(Closed) Private meal before ceremony–out of line?

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
2091 posts
Buzzing bee

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this at all – it’s the same thing I’ll be doing. Lunch with my bridesmaids and parents (and possibly my Fiance and his groomsmen – we’ll see how he feels about that) around 2pm, then ceremony around 7 with a cocktail/hor’dourves buffet reception afterwards.

Post # 4
151 posts
Blushing bee

Really?  You’re having an evening ceremony and don’t want to feed your guests dinner?  Why not have an earlier ceremony and have afternoon hors dervs?  Or a later ceremony and do a cocktail party?


Post # 5
9053 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

I don’t think it’s unreasonable.  Your immediate family and bridal party have to eat in that date, whether you choose to do it together is up to you.

I had lunch before the ceremony with just my bridesmaids and parents (that I paid for), and it never occurred to me that other guests would be annoyed.

Post # 7
538 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011 - Franciscan Gardens

I think that there’s nothing wrong with having a more intimate meal with close family and bridal party but I feel like having a 6pm wedding will be hard on your guests if you aren’t serving dinner. I would assume that a meal would be provided if I went to a wedding at the hour. Perhaps you could have an earlier ceremony/cocktail hour and be finished so that your guests will still have time to go get some dinner.

Post # 8
4419 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

There’s no reason for the other guests to know that you had a private meal before the ceremony.  It’s really not any of their business.  I think I would mention in the invitation somewhere that you’re serving h’orderves and not a meal just so guest don’t avoid eating thinking there will be a meal.

Post # 9
7300 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. You should probably push the reception to a bit later though and have a cocktail style party instead. If you have an event during a meal time, you have to serve a meal. If it were to start at 7pm or later, then heavy appetizers are fine. 

Post # 11
538 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011 - Franciscan Gardens

Where I come from, it’s not uncommon to have dinner all the way up until about 9pm so I think  to avoid any confusion you could just say on your invitation “Following the ceremony please join us for a reception with h’orderves, drinks, and dancing” That way your guests know what to expect. I would hate for them to leave early because they are hungry!

Post # 12
13 posts
  • Wedding: September 2010

I think its a nice idea– but honestly, if I were an out of town guest and I came to your wedding, I would feel kinda “jipped” if you didn’t even feed me a proper meal. But at the same time I know the moments before a wedding ceremony can get pretty hectic– just be sure you schedule enough time for some “day of mishaps”.

Post # 13
4485 posts
Honey bee

Serve what you can afford but adjust the time properly. Don’t serve just cake at the dinner hour. Is there some reason that you don’t want to eat with your guests? Most will find that odd and rude. There’s nothing wrong with snacking while you’re getting ready but a pre-wedding meal with just parents and wedding party is strange.

Post # 14
5778 posts
Bee Keeper

What I would do is have a late lunch with the bridal party and immediate family only, and go on with your plans as mentioned. Why would anyone else even have to know about it? You all have to eat anyway, so are you all supposed to go without food all day until the reception? Of course not, so what you’ve proposed makes perfect sense.

Are you sure the reception style will save you money? That’s what we had, but it was the most expensive of the options offered by our caterer by a lot. With all the food we had, I promise you no one went hungry, even tho it wasn’t a full meal. All the food was left available and  replenished all night.

I wouldn’t worry about any of it. You’ll be fine. 

Post # 15
4770 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

In Europe that’s how its done prtty much always, that people never feed all their guests, so it sounds fine to me, but it is worrying that you want the ceremony at dinner time, and not feed them, when will they eat if they are travelling and preparing for your wedding?

Post # 16
3176 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Hors d’oeuvres and action stations are actually quite common where I’m getting married. It’s what I’m doing as well and it turns out to be more food and less money than a traditional seated dinner or even a buffet. Our Ceremony is at 4:00pm and reception cocktail hour starts at 6:00. I’m having a bridal brunch before the ceremony with just my girls.

Depending on the amount of food you’re serving you’ll be fine.

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