Post # 1
Is it normal to have a VIP cocktail hour or after party at a wedding? I went to my friend’s wedding not too long ago and found out a few months later there was a special cocktail hour for the bridal party and close friends/family and saw pictures on her facebook page from an after party I wasn’t invited to either! Her wedding was not what I would consider very big (about 150). There was a ‘regular’ cocktail hour outside the reception room which she attended the last 5 minutes of.
I was offended at first to learn about these VIP events, especially since I traveled very far for her wedding and we are close friends, not just acquaintances. It made me feel very unimportant and kind of like cattle, like just another guest she had to feed. To be honest if I had known ahead of time about these VIP events I would not have attended.
Am I wrong to feel this way? Is this normal? Why do people have VIP events at their weddings, that seems odd since everyone is there for you!
Post # 3
Most of the weddings I’ve been to have had after-parties but I don’t think any of them were specifically VIP-only. Usually it was a more last minute/casual invite during the reception: "Hey, we’re going to ____ bar after this…come on over." Hopefully they didn’t mean to exclude you, but I can see why your feelings would be hurt!
Post # 4
I’m having a hard time understanding exactly what happened… was it officially called a "VIP" event? That seems kind of rude.
On the other hand, I know that for my wedding, there’s a separate room at the reception venue where the wedding party and I can "regroup," and the caterer/venue will provide us with cocktails and hors d’oeuvre there… I could imagine in the heat of the moment that if I ran into a few other close friends on my way to that room, I might invite them back without thinking carefully about how other people might be hurt to hear about it.
If it was actually a pre-planned, separate event, that does strike me as rude!
In general, I feel like there are conceivable explanations for why it would be ok (the cocktail hour was supposed to be for the bridal party but a few other people showed up; the after-party was hosted by a family member who could only host 50 people; whatever), but I’m so sorry that it was done in a way that was hurtful!
Post # 5
I’ve been in a wedding where we took pictures during the cocktail hour, and then before entering the reception, took a 15 minute break in a little side room where we were served cocktails and hors d’uerves (sp?). It certainly wans’t a moment to photograph, we were all just there to take a break (and catch up on the drinking and eating that the guests had already done!). I believe cocktail hour ended, and the reception began once we were all introduced.
In my opinion, that’s ok – we did pictures for an hour, and then had 15 minutes to eat, drink and rest. Had we not been taking pictures between the ceremony and reception – and there was STILL a room that the bridal party was in and had a separate party (especially one that was photographed), I would have thought it a bit strange.
I’ve certainly never heard of a ‘VIP’ type after party. It’s usually just whoever isn’t ready to go to bed! Do you think there’s any chance that ‘the word’ was spread about it, but somehow it accidentally just didn’t get to you?
If the events were ‘specifically’ meant to keep others out…I would just say it was in poor taste on the part of the bride.
Post # 6
- Wedding: April 2018 - The Grand Old House, Grand Cayman
I’ve never heard of VIP events like this before. What hobochic described seems perfectly appropriate, especially for a large wedding. But it does seem kind of rude to leave out guests who made the effort to come celebrate with you.
Post # 7
We did this recently for a wedding I was in. But, I think they reason they did it was because there was so much time between the end of the ceremony and the beginning of the reception that we were so hungry and wiped out from a million pictures that we needed a break and some food! I don’t know that it was a VIP event, necessarily, it was just for the bridal party and it was for about .5 hours before the ceremony started. I can see how guests might think it was rude…they came all that way to see the bride and groom and the bride and groom are ignoring them to hang out with their bridal party.
Post # 8
I think there are "VIP" things (but I wouldn’t call them that) at most weddings. A lot of times the wedding party will regroup in a separte room during cocktail hour and then organize a little after-party bar crawl. I don’t think anyone intends for this to be exclusive or elitist – it’s just that the wedding party is often a close group of family and friends, and they want to share the moment together.
However, I think it was ungracious and insensitive of your friend to post pictures of this on facebook. She should have anticipated how that might make other guests, like yourself, feel left out.
Post # 9
Are you sure the after-party wasn’t just a word of mouth casual thing? And I think it is quite normal for the bridal party (or whomever is doing pics i.e. family) to have a separate cocktail hour. That is the tradition where I am from. It does suck though if the after party was private and then publicized for you all to see. A little insensitive.
Post # 10
thanks everyone – just to clarify, she did actually plan private cocktail hour for close friends and family during the regular guest cocktail hour – those who weren’t invited just weren’t told about it. The after party was organized for people who she blocked off special rooms for at the hotel (reception site), the rest of us had to stay in different nearby hotel since there weren’t enough rooms. I wasn’t even given an option to stay at the reception hotel even though I booked way early and I even asked her about it when I was booking my room because I noticed my invitation did not say anything about staying at that hotel.
My Fiance and I are both always up for a party, so we stuck around the hotel bar with her after the wedding for about an hour and she seemed concerned about us getting back to our hotel so I assumed there was no after party. It was defintely reserved for certain guests only.
Post # 11
That’s rude, then. I’m with you. Sorry :-/
Post # 12
Wow…that sounds so shady! At the very least inconsiderate.
Post # 13
Wow I agree. that was pretty rude, especially since you’re a friend and came from Out of Town. Call me out if I’m wrong, but it would havebeen one thing to wnat to have an after party and leave Great Aunt Edith out, but friends of the same age group? Also shadiness, not letting you stay at the hotel?
I can understand needing al ittle regrouping before the reception starts. And something to eat, drink. But to have what seems like a completely separate cocktail hour, when you have guests arriving and no one from the Bridal Party or maybe the bride andgroom’s immediate family there, jsut seems wrong. I suppose a lot of weddings have a cocktail hour in which the guests are "alone" while the Bridal Party is taking pictures. But to me this all seems different. Maybe I wouldn’t feel as angry for you, if it was just the cocktail part fiasco. But both events? Just wrong.
Can you cancel your check, or has it been cashed? he he. Are you going to ask her about it? Does it bother you enough to let the friendship go? It soundsl ike you’re lond distance anyway. (Not that it’s my business. But I would be really upset by this.)
Post # 14
Wait, was it pre cocktail hour, like after the ceremony when guests are going to the cocktail hour, the bridal party did their own thing? I’ve heard of that. I’m not doing it, but I have heard about it. Like the bride and groom and their bridal party (and parents I guess) all do something together before they join the rest of the reception guests.
I have also heard of dinners + special parties for just the bridal party and family.
A vip party after the reception in which only certain guests are invited, is really tacky and rude though. I’ve never seen that. IMO if you are going to do something after, like an afterparty, which is common here, you have to allow everyone you invited to the wedding to come if they’d like- not that they would! Probably most wouldn’t.
Post # 15
It was during cocktail hour, trust me I can completely understand a quick pre-cocktail hour regroup for the bridal party, this was definitely not the case.
I’m kind of thinking the only vip event shoudl be the rehearsal dinner, no?
Post # 16
well they orbably paid for the whole thing and couldnt afford to invite the whole party; weddings arent cheap
my party is small about 50-60 so we will make a general announcement at the end to a nearby lounge; the families will probably all go home while my single friends will hang out and party, itll be casual and pay for your own
when you pre-invite its understood they will pay for it; they were probably saving money and just invited certain people