To think I have come up with an answer to the wedding dilema?

(43 Posts)
higgle Wed 26-Feb-14 19:12:30

We get lots of posts on here about how unwanted people sometimes feel if they only get an invite to the evening do after a wedding, and some of them are from people who would really have liked to go to the ceremony but can't hang about afterwards until the evening.

What if the b&g had a big drinks reception with canapes and cakes for everyone invited immediately after the wedding, in the afternoon, and then invited the closer members of the family and special friends to a dinner/music/dancing later on -sort of having the evening do first?

BackforGood Fri 28-Feb-14 16:55:38

I think that's the really important thing about wedding invitations - not so much what you have/do, but that the plan is clearly put across to those who are invited.
Then
-those who are just happy for you and happy for you to spend your special day as you want, can accept the invite
- those that have diabetes / are pregnant / generally have blood sugar issues can take a picnic or call in somewhere en-route if you are not having food for ages, but that's fine as they know in advance and can plan around it
-those that you often see on MN who are professionally offended by anything and everything not being the way they would have done it, have the chance to flounce and refuse to go

Orlea Fri 28-Feb-14 12:00:19

My parents were invited to a wedding like this about seven years ago, and my mum still talks about 'that time we went to X's daughter's wedding but it turns out we weren't really invited'. The invites apparently weren't particularly clear... they had been invited to the ceremony and 'champagne reception', but no timings or other info given about the reception, so my parents innocently assumed that 'champagne reception' = full-on reception, and were a bit surprised to be handed their coats an hour after a glass of champagne and a canape or two! They weren't the only ones surprised either... a bunch of guests ended up in a pub nearby having dinner together and probably a moan. I think it's important to be clear on invitations... which is how we ended up sending out parcel-sized invitations for ours wink

ShutTheFuckUpBarbara Fri 28-Feb-14 10:14:04

They are fun, and even though they go on for hours, and always feature a free bar, you very rarely get guests getting completely paralytic.

higgle Fri 28-Feb-14 07:38:57

French weddings always look such fun when you come across one on holiday - it slways looks as if everyone is having a really good time whether they are driving very fast down country roads with ribbons on their cars or feasting i at a local hostelry. Here I think B & G get a bit too obsessed about everything being perfect.

ShutTheFuckUpBarbara Fri 28-Feb-14 06:43:42

OP, this is the standard format in France.
Anyone is welcome at the ceremony, invited or not.
Then you have a drinks reception with virtually everyone you know invited.
Close friends and family then stay for dinner and dance.

I found my 1st UK wedding surprising, to me it seemed back to front! smile

nooka Fri 28-Feb-14 06:34:43

I think that would work just fine. I don't really understand the need for wedding events to go on and on. When I got married we had the last slot at the church (at 5 I think) and then everyone went to the venue (we had a Routemaster bus smile) and had the party. One sister had a more traditional early afternoon wedding with a big buffet in a marque, most people went home in the early evening, but family and close friends stayed around for a bit longer. There weren't separate invitations, the evening bit was completely informal, just people choosing to stay and chat - the bride and groom had already gone. My other sister had just an evening party (they had a registrars office wedding a few days before, immediate family only). All 20 odd years ago, but in line with other family weddings at the time. I don't think any were longer than 5 or 6 hours.

More recently two family members got married, one starting at 6 and finishing at 11ish, the other staring at 11ish and finishing at midnight. I didn't get to go to the second one, I hear it was great, but so long that my mother had to go back to her hotel for a sleep in the middle of it! I don't really understand why weddings have become so long, it just seems a bit excessive.

JeanSeberg Fri 28-Feb-14 06:06:30

400 guests at a wedding? Wow.

BoyFromTheBigBadCity Fri 28-Feb-14 00:52:14

My friend is getting married soon, and I'm being her bridesmaid. She and her df are both ministers, and they've found the best way for them - all comers welcome (up to 400) for ceremony and 'fete'in the afternoon at the church, then a three hour gap (when we'll do photos etc) then a sit down dinner for the smaller group (which is !maybe 100?)? But that only works due to the gap and change of venue I suppose.

Aelfrith Thu 27-Feb-14 23:58:50

We got married at 2pm, everyone then went to venue for tea/sandwiches/cake/speeches/champagne. All over by about 6pm whereupon me and DH left to go to a nice hotel for a meal and the evening, before off to our honey moon the next day.

Everyone came to everything, cheap and cheerful. Lovely. Long time ago though!

steppemum Thu 27-Feb-14 23:53:54

yes tess, I agree the format is awful if you expect the rest of the guests to leave. I think it worked in my friend's case because the b&g left and those invited left and went to the reception. Those left behind I assume finished off the champagne and cake and wondered off in their own time. But the invites were also clear about time.

tess73 Thu 27-Feb-14 23:44:49

I went to a wedding like that
Got all dressed up for the ceremony and champagne reception. Then we had to leave as they were keen to serve dinner to the chosen ones who thought they would never get to sit down! Terrible format!

steppemum Thu 27-Feb-14 23:43:33

I went to a wonderful wedding a few years ago. Both the b&g were church goers at big churches. they had a huge wedding, basically all of both churches were invited to the ceremony. Then they had champagne and cake and speeches, at the church. Then the b&g left in a wedding car, all waved them off. Those of us who had an invite then went and met them at a reception venue. There were about 100 of us at the reception. There wasn't much dancing, it was more like dinner and speeches and milling around, they left on honeymoon at about 9:30 pm.

