Chit Chat

Invitations

We have decided to just invite family and very close friends to the ceremony. We want it to be intimate and not overcrowded. The rest of the people are to come after for the reception. (lets be honest most people just want to be there for the reception anyway). Having a hard time figuring out how to do invitations. I was just going to have one invitation and put all that info in there. But I am worried suddenly everyone will think we are super close friends and show up and there not be room. Do I send out two forms of invitations?! Has anyone else had a similar problem?
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Re: Invitations

  • We have decided to just invite family and very close friends to the ceremony. We want it to be intimate and not overcrowded. The rest of the people are to come after for the reception. (lets be honest most people just want to be there for the reception anyway). Having a hard time figuring out how to do invitations. I was just going to have one invitation and put all that info in there. But I am worried suddenly everyone will think we are super close friends and show up and there not be room. Do I send out two forms of invitations?! Has anyone else had a similar problem?
    OK, a few things:

    1) Don't assume most people just want to be there for the reception.   A lot of people feel that if they're close enough to attend the party for the couple who tied the knot then they're close enough to watch the knot tying happen.

    2) Have you determined the size of the ceremony that you're wanting? This could blow up and go incredibly poorly unless the ceremony is truly intimate.   By truly intimate I mean immediate family (siblings and parents and their SOs) and maybe your BP.   In an event like this, your BP should be extremely small as well.   Any time you start to expand and move the guests to other family members and other friends you run the risk of stepping on toes because like it or not you just created a ranking system for family and friends and you just told them that some of them just aren't good enough to watch you experience this special moment.

    If you do opt to do this, PLEASE keep size in mind.  

    The way you'd do this is to invite all guests to the reception.   Then a separate insert would be sent to those invited to the ceremony
    kimmiinthemitten
  • We have decided to just invite family and very close friends to the ceremony. We want it to be intimate and not overcrowded. The rest of the people are to come after for the reception. (lets be honest most people just want to be there for the reception anyway). Having a hard time figuring out how to do invitations. I was just going to have one invitation and put all that info in there. But I am worried suddenly everyone will think we are super close friends and show up and there not be room. Do I send out two forms of invitations?! Has anyone else had a similar problem?
    So unless the ceremony is truly private (family only), then this is a pretty rude thing to do. A reception is to thank your guests for witnessing  your ceremony, and actually a lot of people (myself included) really do want to be at the ceremony and don't just come for the party. You should invite everyone to the ceremony and host them afterward for the reception.
    SP29InLoveInQueens
  • I appreciate your feedback. But I was just asking about invitations not whether I should do it or not. Nothing about our wedding or reception is traditional. There is not enough room in the ceremony space. Its mainly just family and 2-3 couples that we consider family. I am not concerned about being considered rude at all. 
  • You can't send one invitation with all the info to everyone. Obviously they will all think they are invited. 

    Send everyone an invitation to a celebration of your marriage and a separate ceremony invite to those invited to both. 
    SP29lizybeff
  • I mean concerned about being rude to people i am inviting not the forum. 
  • ei34ei34 member
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    If I was one of your guests I'd be confused receiving an invitation to a reception only.  What will you tell your not-important-enough-for-the-ceremony guests when they ask for clarification?  A reception is to thank your guests for attending the ceremony, fyi.
    If this is what you insist on, I guess I'd just send two separate invitations to the different groups.  Your idea is rude, though.
    InLoveInQueens
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I mean concerned about being rude to people i am inviting not the forum. 
    How do you know that one of us isn't actually one of your friends IRL?
    Jen4948lizybeff
  • Echoing PPs, you need to keep the ceremony VERY small in relation to the reception if you do not want to offend people. Like, a hard line at immediate family members and 1-2 friends, tops. And this only works if you are having a larger reception; if you are only inviting 20 people to the reception, you cannot invite 50% of your guests to the ceremony without causing hurt feelings.

    To be honest, though, I think doing this looks incredibly gift-grabby... Why not invite everyone to the ceremony?  The reception is what costs money, so it's not like it will be less expensive to invite fewer people to the ceremony.

    And like PPs, I actually DO look forward to the ceremony - that is the important part! I would urge you to reconsider your plan.

    But to answer your question: You most definitely need to send out separate invites - those not invited to the ceremony should only receive an invite to a "celebration of marriage" following the private ceremony. 
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • I don't understand why everyone has to be so hateful....There are nicer ways of giving advice like @banana468 . The idea was in no way meant to be gift grabby or rude. Our ceremony space is small and we just wanted it to be very intimate with our family. The seating is limited. We are trying to figure out a way to make it to where everyone can be at the ceremony.

    But I am not the first person to ever have just an intimate ceremony and then have my friends come to celebrate our marriage. 
    We will find a way to invite all.

  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I'd be disappointed not to be invited to the ceremony, so I'm not sure if you're right about most guests not wanting to attend your whole event - as long as there's no gap involved.

