Wedding Etiquette Forum

Private dinner before reception

2

Re: Private dinner before reception

  • Wait, so you would have guests there from 4:30 to 10 p.m. and not give them dinner? Sorry, this is not OK. Imagine being a guest at your own wedding.

    Personally, if I were at your wedding and realized I wasn't getting dinner, I would have to leave to eat something.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • Wait, just saw you were planning to have a photo booth. Those are expensive! Cancel that and that frees up a huge chunk of your budget.
  • Order pizzas, a party platter of sandwiches from the grocery store, buckets of fried chicken.  Hell, I've been (not quite) joking about having Chipotle cater my wedding.  There are lots of ways to feed people without spending an arm and a leg.  But you do have to feed them.
    madamerwin
  • lyndausvi said:

    Ugh.   My DH is in a wedding.  The groom was telling a story  how only the WP will be getting a particular food item(s) and not the rest of the guests.  I'm not in the WP.     That made be think "WTF".  So DH gets whatever and I don't.  It was just odd that he even brought it up.   Made me feel pretty shitting and unwelcome.   



    I can't even imagine how I would feel if I heard there was a full blown meal for some and not others.

    Change your venue, cut your list.  For the love of god get rid of the Photo Booth.  But do not have a private dinner for some of the guests and not others.  No.
    Yeah, the groom in one of the fall weddings I'm in was talking about a scotch bar for just the WP (because his guys are scotch enthusiasts and he doesn't want to spring for it for everyone) like it was a brilliant idea, in front of my DH. I really wanted to say "Actually, that's pretty rude," because it is, and that's only a different type/quality of alcohol.
    DH was in a wedding a little over a year ago where the WP had assigned tables - GMs at one table, BMs at another table. All of the WP dates and SOs didn't have seats....AT ALL. Not like we were just at a different table or whatever. We didn't even have a table or chairs at all. About 10-15 of us stood huddled around a cocktail table all night. DH offered his seat to me but I ended up giving it to his mom (who also didn't have a chair). 

    It was really fucked up. We've "drifted" from those people since and we're barely friends anymore.
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  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Ditto PPs.  This is incredibly rude.  It also tells your guests that they are not as important as the "special" people who get to have dinner.  The reception is a thank you to your guests.  What a slap in their face.


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  • @lovegood90. We brought them a card with a check, so I didn't want to be seen digging through the card basket.... but I REALLY wanted to take it back. 

    This was also the wedding where they had a separate room behind the kitchen for guests without seats (and not even enough seats there), required that the WP "report for duty" at noon and didn't offer lunch or anything until the 7:30 dinner, had a house party, and ran out of food - at both the RD and the reception. 

    But they had 4 wedding planners, a giant cake on a 10 top table, favors on another 10 top table, it was at a private club, and they went on a super sweet honeymoon....so success, right?!
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    lovegood90
  • NowIAmSypNowIAmSyp East Hanover, NJ member
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments First Answer

    @lovegood90. We brought them a card with a check, so I didn't want to be seen digging through the card basket.... but I REALLY wanted to take it back. 


    This was also the wedding where they had a separate room behind the kitchen for guests without seats (and not even enough seats there), required that the WP "report for duty" at noon and didn't offer lunch or anything until the 7:30 dinner, had a house party, and ran out of food - at both the RD and the reception. 

    But they had 4 wedding planners, a giant cake on a 10 top table, favors on another 10 top table, it was at a private club, and they went on a super sweet honeymoon....so success, right?!
    Gross.
  • A little story for you, OP. 


    A couple years ago, FI and I got a wedding invite for only the reception. We were not invited to the ceremony. Ok. The invite specified that no food would be served at the reception, so we should go out to dinner somewhere before-hand. Um.. ok? It also had registry info on it, and said "adults only," and also said "cash bar," so all of those things combined were a bit too rude for us to handle, and we declined. (It was out of town anyway, and would have cost us a lot of time and money to attend. It wasn't worth it). 

    We found out later that the reason we were only invited to the reception was because there was a dinner served in-between the ceremony and reception for just a limited number of guests. So we were not deemed important enough to be served dinner. But we were invited anyway, clearly because the B&G wanted us to bring them a gift, which is gross. It would have been far better if we were not invited at all, which would not have offended us. 

