Wedding Etiquette Forum

Parents/Family not invited to reception

Editing original post about parents and family being excluded from party. 
Appreciate everyone's take on it. - we have read all of your responses. 
We will be respecting the wishes of the couple. 

Re: Parents/Family not invited to reception

  • I need to hear some opinions on this. Daughter is getting married and is planning on a simple courthouse ceremony with parents and immediate family (probably a max of 10 people), and then going to dinner afterwards. The next weekend she is planning a big party with her friends--and the parents/family are excluded from this event.

    There has been no family estrangement or stress (until this anyways.) Parents on both side paid for these kids to go to college and even helped with down payments on house. Everyone gets along very well--until this mother of the bride here became very hurt when she heard about the family being excluded from their celebration. My opinion is I'm good enough to support my kid for 25 years, emotionally and financially, but not good enough to go to the party? From what I know, his family is not aware of these plans. I advised my daughter that she needs to reach out to her future MIL and let them know what they want to do, and if his mom is fine with being excluded, then this is my problem and I have to "get over it."

    Regardless, they are adults and can do what they like for their wedding and reception. There was no promise by her father and me to pay for the wedding (we paid for the education.) Both have great jobs. We're not talking about a huge costly dinner for 100 people. Just a party at their house after a civil ceremony. Her father is fine with this plan because it is what she wants. 

    I am very hurt about this situation. Devastated in fact. I know I have to "get over it" but our relationship has been severely impacted. Am I overreacting for feeling slighted, and "not good enough" to be in the same room as the friends? Seriously, I have all my teeth, don't drink too much, am educated and speak in complete sentences. It has caused stress in my own marriage because her father thinks it is just fine, and she can do what she wants.

    Do I just need to "get over it", or is my daughter being rude?
    Can you help me understand the complete events? 


    The way this is worded the parents and immediate family are invited to an intimate wedding ceremony followed by an intimate reception. 

    What are the events of the following weekend?  Is this a party (note - it cannot be a reception becasue that needs to be the day of the wedding) with a DJ, cake cutting and all the trimmings that will not take place at the actual reception?  Or is this a party for peers that happens to be a week after the wedding? 

    Depending on the plans and what she is looking to do then no it is not rude.  I'm reading this as the immediate family is invited to the ceremony and a quiet dinner. 

    One week later she's having a party that is going to be more appropriate for her peer group and therefore the parents aren't included. 

    The way I'm interpreting this is that she's hosting a party for friends and she wants to keep the friend group and family group separate.  She wants to do that in the same way that neither my MIL nor my mom came to my bachelorette party and my parents and ILs are not invited to the friend parties that DH and I have at our house. 

    Based on what you're saying I think you need to take a BIG breath and stop holding that grudge.  You're invited to the wedding.  You're invited to the reception.  You're just not invited nor are you asked to contribute to a private event that your grown adult daughter is hosting.  If this is the first time that she's hosted something without you on the guest list then PLEASE know that it isn't a slight.  It's a sign that she and her partner are hosting for the adults in their age group and there will probably be more to come. 
    short+sassycharlotte989875
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I agree with @banana468. I need to understand the complete event the week after. If it is a party appropriate for her peer group then no there isn't a reason you should be invited and yes you need to get over it. I wasn't invited to DD's bachelorette party nor did I expect to be invited. I was invited to showers and the reception following the ceremony (we hosted). There will be other instances when your daughter has parties where you won't be invited and that's ok. Now on the other hand, if they are having a wedding celebration with a cake cutting, dancing, dinner and the trappings of a wedding reception then yes I would be hurt too. If that is the case, you need to talk to your daughter about how you feel about that.
    short+sassy
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    You are invited to the wedding and reception. The dinner following the ceremony is the reception. You are being excluded from a celebration party after the fact. A celebration days after the wedding is not a reception. Once your children are adults supporting themselves, you no longer have any right to expect or demand that you be invited to whatever parties they throw. You also are way out of line to demand that they notify the other side of the family of this party. 

    Based on the way you hold the cost of education and other gifts over your child's head, it sounds like there's a reason she doesn't want you at her parties. You sound very pushy and entitled. 
    MesmrEwe
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Based on what you've written, it sounds like the small, intimate ceremony and reception constitute your daughter's "wedding" and you are invited to that.

    If your daughter and her husband want to have another, larger party later with their friends, they're entitled to do that (if they don't refer to it as a "reception.") And they are entitled to invite whom they want, not invite whom they want, and let whomever they want know that this party is taking place if they are self-supporting and paying for this party with their own funds.

    Your paying for her college and other things is irrelevant. It does not entitle you to an automatic invitation to this party or to control whom your daughter and her husband tell about the party.

    TL:dr: Get over it and stop being hurt about not being invited to that party. It's not your event to control.



    MesmrEwe
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Time for a reframe of how you're interpreting the events, then add for covid...  

    1) As others have mentioned, you ARE invited to the official reception after the courthouse ceremony!  That IS the reception.  The "Celebration of Marriage" or "Come over to our house to celebrate that we got married party" is NOT the reception nor to be treated as such.  The only thing you should make sure to tell your daughter is to be open with those guests that it's not the wedding ceremony itself.  You aren't on the financial hook for this shindig they're having, life is good.  Now - if you were being asked to pay for the party then not invited, that'd be an entirely different thing.  But the dinner following the wedding ceremony, that IS the reception!

    2) Depending on where you're at in the country and world, there's restrictions on how many people they can have or are recommended to have over, and breaking the events up this way, may be the most prudent choice given society right now.  
    3) Something out of what we're going through now planning an event, my husband says "Yea - this person and that person probably aren't the right fit to have in a room together!" when we were discussing the invitation list LOL..  That may be something with your daughter and fiancé's friends..  But either way, don't think of it as being "snubbed", just ask if she's ordered a small "wedding cake" for the dinner following the ceremony at the courthouse, and call it golden!
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • If they are having a large, reception-like party with most/all of the usual wedding hallmarks (cake cutting, spotlight dances, etc.), then I think it's a little weird that you are not invited and I understand why you'd be hurt at being excluded. 

    However, if they are having a more "regular" party for their friends to celebrate with them, without the wedding stuff, then I think you need to let it go. If I were throwing a party for a bunch of friends, I would not my family, and if I was hosting a party for my family, such as a birthday party to honor a parent, I would not invite my friends unless they knew that parent really well and were friendly with them too.  Not every event is appropriate for inviting every person in your life, no matter how close you are with them. 

    Basically, if it's a wedding-like party, you have the right to talk to your daughter and let her know how upset you are at not being invited.  If it's just a regular party, I'd say just be happy you'll be present for the actual wedding (which is most important, after all), move on, and feel free to make some other enjoyable plans for that weekend.


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    short+sassycharlotte989875
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