(Closed) Reception for univited guests at a later date?

posted 10 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

My sister had a small wedding.  Because of where she lives, it was basically a destination wedding for all the family on both sides.  A month after the wedding we had a nice open-house type reception for her at my parent’s house.  We ordered a small version of the wedding cake, and made appetizers ourselves.  We had a small book of photos from the wedding for people to see.

I think it’s a great idea to have a second reception for the guests you couldn’t invite, or who couldn’t attend.  I do think that 6 months is too long to wait, unless you’re going to be out of the country all that time or something.  I assume you’re waiting that long in order to do something fancy, more like your actual wedding reception, but I honestly don’t think that is necessary.  Something less formal and less expensive is fine.  After all, these people aren’t going to have any illusions that they’re at your actual wedding reception anyway.

The way to invite people is either 1) to send out an invitation to just the second reception, or 2) to send out a wedding announcement with invitation to the reception.  To do the second, you need to wait until after the wedding (at least to mail them).  To do the first, you can send them soon after your actual invitations.  There is no need to point out to the people invited to the second reception that you didn’t invite them to the first one, or to the actual wedding.  That would just be awkward, and sort of rude (IMO).  And that’s probably the biggest issue (again, IMO) with waiting 6 months – you sort of have to tell people something, because obviously in 6 months they are going to hear that you’re married, and figure out that they weren’t invited.

Post # 4
596 posts
Busy bee

i think a 6 month lag is a bit long…is there any way to push back the wedding a bit so that there won’t be a 6 month lag?  i think 1-2 months is more of a reasonable timeframe.

Post # 5
1156 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2005 - Westside Loft, New York

i used to help cater events when i was younger, and one of the events i worked on was a second reception for guests who weren’t invited to the wedding.  it was held at a home with catered food and a bartender.  very low key — perhaps you could do something like that?  personally i’m a big fan of the casual reception — my sil’s bbq wedding had some of the best food ever.

suzanno has some great tips above, and i also agree that 6 months is too long to wait.  many guests you intend to invite to your second reception will probably hear that you’re already married by then.  i think guests will generally understand that you’re having a very small wedding for family, and a second reception is a great (potentially cost saving) alternative to try to include more of your friends.

good luck!

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