News: IT'S THE 2ND ANNUAL GUATEMALA LIBRARY PROJECT BOOK DRIVE!    LOOKING FOR DONATIONS OF SCIENCE BOOKS THIS YEAR.    Check it out in the "Extending the Hand of Kindness" folder or here: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=139832.msg3372084#msg3372084   

  • November 23, 2017, 11:27:20 AM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Evening only - save the date  (Read 13316 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Another Sarah

  • Member
  • Posts: 971
Re: Evening only - save the date
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2015, 10:25:18 AM »
In Australia, having two tiers of wedding reception - the sit-down dinner for a subset of guests, followed by additional guests invited for dessert and dancing only would be considered rude. But I understand this is common in the UK.

The Hens Night is a complicating factor. I would imagine that only female guests invited to the dinner part of the reception would be invited to the Hens Night? Seems a little "off" to me to invite the "dessert and dancing only" guests. But perhaps UK eHellions can set me straight?

At any rate, I agree with other posters. You don't need to do anything now. Go ahead and give your email address for the Hen's Night, then when the invitations actually arrive, you can decline (or accept) depending on how you feel.

For the record, I don't believe that a Save The Date card means you MUST attend the event, unless there is a compelling reason not to. I see them as more as "heads up, this event is taking place on X date".
It is so common in the UK that I'd think of it as the norm rather than the exception.
I think it is a very "cultural divide" issue in that we don't see our evening guests as the B list, the way they're often seen by people who don't have this setup.
It's actually an older tradition than a single party and the bit that get misconstrued is actually the first part, the wedding breakfast (NB. Not breakfast)
Traditionally this meal is the first meal that a married couple shares immediately after the ceremony (they were supposed to have been fasting, hence the word breakfast is used whatever time it is) It's often a smaller group than the reception party because:
A -our churches are pretty small, so not everyone we want there can attend
B-our churches are public spaces so anyone can show up to a wedding ceremony and watch, therefore the breakfast must have a defined guest list that can't rely on who is in the church.

The evening reception equates more to the reception as everyone else would consider it - the celebration of the wedding itself.
So we see the evening party as almost a second separate event - the first being "come to our wedding and partake in this solemn occasion with us" that you share with close friends and family, and the second being "We got married and we want to celebrate with you!" where it's all about the celebration and you can extend your hospitality further to even more friends and family. We don't think of it in terms of "I only rated an evening invitation, what am I? Chopped liver?" but more "Oh that's nice, third-cousin-twice-removed cousin It and Margaret are getting married and they thought of me!"

In terms of the hen night, it really does depend-I don't think there are any formal "rules" as such.
Generally if you don't invite every woman at the wedding to the hen party (and most don't), evening only guests tend to be people who aren't as close to the couple, so you might not invite an evening only guest to the hen party... but some people do have a very small wedding breakfast  or a family only one, in which case friends would be invited to the evening reception and it would be perfectly normal. The big thing is that there is no gift giving expectation like you would have for a shower and it's not a very formal deal, just a party.

Runningstar

  • Member
  • Posts: 806
Re: Evening only - save the date
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2015, 01:48:42 PM »
 I guess that it depends on the person, for me this would stress me out.  If I went to any of the pre wedding parties, then I'd feel that I had to go to the wedding (whatever part I was invited to) or risk having the bride to be think that something must have offended me.  And since I hadn't said anything when I got the save the date, it must be some issue that has made me change my mind.  It is very interesting to read what other people think and do. 

LifeOnPluto

  • Member
  • Posts: 8131
Re: Evening only - save the date
« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2015, 10:54:47 PM »
In Australia, having two tiers of wedding reception - the sit-down dinner for a subset of guests, followed by additional guests invited for dessert and dancing only would be considered rude. But I understand this is common in the UK.

The Hens Night is a complicating factor. I would imagine that only female guests invited to the dinner part of the reception would be invited to the Hens Night? Seems a little "off" to me to invite the "dessert and dancing only" guests. But perhaps UK eHellions can set me straight?

At any rate, I agree with other posters. You don't need to do anything now. Go ahead and give your email address for the Hen's Night, then when the invitations actually arrive, you can decline (or accept) depending on how you feel.