    There's no polite way to tell some friends, and not others, that they aren't close enough to attend the ceremony. If you want to keep the ceremony small, then limit it to immediate family. That way the lines are clearly drawn. Once you start inviting some friends, you chance hurting feelings. The exception would be if you're having a religious ceremony where only members may attend. I'm thinking of a Mormon sealing in a temple.

    You will need separate invitations for ceremony and reception. The guests who aren't invited to your ceremony shouldn't receive anything with the ceremony mentioned on it. 
                       
  • I don't understand why everyone has to be so hateful....There are nicer ways of giving advice like @banana468 . The idea was in no way meant to be gift grabby or rude. Our ceremony space is small and we just wanted it to be very intimate with our family. The seating is limited. We are trying to figure out a way to make it to where everyone can be at the ceremony.

    But I am not the first person to ever have just an intimate ceremony and then have my friends come to celebrate our marriage. 
    We will find a way to invite all.

    You may not be the first person to do this but please understand that there are a lot of things out there that can be not unique and still rude.

    I've been to weddings with cash bars and head tables that excluded me as a SO of someone in the WP.   They may not have been the only weddings of their kind but I still wasn't a fan.   

    Like I said in the first post, if you really keep the ceremony intimate it can work but it would have to be something like 20 people at the ceremony and 100 at the reception.   If the reception is just a few more guests than at the ceremony or even double, it can come off as offending.


    SP29
  • I don't understand why everyone has to be so hateful....There are nicer ways of giving advice like @banana468 . The idea was in no way meant to be gift grabby or rude. Our ceremony space is small and we just wanted it to be very intimate with our family. The seating is limited. We are trying to figure out a way to make it to where everyone can be at the ceremony.

    But I am not the first person to ever have just an intimate ceremony and then have my friends come to celebrate our marriage. 
    We will find a way to invite all.

    Sure. Other people do rude things, so you it must be okay. Seriously, I'm glad you will be able to find a way to invite everyone. Could you either move the ceremony to somewhere that will accommodate everyone you would like to invite to your reception, or just have a very small intimate wedding, period. That would avoid tiering anyone.

    Also, sort of off topic but since you mentioned it earlier, I have to shake my head at the brides who come on here saying  'we're not traditional at all!' but the only things they seem to do differently to anyone else is tier their guests, or make them pay for their drinks, or stand in the michigan snow in mid winter with only a dress coat. Like treating people well means you must be an old fashioned pearl clutcher with a stick firmly lodged up your arse or something? 
                 
    climbingsingleSP29InLoveInQueensOliveOilsMom
  • I don't understand why everyone has to be so hateful....There are nicer ways of giving advice like @banana468 . The idea was in no way meant to be gift grabby or rude. Our ceremony space is small and we just wanted it to be very intimate with our family. The seating is limited. We are trying to figure out a way to make it to where everyone can be at the ceremony.

    But I am not the first person to ever have just an intimate ceremony and then have my friends come to celebrate our marriage. 
    We will find a way to invite all.

    Sure. Other people do rude things, so you it must be okay. Seriously, I'm glad you will be able to find a way to invite everyone. Could you either move the ceremony to somewhere that will accommodate everyone you would like to invite to your reception, or just have a very small intimate wedding, period. That would avoid tiering anyone.

    Also, sort of off topic but since you mentioned it earlier, I have to shake my head at the brides who come on here saying  'we're not traditional at all!' but the only things they seem to do differently to anyone else is tier their guests, or make them pay for their drinks, or stand in the michigan snow in mid winter with only a dress coat. Like treating people well means you must be an old fashioned pearl clutcher with a stick firmly lodged up your arse or something? 
    But there was a hot cocoa bar!

    OP, I don't think anyone on here was being hateful... That's a pretty strong word. My opinion is that having a small ceremony plus a large reception looks gift-grabby unless you limit the ceremony to immediate family only (or have a religious ceremony that does not allow for non-members, as a PP mentioned). How is that hateful?

    I am glad you are looking at ways to invite everyone to the ceremony. Is there a special reason you chose the current ceremony venue? Are there alternatives that would allow everyone to attend?
    BabyFruit Ticker
    InLoveInQueensglasgowtolondon
  • @madamerwin We got stuck with our venue. No refund. We would be out 5000 dollars if we go anywhere else. I understand where you are coming from. We will find a way to accommodate everyone. 
    holyguacamole79madamerwin
  • TyvmTyvm member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer Name Dropper
    Knottie11262721, no one was being hateful, but you have to keep in mind that different wedding boards have different cultures. TheKnot forums tend to be rather strict with etiquette rules, so if you're planning something which stretches the rules of politeness, you will be told about it here.

    There are other places that are less likely to alert you to the breaking of etiquette, which might be more what you're looking for? Perhaps try WeddingBee or the reddit wedding planning groups?


    k thnx bye

  • I mean concerned about being rude to people i am inviting not the forum. 

