(Closed) the two reception thing rears its ugly head again-but this may ok?

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: How should I handle the reception question?
    Yes, have the two receptions as you described : (12 votes)
    38 %
    Only have one reception and just don't invite extended family : (20 votes)
    63 %
    Other: posted below : (0 votes)
  • Post # 3
    Member
    1696 posts
    Bumble bee

    As long as you treat these as two separate events what you are planning is just fine. You aren’t having two wedding receptions. You are having the wedding (i.e. the ceremony) followed by a reception (i.e. cake and punch, mingling, conversation and fellowship) — which is all very traditional. That all goes on one invitation card that goes out to everyone. We great-relatives are used to this: it is how receptions were done routinely up until the last twenty years or so.

    Later in the day, you are having a “dinner party”. You will doubtless hold many dinner parties throughout your married life, all of which will have different guest-lists from the guest-list at your wedding. This is just the first of them. You must have it at a different location and after a substantial time gap, so that you aren’t rushing away from your wedding guests and aren’t setting up tables somewhere in view in a manner that might make them feel like they are being left out. You have a separate card for this separate event, which you may include in the same envelope as the wedding invitation if you wish. You may refer to the second event just as “Dinner” or if you wish you may refer to it by its traditional name as a “Wedding Breakfast” (and risk all guests who don’t know the actual meaning of “breakfast”, expecting to be served bacon and eggs with oatmeal).

    If you are being formal, the second card can read:

    ”  Mr John Host and Ms Jane Hostess
    “request the pleasure of your company
    ”                  to Dinner
    ”         at six o’clock on <date>
    ”            at the Waldorf Hotel”

    If you word it this way, you can send it in a separate envelope, which further reduces the risk of it’s being seen as a continuation of the previous event. If you include it in the wedding invitation envelope, however, you may leave out the first two lines and have the card simply printed:

    “Wedding Breakfast
    ”     six o’clock
    “at the Waldorf Hotel”

    If your friends DIDN’T learn (back in Kindergarten) not to flaunt invitations in front of people who may not be invited, you might want to drop them a hint by saying “Private Dinner”, or “Private Wedding Breakfast”, or even “Intimate Dinner”. There are problems with those wordings, and I wouldn’t consider using them myself, but you have to play to the crowd that you are dealing with.

    And meanwhile we great-relatives may very well choose to go out to dinner and dancing with one another since we’re in town. No offense to you the bride, but we are interested in catching up with one another too, and are entitled to plan our own “separate events”. Any great-relatives who get their noses out of joint by hearing there’s an event in town they aren’t invited to need to grow up and take some sophisticated responsibility for their own social lives.

    Post # 4
    Member
    1871 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: February 2011

    I think that the problem arises when it’s clearly a two-tier system. It can result in hurt feelings nad people people assuming you’re in it for the gifts. So, in short if you have 100 guests:

    -having a cake-and-punch reception for 100 followed by a dinner reception for 50 composed of your family and 20 of your close friends is not okay.

    -having a cake-and-punch reception for 100 followed by a dinner with JUST your family and maybe 1 or 2 of your bestest friends is okay. This isn’t any different from if you had a brunch reception and then your parents took you out for a special meal later on that evening after everyone had gone home.

    To minimize the chances of hurt feelings, make the boundaries of “dinner guest list” very hard and very clear–immediate family ONLY vs. “people I like a lot.” People will talk. Someone in guest A group who hears about dinner from say, your mom, is unlikely to get offended. But if they hear about it from somone like your college buddy, they might. Also make sure there is a distinct break between cake and punch and dinner–like enough time for guests to both events to go home and change and decompress, theoretically. You don’t want guests A to witnessing guests B driving off to dinner.

    Oh, and one other thing. I think it’s better if your mom/FMIL/sister (someone other than you) CALLS guests B to invite them to dinner, so it’s less of an “event” and more family-oriented. If you really want invites, I’d personally mail them separately from the wedding invitation, issued by someone (again) other than you (so RSVP should not be you), with a different look from your wedding invite, so that it’s clear it’s a separate event.

    Post # 5
    Member
    4137 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: May 2011

    not okay! the only way to do this is if you have a ceremony with a dinner one day, and then a “celebration” as a back-home reception. doing these on the same day is setting yourself up for a disaster. people will talk and ask what people are doing after the reception, and can you imagine one of your “A guests” saying, oh, aren’t you staying for the dinner? feelings will rightfully be hurt.

    Post # 7
    Member
    3762 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: May 2010

    @missbitsnpieces: It sounds like that is the best option. 

    We did this for our rehearsal.  We had wedding party and immediate family for dinner and then extended family and out of town guests for drinks/dessert afterwards. 

    Post # 8
    Member
    110 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: April 2011

    I actually don’t understand why it’s rude to not invite everyone to every part of the wedding. Unless your rich it’s an expensive business.

    I don’t know if this is because I come from England and I’ve been to several weddings where I was invited for a Reception only and never had an issue with it. It’s normal there.

    I say do whatever you want, if people want to be offended because you aren’t rich enough to invite everyone, that’s their problem. Weddings aren’t cheap!

    Post # 9
    Member
    181 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    I think most of the weddings I go to have cake and punch for everyone and then a reception later in the evening. For the most part you don’t hear about the actual reception if you aren’t invited but no one gets offended, everyone understands that it’s expensive!

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