How invitations to reception correlates to recieving wedding gift

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Ricki443 Posts : 1 Registered: 3/4/10
How invitations to reception correlates to recieving wedding gift
Posted: Mar 12, 2010 11:22 PM

I am planning a wedding on a very tight budget. Although I'd love to have everyone I've ever known to share in our nuptuals, financially im not able to do so. My plan is to have everyone come to the wedding but only invite about 20 - 25 of the closest family members and friends to the reception. My fear is that people will feel snubbed and although that certainly is not the case, I dont want anyone to feel that way. How can I avoid that? Also I wonder if it is distasteful to expect a gift from wedding goers who arent invited to the reception? The gift should be based on the fact of the wedding itself, not whether your invited to the reception, or not. But the fact still remains that some people feel entitled to go to the reception if they bring a gift. I dont know what to do. Maybe, explain in the invitation to the wedding that I will have a formal reception following the wedding and a more casual after wedding celebration at a later date and everyone else will be invited for that celebration, but due to finances or lack there of, were unable to have eveyone at the after wedding reception? Please write back with your input as to the taste or lack of taste in what Im thinking and or how else I might handle this situation.

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FrancieElaine Posts : 654 Registered: 6/26/09
Re: How invitations to reception correlates to recieving wedding gift
Posted: Mar 13, 2010 12:03 AM Go to message in response to: Ricki443

Okay.. so I am not an expert at etiquette but I'm going to take a try at this one. If you invite people to a wedding, but not the reception, then you really should not expect a gift. The truth is, most people attend weddings because they enjoy the reception, not because they want to sit through a ceremony. I understand that is not true for your immediate family, they are the ones who really care about the ceremony. But most people really look forward to the cake, the dancing, the fun! If I were invited to the wedding, but not the reception I probably would politely decline. I'm just being honest.

Now if you had a celebration later on and invited me, then I would show up with a nice gift. I'll be interested to see what the more experienced ladies have to say! Good luck.

Francie Elaine, The Bride Whisperer

www.bride-whisperer.com

http://twitter.com/BrideWhispering

http://bridewhisperer.blogspot.com  

 

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jeaniebelle87 Posts : 137 Registered: 11/23/07
Re: How invitations to reception correlates to recieving wedding gift
Posted: Mar 13, 2010 2:11 AM Go to message in response to: Ricki443

First- No one is required to get you a gift. No matter what they are invited to: reception, ceremony, both, neither, no one is required to buy you things.

You want everyone you love to be at your ceremony. That's great! However, be ready for lots of people to decline your invite and feel very snubbed. It's pretty tacky to invite someone to the ceremony, expect them to travel, bring a gift (which you clearly expect), get dressed up, possibly hire a babysitter, and then you aren't even offering them any sort of refreshments at all?

Why not have everyone to your ceremony, and then have a cake and punch reception afterwards?
Have it in the morning when rentals are cheap and you can have a light brunch rather than an expensive plated dinner.
Do a little googling, there are tons of blogs and websites devoted to brides working on a budget.
Have your wedding on a Friday night (I'm doing that and it's saving us a boatload of money).
Buy a used dress; rent a dress; buy a new dress and sell it after the wedding; wear your mom/aunt/grandma/other important female role model's dress.
Have a backyard wedding.
Get food from Sam's Club or Costco (deli trays, dinner rolls, cake, veggie trays, cookie trays, etc). There's a bride on the boards that did all her food from Sam's Club, I think, and from what I've heard everyone loved it.
I had a good friend get married last year, and to keep from going into debt for the wedding, but still have lots and lots of friends and family there (she had a guest list of 300 and a budget of $8000) she had a simple ceremony at her church and followed it up by a simple and light/fun picnic at a park afterwards. It was simple, beautiful and a ton of fun.
Or, decide what your budget is and how many people that allows for and invite just that many people.

