Post # 1
Hi everyone! Our wedding is next May. Our ceremony is in a church on the river where we are from, and the reception/dance is to follow at a venue near by. I’ve read other posts on this topic but I’m still undecided. We are on a budget (as is everyone). Friends have suggested, that we invite everyone to the cermony at the church and then only have very close family and friends for dinner followed by EVERYONE again for the dance, drinks and a midnight lunch and desert. Is this a huge no-no? Or is it becoming more socially acceptable?
I want to have a fun evening with our friends, but we don’t want to start our lives in debt!
Post # 3
@mrs.rose: That is what I did but at my church it is the ‘norm’ to have an open wedding and a closed reception for close family and friends. My church members have been doing it for YEARS so to our congregation it is acceptible.
That being said, where you are from it may be considered tacky. Is it possible to have your wedding in the early afternoon when it is acceptible to serve only lunch menu items (heavy finger foods, drinks, and cake)?
If you tried to do a dinner with the family and then an evening reception, you are leaving a large gap between the ceremony and reception that will cause people to forgo your later reception. Also, if word spreads about your dinner then you run the risk of hurting feelings.
Can you afford a larger guest list with heavy finger foods if you have your wedding at 12pm?
Post # 4
I agree with HelperBee…it might be better to just have a lunch reception to cut down on the cost. I think you risk offending a lot of people by NOT inviting them to the reception but inviting them to the ceremony, especially once they hear that you hosted dinner for some of the attendees.
Post # 5
That’s not common around here but, personally, I don’t see a problem with it. Would there be a lot of OOTers that would have trouble filling the time in between ceremony and dancing?
Post # 6
I would personally be so offended by this if I was one of the guests not invited to dinner. I wouldn’t attend the wedding at all.
Post # 7
It is not polite treat your guests to differing levels of hospitality. It is not ok to basically tell your guests please come to celebrate my big event, but you aren’t close enough for me to bother spending money on your dinner, but then please come back and party with us again.
Either invite them to everything or nothing. There is no polite way to do otherwise.
Post # 8
I completely understand your delima, however, I would not do this. What this is a tiered reception and it’s very rude. Guests need to be invited to all events or none at all. You can open the ceremony to everyone in your community by writing something in the church bulliten, in the paper, or something like that, but you wouldn’t send invites to people inviting them to just the ceremony.
Post # 9
There is a difference between members of your church watching your ceremony but not attending your reception and only inviting certain people to the dinner portion of a reception and opening it to more people for guests.
The first is totally fine, since churches are public buildings anyway, so any members may go to watch a wedding. This is very common in many different churches.
The second is called a tiered reception and is very rude. Think about it. These people are close enough to watch you get married and bring a gift, but not good enough for a meal? What will they do during the gap between your ceremony and the ‘dancing’? Don’t do this.
Post # 10
“We like you, but not very much.”
What a great thing to say to your guests!
Post # 11
No way. You do not have to go into debt for a wedding, but you do need to properly host your guests. Properly hosting means providing food and drink for all guests, not just an A list. Cut down in other places. Do a non meal time. Do cake and punch. or heck just change your menu/caterer.
Post # 12
I can’t see a polite way for you to tell the B-list people, “Come to our beautiful ceremony, then take care of yourself for a few hours, grab a bite, then come back and make our party fun.” Whether you tell them or not, you may as well assume it will leave a bad taste in their mouth when they inevitably find out.
If I were a B-list guest, I suppose it would depend on how well I know you, how close we are, and how I knew about the dinner portion. Do I know that you are a financially smart person who carefully weighs money options, or are you just a scrooge? Am I so close to you that I want to be there no matter what, or would the awkwardness win out? Did I find out through the grapevine that you only invited your nearest and dearest to dinner or did you tell me yourself and explain it gently?
Although my knee-jerk reaction is that it is in poor taste, if I considered myself a good friend (despite being a B-lister) I would probably go anyway. I don’t know if I’d ever forget about how awkward it was/felt though, to be pointedly excluded from certain festivities. Even if you were to tell the B-list directly, I don’t think that would save face for you with everyone.
Post # 13
Why not just do sheet cake and punch after the wedding, and then at a later date or time have a more intimate family dinner?
Post # 14
I can’t believe there’s even a name for this because that suggests it’s fairly common. 🙁
Post # 15
I have been invited to weddings where not all of the guests at the ceremony were invited to the dinner/reception but I’ve never heard it done this way. It seems very rude to me. If I found out that they were having a meal I wasn’t invited to but they wanted me back to add to the party portion of the evening I probably wouldn’t go. I probably wouldn’t even send my RSVP card back at all, just to be a bitch, because it’s that offensive.
Post # 16
@futuremrsfitz18: I agree with you and all pp about it being rude.
Might I suggest having the formal dinner the night before for your rehersal dinner that way you can have them both together. This would help to ease the feelings of the guests you don’t want to invite to the formal dinner since the rehersal is usually family, the wedding party and some out of towners. Then after the ceremony just have cocktails, appetizers, cake and dancing. You could even have the ceremony later in the evening so people know to eat dinner before they come since you won’t be serving it. You could include a dessert bar towards the end of the evening for people that may start to get hungry again.