Invites for Reception After Dinner has been served

I would like to invite people to the ceremony & reception however I only want to pay for a certain amount of them to have the dinner with us. How do I word an invitation to the reception requesting people to come at 7pm when the reception really starts at 5pm? I’m basically inviting them to come two hours later so do you think folks would be offended?

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites

Wouldn’t you be offended? I sure would. Your invitation would be translated something like this: Please feel free to come to my wedding ceremony, bring a gift, and, oh, wait around for a couple of hours while the more important guests get served a dinner. Then come to the reception to dance. [:)]No… Invite only those you can afford to host.


So the people that I really can’t afford to feed, most of the people that we are asking to stay for dinner are our close family. I’m not worried about gifts. I’m just excited to get married. So I shouldn’t invite these people to be apart of my wedding at all since I can’t feed them?

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites

I know you’re excited, but, please consider the feelings of your guests. You may not care about gifts but, inviting a guest to your wedding does obligate the guest to bring a gift. Only invite the number of guests you can afford to entertain and invite to the entire reception.

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Exactly! I couldn’t have said it better myself. Guests are deeply insulted when they are only invited to a portion of the reception. All wedding guests are invited to all of the reception. Maybe you could schedule this for a time when guests do not expect a meal and provide cake and a beverage. This would probably mean you would have to skip the dancing.