I'm not saying you have to do this, of course you can and probably will do whatever you want, but I would certainly feel pretty offended if I was invited to the wedding of a friend or family member, knew there was a reception, but also knew that I wasn't invited. I definitely wouldn't go, and wouldn't get that couple any gifts.

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: How invitations to reception correlates to recieving wedding gift
Posted: Mar 13, 2010 5:37 AM Go to message in response to: Ricki443

It's rude to invite a bunch of people to a wedding and then a select few to the reception.

Either scale back the reception (CatStandish had a great reception on an extremely limited budget - she has posts all over these boards) OR invite only those invited to the reception you are planning to the wedding.

 

 

 

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: How invitations to reception correlates to recieving wedding gift
Posted: Mar 13, 2010 9:56 AM Go to message in response to: Ricki443

Dear Ricki,

Wrong, in so many ways.

" My plan is to have everyone come to the wedding but only invite about 20 - 25 of the closest family members and friends to the reception. "

In other words, you are good enough to come to the ceremony, but not good enough to be invited to the reception where it will actually cost us money to entertain you.

" My fear is that people will feel snubbed and although that certainly is not the case"

It certainly is the case that they are being snubbed. I was invited to a wedding just like that, years ago, and I did feel snubbed. I never felt the same about the couple again, and dropped the friendship.

" Also I wonder if it is distasteful to expect a gift from wedding goers who arent invited to the reception?"

Oh, and you want them to bring you a gift, too, after you can't spare a slice of cake and glass of punch for them?

" But the fact still remains that some people feel entitled to go to the reception if they bring a gift."

Absolutely they do. The gift is a means of returning the hospitality of the reception. Normally if someone asks me to dinner, I can reciprocate by returning the invitation to dinner at a later date. I cannot return the hospitality of a wedding reception with another wedding reception, since I'm already married. (Or, have no plans to get married in the foreseeable future.) Thus, I return the hospitality of a wedding reception with a gift to help the newly married couple start their household.

Inviting me to the ceremony, but not the reception, and expecting a gift is the height of greed. You are criticizing people for feeling "entitled" to a reception, yet you are making it clear that you are "entitled" to a gift.

" Maybe, explain in the invitation to the wedding that I will have a formal reception following the wedding and a more casual after wedding celebration at a later date and everyone else will be invited for that celebration,"

You may certainly have a delayed reception if you like, and if people are so moved as to give you gifts, then, they can. You do not, however, expect gifts now on the vague promise of a party sometime in the future.

**********

OK, what should you do?

Make your list of the 20-25 people you can afford to host at a reception. Invite those people to the wedding and reception following.

Make another list of people you would like to tell of your wedding. These people get ANNOUNCEMENTS following the ceremony. The announcement is worded much like an invitation, except it announces that the wedding is a done deal, written in the past tense. It should include the date and city of the actual wedding. Announcements do not have any expectation of gifts; they just inform the recipient that you got married. A person may be so moved as to get you a gift out of the goodness of their heart, but it's in no way obligatory following the receipt of an announcement.

You can get the announcements printed, stuffed, addressed, stamped and sealed before the ceremony, but do not put them in the mailbox until the ceremony is complete.

Later, should you decide to have a Delayed Reception, you send out invitations inviting people to that reception. If this takes place more than a year after your wedding, you simply call it an Anniversary Party.

Homer Simpson and Marge Bouvier
joyfully announce their recent marriage.
1/1/10
Springfield

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: How invitations to reception correlates to recieving wedding gift
Posted: Mar 13, 2010 10:36 AM Go to message in response to: Ricki443

My plan is to have everyone come to the wedding but only invite about
20 - 25 of the closest family members and friends to the reception.

It is VERY rude to invite people to a ceremony and not offer some sort of refreshments. That said, I have seen some people (on these boards - not in real life) plan to invite a large number of people to a ceremony and have a simple cake and punch reception immediately after for all the guests. Later that day, they invite a select group of people to dinner for a more intimate reception. That is acceptable, as you invite everybody to some form of refreshments/celebration immediately after the ceremony. Inviting guests to a ceremony - and expecting them to bring a gift! - and then telling them to go home immediately is VERY rude.

