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How To Word Your Reception-Only Wedding Invitations?

The bride traditionally gives her future husband a wedding ring. The first step in planning a wedding is to create individual guest lists for each ceremony and reception. Even if you don't think you need a rehearsal dinner because your wedding is on the smaller side, it's good to spend the night before the ceremony chatting with family and close friends.

The night before the ceremony, once you've finalised the specifics, you can begin compiling a guest list. Wedding parties can be as small as the couple getting married and the requisite witnesses, or they can be as large as the couple's closest friends and relatives.

Last but not least, make a new guest list for the celebration. Invitees should be extended invitations to both the ceremony and the reception. A variety of paths branch off from this one. To begin, you may send out invitations to both the ceremony and the reception. Send an invitation for the reception and a separate letter with ceremony details and RSVP information. When it comes to hosting events, they're both easy and inexpensive.

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Table of Contents

Wording for Invites to the Wedding Reception Only

Everyone at the wedding celebration toasts the happy couple. Careful consideration should be given to the wording of your wedding invites regardless of the chosen mode of distribution. Share the news that a celebration will be held to honour your marriage with everyone. This language suggests that you and your spouse will not have any witnesses at your wedding, but will instead arrive at the reception as a married couple.

In some cases, the ceremony may take place weeks before the actual party. As an alternative, you may hold the ceremony somewhere else and the reception at your house. You might use the following example. Tell anyone who asks that the ceremony will be small and intimate, but that you can't wait to share in the joy of the reception with all of your guests. But if you're being pressured to attend the ceremony, stand firm, because allowing exceptions could set a dangerous precedent.

Create Separate Guest Lists

If you want to keep track of who is coming to both the ceremony and the reception, you can do so by making two distinct guest lists. Keep in mind that proper wedding etiquette dictates that you must invite all guests who attended the ceremony to the reception. Naturally, some of your ceremony guests may choose to forego the reception, but they will still respect your request.

Stand Your Ground 

After finalising the two lists, you'll need to be firm with guests who were invited to the reception but not the ceremony. They might request special treatment to be part of the rituals.

If you make changes to your guest list more than once, you probably won't end up leaving out many people who are only there for the reception. If guests enquire as to why they were sent a reception invitation rather than a ceremony invitation, don't be afraid to give them a straightforward answer. When you explain your thinking, even if it's completely out of control, people are less likely to take offence. As the reception progresses, don't forget to express your gratitude to these guests for attending.

Design Your Invitations 

You could use two cards instead of one in your wedding invitation design. Invitations to both lists of guests should include wording specifying that they need to attend only the reception. The people you've invited to both parts of your special day should only receive an insert detailing the ceremony.

Because of this layout's efficiency, it'll be much less likely that your guests will get confused or hurt. Send out invitations to the reception only in the same way you would the more traditional invitations after you've settled on the design. Your wedding invitations should be sent out far enough in advance to give guests time to decide on a dress and, if necessary, book flights.

Schedule Your Events

The wording of your invitations to the reception only should reflect the order in which you've planned the ceremony and reception. Let's say you and your future spouse want to have the ceremony and the reception on the same day, so you schedule the reception accordingly. Some guests who were only invited to the reception may show up early and be disappointed to learn that they were not invited to the ceremony.

If your ceremony and reception are on different dates, you need not worry about any uncomfortable scheduling conflicts. Couples who have plenty of time and resources to devote to the wedding planning process will enjoy this alternative.

Decide On Reception-Only Wording

wooden name tags arranged on table during wedding

The final wording decision for an invitation to a reception only should be made based on individual preference. As an example, you may wish to use pompous language to convey the lavishness of your event. However, if the party is more laid-back, a more casual tone would be appropriate in the invitations.

In order to avoid anyone misinterpreting your invitations and missing your reception only wedding, it is important to include all the pertinent details in the right format. Your names and the time and place of the reception should appear on any invitation you send out. It may seem obvious to list the venue you've chosen, but if you don't also list the address, your guests may become disoriented and late for your event.

Only the receptionist should compose the wedding invitation, which should specify the venue and the reason for the party. Even if you haven't given your guests any specific information about when the ceremony occurred, they will likely assume that you and your partner have already been married by the time they arrive at the venue.

Use the opportunity to specify that the ceremony has already taken place by wording the invitations as reception only if the two events are scheduled on different days. Saying that your ceremony will be small and intimate will help ease any concerns your guests may have about attending.

Make It Clear It's A Celebration.

Wording a wedding invitation for a reception only requires you to imply that the ceremony has already taken place by referring to the event as a celebration of your wedding. You can invite people to your wedding reception by saying something like, "Please join us in celebrating our recent union." Let's pretend you want to invite your mum and dad or other relatives. You can also say, "We invite you to celebrate our recent union with us, along with our parents and families," or "Mr. and Mrs. Joe Smith invite you to attend the wedding reception of their daughter Jane Smith and Jack Johnson." With this wording, everything is made crystal clear.

Use The Term "Just Married"

An old car with a "for sale" sign in the back. Simply stating that you are "just married" on your invitation to a reception only event will make it clear that there will be no ceremony. Use "just married" as a creative yet informative header on the invitation, and then add, "Please join us to celebrate the newlyweds at a reception honouring their union."

Try Something Clever

There are a variety of fun and clever ways to word an invitation to a reception only, rather than the ceremony itself. For instance, you could give your guests a hint by labelling the event as a "happily-ever-after party" or writing "nothing fancy, just love" on the invitation. A variation on "I do" that can be used as a header is "oh yes, we did!" Last but not least, if the happy couple is big drinkers, consider including the phrase "wine and brews after the I dos" on the invitation for the reception only. These phrases are a bit more offbeat and humorous, but they could work if that's the tone you're going for.

Announce An Elopement

Indicate on your invitation that this is a reception only if you eloped and plan on having a formal celebration afterwards. There's a great header that says simply, "we eloped!" to let people know that there won't be any sort of traditional ceremony for this event.

Be Clear About The Term "Reception"

To let guests know that they are not attending a full wedding ceremony but rather a smaller celebration, just use the word "reception" in the invitation. Not a lot of thought needs to go into the phrase "invite you to a reception celebrating our/their marriage," so don't sweat the small stuff. In addition, you can always have your invitations direct people to your wedding website, where all the details can be found.

The complexity of the situation is reduced by this analysis. It's fine to send out mass invitations to your wedding reception, so long as you get your message across clearly.

FAQs About Wedding Invitations

You have options if you want to send an invitation to just your reception. For example, you can send a traditional wedding invitation and adjust the wording to clarify that your ceremony is private. Or, you can send an invitation designed especially for reception-only celebrations. Both have options to include an rsvp card.

If your reception is at a different venue, you must include a small enclosure with your reception address and start time (also called a reception card). In addition, the line "reception to follow" can optionally be added to the bottom of the invitation for stylistic purposes.

While certain situations make it acceptable to invite some guests to the ceremony and reception and others to just the reception alone, you should never do the opposite. Inviting someone to your ceremony and not the reception would most likely hurt their feelings, so you shouldn't even consider it.

In this case, a natural question comes up: can you invite people only to your wedding reception and not the ceremony? The answer is, "yes, you absolutely can!".

The most common option for casual invites is to list first names on the inner envelope, or you could even include nicknames if you want to bring some personality into it.

Conclusion

You can have a wedding party as big as the happy couple, or as small as the guests at the ceremony. It is proper etiquette to invite guests to both the ceremony and reception. You should give some thought to the wording of your wedding invites regardless of the method of distribution you choose. To keep track of who is attending the ceremony and who is attending the reception, two separate guest lists should be created. Invite all guests who were present at the ceremony, as this is the proper thing to do.

Wording on invitations to both sets of guests should make it clear that only the reception is required of them. There will be no awkward scheduling conflicts if the ceremony and reception are held on different days. When sending out invitations for a reception, it is sufficient to imply that the ceremony has already taken place. If you want people to know how lavish your event is going to be, use formal language; otherwise, go with a more relaxed tone. As long as everyone gets the point, sending out mass invitations to your wedding reception is acceptable.

When sending out invitations, it is sufficient to simply state that the couple has "just married." Invitations to a reception only can be worded in a variety of creative and entertaining ways.

Content Summary

  • The first step in planning a wedding is to create individual guest lists for each ceremony and reception.
  • The night before the ceremony, once you've finalised the specifics, you can begin compiling a guest list.
  • Make a new guest list for the celebration.
  • If you want to keep track of who is coming to both the ceremony and the reception, you can do so by making two distinct guest lists.
  • Keep in mind that proper wedding etiquette dictates that you must invite all guests who attended the ceremony to the reception.
  • After finalising the two lists, you'll need to be firm with guests who were invited to the reception but not the ceremony.
  • If you make changes to your guest list more than once, you probably won't end up leaving out many people who are only there for the reception.
  • If your ceremony and reception are on different dates, you need not worry about any uncomfortable scheduling conflicts.
  • The final wording decision for an invitation to a reception only should be made based on individual preference.
  • In order to avoid anyone misinterpreting your invitations and missing your reception only wedding, it is important to include all the pertinent details in the right format.
  • Only the receptionist should compose the wedding invitation, which should specify the venue and the reason for the party.
  • Use the opportunity to specify that the ceremony has already taken place by wording the invitations as reception only if the two events are scheduled on different days.
  • Wording a wedding invitation for a reception only requires you to imply that the ceremony has already taken place by referring to the event as a celebration of your wedding.
  • Simply stating that you are "just married" on your invitation to a reception only event will make it clear that there will be no ceremony.
  • Use "just married" as a creative yet informative header on the invitation, and then add, "Please join us to celebrate the newlyweds at a reception honouring their union.
  • There are a variety of fun and clever ways to word an invitation to a reception only, rather than the ceremony itself.
  • Last but not least, if the happy couple is big drinkers, consider including the phrase "wine and brews after the I dos" on the invitation for the reception only.
  • To let guests know that they are not attending a full wedding ceremony but rather a smaller celebration, just use the word "reception" in the invitation.

 

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