How to word wedding invite when not everyone is invited to the dinner, but are invited to ceremony and dance?

April 19th, 2010

I don’t have the budget to do two different invitations but want to make sure I don’t have extra guests show up for dinner. We have limited seating for dinner but have the capacity for dancing. Will people understand if they don’t receive an RSVP card they are not invited to the dinner?

10 Responses to “How to word wedding invite when not everyone is invited to the dinner, but are invited to ceremony and dance?”

  1. coastercrazy says:

    send two invites. one inviting ONLY the dinner guests and the other for the more general public whom you are inviting including the dinner guests. you can’t make one invite for both things because people will feel left out and wonder why their name wasnt on the invite list for dinner. you are better off just sending out two invitations.

  2. mrsD to be says:

    not if the invitation mentions a dinner. they’ll assume they’re invited to both. I think you may need to cut the budget a bit somewhere else to have 2 different invitations.

  3. velma1899 says:

    I don’t know a tactful way to tell people they are on the B list.

  4. Amanda D says:

    Have all your invitation inform your guest that they are invited for the wedding / reception party and cake only. Those who are invited for dinner should have a card inside their invitation inviting them for dinner as well. But I hope you make the dinner at a seperate time for your reception party, it would be rude to have people walking around those eating and they cannot.

  5. Sandra says:

    It is tacky and RUDE to invite people to the wedding the dancing, but not dinner. If you cannot afford to host dinner for everyone, cut the guest list so you can, or change the type of reception to heavy hors d’oeuvres and cake.

  6. Ellie says:

    “I’m cheap.”

    No one wants to watch that ceremony. . .everyone wants food. Seriously.

  7. nova_queen_28 says:

    People won’t understand.
    You just don’t do that!
    You invite the # of people you can afford to have at the ENTIRE event. You don’t invite people to portions of it!

    I would be absolutely shocked if anyone I know sent me an invite like that! that is saying “please come, and give me a present, but I’m not going to thank you for coming by giving you any food”.

    read the website — it will give you more pointers on what NOT to do.

  8. fizzy stuff says:

    That is incredibly rude. You are obviously throwing a party beyond your means. Whoever you invite MUST be invited to both: ceremony, reception (dinner AND dancing). I dont care if you are on a budget and cannot pay for dinner for everyone, you just invite the number that you can afford.

  9. lalala says:

    The whole point of the reception is to thank your guests for attending the ceremony. This is why it is inappropriate to not invite your guests to the whole reception. It is offensive as a guest to be expected to show up to the ceremony, leave while everyone eats but be expected to come back for the dance.

    This is why people should only plan weddings they can afford. If you can’t afford to feed all of your guests either cut your guest list or scale down somewhere else.

  10. Esteban says:

    Etiquette wise, many of the earlier respondents are correct, inviting some people to dinner and others only to the post-dinner reception is a just asking for people to be uncomfortable. However, if this is your only option, many invitation companies can print two versions of your invitations.

    Take a look at this site:

    You can order the number of invitations that you need, then request that they print two versions of the personalization.

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