My fear is that people will feel snubbed and although that certainly is
not the case, I dont want anyone to feel that way. How can I avoid that?


There is no way to avoid that. Either plan some sort of modest reception for all the guests you want to invite to the ceremony, or limit ceremony invitations to the number of people you can afford to invite to the reception you want. You can't have both. There is nothing wrong with planning the wedding you can afford, whether that means more modest food and entertainment for everybody, or cutting the guest list significantly.

Also I wonder if it is distasteful to expect a gift from wedding goers who arent invited to the reception?

Oh yes - that is VERY distasteful.

The gift should be based on the fact of the wedding itself, not whether
your invited to the reception, or not. But the fact still remains that
some people feel entitled to go to the reception if they bring a gift.


Well yes, as it is socially expected to offer some sort of refreshments after a wedding ceremony. Like I said above, it does not need to be fancy or expensive. An hour in the church gathering hall with punch and cupcakes is acceptable.

Think about how you would feel if you were a guest. You're invited to witness someone's wedding. You're expected to dress up, take time out of your life to attend, perhaps traveling to do so, purchase a gift....and the bride and groom won't even provide you with a lousy soda or an hour out of their day for you to congratulate them? And then as you're chatting with some other guests before leaving, you find out that there is a reception that you haven't been invited to? Wouldn't you be pretty pissed? I'd feel pretty slighted, like I'm good enough to give the the couple a gift, but not good enough to stick around for the celebration. And I wouldn't be honored just to witness the ceremony - it would probably be the end of my friendship with the couple.

Maybe, explain in the invitation to the wedding that I will have a
formal reception following the wedding and a more casual after wedding
celebration at a later date and everyone else will be invited for that
celebration, but due to finances or lack there of, were unable to have
eveyone at the after wedding reception?


No, no, no. That just draws attention to your rudeness. Besides, if you publicly announce that you will be inviting guests to a belated reception, you are obligated to do so - even if something comes up and you don't have the money. Do not commit to inviting people to anything that you don't have the money to pay for.

You are trying to have your cake and eat it, too. That's not possible - not without offending a lot of people and looking like a greedy gift-grabber. You have two options that would not be rude:

1) Have a large ceremony with a modest reception immediately afterwards, preferably in the same location as the wedding. Invite all guests to this. Simple is fine - cake and punch or cheese trays or something. Later on (that day or the next day), host a more elaborate dinner for those 20-25 people.

2) Forget all the other guests and plan a small ceremony and reception. If you choose to have a delayed reception later on, you can invite all the rest of the people you're thinking of.

DaisypathWedding Ticker

Vice President and Guardian of the Toilet Brush of POOP: People Offended by Offended People

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: How invitations to reception correlates to recieving wedding gift
Posted: Mar 13, 2010 11:37 AM Go to message in response to: Ricki443

Ladies,

This is the kind of person who would delete her post if she doesn't like the answers. Instead of relying on Madame Fate, let's just make our own verbatim copy:

I am planning a wedding on a very tight budget. Although I'd love to have everyone I've ever known to share in our nuptuals, financially im not able to do so. My plan is to have everyone come to the wedding but only invite about 20 - 25 of the closest family members and friends to the reception. My fear is that people will feel snubbed and although that certainly is not the case, I dont want anyone to feel that way. How can I avoid that? Also I wonder if it is distasteful to expect a gift from wedding goers who arent invited to the reception? The gift should be based on the fact of the wedding itself, not whether your invited to the reception, or not. But the fact still remains that some people feel entitled to go to the reception if they bring a gift. I dont know what to do. Maybe, explain in the invitation to the wedding that I will have a formal reception following the wedding and a more casual after wedding celebration at a later date and everyone else will be invited for that celebration, but due to finances or lack there of, were unable to have eveyone at the after wedding reception? Please write back with your input as to the taste or lack of taste in what Im thinking and or how else I might handle this situation.