I thought it worked really well, and it enabled about 500 people to see the ceremony and toast them.

Personally, we dd not add extra to our evening, they were invited or not. We got married at 2 pm, came back to (parent's) barn for afternoon tea. We then did pictures and then had a hog roast and band.

PurplePidjin Thu 27-Feb-14 23:30:44

DF and I are considering something similar to this. We're regular attenders at church, so would like to get married there - but there are lots of the congregation who might like to come (there was a massive turn out for ds's christening, turns out it was the first one of a regular attender in yonks; the vicar's wife was thrilled to see us at sunday school when he got old enough, apparently nearly all parents just disappear after the the actual dunking bit sad) and it is after all a public event! So we're thinking about having coffee and the cake in the church hall for everyone afterwards then going out to dinner with just close friends and family later on. That way my Gran (goes to the same church) get to swank in front of all her mates and we don't have to have the whole palaver of a huge white wedding that goes on all bloody night which is completely not our style grin

The other option is the £49 registry office mid week one, but you can only fit 10 in the room and there are 30 people we'd really want to be there. Our other option is to have a register office wedding then ask the vicar to do a blessing on the next Sunday, but it turns out the costs are pretty comparable between civil and religious venues so it's a bit pointless from that pov...

BackforGood Thu 27-Feb-14 23:21:43

I've been to a few of those - but mainly folk who are Church goers, where everyone is invited to the ceremony and the B&G and close family stay around for an hour of two after the ceremony in the Church hall for tea and cake or wine and canapes or whatever (mainly depending on if Methodist or not wink) and it's been really lovely to have a chat and see people who have come to share your happy day, but then only invited guests go to the meal / Reception later.
I like it, and wish I'd thought of it at my wedding.
Would only work for those who want to come to the actual wedding though, not if you have lots of friends / colleagues who just want to go to a party.

Absolutelylost Thu 27-Feb-14 23:14:11

We did the traditional wedding breakfast in the afternoon. Then an evening ceilidh, hog roast etc. But we had canapés and mulled wine/cider (it was December) in the church straight after the noon service and that went down really well.

VikingLady Thu 27-Feb-14 20:59:08

We did something similar, only on a much smaller scale! 17 guests for the ceremony and buffet/entertainment afterwards, and just half a dozen of the closest assembled in our suite for drinks and a boozy, fun evening after that!

XiCi Thu 27-Feb-14 19:35:49

Cannot see the logic in this at all. The whole idea of an evening reception is that you want everyone there for the party. No-one wants to have to sit down for a meal when the celebrations are well underway (and everyone is half hammered!)

BillyNotQuiteNoMates Thu 27-Feb-14 19:32:30

I think our wedding was the best, everyone was invited to ceremony and reception and then, instead of a big party, we went out for a meal with a few friends that we hadn't seen for a long time, to catch up properly. The evening bit wasn't "all about us", it was just a chance to chat to old friends. It didn't detract from the wedding at all, and we're still married 18 years later. (Of course, it might explain why MIL and SIL hate me! grin)

higgle Thu 27-Feb-14 19:26:24

I should add that in "my day" the only option DH and I had was the local gro;tty register office, so we had 6 to the wedding and then everyone else joined us for photos, drinks, sit down dinner and dancing. (about 100) , Going back to the 60's when some of my older relations were married it was church at about 11am, wedding reception and then all over by about 3pm when the B &G would be off on honeymoon by train from the local station.

HappyMummyOfOne Thu 27-Feb-14 18:09:19

Why cant they just invite everyone to it all, keep it simple and so it all follows on with no waiting around. Even more perfect if theres not a mention of gifts or poems for cash.

WaitingFor Thu 27-Feb-14 17:08:07

I've been to one where our invite was for the wedding ceremony, then cup of tea and wedding cake in the church immediately afterwards. The family went off to a separate venue for a meal after that. I thought it was lovely.

eltsihT Thu 27-Feb-14 16:52:47

I agree I hate evening only invites so we did exactly as you suggest and had 250 guest throughout the day, then a party with speeches cake etc in the church garden. We then had a sit down dinner for 50 in the evening.

I have also been to a wedding when we were invited to the ceremony and dancing but not the sit down dinner as the bride and groom couldn't afford to pay for us. I wish they had asked us to chip in for the meal as 10 of us, all uni friends of the bride and groom, went out for dinner and paid ourselves and then went to the dancing, but would have rather paid to join the big wedding breakfast than some grotty Italian

expatinscotland Thu 27-Feb-14 16:42:27

What * carriemoo* and JumpingJack said. N. American weddings tend to go like this. Never heard of 'evening do' until coming here.

Creamycoolerwithcream Thu 27-Feb-14 16:35:40

I can't see the logic. I had evening guests, a mixture of uni friends I hadn't known as long as other friends, DH had lots of work collegues and their partners. I hadn't even met lots of DH's colleagues before and I'm sure they would be more interested in a party than a ceremony.

higgle Thu 27-Feb-14 16:26:02

Lots of people who post on wedding threads say the ceremony is the only bit they are really keen to go to, certainly it is always the bit I enjoy most - even better t get offered the chance to chat and have a drink. I find traditional evening do s a it of a pain because the music is so loud and you can't really talk to anyone.

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