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Author Topic: Inviting guests to "afterparty" but not the ceremony?  (Read 6826 times)

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Lady_Belle

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Inviting guests to "afterparty" but not the ceremony?
« on: August 13, 2016, 11:12:18 PM »
I am wondering what everyone's opinion is on this...

My fiancé and I have opted for an intimate ceremony on an Island... We want to keep it to a small group (our parents, 4 of our closest friends, brother & his gf, celebrant (who is also fiance's cousin) and his wife.

My fiancé has a large close-knit family. I would love to have them all there, but the Island is remote and requires 4WD hire to the ceremony location - therefore only so many seats.

So, I had the idea that we could have an intimate wedding (on a Friday) and then hold a lunch the following day (Saturday) back on the mainland - where we can invite everyone to celebrate... I have found a local bistro that will cater to a large group... Buffet style BBQ and beer/wine provided in a relaxed, informal setting. The coastal town (mainland) is about a 3 hour drive from the guest's respective homes. They would either drive back after, or potentially stay in nearby accomodation for the weekend.

What is everyone's thoughts on this? Is it in any way rude to exclude all but a select few to a ceremony, but invite them to a party the next day? What considerations, if any, would I need to make?

Thanks

lakey

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Re: Inviting guests to "afterparty" but not the ceremony?
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2016, 11:53:13 PM »
If I understand your description correctly, you are holding the reception/afterparty at a venue 3 hours drive from where most of your guests live. Is there a reason for that? I don't know what the strict etiquette rules are about this, but I personally would not be offended at being invited to an afterparty when the couple were married at a very small ceremony that couldn't accommodate a large number of people.

I do think that it would be nice if you could have a venue closer to where your guests live. I have driven 3 hours to attend a wedding. It is usually because the bride's family lives in one city and the groom's family lives in another, so they have to pick one city over the other.

Mustard

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Re: Inviting guests to "afterparty" but not the ceremony?
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2016, 04:26:44 AM »
I agree with lakey.  I would - and have - driven for three hours to attend a wedding, but I'm not sure I would 'just' for a party.  Is it likely that overnight accommodation at the coast would be more expensive than that where most of the guests live? 

Alicia

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Re: Inviting guests to "afterparty" but not the ceremony?
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2016, 05:43:08 AM »
Not rude. That said it begs the question why not just have the wedding with everyone saturday . However yes I would drive 3 hrs each way for a friends reception but it would be better to host where everyone is even if a week or month later.

camlan

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Re: Inviting guests to "afterparty" but not the ceremony?
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2016, 09:05:22 AM »
It sounds to me as if you are having a very small wedding, followed by a reception to which you will invite a much larger group of people. This is perfectly fine, by any etiquette rules.

However, when I have seen this done, if the venue for the wedding is not local, the reception is--at least to some of the guests. If you follow this plan, be prepared to do a lot of explaining for why guests weren't invited to the wedding, why the reception isn't closer to where the majority of the guests live, etc. It is okay by etiquette to do what you are planning, but that doesn't mean people are necessarily going to like it, or even choose to attend, as some posters have mentioned upthread.

Unless you are committed to this bistro for some reason, have you considered holding the reception at a later date, somewhere nearer to where most of the guests live? Part of hospitality is not inconveniencing your guests. Asking them to drive for 6 hours, or stay overnight seems like a lot to ask.

Here's my reasoning. I'm willing to give up an entire day to drive the 6 hour round trip for a wedding. That's getting ready for the event, driving, attending the wedding and reception, and driving home. I'm not so sure I'd be willing to spend the money on an outfit, gift and travel costs, plus give up an entire day for what is basically a party. You are asking your guests to give up at least a day of their free time, if not overnight (plus hotel and meal costs in what sounds like a tourist location, so higher prices), which many people will do to share in the joy of a wedding, but fewer people are willing to do for a party.

I'm not saying you have to invite everyone to the wedding. But do look at your plans for the reception, and make sure that they do not impose on your guests.

A couple of other points. Around here, the "afterparty" is a small, somewhat informal get-together that is held after the wedding and reception. So if I were invited to an afterparty, I'd be wondering why I wasn't considered a good enough friend to rate an invitation to the wedding and reception. In your shoes, I'd be calling this lunch a reception. Unless afterparty is the term used for a reception in your area, in which case, ignore this.

Quote
My fiancé has a large close-knit family. I would love to have them all there, but the Island is remote and requires 4WD hire to the ceremony location - therefore only so many seats.

Be careful how you word this when your finace's family is around. You probably didn't mean it this way, but it is easy to read into this statement, along the lines of, "The island venue is more important to us than having all our family there." Or even, "Fiance has a huge family; by having the wedding on the island, we don't have to invite them all."

Instead of discussing how the venue doesn't lend itself to large weddings, focus on your desire for a small wedding and leave the venue out of it. "Yes, we both really want a small wedding, because [insert your reason here]. But we're having a reception for everyone later!"