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wdubin Posts : 49 Registered: 4/27/08
Re: How invitations to reception correlates to receiving wedding gift
Posted: Mar 13, 2010 4:07 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

So rude. I suggest you take one of the ideas given to you in the other posts above. Also, you should never expect gifts. People are not obligated to bring a gift. They bring them because they want to not because they have to.

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kennysoldwife Posts : 3,859 Registered: 4/28/07
Re: How invitations to reception correlates to recieving wedding gift
Posted: Mar 13, 2010 4:26 PM Go to message in response to: Ricki443

I think that is an excellent idea. Invite everybody you have ever come in contact with in your life. I know I would be thrilled to receive an invititation from a relative or friend to their wedding. I would have no problem whatsoever if I was not invited to the reception afterall it is about witnessing the wedding not about the party afterwards.

I would not feel snubbed in the slightest especially if you wrote in your invitation what you were doing. I would know that I will be invited to the bigger gathering at some unknown later date. As soon as I receive my invitation I would run right out and get myself a brand new dress and some new shoes. I would go out and get you the most expensive gift on your registry. I would line up my sitter and my hair appointment, my mani/pedi and maybe even a tanning session just in case I want to look really good while I am sitting in the audience viewing your nuptials.

After the ceremony I would go home and think about how incredibly fortunate I am to have been invited to your wedding and how blessed I felt that I was able to give you a gift.

 

 

 

Kenny and me perfect together, 10 years and counting

Sucks to be you, So glad I am me

Proud Member of P.O.O.P,  People Offended by Offended People

wedding websites

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: How invitations to reception correlates to recieving wedding gift
Posted: Mar 13, 2010 4:50 PM Go to message in response to: kennysoldwife

Dear KOW,

You forgot the <sarcasm> </sarcasm> tags.

" it is about witnessing the wedding "

No, it's about the loot.

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TheeBride Posts : 130 Registered: 1/17/10
Re: How invitations to reception correlates to recieving wedding gift
Posted: Mar 13, 2010 10:31 PM Go to message in response to: Ricki443

Ehh, it seems to me you're putting too much emphasis on the gift. When you said "The gift should be based on the fact of the wedding itself, not whether your invited to the reception, or not"...to me, it sounds like you're only inviting them because you expect a gift. I've heard of people not being able to attend both but mostly they don't attend the ceremony and do attend the reception, simply based on the size of the ceremony location BUT I completely understand where you're coming from financially. Besides, say these guests show up to your ceremony with gifts...where would they put them? My opinion is that if you're not able to have everyone at the ceremony and reception, you should go ahead and scale back the ceremony so those attending one are attending both. Then, after the honeymoon or within a few weeks of your wedding what you could do is have a big cookout at your house (or maybe a family member or friend if you live in an apartment or something like that). You could send a sort of 'wedding' like invitation with rsvp's out for that and mention how you originally had a small, intimate ceremony but would love to share a post-wedding reception with them. I don't know how you'd word it but that'd be a good way to still include everyone you'd want to include and maybe, just maybe they'll come with a gift for you guys. If not, it's not really about gift....it's about the wedding, right? :o)

"I carry your heart with me, I carry it in
my heart. I am never without it, anywhere
I go you go, my dear..."

E.E. Cummings

Daisypath Wedding tickers
  

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cyndi33 Posts : 2,585 Registered: 1/3/07
Re: How invitations to reception correlates to recieving wedding gift
Posted: Mar 15, 2010 3:00 PM Go to message in response to: Ricki443

How can I avoid that?

You can't, it's incredibly rude.


Also I wonder if it is distasteful to expect a
gift from wedding goers who arent invited to the reception?

