Tight budget but many friends

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soccerchick43001 Posts : 5 Registered: 10/12/07
Tight budget but many friends
Posted: Mar 24, 2008 3:34 PM

The subject line says it all!  With large families and closest friends, we're already hitting 250.  A college friend suggested inviting some of our college friends to the ceremony and the dance, explaining that most won't mind getting dinner on their own and catching a movie or something in between.  Would it be tacky to invite friends in this manner?  Most are laid back and probably wouldn't care in the slightest, and we WOULD like to have these friends there.... we just can't afford to feed everyone!  It's either we invite them this way or they don't get invited at all.... we could be careful in the wording of the invites and maybe specify that no gifts=ok??? 

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Tight budget but many friends
Posted: Mar 24, 2008 3:50 PM Go to message in response to: soccerchick43001

Dear SC,

It's rude to invite people to only a portion of the festivities. Telling the B list to go see a movie or figure out their own dinners while the A list eats is insulting.

It is, futhermore, Not Done to have any mention of gifts on an invitation. You can't direct gift preferences, nor can you instruct people not to give you anything.

Here is what I suggest, instead. Forget the meal.

Instead, serve finger food to everyone. Have more of a mix-and-mingle type party where everyone is on the move constantly, rather than seated at a specific spot for a meal. You either get finger food catered, or just get "party plates" from the grocery store. Schedule your wedding in so the reception is in the mid-afternoon or very late evening, so that it's not at a mealtime when people would expect to be served a meal.

Eg: Get married at 1:00 pm, with a reception from 2 - 5.

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thebigcheese Posts : 155 Registered: 4/2/07
Re: Tight budget but many friends
Posted: Mar 24, 2008 4:17 PM Go to message in response to: soccerchick43001

It would be extremely rude to tell some people to get lost during dinner.  If you want to invite all of these people, you'll have to do what auntofthebride said and scale down your plans- just do appetizers and dessert, cake and punch, whatever, as long as it's not at a typical meal time and you specify on the invitations that a full meal will not be served.

It's not right to mention gifts at all on the invitations, because that implies that you were expecting them in the first place.  It is always the guest's choice whether to bring a gift and how much to spend.

I see that your wedding is more than a year away.  Will you have graduated from college by then?  It's almost certain that some of your college friendships will fade after graduation, so the huge guest list might not even be a problem by the time your wedding rolls around.  Including on the invite that gifts are not necessary is pointless, because they are never necessary, and you are not in a position to release people from their obligation to bring one.

If you have your heart set on a full dinner, you'll have to cut back in other areas.  You can easily do without a limo, videographer, expensive jewelry, favors, traditional wedding cake, elaborate invitations, etc.  It might not match what you are envisioning your wedding will be, but you have to accept that you have limited resources and you will have to prioritize.  If it really is that important that all of these people be there, you will find a way to make it work.

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Bride2008 Posts : 3,058 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Tight budget but many friends
Posted: Mar 24, 2008 4:24 PM Go to message in response to: soccerchick43001

It would be really rude to invite them to only a portion of the fesitivies. Why not split up the celebration? Have the ceremony and and reception with immediate family and very close friends. Then when you return from the honeymoon, have a bigger, low key celebration, like a BBQ for the larger group.


 

"I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." - Billy Crystal, When Harry met Sally 

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Jen415 Posts : 255 Registered: 3/7/07
Re: Tight budget but many friends
Posted: Mar 24, 2008 4:28 PM Go to message in response to: soccerchick43001

SC, I ran into this problem too so we're having a 7 pm ceremony and the reception should start around 8 or so. We're serving "snacks" (finger foods-meat/cheese trays, veggie tray, fruit tray).  The snacks will be available to those who want them, but we by no means tend to fill everyone's stomach!

May 24, 2008
Daisypath Ticker

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08divabride Posts : 831 Registered: 11/17/07
Re: Tight budget but many friends
Posted: Mar 24, 2008 4:59 PM Go to message in response to: soccerchick43001

It would be rude to invite someone to a portion of the festivities.  There are so many different ways to cut down your budget elsewhere, but your caterer shouldn't be one in your case.  I know how it feels to want everyone there, so think of other factors that are not as important as the food for your 250 guests.

Good luck with your planning!


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Guest
Re: Tight budget but many friends
Posted: Mar 24, 2008 5:14 PM Go to message in response to: soccerchick43001

I wouldn't have the A list and B list. Just don't feed everyone a big meal. It is totally acceptable to just have some appetizers, like a tossed salad and meat and cheese trays.

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EveT2007 Posts : 1,949 Registered: 8/31/06
Re: Tight budget but many friends
Posted: Mar 24, 2008 5:56 PM Go to message in response to: Guest

Since your wedding is so far in the future, you do have a little time to figure this out.  While you are doing your figuring, whatever you do, don't go sending STDs or promising invitations to people beyond your immediate circle of relatives and lifelong family friends.  Once you've told a classmate, "Yeah, we're hoping to invite everybody from the dorm," you will have a terrible time un-inviting them if you find that you need to.

And I agree with all the PPs that a gracious hostess would not dream of having a B-list of guests who are asked to skip dinner while A-list guests eat.  If you truly want to invite all of these people and cannot afford to give them dinner, have your wedding and reception in midafternoon (after lunch) or late enough in the evening that everyone can have dinner before the ceremony.

You'll find hundreds of suggestions all over this site for ways to cut expenses.  Good luck!


"When Women Vote, We All Win!"

