughtful 😉 )


    Post # 13
    4891 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    I’ve attended weddings of friends where only apps were served. One had a lot of apps, which was fine, and the other did not have very many. They were both 6pm receptions times, where the “meal” started right away.

    I know the one couple with a lot of apps was trying to cut costs, and the other… who knows. The latter did end up bringing some food out later, so you had something to soak in the booze.

    Even our dinner didn’t start until 7pm (after an hour long social hour), and we fed everyone a plated meal.

    Post # 14
    2733 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2015

    “To save costs”. Um, no. Cut costs elsewhere. You can at least have a bunch of burgers and hotdogs or order pizza. I don’t invite people to my house without offering food, let alone a wedding where guests are expected to travel and bring a gift. If they can’t afford food at their wedding, they shouldn’t be having a reception. Just elope.

    I’d probably leave after the ceremony and go get dinner somewhere.

    Post # 15
    8630 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    raspberrybidet:  It’s fine to skip a sit-down dinner as long as food is being served (we did very heavy passed apps but it was more than enough to fill you up as much as a plated dinner would have), but this sounds like they aren’t going to feed you at all! definitely rude to not feed you anything…

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