    FI made the comment that this guy obviously didn't consider him much of a friend, and was fine with treating us in a very rude way. We are no longer friends with that couple. If they're that entitled, that arrogant, and have that much disregard for their "loved ones," then fuck them. 
    Hahahahahahahahahaha WHAT. No food, adults only, cash bar. So they basically invited you to...go out to the bar? I mean, that's what a bar is, right? No (or minimal) food, no kids, and alcohol that you have to pay for.
    littlepepnovella1186huskypuppy14indianaalum
  • @lovegood90. We brought them a card with a check, so I didn't want to be seen digging through the card basket.... but I REALLY wanted to take it back. 


    This was also the wedding where they had a separate room behind the kitchen for guests without seats (and not even enough seats there), required that the WP "report for duty" at noon and didn't offer lunch or anything until the 7:30 dinner, had a house party, and ran out of food - at both the RD and the reception. 

    But they had 4 wedding planners, a giant cake on a 10 top table, favors on another 10 top table, it was at a private club, and they went on a super sweet honeymoon....so success, right?!
    I would have been so pissed I would have put a stop on the check, even if it cost me $12 fee or whatever to do so.  That's just super, super gross.
    lovegood90PrettyGirlLost
  • ashley8918ashley8918 Chicago Suburbs member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    Jesus Christ, NO.
  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    edited April 2015
    MGP said:

    When this tiered wedding reception concept gets brought up I always ask these questions and no one will seem to answer them. OP please tell us how you plan to handle these logistical and etiquette issues:

    How will you tell the lucky ones you plan on feeding that they will in fact be fed? Please tell me you are not printing separate invitations.

    Opposite of that how do you plan on telling the unlucky ones they wont be fed? Additionally where are they supposed to go during this time? What if they come back early and see other people eating dinner?

    How is your venue supposed to keep track of who gets food and who doesn't? Wristbands? (Just kidding)

    If someone you didnt plan on feeding slips in the dining room how do you plan on telling them the food isnt for them? Seriously that would be more humiliating than not inviting someone's SO and that is saying a LOT.

    See where I am going with this? This is an absolute train wreck.

    Who gives a shit what the venue can hold. Run your numbers again and figure out how many people you can host EQUALLY. If its just ten people so be it and invite accordingly.

    Right.... so are people supposed to come to the ceremony, be told to LEAVE, and then come back later?  Huh?

    OP, kudos so far for coming back to answer questions and not freaking out.  Please take PPs advice and seriously rethink your plans.  If you are unwilling to move the date, time, or location of your wedding, the only thing left to budge* is the guest list.  Invite the number of people you can afford to feed.  I bet that's 120 or less, which solves your separate rooms problem, too.  Boom, fixed!

    *ETF typo
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    image

    "I'm not a rude bitch.  I'm ten rude bitches in a large coat."

    madamerwin
  • yogapants said:

    A little story for you, OP. 


    A couple years ago, FI and I got a wedding invite for only the reception. We were not invited to the ceremony. Ok. The invite specified that no food would be served at the reception, so we should go out to dinner somewhere before-hand. Um.. ok? It also had registry info on it, and said "adults only," and also said "cash bar," so all of those things combined were a bit too rude for us to handle, and we declined. (It was out of town anyway, and would have cost us a lot of time and money to attend. It wasn't worth it). 

    We found out later that the reason we were only invited to the reception was because there was a dinner served in-between the ceremony and reception for just a limited number of guests. So we were not deemed important enough to be served dinner. But we were invited anyway, clearly because the B&G wanted us to bring them a gift, which is gross. It would have been far better if we were not invited at all, which would not have offended us. 

    FI made the comment that this guy obviously didn't consider him much of a friend, and was fine with treating us in a very rude way. We are no longer friends with that couple. If they're that entitled, that arrogant, and have that much disregard for their "loved ones," then fuck them. 
    Hahahahahahahahahaha WHAT. No food, adults only, cash bar. So they basically invited you to...go out to the bar? I mean, that's what a bar is, right? No (or minimal) food, no kids, and alcohol that you have to pay for.
    lol yep! That was what we said too... like "um let's just stay here, NOT spend time and money going out of town, and buy ourselves drinks at a bar we choose, without being treated like crap by Bridezilla and Groomzilla." So that's what we did. 

    Your guests will notice if you treat them poorly, they will be unhappy about it, and they will judge you. And in some cases, they'll re-evaluate your "friendship" and choose to end it. 
    image
    TrixieJess[Deleted User]
  • madamerwinmadamerwin member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited April 2015

    If your venue can only seat 120, then the maximum number of people you should invite is 120. Always count on 100% attendance. We had an OOT wedding where mostly people we traveling from all over the country and had about 80%. And there are people here who have actually had 100%.

