Post # 1
So Long story short we had our hearts set on a cosy little recption party in the inlaws backyard. We were planning to have an intimate family style dinner at a big long table, a homemade photobooth, a little dancefloor with live acoustic music, an area with comfy couches and firepits…. you get the vibe anyway….. but then like many experience boom goes the guest list and your looking at 90, a little more than the 50 count we had hoped for.
There is way too much drama involved in telling our parents no. We were keeping it to close friends, imediate family, grandparents and aunts and uncles. This had us at about 50… which we were really happy about. My partner has a much bigger family than us (uncles and aunties wise) and a couple of my uncles can’t come, so we have no one really representing my side, So I let my parents have a few close family friends. The list grew a little. My Inlaws saw that my parents had friends so they also wanted their close family friends and Fiance thought that was fair enough. So it grew a little bit more. I have a step family (which have never really felt like family but its important to my step father as he will be walking me down the aisle and all), And a bunch of really good friends we had not even thought of popped up and wham we are at 90 and neither of us can cull it lower.
We are self catering (will have people cooking on the day- not family or wedding guests tho). The backyard is on the smaller side and seating 90 guests means we will have to change the layout of the whole thing and use the garage as a dfloor…. totally not the little pretty wedding I wanted… 90 guests makes it somewhat chaotic.
So we thought a possible solution (which I’m super excited about) would be to have our ceremony (everything is scheduled for 5:30), follow the ceremony with that family style dinner for 50 (or less) like we had hoped, try and finish up by about 8:30 and then have a dessert reception from then on which all of the other guests would come to and we would do all of the formalities then.
We will have 2 different invites on for the dinner and one which clearly states dessert recption. We figure this way we can possible just have dinner with all the people who are most special to us and all of the other people who are still part of our lives and still should be invited get to be there too.
I know our parents will have some trouble digesting this, but after all the day is about us getting married and everyone coming along to support us and help us celebrate.
I would love any feedback…. (Thanks for reading)
Post # 3
Please don’t do this. The guests who are only invited to the dessert reception will find out about the dinner and will be offended that they were not invited to the entire celebration.
Post # 4
The point of view from a guest.
This is a relatively small wedding anyway so assuming I am invited I am falling within the “important people” as opposed to your coworker or second cousin once-removed.
So especially in this already small wedding if I were invited to the dessert only reception I would think so I am important enough for you to invite me for a present, but not important enough for you to feed me dinner.
What are the guests going to do for hours between the ceremony and dessert reception? and if they are not invited to the ceremony, then the same impression prevails.
Thanks for inviting me for my present. I feel used.
Post # 5
@violettw: There is way too much drama involved in telling our parents no.
I’m sorry, hon, but how old are you two? Who is paying for the wedding?
I agree with the 2 previous posters.
Post # 6
If you’re looking for less drama, a tiered reception isn’t the way to accomplish that, sorry! For the guests who are invited to the ceremony and the later reception, they’ll wonder why they had to kill those hours in between and spend their own money on dinner somewhere else while you’re paying for half of the guests to eat. For them, it’ll feel like you didn’t value them as much as the people whom you’ve provided dinner for.
If you’re paying (and therefore hosting) the event, the guest list is under your control. You decide how many people and who gets invited. If you over-invited, that’s something you’re going to have to appropriately resolve… and in this case, the best option would be to either change the layout of the reception in order to properly host everyone, or change to a different venue that can accomodate everyone.
Sorry OP, but I think your plan could very likely end up backfiring on you and it could lead to things being awkward and uncomfortable.
Post # 7
What country are you getting married in? The reason I ask is this seems to be an unacceptable solution for those from the USA and Canada, whilst, me being British found it to be a perfectly suitable solution. This is something that is VERY common in the UK, and I don’t think I have been to a wedding that didn’t have a tiered reception. I have been both all-dayer and evening guest and have never felt offended.
What is the food style of the day? Could you maybe adapt this to be suitable for 90 people? More of a rustic, romantic BBQ style, where there is not set eat time, but more of a casual grab a bite to eat. You could have scattered coushins so people could have it pick-nick style, so there’s more room.
