Posted about tiered receptions elsewhere and was attacked

posted 1 year ago in Guests
Post # 31
4205 posts
Honey bee

Totally unacceptable way to “cut costs”, and I find it’s incredibly rude. All it does is let people know that they’re B-listers in your life. But I’ll bet these people bitch if the dessert-only guests give them smaller gifts than the dinner crowd, because people who do this sort of crap are greedy and self-centered af.

Post # 32
225 posts
Helper bee

Just want to add from another UK bee that what the OP is referring to is incredibly rude, and definitely not what happens here. I won’t repeat what has already been said, but I also think that the fact two couples from the SAME friendship have been invited to different ‘levels’ of the reception only adds to the rudeness.

With evening only invites in the UK, I admit there are sort of two-tiers of guest because the evening guests are usually co-workers and acquaintances (neighbours etc) who live locally. There isn’t the same obligation to go as there is for a day invite, there is no expectation of a gift, and it is seen as an optional thing for the evening guests IF they want to come and celebrate. Not sure we’ll be doing it because of logistics but I don’t find it at all rude if I’m invited to a coworkers or ex school friend’s evening reception – if it’s close by it’s a fun night out with food and dancing provided, and if it isn’t close by I probably don’t go. That’s a very different situation than inviting some friends to the end of a meal other friends have eaten and inviting them all to the ceremony hours before!

Post # 33
768 posts
Busy bee

Wow, they must have all been having tiered receptions and segregating their guests. Can’t imagine why else they’d attack you. What area is this? I’ve NEVER heard of it and it’d be considered so rude. Wonder what the bride and groom thought, that the guests invited to the 6PM wouldn’t tell the others? And how would the others feel about not being chosen for dinner? 

If they can’t afford to feed that many guests, downsize.

Post # 34
1812 posts
Buzzing bee

Huh. I’ve never heard of a tiered reception. So from an outsider’s point of view, it looks like some people were A-list invites and “good enough” to have dinner paid for by the hosts but others were more B-list and therefore only get drinks and dancing. I do consider this rude and can picture it feeling like a popularity contest for the guests—which isn’t a good feeling when it turns out you were the last kid picked for the team.

Post # 35
1257 posts
Bumble bee

Definitely rude. Ruder than an ceremony only invite I would say. At least then you’re not hanging around for hours waiting for the reception drinks and have to pay for dinner yourself. Unequal treatment is always frowned upon and leave a bitter taste in people’s mouth. This is taking it to the next level. 

Post # 36
24 posts
  • Wedding: May 2016

I personally find the whole tiered reception thing rude. 

I didn’t know it existed until I went to a wedding recently for one of my husbands uni friends and half of their uni friendship group was invited to dinner and half only to the ceremony and then back for the evening reception.  They had to go out and eat in between.  I was mortified that I was getting to attend the dinner (because my husband is closer to the groom) when I’d never even met the bride and some of their friends had to fend for themselves for 3 hours!

Post # 37
868 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I have never heard of a tiered reception. What even. So beyond tacky!

Post # 38
64 posts
Worker bee

Did all these people live in the mountain west? Tiered receptions are also the absolute norm for Mormon weddings. You have to have a pass to their temple to attend the ceremony (although I was invited to stand outside as a bridesmaid for pictures). Then a lunch time meal for friends and family and at night a buffet or cake and punch for, what seems like, everyone you know. 

Post # 39
323 posts
Helper bee

I don’t like this at all. To invite everyone to the ceremony and then skip dinner for some doesn’t seem right. What do they do during this time? What about people that live far away? To invite some to reception only, ok, I get it… I still wouldn’t do it, but it’s not AS bad as inviting someone to the ceremony, not the dinner, then to the reception. I don’t usually get all wound up about etiquette, but this to me is a definite no-go.

Post # 40
576 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I am in the UK (south) and have found this common. In fact, the majority of church weddings I’ve been to have done this. It seems to be less common with civil ceremonies.

I’ve been invited to many weddings where I’ve only been invited to the ceremony and the evening, but not the dinner. I wasn’t offended at all, as I wasn’t super-close to those friends and it was nice to be invited to part of it.

TBH if you’re going to invite me to your wedding, I want to be invited to the ceremony. That is the wedding to me. I would find it much weirder to be invited only to the evening and NOT the ceremony, assuming the cermony wasn’t family only.

The only time I was offended was when my (now ex) boyfriend was invited to the dinner but I wasn’t, so I had to occupy myself between the ceremony and party. I thought that was very rude as we’d been together for about 4 years by then and I knew the bride quite well.

TBH don’t most people recognise that some people are closer to the bride and groom than others? Friendships and relationships ARE tiered. 

Edited to say – yes, I am tiering my (church) wedding. But I’m not splitting up couples, or friendship groups, into different tiers. They are tiered by group. Also, anyone who isn’t local is invited to the whole day. I have no qualms about the way we’re doing it.

Also Edited to say – In all the cases I’ve experienced of this, the ceremony and dinner/evening were in different places and required travel between them. Maybe it’s why it’s more common with church weddings. I agree that it would be weird to invite people to a ceremony, then ask them to leave the venue whilst everyone else stayed in the same place for food, then come back later to the same place.

Post # 41
1058 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

Regardless of whether it is common in certain areas, I just don’t like the practice at all. If I don’t see someone as close enough to invite to my entire wedding, I don’t invite them at all. I can’t imagine someone I’m not close with feeling “lucky” just to be invited at all, like my wedding is some prize. I mean if I was famous or rich or something and had some crazy, awesome wedding, maybe, but I’m definitely not lol.

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