For the record, I don't believe that a Save The Date card means you MUST attend the event, unless there is a compelling reason not to. I see them as more as "heads up, this event is taking place on X date".
It is so common in the UK that I'd think of it as the norm rather than the exception.
I think it is a very "cultural divide" issue in that we don't see our evening guests as the B list, the way they're often seen by people who don't have this setup.
It's actually an older tradition than a single party and the bit that get misconstrued is actually the first part, the wedding breakfast (NB. Not breakfast)
Traditionally this meal is the first meal that a married couple shares immediately after the ceremony (they were supposed to have been fasting, hence the word breakfast is used whatever time it is) It's often a smaller group than the reception party because:
A -our churches are pretty small, so not everyone we want there can attend
B-our churches are public spaces so anyone can show up to a wedding ceremony and watch, therefore the breakfast must have a defined guest list that can't rely on who is in the church.

The evening reception equates more to the reception as everyone else would consider it - the celebration of the wedding itself.
So we see the evening party as almost a second separate event - the first being "come to our wedding and partake in this solemn occasion with us" that you share with close friends and family, and the second being "We got married and we want to celebrate with you!" where it's all about the celebration and you can extend your hospitality further to even more friends and family. We don't think of it in terms of "I only rated an evening invitation, what am I? Chopped liver?" but more "Oh that's nice, third-cousin-twice-removed cousin It and Margaret are getting married and they thought of me!"

In terms of the hen night, it really does depend-I don't think there are any formal "rules" as such.
Generally if you don't invite every woman at the wedding to the hen party (and most don't), evening only guests tend to be people who aren't as close to the couple, so you might not invite an evening only guest to the hen party... but some people do have a very small wedding breakfast  or a family only one, in which case friends would be invited to the evening reception and it would be perfectly normal. The big thing is that there is no gift giving expectation like you would have for a shower and it's not a very formal deal, just a party.

Replying quite late here (two months later!) but this is very interesting! I never thought of looking at it from that perspective.

Can I ask, when are the speeches / first dance / cake-cutting / etc traditionally done? If they are done during the meal (breakfast) part, I'd definitely feel like the "dessert + drinks" part was an afterthought. But if they were done during the dessert + drinks part, it wouldn't bother me as much (as a dessert + drinks only guest).

Also, what's the normal ratio of Breakfast Guests versus Dessert-Only Guests? If the HC invites 50 people to the meal/breakfast part, and another 10 guests to the dessert part, it seems a little "off" to me. But I don't find it as bad if the ratios are reversed (eg 10 close friends and family for the meal, another 50 less-close people to the dessert part).

Another Sarah

  • Member
  • Posts: 971
Re: Evening only - save the date
« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2015, 04:48:23 AM »
It varies from couple to couple but most often the speeches are done during the wedding breakfast (on the basis of we're feeding you so you have to listen ;)) and then the cake cutting and first dance are done in the evening. Also it's rare that the evening reception would just have cake & drinks, usually there's a buffet or something similar, so tables would be expected, but it's more free and easy than the seating chart.

In terms of ratios, it varies wildly. Probably most common is much closer to an even split so say 50 day people and 30 night people, or 30 day people and 50 night people. Whether you have more people invited to your day/night do is mostly dictated by how big your families are and how close you are with friends.

Take a wedding I went to a couple weeks ago - I come from a very big extended family, and in this case the bride was a second cousin of mine I've not seen in about ten years, we're not close. However, the MOB is my mum's cousin and they were very close growing up. She's much more "immediate" family.
Me, my 2 siblings and my mum were invited to the church, then my mum was invited to the wedding breakfast and we were all invited to the evening reception. We did the photos at the church, then us sibs went for lunch and a catchup, then we all got together at the evening do.
I didn't feel slighted in the least. However I would have on her behalf, if my mum hadn't been invited to everything.
If we'd done it the way most countries do, my bro, sis and I would have been the "should we include them?" people. That would have been ok whatever decision was made but felt a bit sucky if we weren't invited. As it was, we were included and made to feel very welcome. There just isn't a resentment or a second class status attached to it.

SamiHami

  • Member
  • Posts: 4565
  • No! Iz mai catnip! You no can haz! YOU NO CAN HAZ!
Re: Evening only - save the date
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2015, 08:22:54 AM »
In Australia, having two tiers of wedding reception - the sit-down dinner for a subset of guests, followed by additional guests invited for dessert and dancing only would be considered rude. But I understand this is common in the UK.

