• Images
  • Text
  • Find a Couple + Registry
GO
Etiquette

Advice on ceremony/reception situation

I just recently got engaged last month and we are slowly planning our wedding.

We found this gorgeous ceremony site and we are planning on inviting 100-150 people to the ceremony (hopefully more like 100).

Here's our "issue" though, we cannot afford to feed all 100-150 people and we were thinking for supper to just have immediate family (15-20 people tops).

Is it rude to invite people to the ceremony and then hope that they show up for the dance/dessert portion of the night? How would I phrase that on an invitation?

I would love to feed everybody if I could, but at $20-$30 a plate for 100-150 people, that would end up being almost half of our budget.

TIA :)
Image and video hosting by TinyPic Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
«1

Re: Advice on ceremony/reception situation

  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    No you can't do that. It's rude.








    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • I know that you are not trying to offend your guests, but this is one of the rudest things you could do when planning a wedding.  Everyone who is invited to the ceremony must be invited to the entire reception, not just the dancing portion.  It would be best to scale back your guest list so that you can afford to properly host all of your guests.  Alternatively, you could find a different, less expensive venue so you can afford to host more people.  Or, you could have your wedding during a non-meal time (2-5 pm or 8 pm or later) and just do appetizers, punch, and cake.  Either way, everyone invited to the ceremony absolutely must be invited to the entire reception.
  • STARMOON44STARMOON44 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited April 2013
    No you can't do this. It is extremely rude. unless you are in the UK where this is apparently common ETA: feeding your guests should be about half your budget what's more important to spend your money on than your loved ones?
  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited April 2013
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_advice-on-ceremonyreception-situation?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:e968337d-6a14-432b-b2bc-acde291326cfPost:aa596af8-23f0-408f-a62b-e759ec530e49">Advice on ceremony/reception situation</a>:
    [QUOTE]I just recently got engaged last month and we are slowly planning our wedding. We found this gorgeous ceremony site and we are planning on inviting 100-150 people to the ceremony (hopefully more like 100). Here's our "issue" though, we cannot afford to feed all 100-150 people and we were thinking for supper to just have immediate family (15-20 people tops). Is it rude to invite people to the ceremony and then hope that they show up for the dance/dessert portion of the night? How would I phrase that on an invitation? I would love to feed everybody if I could, but at $20-$30 a plate for 100-150 people, that would end up being almost half of our budget. TIA :)
    Posted by talandree[/QUOTE]

    Your baby is adorable.

    How would YOU feel if you were invited to the ceremony and not to dinner? Yeah, right, you'd think it was horrible. Put yourself in your guests shoes.
  • No can do. You must host everyone at the reception who you invite to your ceremony. So you have a couple options:

    1) Cut down your guest list to those you can afford to host
    2) Have a cheaper reception (have your wedding start at a non-meal time like 2:00 and host cake and punch afterwards) so you can invite everyone


    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Vacation
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_advice-on-ceremonyreception-situation?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:e968337d-6a14-432b-b2bc-acde291326cfPost:aa596af8-23f0-408f-a62b-e759ec530e49">Advice on ceremony/reception situation</a>:
    [QUOTE]I just recently got engaged last month and we are slowly planning our wedding. We found this gorgeous ceremony site and we are planning on inviting 100-150 people to the ceremony (hopefully more like 100). Here's our "issue" though, we cannot afford to feed all 100-150 people and we were thinking for supper to just have immediate family (15-20 people tops). Is it rude to invite people to the ceremony and then hope that they show up for the dance/dessert portion of the night? How would I phrase that on an invitation? I would love to feed everybody if I could, but at $20-$30 a plate for 100-150 people, that would end up being almost half of our budget. TIA :)
    Posted by talandree[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>This is incredibly rude.  Either cut back your guest list, rework your budget in other areas, find another venue/caterer or have a longer engagement and save up the money.  You have many options available.  Not feeding people is not one of them.  

    </div>
  • Agree with everyone else that this would be incredibly rude.

    Have an afternoon wedding with cake/punch/maybe cheese and crackers, veggies and call it good.  That way you can afford to serve everyone.

