Thursday, October 11, 2007


I am getting married in April (I was going to say "We are getting married in April" but didn't want any of you to think I'd gotten you into something you're not ready for...).

Scott and I both have a large number of very close friends and family.

We chose our reception location and it will only hold 120 people (Yes, it is a separate location from the ceremony, but the same day). I even asked if they actually count the guests and the answer was yes.

Is it remotely tactful to invite some people to the reception and not others? If so, how do I choose?



Angela said...

Your first sentence is so funny, Reese. :)

I've been looking for you because it's been a while since I threw a party and my etiquette skills are rusty. The quick answers I found were in this vein (which is so not helpful right now, I know):

"We cannot advise you on the best way to word this invitation because, as you know, it is not polite to invite these guests only to the wedding ceremony.
Top Wedding Questions Forum Moderator"

Can you choose a different hall? Can you invite fewer people to the wedding *and* reception? Can you make the reception the next day and just have a little cake and punch thing at the church the night before?

Will anyone feel offended or gypped because they realize that they received a wedding-only invitation?

I so don't envy you this, Reese. Trust me, it does get better. But that whole party thing is a bitch.

Hope that helps, but I'm sorry if I just dumped a big bag o' poo on your planning. It's just one person's (okay three people's) opinion(s), and you already know what I think about opinions. Do what you feel is right in your heart and what makes you happy.

Atypical California Girl said...

This does suck.

Usually it is the other way around.
With my uncle's wedding they are inviting about 20 people to the wedding and about 100 to the reception.

Is that worse? Does that say you are good enough to come to the party, but not good enough to actually be there for the blessed event?

Now I think if I was invited to the wedding and not the reception, I would be hurt. At first.

However, a true friend would go to the wedding and just be happy for you.

Is there no other acceptable place to have the reception that will accommodate all your guests?

If not, maybe you can have a separate get together (brunch the next morning? a barbecue the next afternoon?) with the people you couldn't invite to the reception?

I know that is an additional expense, but it's just a thought.

Ninja Of The Mundane said...

What I've heard works is a sort of "self-selecting" system. You want the wedding to be a more formal occasion for everyone, but want to shave loose and have some irreverent and possibly inebriated fun at the reception. So what others I know have do is this: Simply let each invited guest know what the occasions are going to be like. Most of the fuddy-duddies who don't drink or dance will make a token appearance at the beginning of the reception and fade away early ... leaving the floor to the fun people.

I think they'll feel better if you make it seem like THEIR idea not to come.

But above all, your wedding should reflect YOUR sensibilities, not anyone else's. I always figured that people who had the sort of wedding and reception that pleased their parents and relatives were probably getting married primarily for that reason, too.

ReesePie said...

The church will hold 300 people for the ceremony and 200 people in the attached hall.

I originally wanted to hold the reception separate from the church because the hall is too small.

Now I have shot myself in the foot.

I really need to hash through the invitation list.

The reason we chose the reception location we did is because it is a favorite place of both of ours and very affordable.

Angela said...

Can you invite only 200 to the wedding, too? Also, remember no-shows (hopefully). Maybe you could invite 250 and hope for the best?

Angela said...

Last thought for today: If the hall is attached, a lot of people are going to see people moving towards the hall and assume they're invited. I'm not sure how you could avoid hurt feelings if two-thirds of the crowd saunters towards the hall and the other third realize that they're not supposed to be there. Sticky, that one.

ReesePie said...

The hall is NOT attached.

Angela said...

Oh my god. I did what Jim said. :( Didn't work out so well. The second time I eloped, though, and that's working out pretty well so far. :) It definitely wasn't our parents' idea for us to get married!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA

Angela said...

Awesome. If the hall isn't attached, you're in better shape. I'm all for Jim's idea of blasting the music, though. That'll scare a bunch of them off right away. Good luck!!

moosh in indy. said...

I had a huge party, I regret almost every part of it. I wish I would have kept it so small.
I'm bitter about weddings.
So bitter, so I'm not much help.
I say go with what YOU really want and to hell with the rest of 'em.

Kelsie-lou said...

When I was growing up, it was common for a wedding invitation to be for the ceremony only, and then for a small card to be placed in the invitations for those invited to the reception with the details of the evening...I know that doesn't make the "paring down" any easier....but it's just my 2 cents...