(Closed) Irish & UK brides – Please explain this to me!

posted 6 years ago in Reception
  • poll: How do you feel about inviting people to the "Afters" only? Choose all that apply to you please!
    I am NOT Irish/UK and I have NEVER heard of this tradition. : (16 votes)
    11 %
    I AM Irish (or from the UK) and I HAVE heard of this tradition : (38 votes)
    26 %
    I AM Irish (or from the UK) and I have NEVER heard of this tradition : (1 votes)
    1 %
    I am NOT Irish/UK and I HAVE heard of this tradition. : (19 votes)
    13 %
    This IS common place - I am overacting and my fiance is right. Invite them to the "afters" only : (37 votes)
    25 %
    This IS common place - But it is still very rude &bad etiquette. Invite ppl to everything or nothing : (8 votes)
    5 %
    This is NOT common place - It's only "normal" in my Fiance's head, and it is actually super rude : (2 votes)
    1 %
    Whether or not it is common place - I would NOT be okay with it. : (12 votes)
    8 %
    Whether or not it is common place - I WOULD be okay with it. : (14 votes)
    10 %
  • Post # 32
    899 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    Definitely very common.

    UK weddings tend to be smaller than US ones: 30-80 people for the “whole event”, often up to 50 more coming just for the evening reception (post-dinner drinks, dancing and buffet). When we’ve been invited to the evening, it has usually been the wedding of a work colleague, church friend or other friend who we like and spend time with bit maybe aren’t too close to.

    We are usually just pleased to be part of the couple’s day – see the bride in her dress, say congratulations, have a dance 🙂

    Post # 34
    258 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    My Fiance is Irish (also from the west coast!) and he has told me many times about this tradition. He doesn’t understand that “afters” aren’t even a real possibility for us when we’re kicked out of the hall at midnight and all the bars close at 2 even if we went somewhere else! But yeah, def common and apparently not at all rude! 🙂 

    Post # 35
    13 posts

    I think perhaps from a financial perspective, many UK weddings have this because it may well be too expensive to have everyone you know come to the ceremony and breakfast so you then prioritise family and closest friends for the whole day and have other friends come to the evening only. Weddings do tend to be a lot smaller in the UK and having evening only only guests is very common. I understand in your case though, that for the sake of 4 people, you may as well just invite them to the whole event! 

    Post # 36
    855 posts
    Busy bee

    Absolutely evening reception only!!!

    It’s NOT rude in the slightest, and most people are delighted to go to the evening only. A lot of people find the ceremony to be the boring part, and they just want to come to party!!

    In the UK, less of an emphasis is put on the meal, and more on the dancing part.

    As for it being rude, I’d feel more gutted if I wasn’t invited to ANY part of the wedding, than just the evening. Like, if I found the bride & groom couldn’t afford to feed everyone but didn’t want to do evening guests and left me out – I’d be a bit sad. Especially as we have cash bars so it doesn’t cost ANYTHING to invite people to your evening do.

    I would literally invite everyone I know to the evening, but we have a 130 people capacity and we’ve hit it. 50 people are coming to the evening reception, and they are all thrilled.

    It’s also worth noting that we do ‘huge gifts’ like others do. Evening guests may not even give a gift – just a card. But it’s totally normal and no one cares.

    Post # 37
    113 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    I’m a uk bride, and we did this for our wedding. Not because we didn’t want people there all day, but becauswe our venue was small, and it wworthy best we could do in the situation. The way I see it is that we could invite people with their partners for the evening evenand rather than just them for the day which would have been the case.


    in the UK this is extremely common, and won’t be seen as disrespectful, unless of course these guys are super keen to come to the ceremony?! My husband fully admitted he’d rather attend the evening event than the ceremony, not because he doesn’t want to see people get married, but because he’d prefer to have a drinK and a chat with his friends than to sit waiting around for photos, etc for a few ours. 

    Post # 38
    284 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    @HappinessIsInDaisies:  We are doing this. The 150+ guestssome people have would be a very tight squeeze in our church .

    We do seem to spend more time celebrating the wedding in the UK. Our ceremony is at 1pm but we are not expecting our evening reception to finish until midnight (maybe longer at hotel has 24hr bar for people staying there). We will be having a sit-down dinner at 4-ish with the evening reception starting at 7 with a buffet later. I work with a large work crowd that I will be inviting to the evening. They would think it wierd if I invited them to the ceremony and dinner. Plus many of my older relatives will prob disappear after first dance when cousins proceed to drink the bar dry

    This is really common. Even for extended family to be invited for just the evening reception.

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