    Now once that was over you would certainly be free to have dinner with your families, but you need to host a reception for everyone you invite to the wedding.
  • In Response to Advice on ceremony/reception situation:
    [QUOTE I would love to feed everybody if I could, but at $20-$30 a plate for 100-150 people, that would end up being almost half of our budget. TIA :)
    Posted by talandree[/QUOTE]

    Hi! I'm new on this board, but I'd just like to add that (as PPs have already pointed out) you are going to hurt some feelings if you only invite guests to part of your reception. If you don't want to cut back the guest list, I think you could make the larger guest list work if you prioritize. Food and beverages for my wedding come out at about half our budget, and for us it's no problem at all because we love good food and want well fed, happy guests. So we chose a cheaper venue, are DIYing the decorations, etc. Its all about priorities. Just make sure that every guest on your list is properly hosted after your ceremony.
    Why do you feel almost half the budget is too much to feed your guests?
  • Couples are supposed to feed ALL their guests, as they would feel very slighted if they were told they can`t come to dinner. I`d definitely be wondering if I would even show up at the wedding if that were the case.
    image
    Married as of June 22, 2013!!!

    image
  • You need to feed all of your guests. If you can't afford to feed 100 people don't invite 100 people. Problem solved.
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic Anniversary 
  • If properly hosting your guests at the lowest price possibe is half your budget, then that's how it is. Ours is definitely half our $5000 budget, and it's necessary to treat all of our guests how we would want to be treated. You'll need to suck it up and cut budget other ways. You can have a low budget and still host everyone properly, trust me. Don't be selfish.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Thanks for opinions - I have been invited in the past to the ceremony and not the reception and honestly, I wasn't all that offended.

    If we were doing it the way I was hoping to do it, it would have only been our parents, our grandparents and the bridal party for supper. It's not really me ranking anyone in importance, but to each their own opinion.

    I may decide to do an evening ceremony instead and possibly have a dessert reception, depending on their prices.
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • happyfor25happyfor25 member
    100 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited April 2013
    So you want your guests (though not really guests since you won't be providing them with any hospitality) to come to your ceremony to ooh and aah about how pretty you are then come back later to ooh and aah some more AND give you a gift?  Why would you even consider inviting 100 people if you can't afford to feed them?  Do you think you are doing them a favor by allowing them to watch your wedding?

    Yes, it would be incredibly rude.  Please rethink your plans.  As others suggested, cut down the guest list, have cake and punch at a non-meal time.  If you plan to hire a DJ for the dance portion, you could cut that out and use an ipod or just skip dancing altogether.  Providing hospitality to your guests is a MUST while dancing is not.

    As others also pointed out, it is perfectly reasonable that the cost of the reception would be at least half of your budget.

    ETA:  I was responding to the OP not the follow up post.
    imageimage
  • Also, I'm not expecting any gifts - we've been living together for 4 years, own a house together. We don't need anything.
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • If you want to do an evening dessert reception, I would start your ceremony no earlier than 7:30, otherwise you run into dinner time and guests would have to be served a full meal.


    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Vacation
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_advice-on-ceremonyreception-situation?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:e968337d-6a14-432b-b2bc-acde291326cfPost:3a6cfc12-9d6f-406d-846d-63ea7cb8653f">Re: Advice on ceremony/reception situation</a>:
    [QUOTE]Also, I'm not expecting any gifts - we've been living together for 4 years, own a house together. We don't need anything.
    Posted by talandree[/QUOTE]

    <div>It's a wedding.  Most people will bring a gift.</div><div>
    </div><div>
    </div>
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_advice-on-ceremonyreception-situation?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:e968337d-6a14-432b-b2bc-acde291326cfPost:37123731-f1cc-423c-8743-4b4ce34af1b9">Re: Advice on ceremony/reception situation</a>:
    [QUOTE]Thanks for opinions - I have been invited in the past to the ceremony and not the reception and honestly, I wasn't all that offended. <strong>If we were doing it the way I was hoping to do it, it would have only been our parents, our grandparents and the bridal party for supper. It's not really me ranking anyone in importance, but to each their own opinion</strong>. I may decide to do an evening ceremony instead and possibly have a dessert reception, depending on their prices.
    Posted by talandree[/QUOTE]
    It's not an opinion, and how exactly would only feeding those people not be ranking them in importance?  You're saying it's important to feed these particular guests, but not the rest.  That is the definition of ranking.



