(Closed) Inviting some people to ceremony/dinner/reception and others just to reception

posted 4 years ago in Emotional
Post # 2
46672 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

amelliafay:  You can’t please everyone so you may as well give up now.

Inviting some to just the reception is definitely more acceptable than inviting them to only the ceremony. It wouldn’t offend me. Many couples have an intimate ceremony and a larger reception- some by choice, others because the ceremony venue has limited capacity.

Some people will just feel hurt that they didn’t see you actually get married.

Post # 3
242 posts
Helper bee

I am thinking about doing something similar to this, due to logistics. My fiancee and I live in FL and all of my family and some of his are in the KC, MO area. I had thought about having a small ceremony in FL with his family that live here. Our anniversary is May 5th and that is a Tuesday next year. We have talked about trying to have our ceremony that day and then I was thinking about traveling to MO and having our reception that weekend. I would invite different people to both events, what they are close to so they can save money. We would still have some kind of small reception the day of the ceremony, maybe brunch, so our guests do get fed that day. We have also talked about webcasting the ceremony so people could watch wherever they are that day. The full reception would be over the weekend.

I had thought of this as I have a large family and would really like my neices and nephews to be in attendance. And to be able to get family pictures and all that. They would still be in school and not able to take time off during the week so I thought this might work better for people. We would be the ones traveling and be able to include a lot more people this way. I don’t know if this is what we will do, it’s just a thought I had. Good luck to you!

Post # 4
434 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

Maybe people want to actually see you get married? Why wouldn’t you invite them to the ceremony, that part is the cheap part!

And sorry, 50 isn’t “intimate”. Maybe if it was just your immediate families, but I would feel really weird if I was your friend and didn’t make the cut to actually see you get married. Yes, the reception is fun, but I honestly enjoy watching my friends get married.

Post # 5
7276 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

When I go to a wedding I usually like to see the couple actually get married. I would probably understand if it truly was an intimate wedding where only siblings and parents are invited but when there are fifty people, I no longer consider that intimate. At this point I view it as a ‘tiered’ system and would likely feel a little hurt.

Post # 6
2268 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

amelliafay:  I think the bigger issue for me is that you’re only feeding some people in this scenario. While other bees like sarals24 have mentioned the important point that your friends and family would like to watch you get married (and the reception is actually a way for you to say thank you to the people who attended your ceremony, to this end), I think that it is way worse to not be invited to the ceremony and the dinner. 

“My wedding doesn’t reflect spending a ton of money on people just to make them happy. It reflects us and people should come to celebrate our new lives together. I feel it is rude people won’t come because I am not feeding them a ton of food.”

The real issue here is that weddings never ever have to reflect spending a ton of money — you’re absolutely right! But you should host the wedding that you can afford. If you can afford a dinner for 50 people, that’s wonderful! But you shouldn’t invite other guests after dinner. It’s called a tiered reception and it makes the guests invited later in the evening feel second rate. It causes hurt feelings and sometimes conveys the message that you like someone enough for you to want them to dress up and celebrate your wedding and purchase a gift, but not enough for you to pay to host them at your dinner. While this might not be the message you want to send, it is often received in this way. I think you should try to cut back on either your reception costs or your guest list.


Post # 7
46672 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

amelliafay:   I apologize for my first response, I misread your post. It is not good etiquette in the USA to invite people to join you at the reception after the dinner. Althoiugh this is common in the UK, this is not the UK.

crackktheskyy:  Thank you for your response. It helped me notice that I misread the OP.

Post # 8
7673 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

amelliafay:  If you’re not inviting them to the dinner then you’re not really inviting them to the reception. I’d say it’s more like you’re inviting them to the after party. From the point of view of the guest, they feel like they’re expected to bring a gift, and in return they don’t get to see the ceremony and don’t get a meal. Even if you’re not expecting gifts, there is a feeling of that obligation.

I understand that you’re trying to please everyone, and don’t want to go broke doing it. And many people won’t be offended – I’ve been to one “tiered” wedding and I understood. But the chances are some people will not like it.

Post # 9
1251 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

amelliafay:  If you are in the Uk then this is perfectly normal so go right ahead. If you are in the US, Australia etc. then this is not the norm and yes it would be considered rude by most. I would not attend just an evening reception after the ceremony/dinner has been done.  The ceremony is the whole point of a wedding – I want to see my friends get married, not just cut a cake.  I love how some brides get on here saying that their wedding is not about spending lots of money (aka feeding your guests a meal etc) like the rest of us just have wads of cash to burn. Maybe the rest of us saved or had the wedding we could afford so we could host our guests properly.

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