Wedding Etiquette Forum

Catering to ceremony instead of reception?

My wedding coordinator suggested catering to the ceremony guests instead of the entire reception, is this acceptable?
If we chose to do this we would include on the invitation that cake and punch would be served at reception.
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Re: Catering to ceremony instead of reception?

  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    AddieCake said:
    smh0815 said:
    My wedding coordinator suggested catering to the ceremony guests instead of the entire reception, is this acceptable?
    If we chose to do this we would include on the invitation that cake and punch would be served at reception.
    I don't understand the question. Won't all of your reception guests have been invited to the ceremony? 
    This. The guest list for the ceremony and reception should be the same. I'm confused.
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    lc07
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    smh0815 said:

    My wedding coordinator suggested catering to the ceremony guests instead of the entire reception, is this acceptable?

    If we chose to do this we would include on the invitation that cake and punch would be served at reception.
    I don't get this either. On the face of it, it seems like your coordinator is telling you not to have any food or beverages at the reception, which is a huge no-no. I don't think the ceremony needs to be catered at all. That's what the reception is for!
    Blue_Bird
  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited December 2014
    smh0815 said:
    My wedding coordinator suggested catering to the ceremony guests instead of the entire reception, is this acceptable?
    If we chose to do this we would include on the invitation that cake and punch would be served at reception.
    If you invite one set of guests to the ceremony and another set to the reception this is called a tiered wedding and it is very rude.

    If you have a private ceremony with immediate family only, like 10 people, and then have a reception immediately following with everyone else, it's less frowned upon.

    If you have a tiered wedding and only feed the meal to the guests at the ceremony it is incredibly rude. Why would you invite a bunch of people over after the wedding ceremony just to eat cake and punch? (Many of Your "guests" will feel like you only invited them to this b-list party to get gifts) Also etiquette wise, you are only permitted to serve cake and punch only, if your reception occurs during a none meal time.

    Is your wedding coordinator a professional? She doesn't sound like she knows about wedding etiquette. 
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

    Blue_Bird
  • No, the norm here in Utah is that close friends and family go to the ceremony and then you invite those who you may not be as close with to the reception. 
  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited December 2014
    smh0815 said:
    No, the norm here in Utah is that close friends and family go to the ceremony and then you invite those who you may not be as close with to the reception. 
    People you are not close to should not be invited. What you are suggesting is a tiered wedding, and it is incredibly rude. Don't do it and don't use your state as an excuse. We have plenty of Utah brides that would tell you this is not a "thing."

    Invite those you want to both the ceremony and reception and properly host them with a meal if you choose to have your reception during a meal time.

    GL! :)
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

    mrstrevor15huskypuppy14RebeccaB88Blue_Bird
  • Geez, you don't need to be rude! I haven't been married before and I am just doing what others have done
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    smh0815 said:
    Geez, you don't need to be rude! I haven't been married before and I am just doing what others have done
    She wasn't rude, she was trying to prevent you from being rude. 

    People do rude things all the time, that does not make it okay. 

    Inviting others to the reception but not the ceremony very clearly tells them that they're not as important to you, but you'd like them to buy you a gift. This may not be what you want to convey, but it's likely what they're hearing.
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    mrstrevor15RebeccaB88Blue_Bird
  • slothiegalslothiegal The Sloth Farm member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    smh0815 said:
    No, the norm here in Utah is that close friends and family go to the ceremony and then you invite those who you may not be as close with to the reception. 
    ....why would you invite people you "may not be as close with" to your reception?

    A reception is a "thank you" to your guests for coming to your wedding.  It makes no sense to invite people that didn't make the cut for the ceremony to come to the after party.
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    fwtx5815
  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited December 2014
    I'm not being rude. I'm trying to help you and prevent you from being rude to your guests.

    I would be incredibly hurt if I was invited to a punch and cake reception bc the couple did not deem me close enough to come tot he ceremony. I would be further insulted by the idea that I was good enough to come and bring a gift, but not to be fed while the more important guests were fed prior tot he reception.

    Tell you that you are considering is rude does not make me rude. I'm just trying to help you. Please remember we are strangers who are going to be honest and tell you how your guests feel, but aren't going to tell you to your face.
    smh0815 said:
    Geez, you don't need to be rude! I haven't been married before and I am just doing what others have done
    ETA - if it is a situation where people outside your faith are not allowed to attend then that does not constitute a tiered wedding, assuming your host everyone equally at the reception (i.e. you fed them all at the reception, not cater the ceremony and give the other cake and punch)
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

    slothiegalfwtx5815lovegood90
  • 1. If you are having a Temple Sealing, then it is understandable that only certain guests will be able to attend the ceremony, and a larger guest list will be invited to the reception

    2. A cake and punch reception is totally fine, IF it's a non-meal time. IE if your reception is at 2pm, fine. If it's at 6pm when people eat dinner, it is not OK.

    I would find it odd to be invited to a cake and punch reception though and not be invited to the ceremony. I don't know if it's rude per se, just not typical. 

    Regardless, everyone at the reception must be hosted equally, so you can't feed some people dinner but others only get cake. 
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    [Deleted User]fwtx5815CMGragain
  • Well, thanks anyway, 



    When you say not to use my state as an excuse!! That is not what I was trying to do, that is just how it has been here my whole freaking life. 
  • smh0815smh0815 member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2014
    Here is something that I found on this website!


    - Tiered weddings are totally the norm. Ceremony is often just attended by the closest family and friends. After that, there's cocktail time for everyone the couple knows: colleagues, neighbors you hardly know... Dinner is for closer people again, sometimes just for family and bridal party. The current trend is to have a small dinner and than invite mostly the younger crowd/friends for dancing.
  • Yes, if this is an issue of not everyone being allowed in the ceremony venue (or your having a very private ceremony with just immediate family / less than 10% of your total guest list), then it's ok to have guests at the reception that weren't at the ceremony.

