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Offbeat Weddings

After Party Invite Only... But it will be awesome! Thoughts?

edited October 2014 in Offbeat Weddings
Hello Knotters,

So, the run down:

We are a pretty creative couple having a wedding in Brooklyn, NY.  My fiance has a big italian family with divorced and remarried parents so that's a lot of family up front.  So we were going to have a ceremony with about 90 people (74 family and 6 bridal party and staff (dj/band)) to the sit down dinner.  This will be followed by some speeches and a cocktail hour.  We will disappear for wedding photos while our second wave of "after party" guests arrive (60 of our other fun friends from Brooklyn and Philly mostly).  We arrive announced as the new Mr. and Mrs.  We will then have assorted desserts,  cocktails, cake, hors d'ourves, a photobooth as well as a Beatles cover band and then a DJ late into the night!  Also, we will be VERY clear about the "no gifts please" on the After Party invites.

I have been reading all these threads about how it is so rude and tacky to have people only come to the after party... but as described here, does it really sound that bad??

Plus, I think it's nice to spend some time with the family you haven't seen in a long time (on your side) or have never met (on his side) before the chaos of all the friends coming in...

I am pretty stubborn so, I might just do this my way! ;)  I guess I'm just worried that I really will come off as tacky and rude as the boards are saying!


Re: After Party Invite Only... But it will be awesome! Thoughts?

  • This is considered a tiered wedding, and it is incredibly tacky.  It's also rude to mention gifts at all, even to say "no gifts" means that you were expecting gifts.  
    Amanderson1290charcoalandblush
  • Hello Knotters,

    So, the run down:

    We are a pretty creative couple having a wedding in Brooklyn, NY.  My fiance has a big italian family with divorced and remarried parents so that's a lot of family up front.  So we were going to have a ceremony with about 90 people (74 family and 6 bridal party and staff (dj/band)) to the sit down dinner.  This will be followed by some speeches and a cocktail hour.  We will disappear for wedding photos while our second wave of "after party" guests arrive (60 of our other fun friends from Brooklyn and Philly mostly).  We arrive announced as the new Mr. and Mrs.  We will then have assorted desserts,  cocktails, cake, hors d'ourves, a photobooth as well as a Beatles cover band and then a DJ late into the night!  Also, we will be VERY clear about the "no gifts please" on the After Party invites.

    I have been reading all these threads about how it is so rude and tacky to have people only come to the after party... but as described here, does it really sound that bad??

    Plus, I think it's nice to spend some time with the family you haven't seen in a long time (on your side) or have never met (on his side) before the chaos of all the friends coming in...

    I am pretty stubborn so, I might just do this my way! ;)  I guess I'm just worried that I really will come off as tacky and rude as the boards are saying!


    That's not creative, it's just treating your 'friends' like they're second-class guests. And it's the height of tacky to mention gifts in any capacity on an invitation that's for any event other than a shower.
    image
    Amanderson1290charcoalandblush
  • Is the ceremony family only (aside from wedding party)? And are the ceremony and reception at the same place?
    At the risk of having a different opinion from the popular one, I don't see an issue with the ceremony being family only. I know people consider it "second-class guests" but I honestly don't know why. The way you described it is as two separate events. You're probably going to have a bunch of people saying otherwise on here, but personally, I would never be offended if I were invited to something that way, so I struggle seeing it as rude. Emmyg65's suggestion also is a good idea that wouldn't offend people and would keep the budget down if that's your concern.
    They are right about the gift thing though. That's considered bad form to mention them on invites. Have it spread by word-of-mouth if you want people to know.
  • Knottie66910870Knottie66910870 Toronto, CANADA member
    5 Love Its First Comment
    I agree with LittleWohlscheid.

    I would not feel like a second class guest, and, infact, I have been invited to a wedding "after - party" and not the ceremony or dinner - and was friend enough to understand the circumstances as to why the events were planned this way. I don't even think I thought about that part of it.  I was thrilled to celebrate the couple's day with them at the party!

    You are going to get slammed on this forum for bringing this up for discussion.  You may even experience some very nasty comments from people using etiquette that is out-dated and does not serve modern day circumstances!

    Do what you want to do.  Your real friends will understand your circumstances.

    The only thing I will add is that you should not expect gifts from your "party only" guests. You should make sure people are aware of that somehow.


  • So you want your friends to travel in from Philly almost 2 hours, and probably the cost of hotel just to come and dance?

    Yes doing this will save you money, but you still need to have tables & chairs & center pieces set up to accomodate the 60 people that are coming afterwards and don't forget you'll need to pay the price for those desserts, apps & open bar for the original 90 + the 60 after party guests.

  • Yes it really does sound that bad.
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Yeesh.  This is a tiered wedding and it's incredibly rude.  I know you think your idea is new and creative, but it's truly not.  It's exactly the same situation.  It's telling your guests, "hey, you're not quite good enough for me to give you dinner as a thank you for coming, but still come anyways!"  I went to a wedding like this. At the time I didn't know it was "wrong" (although I'd seen it done many times before) but it still left me feeling icky (and I was one of the guests who was given an invite to the sit down dinner!)  This isn't the "after party."  What you are describing is very much still part of the formal reception. 

    As to the knottienumbers who said that "people who will love you will come anyways!" Yeah, they'll come, but they will resent you for it.  Of course they're not going to say anything to your face.  In addition, etiquette is not "outdated."  It is solely about treating your guests well and hosting them properly.  Etiquette at it's core is ensuring that as many people as possible are comfortable.  Making sure you are treating people well is never a bad thing.  It's why etiquette exists.  Modern does not always = awesome.  Sometimes modern conventions (like the honeyfund) are just downright rude.

    Oh, and don't say "No Gifts" anywhere on the invitation.  Registry information and gift information should never be included on invitations.  Although your heart is in the right place, it actually comes off looking gift grabby ("Oh, so they expected me to give a gift?).  Just don't include any gift information on the invites. People will either refrain from giving, or give cash. You can't help it, but you have done everything politely on your end.  If people ask where you are registered, just say, "Oh, we have everything we need, but we can't wait to celebrate with you!" 


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