(Closed) Invited to "after party" not ceremony…separate invites?

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
1603 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@celicacutie:  We’re in a similar situation, sort of. We’re not holding a sit-down dinner, so our venue has a lot of room for mingling and walking around, BUT the outdoor ceremony space is quite small. Because of that, we’re inviting only family and very close friends to the ceremony, and then opening up the reception to everyone else.

That bieng said, I’m also not certain how to go about it! We’re thinking that we’ll just distribute two different types of invitations, but it is confusing.

Post # 4
9134 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

I would hold off on Save the Dates for the after party.  Send separate invitations to each event specifying what exactly they are invited to so there isn’t any confusion.  Be aware that some guests might be miffed by being invited to one event but not the other, especially since they are on the same day.

Post # 6
7416 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

I wouldn’t share the wedding website with anyone not invited to the wedding; and I also wouldn’t share the registry information. You’re not inviting them to the ceremony or the reception so you really shouldn’t accept or solicit a gift from them. If it’s only 10 people, i would either spend the money on invites for them (really it’s not going to add that much money) or call them and invite them personally.  Don’t send them a STD. You’re inviting them to an after-party which isn’t on the same level as the wedding; if they miss it due to prior obligation, they’re just missing a party.

If you sent me an e-vite and invited me just to the bar portion of your event, I’d feel like a second-class citizen.  

Post # 7
11520 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

@celicacutie:  I received an invite to ‘come and dance the night away’ with a couple.  I was invited to the after party but not the ceremony/dinner.

I would do a cute e-vite saying ‘we’re getting married and we want you to come party the night away with us to celebrate – party to start at xx time at xx location – bride and groom will arrive at x’ or something to make it clear that the party is after the wedding…

ETA: I would limit the ceremony to family only – that way you’re not putting your friends on different levels, if that makes sense.  FH’s cousin had to do that – her cute school house for the ceremony only held 40 people – they then had a big reception at their cottage


Post # 9
7416 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

@celicacutie:  Maybe I worded it wrong but I would feel like a second class citizen if I were sent an electronic invite to the “pay your own way” party while others were invited to share a meal.  It’s like you like me enough to invite me along when it doesn’t cost you anything but not enough to  invite me when you have to buy me cocktails and finger food. I know it is space and not budget that is imposing those constraints but I’m just saying what your guests might feel. Then to not even spend $5 on an actual invite, it’s kind of cold.

Also you may say you’re not having a reception, but if you’re having a cocktail hour, cake, and dancing after the wedding…. that’s a reception. You can call it what you want but those are the activities commonly associated with wedding reception, and your guests are apt to make the same conclusion, regardless of what nametag you put on it.


Post # 11
2587 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - UK

@celicacutie:  I would send them a separate invitation. This sort of tiered reception thing is pretty common in the UK, and people invited for the ‘evening do’ tend to get an invitation like the rest of the guests, but only containing information for the evening portion.

The last wedding I was invited for the evening portion of was a bit more informal than others, so they didn’t include the registry information in the invites as is customary over here, and we just got sent an email later that they had a honeyfund set up.


It was a good night though! Yours sounds like it will be loads of fun. I am super down for mini-burgers.

Post # 12
3682 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I think it depends on where you’re from. This may be common where you live, but where I’m from it wouldn’t fly. If this is something that is commonly done in your area, I would send the extra people their own invitations. 5-10 invitations shouldn’t break the bank, and you could even print them yourself to save money.

Post # 13
489 posts
Helper bee

@celicacutie:  I think what PP’s may be suggesting about this is that it’s sort of like telling your guests that you’d like to party with them, but they aren’t quite important enough to you to be invited to the ceremony. 1st class gets ceremony and party, 2nd class gets party only.  I think sometimes there’s a concern about whether guests are expected (or feel that they are expected) to bring gifts even though they weren’t invited to everything.  


I think maybe a phone call would work well, or mention to it when you see these friends. That way you can at least explain that you’d love to see them and your venue was just too small to fit everyone that you wanted. I think as long as they understand the situation, everyone would be happy to come to the after party. It sounds like fun!

Post # 14
129 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

i think I would  make the main invitation pertaining to the after-party and add an insert with ceremony details for those invited to the actual wedding. 

Post # 15
966 posts
Busy bee

I agree that if you invite some friends to just the after party that you have a family only cermony. 

Post # 16
592 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@celicacutie:  A lot of the UK brides have tiered weddings where some are invited to the ceremony and others to the adter party as you call it. invite who you want to the ceremony and send a separate invite to the people you are inviting to the party. 

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