Post # 17
It is never acceptable to invite guests to only part of some event. But it is perfectly acceptable to host different events and have different guestlists for each event. If it were not so, you would have to invite everyone to your wedding who came to your kindergarten birthday party. The trick is to actually work the events as two separate events — and yes, that does mean you need two sets of invitations. The normal way to do this is to do one big invitation for the part where everyone is welcome, using the full formal wording. In this case, it is to “an evening of dancing, with refreshments.” Don’t call it a “reception” because your guests will not be able to tell from that ambiguous phrase whether to expect dinner or not. Then add a card to only the smaller number of guests bearing just the phrase “Ceremony at <time and place> with Dinner to follow.” If you are old fashioned you can refer diners dinner as a “Wedding Breakfast” but since modern guests may never have heard of people fasting prior to a religios ceremony like a wedding they will probably misunderstand and expect pancakes if you use that more traditional phrasing.
Post # 18
Thank you to those who actually read the question, and gave me a possible solution.
Post # 19
So intimateceremony/ sit down dinner for family and then a reception with food and snacks right? That sounds great, you dont want your guests waiting hours for the real reception so you are inviting them to just the reception.
Why is everyone upset over that?
Post # 20
I recently went to a friends wedding where the ceremony was very intimate (only family and close friends) and the reception was a large party (250+ guests). I was invited to both events but others who weren’t didn’t seem to have a problem with it.
I think you should send out seperate invites (which my friend did)
Post # 21
@FutureMrsMenjivar: Because in one of her posts the OP said that she was inviting 100 guests and then an extra 20 guests to just the dance. That is not normally considered an intimate ceremony- that is excluding people. It is not a cultural thing it is a financial thing- the OP said that they can only afford to host 100 people to the dinner. Now if it was the other way around (20 people at the ceremony and dinner and another 100 at the dance) then that may be considered correct according to etiquette.
Honestly these are new collegaues are probably going to be offended when they turn up at the dance only to find out that 100 other people were invited to what you told them was an intimate ceremony for only close family!
It doesn’t matter whether you expect gifts or not- your guests will probably follow etiquette and not be rude and bring a gift along. You should probably extend them the same courtesy. Most people attend a wedding because they want to witness the actual ceremony not to party!
Post # 22
Just to weigh in on this without any snarkiness or drama. I am doing this myself we are having 37- 50 people at the ceremony and we are having a reception with 150 people. I have all my invites divided up. Group A is ceremony and reception and Group B is reception only. The people that are getting invited to reception only do not have a problem. I do believe that you should give an invite to all however, word of mouth is not bad either. At the end of the day it is about you and your husband in gods eyes. I also say do what your budget allows everyones is different. Good luck
Post # 23
@j_jaye: Makes sense now! I definitley didnt see her last post! Thanks for filling me in:) In this case then yeah it is most definitley excluding people.