  • Why don't you do a punch and cake party in the afternoon, then dinner with your close family much later, or the next day, after the main event is over?
    image
  • Kate61487Kate61487 member
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary 250 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited April 2013
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_advice-on-ceremonyreception-situation?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:e968337d-6a14-432b-b2bc-acde291326cfPost:aa596af8-23f0-408f-a62b-e759ec530e49">Advice on ceremony/reception situation</a>:
    [QUOTE]I just recently got engaged last month and we are slowly planning our wedding. We found this gorgeous ceremony site and we are planning on inviting 100-150 people to the ceremony (hopefully more like 100). Here's our "issue" though, we cannot afford to feed all 100-150 people and we were thinking for supper to just have immediate family (15-20 people tops). Is it rude to invite people to the ceremony and then hope that they show up for the dance/dessert portion of the night? How would I phrase that on an invitation? I would love to feed everybody if I could, but at $20-$30 a plate for 100-150 people, that would <strong>end up being almost half of our budget</strong>. TIA :)
    Posted by talandree[/QUOTE]

    I'm super curious what portion of your budget you think it should be.  Our reception food was 62% of our budget.  If I were trying to cut our budget I would have cut on flowers, photography, DJ etc. and then our food would have been an even bigger portion.  Feeding your guests is SUPPOSED to be the most expensive (and important) part of the budget.

    ETA: actually thinking about it I would have cut favors and done the invitations cheaper before cutting the above, but the point is the food would have been the last to cut.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_advice-on-ceremonyreception-situation?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:e968337d-6a14-432b-b2bc-acde291326cfPost:3a6cfc12-9d6f-406d-846d-63ea7cb8653f">Re: Advice on ceremony/reception situation</a>:
    [QUOTE]Also, I'm not expecting any gifts - we've been living together for 4 years, own a house together. We don't need anything.
    Posted by talandree[/QUOTE]

    It's still incredibly rude.  Gifts are not relevant to the politeness or lack thereof.
  • Ah, you're hosting your wedding which means that you have responsibilities to your guests.  You are required to provide each and everyone one you invite with food, drink and entertainment. 

    Look at your budget.  Who can you afford to host fully at your wedding?  That becomes your guest list cap.  If you NEED to invite more people, then you need to start thinking about changing your venue or type of wedding.

    A dessert reception starting later (8pm ceremony or so) or an afternoon cake and punch reception (2pm ceremony) are great ways to invite more people and still properly host them.

    It doesn't matter that YOU weren't offended.  You are hosting this wedding and you owe it to YOUR guests to treat all of them appropriately.  I'm sorry your friends in the past have not concerned themselves with their guests' comfort - they were in the wrong.  Don't be in the wrong, too.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_advice-on-ceremonyreception-situation?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:e968337d-6a14-432b-b2bc-acde291326cfPost:b767cc71-6a13-48dc-840e-2339f6dbd13f">Re: Advice on ceremony/reception situation</a>:
    [QUOTE]OP, I am curious.  You have been living together for 4 years and have a child.  Your wedding isn't for more than 3 years.  Why the long wait?
    Posted by CMGr[/QUOTE]



    We've been together for six years and are getting married next summer. Not quite sure what long wait you are referring to
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_advice-on-ceremonyreception-situation?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:e968337d-6a14-432b-b2bc-acde291326cfPost:84587000-0775-4465-9af0-d856f00ad7bb">Re: Advice on ceremony/reception situation</a>:
    [QUOTE]Why don't you do a punch and cake party in the afternoon, then dinner with your close family much later, or the next day, after the main event is over?
    Posted by Giaspo[/QUOTE]

    This.

    OP, your reception should cost about 50% minimum of your budget.  That's how it goes.  If you can't afford to host that many guests, invite less.  We're pretty tight for cash and cut our original guest list in half after looking at the money end of things before sending invites.  We have so many out of towners that we didn't feel right going the cake and punch route personally.  It's a great option, just wasn't right for us.  But we are feeding every single guest we invited in the end.