Post # 8
I understand what you’re going for, I think, but I agree with others that there is really no way to keep people from knowing they were not invited to the dinner. Is there any way you could change the time and simply have a dessert reception for all in the afternoon? Though I also agree with the above encouragements to actually sort this out with your parents rather than being steamrolled by them.
Post # 9
It really is not a good idea to do a tiered reception. A wedding is an all or nothing event – guests must be invited to all of it, or none of it. I understand guest list issues, but every bride faces that. If you are paying yourselves, you should just put your feet down. At a certain point in our adult lives, we need to learn to say no to our parents.
Post # 10
I am in Australia so maybe there is a slight culture difference. At most weddings I have been too there is a gap between the ceremony and reception anyway, whilst photos are being done. This is when most guests sneak off to the closest bar/pub and get a few drinks in before the reception.
I could understand some people feeling offended, but I don’t believe I would be offended being invited to a wedding with a dessert recpetion in general. After all we are there to see the couple be married and help them to celebrate and we are still offering that experience to our guests.
Our close family and bridal party will be the only guests present at the dinner. So we hope that our guests will be understanding of that, we will not straight out hide it but we are not going to advertise it either.
I guess we just have to go with our guts on this and trust that we know our guests well enough to decide if they would be upset by this or not, which we don’t really think many of them will. And the people that are likely to take it personally will all be present at the dinner anyway.
We did make it pretty clear on our invites that presents are not necessary as its just important for us to get the chance to celebrate, so if guests decide that us not feding them dinner means they wont get us a present then thats their perogative, but its not like we are giving them nothing.
I appreciate the feedback, has definetly given us some insight. But I guess at the end of the day we just need to trust ourselves that it will work in our situation.
Post # 11
im confused, so some people would come for the dessert only? or ceremony.,go away for a bit…then dessrt?
There would surely be that awkward moment whne guests realise that half are invited for a dinner and half arent?
i dont think i would go away, kill a few hours then come back…i think id just attend the ceremony and go home. as i guest, i think anything more than one hour gap between events is too much, unless its a kind of cocktail hour or something
Post # 12
There is obviously a big cultural difference here, because almost all weddings in australia that we have been to have a ceremony around 3pm and the reception about 6pm and like I said the guests do go off for a while and come back for dinner.
I think maybe it’s a bit silly for me to keep this conversation going because no one is on the same page. Ive disscussed the topic with a few friends and everyone is very understanding about it and thinks that it is a very logical solution to incuding everyone.
After all its my wedding day and I need to do what makes me and my partner happy and if a few guests are going to get sour because I’m not feeding them dinner then I don’t really know why I would want them in my life anyway.
They should just understand that we are having a small dinner with our bridal party and our close family and that they are still invited to the party, the will still be feed yummy food for dessert, the will still be able to get drunk on us and they will be entertained and included in all the other formalities of a reception.
Thanks everyone for your input. I really wasn’t expecting such a backlash, I’ll make sure I let you know how it all goes and if people choose to be offended or not attended, but I don’t think this will really be the case for the majority.
Post # 13
I think you’ll get what you want…50 people for dinner. If I was a guest, I wouldn’t wait around 3 hours to hang out with you. I just wouldn’t….even if I thought we were buddies. I think maybe doing a private ceremony/dinner and then reception a day later might be a teensy less insulting.
“I think maybe it’s a bit silly for me to keep this conversation going because no one is on the same page.” You’re also on a primarily US board so there are cultural differences afoot.
Post # 14
Your thread title makes me think dirty thoughts
“Our solution to keeping it small when it gets big (long) Love thoughts…”
Post # 15
Post # 16
If anyone is still following this I’d just like to say after much consideration we have decided to just split the wedding up over two nights.
We will be having our ceremony followed by our small dinner just like we wanted. We will only be inviting our close family and friends. This will be on the friday night.
Then on the saturday we will just be inviting everyone for a big party.
These guys pulled off something similar and there wedding looked and sounded so cool.
Mainly, just wrote this for anyone following the convo and interested about how it turned out.