It's incredibly rude here in the US as well. You have the wedding and reception you can afford; you don't divide up your guests into A list and B list, which is exactly what this is. If you can't afford to have everyone at the reception, then you either cut your guest list or you cut your expenses somehow.

What have you got? Is it food? Is it for me? I want it whatever it is!

Another Sarah

  • Member
  • Posts: 971
Re: Evening only - save the date
« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2015, 09:19:49 AM »
In Australia, having two tiers of wedding reception - the sit-down dinner for a subset of guests, followed by additional guests invited for dessert and dancing only would be considered rude. But I understand this is common in the UK.

It's incredibly rude here in the US as well. You have the wedding and reception you can afford; you don't divide up your guests into A list and B list, which is exactly what this is. If you can't afford to have everyone at the reception, then you either cut your guest list or you cut your expenses somehow.
No. It isn't. It's an older tradition than one reception lumping everything together and more importantly it's culturally about sharing your hospitality with as many friends and family as you can.

You don't have to agree with it, but please accept that there are cultural differences we all find odd. I could wax lyrical about bridal showers, but I won't because just because it's different to the way my country does it, doesn't mean I get to decide it's wrong.

Burping after a meal is rude in some countries and polite in others. We don't argue about who is right or wrong on that, we say to adjust your expectations to the country you're in, rather than impose your personal system on others. This is exactly the same.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2015, 09:28:43 AM by Another Sarah »

LifeOnPluto

  • Member
  • Posts: 8131
Re: Evening only - save the date
« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2015, 10:13:00 PM »
In Australia, having two tiers of wedding reception - the sit-down dinner for a subset of guests, followed by additional guests invited for dessert and dancing only would be considered rude. But I understand this is common in the UK.

It's incredibly rude here in the US as well. You have the wedding and reception you can afford; you don't divide up your guests into A list and B list, which is exactly what this is. If you can't afford to have everyone at the reception, then you either cut your guest list or you cut your expenses somehow.
No. It isn't. It's an older tradition than one reception lumping everything together and more importantly it's culturally about sharing your hospitality with as many friends and family as you can.

You don't have to agree with it, but please accept that there are cultural differences we all find odd. I could wax lyrical about bridal showers, but I won't because just because it's different to the way my country does it, doesn't mean I get to decide it's wrong.

Burping after a meal is rude in some countries and polite in others. We don't argue about who is right or wrong on that, we say to adjust your expectations to the country you're in, rather than impose your personal system on others. This is exactly the same.

I guess for me, it has the potential to cause some hurt feelings. If you think you're a close friend/relative to the HC, and you only get invited as a drinks and dessert guest - I can see how it would be hurtful to discover you're not as close as you initially thought. Especially if you're dividing groups. For example, if the Bride is an old friend of yours from university, and she invites all your other mutual friends from university to the Breakfast part, but you're only invited to the drinks and dessert part.

However, it seems that the drinks and dessert guests aren't required to bring wedding gifts? In which case, it doesn't seem so bad.

Another Sarah

  • Member
  • Posts: 971
Re: Evening only - save the date
« Reply #22 on: July 01, 2015, 04:38:54 AM »
That's a bit of a false analogy. It would be rude to pointedly exclude one member of a group in any situation. And it would be very rare and very unusual to be surprised by an invite. You know how close you are to people as a general rule.

To my mind a closer example would be if you and two others are friends with the bride and she picks one of them to be her bridesmaid and not you are you entitled to be offended because you weren't her favourite?

But the reason I keep saying that this is a cultural difference is because the attitude the different countries take is what makes the person decide it's rude.
You're coming from the assumption that the wedding is one event from start to finish and that if you're going to invite someone to your wedding you should invite them to the whole thing. Therefore a guest not invited to a part is being excluded from part of the event.

We do not see the wedding as one event. It is three things - a church ceremony, a wedding breakfast and a reception. You can be invited to one event or two or three and it doesn't alter your status as a welcome guest. It's about including as many people as possible. There is no b list, because it's not about deciding not to have people in one part.

veryfluffy

  • Member
  • Posts: 3120
Re: Evening only - save the date
« Reply #23 on: July 01, 2015, 06:16:52 AM »
In Australia, having two tiers of wedding reception - the sit-down dinner for a subset of guests, followed by additional guests invited for dessert and dancing only would be considered rude. But I understand this is common in the UK.