    However it's never ok to show one set of guests a lesser level of hospitality than another set.

    Yes, the suggestion would save money, but one would assume the people you are inviting to your wedding reception are people you love or people who are dating people you love. If they caught wind that they were second tier and didn't get the same meal as the "important" guests it could hurt/offend them. This should concern you as both a hostess and a friend.

    Just do cake & punch for EVERYONE if it's at a non-meal time, or serve a full meal at the reception that everyone can enjoy. GL
    SP29
  • smh0815 said:
    Here is something that I found on this website!


    - Tiered weddings are totally the norm. Ceremony is often just attended by the closest family and friends. After that, there's cocktail time for everyone the couple knows: colleagues, neighbours you hardly know... Dinner is for closer people again, sometimes just for family and bridal party. The current trend is to have a small dinner and than invite mostly the younger crowd/friends for dancing.
    The articles on the Knot are about making money, not about treating your guests well. It's a business. The above suggestion would be treating your guests poorly. On the forums, no one is paying us to tell you what you want to hear.
    Agreed.  And just because something is 'normal' does NOT make it polite.  Please be polite.
  • auriannaaurianna member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited December 2014
    1. You posted an etiquette question on an etiquette board. We gave you the proper etiquette answers... but instead you think you're justified because of a four year old thread from a non-etiquette board? (also the one gal lost all credibility with "we're just inviting 100 of our closest to the ceremony..." I only had that many at my whole wedding. That's hardly a private event).

    2. If it's not faith based, I see no reason why you wouldn't want to invite all your guests to your ceremony too? It isn't a summons; they don't have to come. If you're close to them maybe they'd like to see you get married... and if you aren't close to them, then why are you inviting them to anything at all?

    3. Again, the big rude thing here is feeding one set and not the other. No matter what you decide to do, host everyone equally and you'll probably be ok.


    ETA:
    Treat your guests with equal respect and host them properly and equally.
    Only invite the number of people to your reception you can afford to feed.
    If you're viewing guests as "mouths to feed" and dollar signs rather than as your dear friend or family members, then odds are you aren't close enough to that person to be inviting them to your wedding anyway.
    MadHops21fwtx5815SP29[Deleted User]
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    smh0815 said:
    Sometimes people haven't realized yet that they can be treated well - they think, wow, this situation is always a pain, but don't realize there's the option where the bride and groom could think less about themselves and more about the people they supposedly care about and plan accordingly.

    If you can or only want to invite a close circle to the ceremony, fine. I never understand it, but fine. But you need to offer the same amount of food and drink to everyone that you invite to your event, or it is incredibly rude, for the reasons outlined above.

    JUST BECAUSE IT'S COMMON DOESN'T MEAN IT'S GOOD. Why would you not want to focus on treating the people that you care about in a good way?
  • amelishaamelisha Canadian Texas member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    smh0815 said:
    I'm not sure that you understand that common does not equal polite.

    Unless you're having a temple wedding this is rude. Period.

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    Blue_Bird[Deleted User]
  • amelisha said:
    smh0815 said:
    I'm not sure that you understand that common does not equal polite.

    Unless you're having a temple wedding this is rude. Period.
    Even if she's having a temple wedding, if she feeds the temple guests dinner but not the "overflow" guests, it's rude.

    If I were invited to the reception portion of the wedding and found out I wasn't getting dinner but part of the guest list did, I would honestly feel like I was just being invited to "ooh and ahh" over the couple and give them a present. That's how a lot of the guests would feel if they're hosted differently. A good hostess/friend would not want to risk making her friends feel that way.
    chibiyuiRebeccaB88SP29
  • NowIamMrsKleinNowIamMrsKlein Cold Canadian North (British Columbia) member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    If you're not close enough with the people that you don't want them to witness you exchange your vows, then why are they invited at all?

    I couldn't imagine not inviting a single one of my wedding guests to my ceremony. The reason they are invited to my wedding is because I want them to share this very important moment with me. And then I will properly host them for attending!

    Besides that fact,

    If you're going to feed some people, you gotta feed everyone. Period. And they have to be fed the same thing.

    Imagine you had your 'Super close special ceremony friends' and your 'not really close to you at all but yay presents and party friends' all fed dinner at the same time and place. And you fed Group A Lobsters and Filet Mignon. And Group B got Chicken and roast beef. 

    It wouldnt be ok. And I'm pretty sure Group B would have some questions. 

    So why would it be ok to feed Group A supper before and Group B cake later.

    Not Ok. 
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    MGPhellohkb[Deleted User]
  • "mebers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who have a current temple recommend may be invited as guests to a sealing ceremony in the temple. A temple recommend is a small card that demonstrates they have interviewed with the appropriate priesthood leaders and been found worthy to enter the House of the Lord. Wedding couples are asked to keep those guests to a relatively small number, primarily immediate family and a few close friends; this allows the service to remain reverent and sacred."

    she might be mormon and if so this is what her church rules are but she did not verify if she was or not but still tered weddings are rude rude rude you invite everyone and you host everyone properly ceremony reception food cake punch dancing whatever dont just invite people to have a good time without feeding them 
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    OP, the Knot doesn't care about your guests.  Neither does your wedding planner.   We are trying to help you treat your guests as honored individuals in your life.  If someone doesn't qualify as an honored person in your life, then don't invite them to the ceremony or reception. I understand that the LDS church has more private ceremonies, but that's not what people are advising against.  Tiered receptions are rude. You asked for etiquette advice, so people provided it to you. Although something may be common in your area, it doesn't mean it is polite.  In some area two-five hour gaps are the norm.  It still is incredibly rude to do.   


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