(Closed) Is this tacky?

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 46
355 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - The Fairmont, SF

It’s not something that I would do but it is done often where I live (UK) and I had a friend do something similar when she was married in the States last year. I don’t think people will find it tacky, though you may have a few guests puzzled or even miffed that they didn’t make the cut for the ceremony. Your points and reasons are 100% valid but people are people and hurt feelings happen. 

Now, for perspective, my friend did it the WRONG way and made it known to people that they were tiered. In fact, I think she even included a card in each B-list guest’s invitation saying something like, “Our ceremony is limited to close friends and family only, but we hope you’ll join the reception!” 

Already kind of awkward but then it turned out her “close friends and family” comprised about 250 guests in the church, of which only half were family. Obviously different than your circumstances but it was kind of hard to convince her B-list that all of the friends she’d invited for the entire day were truly her nearest and dearest. 

Post # 48
1403 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I think the division can only work if you have a very small number (under 10) at the ceremony and then a larger reception.  I would be very hurt if my friend invited 40 people to her ceremony and I was an “add on” at the reception.  You need to find another venue or just cut the guest list to a number that you can have in the house.

Post # 49
2695 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

View original reply
VictorianChick:  Usually yes I think it is tacky, but given your situation, no I would be understanding, especially because I’m planning a wedding myself and understand how hard and expensive it can be. But, don’t be surprised if a couple people do get offended. In my opinion, the venue not holding everyone is a good enough excuse in itself.

Once I was invited to a girls wedding shower, bachelorette, stag and doe, the ceremony, then reception… with cash bar.

I was invited to EVERY event I had to spend money on her, but not to the dinner, or anything where they spent money on me. I felt that was very tacky and basically for that reason I decided that for my wedding either you’re in or out!

Our venue doesn’t accomodate a sit down for everyone so we’re having a passed/plated appetizer and dessert reception instead so everyone will fit lol.

Post # 50
1987 posts
Buzzing bee

View original reply
HannahGrace:  +1  Leaving etiquette aside and going only on sentiment, I would not be hurt if I was invited to a reception because only the close family were at the ceremony, but if I found out that I wasn’t in your “top 40” or whatever, if I considered you anything more than an acquaintance, I would be hurt, and I would begin adjusting my perception of the relationship accordingly.

View original reply
VictorianChick:  All ^^ being said, I’m sorry that this is causing you so much stress.  I hope that you and your fiancé can come to a shared agreement about what is most important to you in your ceremony and create a strategy to present a united front against those who wish for you to change to their whim.

Post # 51
402 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I was invited by a friend to her reception, but not to eat.  She extended an invite to come have a drink.  I thought it was nice, and I understood.  So no, I don’t think there is a problem.  From the time I became engaged I have noticed that more people prefer to be invited to the reception.

Oh, and I am 45 and not even close to dead!!!LOL  Our finances are minimal, so this has been an uphill climb for us.  I would like to marry before I am dead!

Post # 52
2412 posts
Buzzing bee

If you were having a destination wedding and entertaining guests at a larger reception, the word “tacky” would never

have entered your mind.

I’m about as hard nosed, old lady, prissy-prissy as you can get regarding proper, and given your circumstances, i can see NOTHING about this celebration that is tacky.

Also, I see nothing about this that even smacks of A list and/or B list. I am attending a wedding in a few weeks at which the ceremony is in my neighborhood and the reception is several hours away. I’m absolutely CERTAIN that I’ll be seeing different faces and more/less people at one location than at the other

That’s LOGISTICS, not some sort of over inflated sense of courtesy. You share your ceremony with those to whom you are most intimately connected, then entertain even more dear ones in a celebration.

Do it! It’s a delightful idea!

Post # 53
164 posts
Blushing bee

View original reply
VictorianChick:  I’m doing something pretty similar. We are having a ceremony with immediate family and a wedding breakfast/party with all the guests. We are in the uk so it’s more common here but the ceremony room we wanted wasn’t big enough for our guest list (by about 20) only other option at the venue was a function room with no windows for an extra £700!! No thanks. 

We sent out 2 lots of invites, the second batch explained the space issue and had a different time on. 

I also came on here first for advice and might aswel have been burned at the stake for my suggestion but can honestly say not one person has been offended, you know your guests better than a bunch of internet strangers if you think they’d be cool with it  stick with your dream! 

  • This reply was modified 6 years, 11 months ago by katem73.
Post # 65
9538 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

I think it’s fine! I had a friend that got married in a small  ceremony with just immediate family (parents and siblings) then had a big reception that I went to. I was a little sad that I didn’t get to see the whole thing, but I wasn’t offended and had a ball at the reception. I do agree that I would keep the ceremony very small with just immediate family and the bridal party to minimize the thoughts of “why them and not me?”

Post # 55
101 posts
Blushing bee

I have been to lots of receptions without attending the actual ceremony for a variety of reasons (couple eloped, small ceremony space, etc.). It’s fine. You’re inviting them to the more expensive part of the day, so they won’t be offended.

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