No, that is not how it works. It's not as though there is a continuous event, where some people have a meal and then more people turn up halfway through.

It would be (1) ceremony with a limited number of people -- eg very close family and friends, followed by (2) a meal ("wedding breakfast") with those who attended. In the evening, or even the day after, there would be (3) a party for more people. Not all of those who attended the ceremony + meal would necessarily want to attend the "bash".
   

shhh its me

  • Member
  • Posts: 7526
Re: Evening only - save the date
« Reply #24 on: July 01, 2015, 07:27:56 AM »
  OP , you RSVP when you get the actual invite not before. It's ok to have other plans save the dates aren't literal.  There are a couple good side effects to this: You can send back the card/write a note RSVPing "No" (Well a bit longer "I'm so sorry I can not attend. Best wishes blah blah.") The point , you never have to say "No" to the brides face.  Also, you do not give the specific reason "Just I can not attend". Secondly with the 50-100 replies and all the little details that frequently creep up  the HC will be dealing with at one time they wont have time to ask you/think about why you can't attend.    Just in case you are asked have an appropriate and vague reason ready. You can try "I'm so sorry I can't....Best wishes blah blah . It's just not possible. The invitation was lovely by the way where did you get it? Did you design it. Where are you going on your honeymoon? what flavor is the cake? "  but stress the sorry and best wishes  then follow up with a question.

I would just give my email for the hens and decide when the invite comes , you don't have to attend both. Small point if you do not plan on attend the Hens do not give your opinion if asked"Should we do X or Y?"  just say some version of "Make no difference to me."

SamiHami

  • Member
  • Posts: 4565
  • No! Iz mai catnip! You no can haz! YOU NO CAN HAZ!
Re: Evening only - save the date
« Reply #25 on: July 01, 2015, 07:42:21 AM »
In Australia, having two tiers of wedding reception - the sit-down dinner for a subset of guests, followed by additional guests invited for dessert and dancing only would be considered rude. But I understand this is common in the UK.

It's incredibly rude here in the US as well. You have the wedding and reception you can afford; you don't divide up your guests into A list and B list, which is exactly what this is. If you can't afford to have everyone at the reception, then you either cut your guest list or you cut your expenses somehow.
No. It isn't. It's an older tradition than one reception lumping everything together and more importantly it's culturally about sharing your hospitality with as many friends and family as you can.

You don't have to agree with it, but please accept that there are cultural differences we all find odd. I could wax lyrical about bridal showers, but I won't because just because it's different to the way my country does it, doesn't mean I get to decide it's wrong.

Burping after a meal is rude in some countries and polite in others. We don't argue about who is right or wrong on that, we say to adjust your expectations to the country you're in, rather than impose your personal system on others. This is exactly the same.

As I stated in my post, I was only speaking about the US.  I am well aware that other countries may view things differently. In the US, however, it is rude to have "A" list guests who get the nicer reception and "B" list guests who don't. Here the HC is expected to treat all guests equally.

What have you got? Is it food? Is it for me? I want it whatever it is!

Another Sarah

  • Member
  • Posts: 971
Re: Evening only - save the date
« Reply #26 on: July 01, 2015, 08:01:20 AM »
In Australia, having two tiers of wedding reception - the sit-down dinner for a subset of guests, followed by additional guests invited for dessert and dancing only would be considered rude. But I understand this is common in the UK.

It's incredibly rude here in the US as well. You have the wedding and reception you can afford; you don't divide up your guests into A list and B list, which is exactly what this is. If you can't afford to have everyone at the reception, then you either cut your guest list or you cut your expenses somehow.
No. It isn't. It's an older tradition than one reception lumping everything together and more importantly it's culturally about sharing your hospitality with as many friends and family as you can.

You don't have to agree with it, but please accept that there are cultural differences we all find odd. I could wax lyrical about bridal showers, but I won't because just because it's different to the way my country does it, doesn't mean I get to decide it's wrong.

Burping after a meal is rude in some countries and polite in others. We don't argue about who is right or wrong on that, we say to adjust your expectations to the country you're in, rather than impose your personal system on others. This is exactly the same.