It's actually not a rule that anyone give you a gift. People generally do, yes, but it really sounds like the only reason you are planning to invite a bunch of people you aren't even going to offer a glass of punch to, is because you want, and excpect, a ton of gifts. Rude. And even if that's not the case, it would definitely be perceived that way by these gift sources (guests not invited to reception)


The gift
should be based on the fact of the wedding itself, not whether your
invited to the reception, or not. But the fact still remains that some
people feel entitled to go to the reception if they bring a gift. I
dont know what to do.


Is that really how you feel? If so, the fact of the wedding should be good enough for you regardless of any gifts. Having a reception, is to allow your guests to celebrate with you and to thank them for sitting through your ceremony. The solution is simple, invite everyone to both, and scale back your costs, or, have a delayed reception late rand do NOT invite all those people to the ceremony now, but banish them from the reception now. OR, go ahead with your original plan and appear completely rude to a whole lot of people. You may still get a bunch of gifts anyway, and that's really the bottom line isn't it?

Maybe, explain in the invitation to the wedding
that I will have a formal reception following the wedding and a more
casual after wedding celebration at a later date and everyone else will
be invited for that celebration, but due to finances or lack there of,
were unable to have eveyone at the after wedding reception?

And this kind of statement in the invite, for me, would just hammer home all the rudeness discussed above, in black and white. I would decline, and I"d probably seriously reevaluate our friendship. Why not just send all your friends your registry information but not invite them to anything? That way, they don't have to sit through your ceremony and you don't have to pretend interest in anything beyond the gifts. Win, win.

 Proud Member of P.O.O.P.,  People Offended by Offended People

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NicoleN1101 Posts : 44 Registered: 3/19/10
Re: How invitations to reception correlates to recieving wedding gift
Posted: Mar 22, 2010 12:18 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

When a family member recently got married, they belonged to a very large church, and were both teachers at the church school. So when they got engaged the entire congrigation assumed they were invited to the wedding. So what they did was send invitations to the wedding ceremony to all the key church members and their students family's. The invitations did not include a response card or any reception information. The family members and close friends that were invited to the reception received that information in their invitation. There was no announcement made at the ceremony stating that a reception was to follow etc, and when asked by those "not invited" the response was that they were having a small family reception. They didn't get anyone upset by the lack of inviation. Over 400 people were in attendance for the ceremony and 125 or so at the reception (we have a huge family)..... but that being said..... DON'T expect a gift from any of them! You should invite them because you want them there or you think they would like to come, not because of a gift. That's when it becomes tacky. Also DON'T invite them to a bridal shower, bachelorette party, etc. those should also be reserved for your closest friends and family that will be attending the reception.
If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane!

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kennysoldwife Posts : 3,859 Registered: 4/28/07
Re: How invitations to reception correlates to recieving wedding gift
Posted: Mar 22, 2010 12:32 PM Go to message in response to: NicoleN1101

Nicole inviting Church members to the ceremony and not the reception is totally different than what the OP is talking about. If you are a member of a Church and you have your wedding at that Church anyone can attend, they can attend whether they are invited or not.

 

 

 

Kenny and me perfect together, 10 years and counting

Sucks to be you, So glad I am me

Proud Member of P.O.O.P,  People Offended by Offended People

wedding websites

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: How invitations to reception correlates to recieving wedding gift
Posted: Mar 22, 2010 3:09 PM Go to message in response to: NicoleN1101

Dear Nichole,

" Over 400 people were in attendance for the ceremony and 125 or so at the reception (we have a huge family)..... but that being said.."

This is an entirely different situation than that of the original message.

Many, or most, churches have a policy that any church service is open to anyone. Mine does. Thus, anyone can attend any wedding in the church. A bum off the street can come into the church and witness the wedding ceremony.

The reception can be a private party, especially if it is held in different premises.

If a person attends a church where they expect a lot of church members to witness the ceremony, then it's a great idea to have a very simple cake and punch reception for everyone at the ceremony. That can be in the church fellowship hall. Those in attendance can meet, greet, congratulate, hug and kiss the newlyweds.

Then, later, in a separate location the couple host a reception for invited guests only.

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