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


rose red

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Re: Inviting guests to "afterparty" but not the ceremony?
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2016, 05:34:49 PM »
I agree with everyone. Small wedding and big party is fine. I also agree the three hour drive (one way) is a concern.

My cousin got married in Vegas and had a party at her home a few weeks later. The difference is that the party was within an hour's drive for all the guests.

sammycat

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Re: Inviting guests to "afterparty" but not the ceremony?
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2016, 06:17:47 PM »
Having a very small wedding ceremony and a larger reception/party later is fine.  But I wouldn't drive six hours round trip (plus possibly accommodation, extra meals etc) for anyone's wedding (my own children excepted), let alone a party. Other people would drive that distance, so it comes down to what your group of friends/family is prepared to do.

Apologies if I've interpreted this incorrectly, but it seems as though the mainland bistro is close to where the island ceremony is taking place?  If so, it's been my experience that if anyone has a restricted ceremony for whatever reason, the actual party is then held at a more central location for most of the guests, not virtually at the same place that the guests were excluded from attending the ceremony at.

IF I was going to drive six hours and possibly add in hotel costs, I'd expect to be invited to the entire thing - both ceremony and reception.

Maria16

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Re: Inviting guests to "afterparty" but not the ceremony?
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2016, 08:56:55 PM »
Nothing wrong with the small wedding, large reception. I do see an issue with the reception still being a destination spot, 3 hour drive - may necessitate staying over, when the wedding is not part of it. It's not like the reception is far from the ceremony, so In not sure why you can't include more folks. Otherwise, I would do the ceremony and have the reception near where everyone lives. It is one thing to drive 3 hours for a wedding, that's fine, but to drive people 3 hours for the party with no ceremony is not something I have encountered.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2016, 09:42:36 AM by Maria16 »

Margo

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Re: Inviting guests to "afterparty" but not the ceremony?
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2016, 04:30:28 AM »
Small wedding and larger party is fine.

The main things I'd say is to make sure that your invitations are clear about what you are inviting people to.

If the majority of the guests live in one place than I would certainly consider having the party somewhere which is relatively easy to get to, and I'd suggest giving some indication of the timing of your event - I've driven 3 hours to go to a wedding reception, it was helpful that the invitation were clear about the event and how long it would go on for, as this allowed planning for travel and accommodation.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2016, 12:43:35 PM by Margo »

Hmmmmm

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Re: Inviting guests to "afterparty" but not the ceremony?
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2016, 09:47:05 AM »
If I'm willing to drive 3 hours for a wedding and reception then I'm willing to drive 3 hours for just the reception. But I do agree with others that you need to be very clear that they are invited to your reception only and timing. As in
Miss Jane Doe and Mr John Buck
invite you to celebrate their union
at a Luncheon reception
on
Saturday, August 27, 2016
 from
Noon to 4pm
Local Bistro
Harbour Town, USA

gellchom

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Re: Inviting guests to "afterparty" but not the ceremony?
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2016, 04:05:12 PM »
It sounds to me as if you are having a very small wedding, followed by a reception to which you will invite a much larger group of people. This is perfectly fine, by any etiquette rules.

However, when I have seen this done, if the venue for the wedding is not local, the reception is--at least to some of the guests. If you follow this plan, be prepared to do a lot of explaining for why guests weren't invited to the wedding, why the reception isn't closer to where the majority of the guests live, etc. It is okay by etiquette to do what you are planning, but that doesn't mean people are necessarily going to like it, or even choose to attend, as some posters have mentioned upthread.

Unless you are committed to this bistro for some reason, have you considered holding the reception at a later date, somewhere nearer to where most of the guests live? Part of hospitality is not inconveniencing your guests. Asking them to drive for 6 hours, or stay overnight seems like a lot to ask.

Here's my reasoning. I'm willing to give up an entire day to drive the 6 hour round trip for a wedding. That's getting ready for the event, driving, attending the wedding and reception, and driving home. I'm not so sure I'd be willing to spend the money on an outfit, gift and travel costs, plus give up an entire day for what is basically a party. You are asking your guests to give up at least a day of their free time, if not overnight (plus hotel and meal costs in what sounds like a tourist location, so higher prices), which many people will do to share in the joy of a wedding, but fewer people are willing to do for a party.

I'm not saying you have to invite everyone to the wedding. But do look at your plans for the reception, and make sure that they do not impose on your guests.

A couple of other points. Around here, the "afterparty" is a small, somewhat informal get-together that is held after the wedding and reception. So if I were invited to an afterparty, I'd be wondering why I wasn't considered a good enough friend to rate an invitation to the wedding and reception. In your shoes, I'd be calling this lunch a reception. Unless afterparty is the term used for a reception in your area, in which case, ignore this.