As I stated in my post, I was only speaking about the US.  I am well aware that other countries may view things differently. In the US, however, it is rude to have "A" list guests who get the nicer reception and "B" list guests who don't. Here the HC is expected to treat all guests equally.
I was referring to your line about splitting your guests up into A and B list and having two tiers of hospitality - this is the reason this custom gets slated so much and as I said in my other post, it's a faulty assumption because you're looking at it from a single event perspective.
It's not splitting your guests. It's not deciding that Susie only rates a third class ticket while Bob gets the red carpet treatment.
 It's two separate events, both with the same level of hospitality, only one is small and reserved and one is big and partylike. It's the difference between having a formal dinner party with your family on the afternoon of your birthday and an outdoor BBQ with all your friends that night.

ETA: One is not "nicer" than the other. They are just two different styles of event.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2015, 08:13:41 AM by Another Sarah »

SamiHami

  • Member
  • Posts: 4565
  • No! Iz mai catnip! You no can haz! YOU NO CAN HAZ!
Re: Evening only - save the date
« Reply #27 on: July 01, 2015, 08:18:34 AM »
We will just have to agree to disagree on this topic, Another Sarah.

What have you got? Is it food? Is it for me? I want it whatever it is!

Another Sarah

  • Member
  • Posts: 971
Re: Evening only - save the date
« Reply #28 on: July 01, 2015, 08:33:08 AM »
We will just have to agree to disagree on this topic, Another Sarah.
Fair enough

Hmmmmm

  • Member
  • Posts: 8883
Re: Evening only - save the date
« Reply #29 on: July 01, 2015, 09:33:51 AM »
In Australia, having two tiers of wedding reception - the sit-down dinner for a subset of guests, followed by additional guests invited for dessert and dancing only would be considered rude. But I understand this is common in the UK.

It's incredibly rude here in the US as well. You have the wedding and reception you can afford; you don't divide up your guests into A list and B list, which is exactly what this is. If you can't afford to have everyone at the reception, then you either cut your guest list or you cut your expenses somehow.
No. It isn't. It's an older tradition than one reception lumping everything together and more importantly it's culturally about sharing your hospitality with as many friends and family as you can.

You don't have to agree with it, but please accept that there are cultural differences we all find odd. I could wax lyrical about bridal showers, but I won't because just because it's different to the way my country does it, doesn't mean I get to decide it's wrong.

Burping after a meal is rude in some countries and polite in others. We don't argue about who is right or wrong on that, we say to adjust your expectations to the country you're in, rather than impose your personal system on others. This is exactly the same.

As I stated in my post, I was only speaking about the US.  I am well aware that other countries may view things differently. In the US, however, it is rude to have "A" list guests who get the nicer reception and "B" list guests who don't. Here the HC is expected to treat all guests equally.
I was referring to your line about splitting your guests up into A and B list and having two tiers of hospitality - this is the reason this custom gets slated so much and as I said in my other post, it's a faulty assumption because you're looking at it from a single event perspective.
It's not splitting your guests. It's not deciding that Susie only rates a third class ticket while Bob gets the red carpet treatment.
 It's two separate events, both with the same level of hospitality, only one is small and reserved and one is big and partylike. It's the difference between having a formal dinner party with your family on the afternoon of your birthday and an outdoor BBQ with all your friends that night.

ETA: One is not "nicer" than the other. They are just two different styles of event.

I think this is a very good point. In the US, the concept of the "wedding ceremony" and the "reception" being two separate events is not common... even if they span out the entire day with a 4 hour break between activities it's still considered one event. However, I've always liked the UK's style of wedding planning and much more aligned with a "fit for purpose" model.

When my older sister married in the late '80s, family and closest friends attended a private ceremony and we had a catered lunch afterwards... maybe 20 people (parents, grandparents, siblings, a childhood friend. And then there was a reception in celebration of their wedding held that evening with probably 150. There was lots of food, lots of booze, and lots of fun. I highly doubt anyone, including some first cousins and aunts, considered themselves second class guests. At that time, this style of wedding was very acceptable in our neck of the woods. However, a wedding with a 4 hour break between ceremony and reception would have been considered extremely inconsiderate and rude.