(Closed) The Bride can’t afford to invite all to the main reception, After party???

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
14183 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

I don’t think it’s ok

If she were my friend I’d still go and probably not bring a very expensive gift if she can’t even scrounge up dinner for me. Sorry, but the price of the gift I bring is highly dependent on the type of reception the bride throws. 

Post # 4
2725 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

So let me get this straight, she’s not inviting them to the dinner but to a toast that’s at the same place? I was thinking if the after party is somewhere else and it’s just some casual friends, it would be ok. But if it’s all at the same place, that’s just wrong in my book.

Post # 5
425 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

Can you give us more info??  Im not sure what to think…. what did your invite say VS. the other people’s invites that are invited to the "after party"  

Post # 6
2819 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

Personally, I’m going to have to disagree with traditional etiquette on this one, because I completely understand the situation. My fiance and I are university students, and are planning on getting married the summer/fall after we graduate. We won’t have much money. Originally when we were hashing out the guest list, we really really really wanted an intimate dinner. Read: bride & groom, maid of honour & best man, and our parents (8 people total); we later changed this to include the grandparents (so our dinner part of the reception would be 10 people total).

We wanted to go this way for several reasons: A) my fiance and I don’t like multi-tabled dinners where you don’t talk to anyone but the people at your own assigned table, and we REALLY dislike the idea of a head table (this is just us, mind you), B) we wanted to go out to a nice (expensive) restaurant for dinner, rather than have it catered, C) we wanted to try to save money, and D) we wanted it to be intimate. However, we did want everyone in our families/friends to see the ceremony, and we would have loved to have them come for dancing, cake & drinks (aka, the after-party toast you’re talking about).

Unfortunately, because most of our guests are out of town (it’s not a destination wedding, and 85% of our 80-person guest list (including us) is family), we decided that we should probably provide dinner for them. So we ended up NOT going with having an intimate dinner, but the point is we WANTED to. We just can’t.

I would urge you to consider the financial and emotional reasons why your friend is opting to have a smaller dinner, and then have everyone come out for dancing and toasts. I wasn’t thinking about my smaller reception as a gift grab; for me, it was a way to have the small, intimate dinner I wanted, without having to not invite people to the ceremony/after-party.

Post # 7
765 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

If if is at a separate location from the wedding reception, I don’t think it’s tacky. 

My husband was invited to an after party at a hotel where they catered in light hors d’oeuvres and it was BYOB.


Post # 8
1276 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I agree about separate location not being inappropriate.  Dunno what I think if it’s in the same place…probably a little odd.

I really don’t see how this impacts the gift you bring.  If a couple is unable to afford a more elaborate wedding (which may be b/c of their means or b/c they don’t have help from family that others’ might have), I don’t see how it changes what gift to give.  I guess part of this stems from my philosophy that wedding gifts should not be about "paying for your plate".  If a couple chooses a $200/head location, why should that be a financial burden on guests.  And if a couple chooses a $20/head location, does that somehow make them less worthy?  In My Humble Opinion, wedding presents are about setting the couple up for their new life together, not paying for the wedding itself.

Anyway, in your case I don’t think it matters at all.  You *are* invited to the reception…so even if you do think that wedding gifts are about "paying for your plate", well, then you should do that.  Of course, if this is really impacting what you think of the ocuple, maybe it’s better not to go.  No point in knowingly bringing bad feelings about the couple to their wedding.

Post # 9
2640 posts
Sugar bee

I think Jenniphyr makes an interesting point.  However I do think that a dinner with just parents and the wedding party, is different than having a reception in which some, from your circle of friends, are invited to the dinner and some are not. 

For the most part, I don’t see this as OK.  But could there be something more?  (Ie. the other friends were/are doing the same thing at their weddings.  While you made sure to invite her to your entire reception?)  There are so many threads on WB boards where I think…this isn’t Ok.  But then the OP makes me think.. well I could see an exception if…

Because etiquette established to not offend anyone, I would say if everyone in question is OK with it, then I guess etiquette hasn’t been breached.  Otherwise, I think there is a better solution to the situation.

Whether or not she is inviting them afterwards just for money, is hard to say.  Maybe so.  Maybe she feels bad she can’t invite them, and is trying to make up for it somehow.  But I would, at the least, tell these particular guests, to please not bring presents.

To answer your question, if it were me, unless I felt there was a reasonable explanation as to why I wasn’t invited to the dinner, I probably wouldn’t go.  (Certainly no gift.  Sorry, but I would probably feel hurt, if I was excluded an others were included.)

Post # 10
7052 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

If it’s in the same place, I’d say no.

Although even in different spots, if the guest SENSES that they are left out or there’s something they are deliberately made to miss, it might not be so fun for them ya know?

My take on things is if you don’t have a regular or ongoing relationship with the guest or at least exchange Christmas cards once a year then why pay for them to attend and why (implied of course) expect them to even want to go buy a gift for you?  Is there a way to pare down the guest list to make it accomodating for more or all?

I do have to be honest.  If i were invited only to the after party and not the ENTIRE wedding and reception I’d probably decline as I would figure I was on the "B" or even less important "C" list or something.

Post # 11
672 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

I agree with bellenga, a lot of people get the perception that they’re on some B or C list if they’re invited for a section.  Though I imagine this is probably different if yo’ure having a very small, intimate, family-only type of thing.  Some friends of ours are getting married soon and they’re having a very large wedding (we’re attending the whole thing, Fiance is a groomsman) but they made up some facebook reception invite and sent it to like, 100 some people, inviting them to attend at 8:00, after dinner is served and cleared.  The friends I know who are on the facebook reception invite list have all just felt a little slighted by it and not even interested in going.

If it were me, it would depend on the friends & the situation.  For good friends that I see often, I’d go and bring a small present.  For distant friends, I don’t think I’d bother going.

Post # 13
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

Eh, it probably wouldn’t bother me.  I would assume if I was invited to the after party and other friends were invited to the dinner reception that they were closer to the couple than we were.  It wouldn’t bother me to not get a full meal, and I probably wouldn’t jump to the conclusion that the couple was only out to get money from guests.  I’m pretty laid back about that sort of thing, though.

If I didn’t think the marriage was a good one, though, I wouldn’t attend the wedding (unless it was immediate family or special circumstances).  Imo, guests should be there to celebrate the union and the marriage, and that means being supportive of the relationship.  If you don’t support their relationship, don’t go to the wedding. 

Post # 15
14183 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

I think it’s poopy too. If she’s an old friend it would serve you right to go and be supportive. I don’t believe in some people here, some poeple ther.e..i’d rather scale the whole thing back. Especially since it’s at the same location. I doubt that many people will go all the way there just for a "toast" anyways. Myabe it’s her way of being like "they can come if they want, but I invited them!" to justify it. I’m not a fan of the idea. I don’t go to weddings of people I don’t wholeheartedly support though.

Post # 16
272 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I don’t think it’s OK to invite people to a ceremony, not invite them to the main dinner party, and then invite them to the after party.  Tacky and rude.  People need to learn how to cut their cloak to fit their cloth- if you can’t afford dinner for all you want to party with, have a cheaper party!

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