Quote
My fiancé has a large close-knit family. I would love to have them all there, but the Island is remote and requires 4WD hire to the ceremony location - therefore only so many seats.

Be careful how you word this when your finace's family is around. You probably didn't mean it this way, but it is easy to read into this statement, along the lines of, "The island venue is more important to us than having all our family there." Or even, "Fiance has a huge family; by having the wedding on the island, we don't have to invite them all."

Instead of discussing how the venue doesn't lend itself to large weddings, focus on your desire for a small wedding and leave the venue out of it. "Yes, we both really want a small wedding, because [insert your reason here]. But we're having a reception for everyone later!"

This.  Well put.

Do call it a reception, not an after party.

lowspark

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Re: Inviting guests to "afterparty" but not the ceremony?
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2016, 01:59:39 PM »
I agree with PPs. Having the reception the next day, at a location very close to where the wedding will take place but far away from everyone just has a kind of not-so-great feel to it. It sort of says that you want a destination wedding, with everyone coming to the destination, but without actually inviting them to the wedding itself.

I think I get what you're trying to accomplish. You want the reception the next day after the wedding, but you will still be in the wedding/honeymoon location so you need to have it there. I think you'd be better off having the reception a week or two later, back where everyone (I assume, including you) lives.

I also agree with just saying that you wanted a very small wedding and leaving it at that. Don't elaborate about the logistics of the venue.
Houston 
Texas 
USA 

gellchom

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Re: Inviting guests to "afterparty" but not the ceremony?
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2016, 03:52:59 PM »
I agree with PPs. Having the reception the next day, at a location very close to where the wedding will take place but far away from everyone just has a kind of not-so-great feel to it. It sort of says that you want a destination wedding, with everyone coming to the destination, but without actually inviting them to the wedding itself.

I think I get what you're trying to accomplish. You want the reception the next day after the wedding, but you will still be in the wedding/honeymoon location so you need to have it there. I think you'd be better off having the reception a week or two later, back where everyone (I assume, including you) lives.

I also agree with just saying that you wanted a very small wedding and leaving it at that. Don't elaborate about the logistics of the venue.

Oh, good point.  I especially liked this from Camlan's post:

Quote
Be careful how you word this when your finace's family is around. You probably didn't mean it this way, but it is easy to read into this statement, along the lines of, "The island venue is more important to us than having all our family there." Or even, "Fiance has a huge family; by having the wedding on the island, we don't have to invite them all."

Instead of discussing how the venue doesn't lend itself to large weddings, focus on your desire for a small wedding and leave the venue out of it. "Yes, we both really want a small wedding, because [insert your reason here]. But we're having a reception for everyone later!"
This is always a risk with destination weddings, so it's really important to make sure you don't say or do anything that communicates "we value this glamorous/romantic/exotic venue more than we value your presence [=you]."  Simply wanting a small wedding doesn't carry the same negative load.

Winterlight

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Re: Inviting guests to "afterparty" but not the ceremony?
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2016, 05:19:58 PM »
I agree with PPs. Having the reception the next day, at a location very close to where the wedding will take place but far away from everyone just has a kind of not-so-great feel to it. It sort of says that you want a destination wedding, with everyone coming to the destination, but without actually inviting them to the wedding itself.

I think I get what you're trying to accomplish. You want the reception the next day after the wedding, but you will still be in the wedding/honeymoon location so you need to have it there. I think you'd be better off having the reception a week or two later, back where everyone (I assume, including you) lives.

I also agree with just saying that you wanted a very small wedding and leaving it at that. Don't elaborate about the logistics of the venue.

Oh, good point.  I especially liked this from Camlan's post:

Quote
Be careful how you word this when your finace's family is around. You probably didn't mean it this way, but it is easy to read into this statement, along the lines of, "The island venue is more important to us than having all our family there." Or even, "Fiance has a huge family; by having the wedding on the island, we don't have to invite them all."

Instead of discussing how the venue doesn't lend itself to large weddings, focus on your desire for a small wedding and leave the venue out of it. "Yes, we both really want a small wedding, because [insert your reason here]. But we're having a reception for everyone later!"
This is always a risk with destination weddings, so it's really important to make sure you don't say or do anything that communicates "we value this glamorous/romantic/exotic venue more than we value your presence [=you]."  Simply wanting a small wedding doesn't carry the same negative load.

I'm just going to save time and agree with all three of you.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

kudeebee

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Re: Inviting guests to "afterparty" but not the ceremony?
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2016, 01:46:05 AM »
I too think you should have the reception in the area where the majority of the guests live.  If it doesn't work to drive there the day after the wedding, then do it the next week or two.

I'm not sure why you couldn't be the ones to do the driving.  If it is a catered affair, you will just have to show up 30 minutes or so early to be sure everything is ready to go, stay for the reception, the drive back to mainland area.  Better for a few of you to make the drive rather than almost all of your guests making the drive.