    If your FMIL isn't paying for the wedding, she doesn't get a say in who's invited. That should help cut your guest list.

    What your FI and your coworker came up with is called a "tiered reception" and it's incredibly rude. It basically says to non-dinner guests "you weren't important enough, so please wait around for 2 hours while we host people who are really important."

    An appetizer reception is just fine but you'd need to move the whole event back by about 3 hours. So your ceremony about be at 7:30 and reception at 8-11 or 12. That way, you purposely avoid meal time for everyone and you don't have the rude gap.



    ----WHERE DO THE BOXES GO?---

    This is what I was going to suggest also. If you absolutely MUST get married at your venue on a Friday, and you absolutely CANNOT cut your guest list, then move your ceremony to 7 (at the earliest), and have a cocktail/appetizer reception from 7:30-12. Do photos, and maybe a private dinner, before the ceremony. 

    To be honest, if I got invited to a wedding at 4:30pm on a Friday, even if it was in-town, I would have to take time off and I would probably be a little annoyed. I would be much happier to attend a 7pm wedding on a Friday.

    If you don't like that solution, and you don't like any of the other perfectly good solutions others have offered, then I'm not sure what else to tell you.
    BabyFruit Ticker
    novella1186
  • mikenbergermikenberger In a f'n cornfield member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    Lol this is a shit show. Pure and simple.

    image
    novella1186PrettyGirlLostashley8918
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited April 2015
    Nope. All guests must be invited to the entire event and hosted equally. Also, an event run over meal time must include a meal (this could be BBQ, pizza, catering from a restaurant, etc, but a meal none the less).

    So even IF you did do this private dinner (which I wouldn't do), you STILL have to feed the rest of your guests anyway, because your wedding is over a meal time. So the private dinner will cost you more ;)

    P.S. Guests care most about how they are treated- a seat for every butt, good food and drink (doesn't have to be alcoholic) over decor, centerpieces, favours and photo booths. 

    P.P.S. If I were invited to a BEAUTIFUL venue with lovely decor, champagne toast and a photo booth for a ceremony/reception that started at 4:30pm and didn't get dinner, I'd judge that B&G so hard! Like, for the rest of our friendship, "Hey DH, we're going over to John and Sally's Friday night for a party, do you think they'll put out any food, or should we bring pizza?". 
    [Deleted User]PrettyGirlLost
  • SP29 said:

    Nope. All guests must be invited to the entire event and hosted equally. Also, an event run over meal time must include a meal (this could be BBQ, pizza, catering from a restaurant, etc, but a meal none the less).


    So even IF you did do this private dinner (which I wouldn't do), you STILL have to feed the rest of your guests anyway, because your wedding is over a meal time. So the private dinner will cost you more ;)

    P.S. Guests care most about how they are treated- a seat for every butt, good food and drink (doesn't have to be alcoholic) over decor, centerpieces, favours and photo booths. 

    P.P.S. If I were invited to a BEAUTIFUL venue with lovely decor, champagne toast and a photo booth for a ceremony/reception that started at 4:30pm and didn't get dinner, I'd judge that B&G so hard! Like, for the rest of our friendship, "Hey DH, we're going over to John and Sally's Friday night for a party, do you think they'll put out any food, or should we bring pizza?". 
    Yep.  Yep, yep, yep.  Quoted for TRUTH!
    SP29huskypuppy14themuffinman16OliveOilsMom
  • The venue hold 300...
  • edited May 2015
  • lyndausvi said:

    Ugh.   My DH is in a wedding.  The groom was telling a story  how only the WP will be getting a particular food item(s) and not the rest of the guests.  I'm not in the WP.     That made be think "WTF".  So DH gets whatever and I don't.  It was just odd that he even brought it up.   Made me feel pretty shitting and unwelcome.   



    I can't even imagine how I would feel if I heard there was a full blown meal for some and not others.

    Change your venue, cut your list.  For the love of god get rid of the Photo Booth.  But do not have a private dinner for some of the guests and not others.  No.
    Not your wedding. Don't be bitter. The photo booth describes me, so it's staying.
  • edited May 2015
    banana468 said:

    Am I reading this correctly that you want to feed some but not all guests?


    Oh shit no.  Just no.   

    That's going to go over about as well as a fart in church.  

    You and your FI need to figure out how many people you can afford to feed equally.   As in - all of you are offered and able to consume the same food.   If that's 20 then that's your guest list.   If that's 100 then that's your guest list.   

