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Ceremony, Reception and Dance

I am planning on having the majority of my guests invited to the ceremony and the dinner, but, they are some coworkers etc that we are inviting only to the dance.  We are planning on doing as many separate pictures as possible prior to the ceremony but we will not be seeing each other until the ceremony, so we will have probably a 1/2 hr or so of pictures to do after. 
The plan is to have the ceremony at 2pm on Saturday, which will take about 40 minutes, do a receiving line and then pictures.  At that point guests can start to head to the reception for cocktail hour from 4-6pm, and we will serve dinner about 6pm or 6:30.  The wedding party and I will arrive about 530.  Do you think inviting the dance guests at 8pm is giving us enough time?
Any other feedback on this place would be greatly appreciated

Re: Ceremony, Reception and Dance

  • Heather8505Heather8505 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    First, a tiered reception will not go over well on here.  Second, if the ceremony ends at 2:40, what exactly is happening for the next hour and 20 minutes before before the cocktail hour starts and if pics are only 30 minutes, why is the cocktail hour for 2 hours?  I think 6 hours between ceremony starting and dancing is way too long...

    Not considering a tiered reception, I think a good timeline would be something like:
    2-240 - ceremony
    3-4 - cocktail hour (you take your pics then)
    430 - dinner is served
    6 - dancing starts

    you could maybe make the cocktail hour 1.5 hours to start dinner at 5...
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  • edited December 2011
    In Response to Ceremony, Reception and Dance:
    [QUOTE]I am planning on having the majority of my guests invited to the ceremony and the dinner, but, they are some coworkers etc that we are inviting only to the dance.  We are planning on doing as many separate pictures as possible prior to the ceremony but we will not be seeing each other until the ceremony, so we will have probably a 1/2 hr or so of pictures to do after.  The plan is to have the ceremony at 2pm on Saturday, which will take about 40 minutes, do a receiving line and then pictures.  At that point guests can start to head to the reception for cocktail hour from 4-6pm, and we will serve dinner about 6pm or 6:30.  The wedding party and I will arrive about 530.  Do you think inviting the dance guests at 8pm is giving us enough time? Any other feedback on this place would be greatly appreciated
    Posted by cassiehinds[/QUOTE]

    Please don't do this.  Guests should be invited to all or nothing.  It's like saying to them, "Hey, we like you enough to accept your gift, but not enough to feed you!"  
    I have no idea what industry you work in, but this could hurt your career.  At the very least, your coworkers will talk about you.
    What are you going to do if someone shows up early and sees everybody eating?  It's just mean.
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  • TEA&CoTEA&Co member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Hmm...well, I've never heard of a tiered reception.  So what do you tell the coworkers that you only invited to the reception when they ask when and where your ceremony is?  And my feelings would be really hurt if I was invited to come at 8, showed up, and realized that the ceremony and dinner were already over.  I'd really, really rethink this.  ETA:  I think I was typing my response as PP posted hers, so obviously ditto PP.

    Anyway, I like Heather's idea for a timeline.  Good luck and congratulations!
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  • SD3194SD3194 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Avoid a tiered reception, it's rude.
  • edited December 2011
    Ditto PPs.  If you do not want to invite your co-workers to the ceremony and reception then do not invite them. 
    image
  • edited December 2011
    I like Heather's proposed schedule and absolutely NO to the tiered reception.  I've heard of inviting guests to ceremony or reception only (IMO only acceptable if it's a public figure's wedding and there needs to be like 1000 people at the ceremony but only 200 at reception or e.g. family-only ceremony + guest reception), but never just the dance.  I would feel like you invited me as some kind of entertainment to get the party started rather than someone worthy of feeding...plus I'd feel obligated to bring you a gift!
  • edited December 2011
    I think it depends on the norm in your area/circle. All of our coworkers have done that. We have a large company, so to invite 100 extra people would be crazy. We all understand that there's a budget in place (as well as ceremony capacity). Plus our wedding ceremony is family and the closest of friends only. The dance is a fun time for coworkers to celebrate and no one is hurt that they're not invited to the ceremony. It doesnt hurt that our DJ also works with us, so people are excited to go to his gigs.
  • edited December 2011
    I am a little surprised that most of you have not heard of a tiered reception or been to one?  2 out of the last 4 weddings I went to I was only invited to the dance, people are on budgets these days and I feel it is acceptable.  Especially when you are talking extended family and coworkers you do not hang out with regularly.  The ceremony and dinner is really a more intimate time to me, and the dance is where I would invite people that are not my closest of friends and family.  I also would not expect gifts from people that are invited to the dance only, that would be their choice.
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Ceremony, Reception and Dance:
    [QUOTE]I am a little surprised that most of you have not heard of a tiered reception or been to one?  2 out of the last 4 weddings I went to I was only invited to the dance, people are on budgets these days and I feel it is acceptable.  Especially when you are talking extended family and coworkers you do not hang out with regularly.  The ceremony and dinner is really a more intimate time to me, and the dance is where I would invite people that are not my closest of friends and family.  I also would not expect gifts from people that are invited to the dance only, that would be their choice.
    Posted by cassiehinds[/QUOTE]
    Oh, I've definitely heard of tiered receptions.  You can say whatever you want about it, but it is still rude.
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  • Heather8505Heather8505 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I just feel that if they are not close enough to you to come to the ceremony and actually see you get married, then why invite them at all.  I have plenty of acquaintances that I do not hang out with regularly, and they are simply not invited.
    me and my two men image
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Ceremony, Reception and Dance:
    [QUOTE]I am a little surprised that most of you have not heard of a tiered reception or been to one?  2 out of the last 4 weddings I went to I was only invited to the dance, people are on budgets these days and I feel it is acceptable.  Especially when you are talking extended family and coworkers you do not hang out with regularly.  The ceremony and dinner is really a more intimate time to me, and the dance is where I would invite people that are not my closest of friends and family.  I also would not expect gifts from people that are invited to the dance only, that would be their choice.
    Posted by cassiehinds[/QUOTE]

    I feel if you're on a budget it's acceptable to NOT invite a ton of people. I had 68 people at my wedding. None were coworkers. People understand not being invited because of budget, wanting a small wedding, whatever. I would NOT want to be a second-tier guest. The reception is for receiving guests who witness your marriage. The "dinner" and "dance" are not two separate events.

    Also, the cocktail hour is an HOUR, not 2 or 2.5 hours. I'd do ceremony at 3, cocktail hour 4-5. Then you can do introductions and speeches, even first dance if you want to, and serve dinner around 5:30 or 6.
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  • McKenna2012McKenna2012 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Ceremony, Reception and Dance:
    [QUOTE]I just feel that if they are not close enough to you to come to the ceremony and actually see you get married, then why invite them at all.  I have plenty of acquaintances that I do not hang out with regularly, and they are simply not invited.
    Posted by Heather8505[/QUOTE]

    This.
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