EveT

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Tight budget but many friends
Posted: Mar 24, 2008 7:21 PM Go to message in response to: EveT2007

I would do one of two things:

Option A: Like others have suggested, invite everyone but don't serve a full meal. This is done pretty frequently. The best way to do it is to have the ceremony and reception between normal mealtimes, and indicate on your invitations, 'Hors d'ouevres, cocktails, and dancing to follow' or something like that.

Option B: Have a private afternoon ceremony for your closest friends and family members, followed by dinner. After that, have a cocktail and dancing reception for the whole group, preferably at another location. In this case, your invitations will say something like, 'Please join us for cocktails and dancing to celebrate the marriage of X and Y.' I think it is OK to invite some people ONLY to this second part, since they are two separate events...but it is not Ok to invite them to the ceremony and then say, 'See ya later' until the dancing.

You can also cut your costs by limiting bar options. Some people (I think they're insane, but some people do it!) have dry weddings, and that's certainly cheaper than offering a full bar. But you can also save on costs by limiting alcohol service to only beer and wine. Don't do a cash bar. People HATE them.

Oh, and there's also Option C: Just cut the guest list. 


DaisypathWedding Ticker

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soccerchick43001 Posts : 5 Registered: 10/12/07
Re: Tight budget but many friends
Posted: Mar 25, 2008 2:25 AM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

This wedding planning stuff is so hard!!!  We are honestly cutting costs everywhere and I'm not worried about that since I'm pretty artsy and creative anyway.  I don't think people understood that we ALREADY have 250 people and the others WANT to come and said that they wouldn't mind grabbing a pizza and bowling ally in between.  I mean, is it still bad it they suggested it???  Arg! :)

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coastiebride Posts : 1,365 Registered: 3/26/07
Re: Tight budget but many friends
Posted: Mar 25, 2008 2:45 AM Go to message in response to: soccerchick43001

Its still bad that you would allow them to do this! Cut down on dinner offer pork and chicken instead of beef and chicken. It may be cheaper to do a sit down rather then a buffet mine is! Cut bar costs buy to kegs and anything else above and beyond is out of someone else's pocket. Think about a heavy hordorve reception. I was just wondering im really trying hard not to be rude really really, but how close are you to these people that you wouldn;t wan them to be apart of the whole day! I dont know when you are graduating but keep this in mind that you will probably never see most of the friends you made in college. Most people i know have one or two friends from there sorority or frat or just college in general. Hold off promising everyone invites things always change!

 Lets not all get caught up in our wedding. Remember we should not only be planning for a our wedding but more so we should be planning for  our marriage. More so then fighting over shades of peach, tuxs, cake flavors and only god knows what else. Because the next morning it is over, guests are gone the flowers have died the cake well lets face it 1/2 of it was tossed out. Cinderella is still a maid, the limo is now a pumpkin And there is life to face ok after wild crazy monkey sex for 7 nights straight, lets not kid out selfs there are priorities After its all gone there's still bills to pay and a job to go back to

Going to the Chapel December 6th 2008

Love is a four-letter word spelled G-I-V-E

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soccerchick43001 Posts : 5 Registered: 10/12/07
Re: Tight budget but many friends
Posted: Mar 25, 2008 3:23 AM Go to message in response to: coastiebride

They are people who I had many a good memory with through various college activities who I still talk to once in awhile.  Key word: Had.  I'm just a ridiculously loving person who wishes there was a way to invite EVERYBODY!! (but knows that I can't).  I suspected that this proposed alternative would be an etiquette no-no, so now I'll just invite people I STILL hang out with and make sure that they have an amazing time.  Thanks everyone for the help!

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Tight budget but many friends
Posted: Mar 25, 2008 7:37 AM Go to message in response to: soccerchick43001

Yeah - I feel for you on that one. I'd love to invite many 'old friends' too, but it just isn't possible. I think one of the keys to not driving yourself crazy planning your wedding is to realize that the wedding is about NOW and the FUTURE, rather than the PAST...so it is important to invite and honor those who play a key role in your lives NOW (and will in the future), over those that you don't spend a lot of time with anymore. Realizing that was a big step for us, and made it easier to cut down our guest list to those who are REALLY the most important to us. And it can be done. We started with a 'potential list' of 250, and we only set invites to 106. (Although I just sent out another batch of 20, since we had gotten some regrets...that might be cheating, but it was our 'B-list', I guess)

This is along the same lines as SO many posts that we read here that say, 'My MOH has been my best friend for 20 years, but we haven't really been close lately. I thought my wedding would bring us back together, but she still doesn't call me regularly. What's wrong?' Friends come and go - even best friends for 20 years. Life is easier when you realize that - and wedding planning will CERTAINLY go smoother. Anyway, I think you found the key to it all! 


DaisypathWedding Ticker

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Tight budget but many friends
Posted: Mar 25, 2008 10:35 AM Go to message in response to: soccerchick43001

Dear Soccer chick,

"the others WANT to come and said that they wouldn't mind grabbing a pizza and bowling ally in between.  I mean, is it still bad it they suggested it???  "

What people say and what they really think are two different things. Even if someone says "Kick Me", doesn't mean it's OK to kick them.

You have some decisions to make, along the lines of who you REALLY want to be there to witness your vows, and who just wants the party. The party-only folks can be invited to subsequent parties you might have in the future, such as a Super Bowl or March Madness party.

You are not independently wealthy. You have to draw some lines.

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futuremrsperry Posts : 1,904 Registered: 4/23/06
Re: Tight budget but many friends
Posted: Mar 25, 2008 11:46 AM Go to message in response to: soccerchick43001

I'm sure your friends will understand if they are invited to the ceremony and dancing.  But it may be seen as rude.  Maybe you could have a separate party later for your friends??   

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