    The private meal with your bridal party is your rehearsal dinner and it's the day before your wedding.

    If I was ever a guest at a wedding like this I'd either decline if I knew in advance or I'd be PISSED at the reception and I probably wouldn't stay.     
    And you.

    [edited by moderator to remove TOS violation]
  • When this tiered wedding reception concept gets brought up I always ask these questions and no one will seem to answer them. OP please tell us how you plan to handle these logistical and etiquette issues:

    How will you tell the lucky ones you plan on feeding that they will in fact be fed? Please tell me you are not printing separate invitations.

    Opposite of that how do you plan on telling the unlucky ones they wont be fed? Additionally where are they supposed to go during this time? What if they come back early and see other people eating dinner?

    How is your venue supposed to keep track of who gets food and who doesn't? Wristbands? (Just kidding)

    If someone you didnt plan on feeding slips in the dining room how do you plan on telling them the food isnt for them? Seriously that would be more humiliating than not inviting someone's SO and that is saying a LOT.

    See where I am going with this? This is an absolute train wreck.

    Who gives a shit what the venue can hold. Run your numbers again and figure out how many people you can host EQUALLY. If its just ten people so be it and invite accordingly.
    Right.... so are people supposed to come to the ceremony, be told to LEAVE, and then come back later?  Huh?

    OP, kudos so far for coming back to answer questions and not freaking out.  Please take PPs advice and seriously rethink your plans.  If you are unwilling to move the date, time, or location of your wedding, the only thing left to budge* is the guest list.  Invite the number of people you can afford to feed.  I bet that's 120 or less, which solves your separate rooms problem, too.  Boom, fixed!

    *ETF typo


    Oh believe me I tried, but the comments got WAY TOO rude and out of control
  • If your venue can only seat 120, then the maximum number of people you should invite is 120. Always count on 100% attendance. We had an OOT wedding where mostly people we traveling from all over the country and had about 80%. And there are people here who have actually had 100%.

    If your FMIL isn't paying for the wedding, she doesn't get a say in who's invited. That should help cut your guest list.

    What your FI and your coworker came up with is called a "tiered reception" and it's incredibly rude. It basically says to non-dinner guests "you weren't important enough, so please wait around for 2 hours while we host people who are really important."

    An appetizer reception is just fine but you'd need to move the whole event back by about 3 hours. So your ceremony about be at 7:30 and reception at 8-11 or 12. That way, you purposely avoid meal time for everyone and you don't have the rude gap.



    ----WHERE DO THE BOXES GO?---

    This is what I was going to suggest also. If you absolutely MUST get married at your venue on a Friday, and you absolutely CANNOT cut your guest list, then move your ceremony to 7 (at the earliest), and have a cocktail/appetizer reception from 7:30-12. Do photos, and maybe a private dinner, before the ceremony. 

    To be honest, if I got invited to a wedding at 4:30pm on a Friday, even if it was in-town, I would have to take time off and I would probably be a little annoyed. I would be much happier to attend a 7pm wedding on a Friday.

    If you don't like that solution, and you don't like any of the other perfectly good solutions others have offered, then I'm not sure what else to tell you.
    I like that option. Not sure about the photo part before the ceremony, but it's a good idea.
  • lyndausvi said:

    Ugh.   My DH is in a wedding.  The groom was telling a story  how only the WP will be getting a particular food item(s) and not the rest of the guests.  I'm not in the WP.     That made be think "WTF".  So DH gets whatever and I don't.  It was just odd that he even brought it up.   Made me feel pretty shitting and unwelcome.   



    I can't even imagine how I would feel if I heard there was a full blown meal for some and not others.

    Change your venue, cut your list.  For the love of god get rid of the Photo Booth.  But do not have a private dinner for some of the guests and not others.  No.
    Not your wedding. Don't be bitter. The photo booth describes me, so it's staying.
    I don't think the PP was bitter they were just pointing out how rude it is to only give the "important" people special treatment. When you only feed certain people you are basically saying that those people are more important. People were suggesting getting rid of the photo booth because your guests will be really upset if they aren't fed a meal during a meal time when there is a photo booth. The only thing I remember from most weddings is the food. So, if I went to a wedding where only some people were fed I'd be really upset. I don't care if there are centerpieces, a DJ or flowers, but food is a basic necessity of life.

    If you want to properly host your guests you have a couple of options:
    Cut the guest list
    Change your wedding time
    Figure out what you can cut to feed your guests.
    SP29
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