    Wedding Countdown Ticker





    madamerwin
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited April 2016
    I am hoping that your ceremony is immediate family ONLY.  If this is the case, here is the proper wording, assuming you are hosting your own wedding:

    The pleasure of your company is requested
    at the wedding reception for
    Bride's Full Name
    and
    Groom's Full Name
    Day, date
    time o'clock
    Venue name
    Address
    City, State

    Insert card for people who are invited to the ceremony:

    You are invited to attend the wedding ceremony
    Time o'clock
    Place (Church name?)
    Address
    City, State



    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    SP29
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    If you are having a truly intimate ceremony (immediate family, BEST friend+SO), what you are doing is OK etiquette-wise, but please don't insinuate that guests only want to attend the reception anyway.

    Many people- myself included- truly enjoy the ceremony. That IS the wedding- a reception is just a party (a party to thank your guests for attending your ceremony). I understand if a couple is having a religious ceremony that does not allow guests (i.e. Mormon temple ceremonies- no one but the Bride and Groom), but otherwise it makes me think- if I am important enough to be included in your wedding day, why do I not get to watch your wedding? If you prioritized a ceremony space, or if the B&G truly want an intimate ceremony (which is A-OK!), why invite me to the reception to thank me for something I didn't attend? There is nothing wrong with wanting a small wedding or intimate ceremony or a certain venue, but all choices come with consequences (good or bad)- own them!
    InLoveInQueens
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I don't understand why everyone has to be so hateful....There are nicer ways of giving advice like @banana468 . The idea was in no way meant to be gift grabby or rude. Our ceremony space is small and we just wanted it to be very intimate with our family. The seating is limited. We are trying to figure out a way to make it to where everyone can be at the ceremony.

    But I am not the first person to ever have just an intimate ceremony and then have my friends come to celebrate our marriage. 
    We will find a way to invite all.

    Straight up:

    1) There is no polite way to issue non-invitations-in other words, that tell people that they are not invited to something. The only polite way to do that is not even to tell them that something is going on.

    2) There's no way to have an "intimate ceremony" and then invite lots of people to a "reception" without hurting a lot of feelings.  Sorrynotsorry.

    3) The point of a "reception" is to thank your guests for attending your wedding.  Since almost all these people aren't going to be invited to attend your wedding, what exactly are you thanking them for? Not attending? That's the equivalent of a smack in the face.

    4) If you don't care about our opinions on etiquette, don't ask us.  If you post in the Etiquette folder asking for advice, (or for that matter anywhere else in the forum), you're going to get advice on etiquette, whether you want to hear it or not.

    5) Grow up.
  • Congrats on your pending nuptials! 
    I totally understand your concerns. I had a similar issue with my future in-laws because i wanted 40 people at the wedding and they wanted to have 20 more so they could have their own friends there. Our solution was to have wedding ANNOUNCEMENTS for the people who are not invited to the wedding.
    With that being said, I would say have 1 invitation with just the information on the reception and personally tell the people you want to be at the ceremony. That actually makes it FAR more intimate and personal than an invitation.
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    We have decided to just invite family and very close friends to the ceremony. We want it to be intimate and not overcrowded. The rest of the people are to come after for the reception. (lets be honest most people just want to be there for the reception anyway). Having a hard time figuring out how to do invitations. I was just going to have one invitation and put all that info in there. But I am worried suddenly everyone will think we are super close friends and show up and there not be room. Do I send out two forms of invitations?! Has anyone else had a similar problem?
    I've never understood this thought process.  First, it's a pretty large assumption to make and chances are you'd be wrong at least once if you tried to divvy up the list between the cares and don't cares.

    Secondly, let's say there are some people who don't care about the ceremony.  If you invite them, they can choose to show up for the reception only.  But by withholding the full invitation, you are making that choice for them.  Let adults be adults and choose to accept or decline invitations based on what they actually want, and not based on what you think they want.  You would never tier a reception because your gluten free/vegetarian friends wouldn't care for your dinner, would you?

    With that said, OP, I'm glad to see you're reconsidering.
    image
    OurWildKingdomSP29
  • Congrats on your pending nuptials! 
    I totally understand your concerns. I had a similar issue with my future in-laws because i wanted 40 people at the wedding and they wanted to have 20 more so they could have their own friends there. Our solution was to have wedding ANNOUNCEMENTS for the people who are not invited to the wedding.
    With that being said, I would say have 1 invitation with just the information on the reception and personally tell the people you want to be at the ceremony. That actually makes it FAR more intimate and personal than an invitation.
    Are you saying you invited 40 people to the ceremony and reception, but then invited 20 more people just to the reception? If so, that is definitely not cool, and most definitely goes against etiquette.
    BabyFruit Ticker
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