    Do a 2pm ceremony, do cake and punch (and maybe some spritzers for a touch of booze), and the next day, do a post-wedding brunch with the immediate family you mentioned and feed them a meal then. 
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_advice-on-ceremonyreception-situation?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:e968337d-6a14-432b-b2bc-acde291326cfPost:c74766ed-f8d4-4d3e-8271-194208f127f3">Re: Advice on ceremony/reception situation</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Advice on ceremony/reception situation : We've been together for six years and are getting married next summer. Not quite sure what long wait you are referring to
    Posted by talandree[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>Your profile has your wedding date in September 2016.

    </div>
  • OP, I think you should rethink your venue. If you want to invite 100 people, you need to be able to feed 100 people. Find a venue that fits your budget so you can afford to feed all the people you invite.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    image
  • ok so if your whole budget is 6000 dollars there are so many affordable ways to host and  FEED all your guests even if it means you have to change venues or cut the list. what else do odds are if you are having a venue that will let you have guests that are not eating they will most likely let you bring in your own food. budget slashed right there. point being there are many chouces that are much less rude than I wont feed you .
  • I agree with PP that doing either a) a brunch reception b) cake and punch or c) a dessert reception is the way to go. However, I would just like to add that whatever route you may decide to take, you indicate it on the invitations. I'm not saying you should blatantly say "Dinner will not be served" or anything of the sort (so please, no one jump down my throat). What I mean is, if you choose option C, that the invitation say something like "Following the ceremony, please join us for a dessert reception at [insert address here]." That way, your guests will understand exactly what type of food they will be offered, and will know to eat dinner before attending the ceremony.
    image
  • Try to cut back on guests. You really shouldn't invite people to the ceremony & expect they don't come to the reception. I understand it costs a lot of money, but try to do as much DYI as you can & it will all work out:) 
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Don't invite people you don't want to feed.

    Regardless of how many people you invite, it is not acceptable to expect them to assume any of the costs of feeding and entertaining them.  So if the issue is that your guest list is too large, you need to either not invite some of them or find a cheaper venue.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_advice-on-ceremonyreception-situation?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:e968337d-6a14-432b-b2bc-acde291326cfPost:ebf8de88-9cd7-43da-a971-38c4a964de11">Re: Advice on ceremony/reception situation</a>:
    [QUOTE]The TIME of the wedding and reception determine what should be served. If your wedding falls during a traditional meal hour (which, for etiquette purposes, is between 11-2 or 5-8) then you must serve a full meal to your guests, or enough appetizers for them to make up a meal.  Host the wedding and reception during an off-meal hour, and then snacks (or wedding cake and punch) become acceptable. Trim your guest list if you must.  You don't have to invite everyone you know.  Some people may be disappointed, but they'll get over it.  Peope understand, especially when money is concerned, that a couple may not be able to invite everyone they know, or even everyone they'd like to invite. The fact that someone may have invited you to only a ceremony doesn't mean that you should do the same.  Would you think it's okay to pick your nose and eat your boogers in public just because someone else did? I bet you wouldn't. Have a backyard barbecue for your wedding!  That's what we did.  I wore a wedding gown from David's Bridal, and he wore a silk shirt and pants we bought on clearance at Christmas.  We rented tables and chairs for $200.  We bought food from a local barbecue restaurant that delivered.  Drinks in iced party tubs.  We played music on CDs we mixed ourselves.  We could have rented a dance floor and tent if we'd wanted one. Our whole budget was a thousand dollars for 50 guests. You can have a nice wedding for very little money without being rude to your guests.  It's not about being "traditional."  Tradition and etiquette are two very different things.  Etiquette is about being polite and treating your friends and family right.
    Posted by RetreadBride[/QUOTE]



    I should have hired you as my budget person. Seriously, a thousand for 50 guests? You gotta be one heck of a super lady! Totally envious right now!! Lol.

    OP, ditto to what the others said. Feeding a portion is not ok. Your guests will likely go out to eat or home if they are traveling any kind of distance to eat and then not return more than likely. I wouldn't at least. I also would still bring a gift though, it's just how weddings go. BBB, a local restaurant, or something cheaper than the current venue you have all seem like good starting points! Hopefully we helped and you can let us know what you decide to do. :D
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards