Maybe you’re planning a small private ceremony with a larger reception afterward. Or perhaps you’re getting married in some exotic location and want to celebrate with friends and family when you get back home. Whatever the case, trying to come up with the right wording for a wedding reception-only invite can be tricky.
Don’t sweat it too much, though. These days, people are a lot more accustomed to situations like this. As a result, there’s less chance for confusion or hurt feelings (that is, as long as you’re following basic decorum).
That said, there’s one or two in every crowd that might find a post-wedding party invite strange or off-putting. Thus, it’s best to play it safe and keep your invitation crystal-clear. If you’re struggling with your post-wedding invitation wording, check out the following tips and examples.
Reception-Only Invite Tips
A reception is just like any other event, so your invitation should include all the usual details your guests need in order to attend. There are also a few considerations you may want to keep in mind that are specific to this type of invite:
1. The word “reception” is a source of confusion. If you’re a having a formal dinner with all the typical fanfare, then by all means call it a “reception.” But if the event is casual and/or some time after the ceremony, consider calling it something else to avoid confusion. For example, you could call it an “I Do” Party, or a “Happily Ever After” Party.
2. Careful what you highlight. The word “reception” (or whatever you’re calling it) should be prominent. Words like “wedding” and “ceremony” should be avoided or de-emphasized to avoid confusion. Also, if the reception is on a different date than the wedding, make sure the reception date is prominent and the wedding date is in smaller type (if you mention it at all).
3. Don’t over-explain. Party invitations should be kept simple, so don’t go overboard trying to explain why the recipient isn’t invited to the ceremony as well. It’s your wedding and people should respect your wishes. If you suspect some people might have a harder time with it, it’s better to deal with them directly.
Here are some examples of appropriate wording for reception-only invitations. Feel free to use them as-is, combine messages, or best of all, add your own flair.
Note: To avoid a lot of repetition, some of these wording samples omit date, time, and other critical information. You wouldn’t forget to add those details, would you?
Janice & Kevin
Will be Married in a Private Ceremony
Join Us in Celebrating their Union
Saturday, June 27 2015
Their Wedding That Took Place in a Private Ceremony
On Thursday, the Eighteenth of November
Two Thousand Fifteen
Please Join Them to Celebrate
On Saturday, the Twenty-Sixth of November
Two Thousand Fifteen
At 5 o’clock in the Evening
Please Join Us For a Reception After the Ceremony
They Were Wed in a Private Ceremony on August 27, 2015
Please Join Us in Celebrating
Saturday, September 26 2015
Join Us For a “Happily Ever After” Party
Come Celebrate Our Recent Marriage at
Karen & Jack’s “I do” Barbecue