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Chapter 4: Wedding Reception Only Invitations

One romantic (and cost-cutting) wedding trend for many couples is to plan a small, private wedding ceremony followed by a larger, more public reception. As ideal as a private wedding might seem, it is easy for feelings to get hurt and resentment to brew when certain friends and family members learn they won't get to see you walk down the aisle.

Wedding reception invitations can make some soon-to-be newlyweds tremble in horror of hurting a guest's feelings. Have no fear! There is a tasteful and tactful way to write reception only invitations.

Lovely Lilies Wedding Reception Invitations

What to Include on a Wedding Reception Invitation

Reception only invitations need to include the most important information about the reception: who the reception celebrates and where it takes place.

Details to include

  • The host's name
  • The names of the engaged couple
  • Day, date of month and time
  • Name of the reception venue
  • Reception venue address

Many newlyweds use wedding reception invitations to celebrate nuptials after a destination wedding or an elopement. It is common for reception only invitations to include where and when the wedding took place if it occurred on a separate date.

You will also want to include some method for your guests to R.S.V.P. to recognize their attendance and to plan the reception accordingly. Always include the name and phone number of the person hosting the event.

Storkie Tip: For a formal
feel, always spell out the
numbers in the date and
time. For example, "the
reception will take place at
half past two o'clock on the
twenty-first of June, two
thousand and ten."

Wedding Reception Invitation Formats

The rules of etiquette dictate that you have a few options when inviting guests to a private ceremony and a public reception. One way is to issue two separate invitations: one only to the ceremony and one only to the reception. Those invited to both the ceremony and the reception should receive an invitation to both events, while those only invited to the reception should receive the single reception invitation.

Another option is to write special reception only invitations that acknowledge the wedding itself has already taken place, and that the guest is welcome to join the reception afterward.

Heart In the Sand Wedding Reception Invitations

When to Order Wedding Reception Invitations

Order reception only invitations at the same time as your wedding ceremony invitations.

When to Send Reception Only Invitations

If you are planning a small ceremony with a public reception directly after, send the reception only invitations along with the wedding ceremony invitations no less than three months before the wedding date (and at least ten weeks in advance of the wedding for guests living overseas.)

As for newlyweds who celebrate their wedding well in advance of the reception, send out reception only invitations three months in advance of the reception date.

Storkie Tip: To honor or to honour?

It is popular for wedding
invitations to favor the British "u"
in both honour and favour.

If you're sending your invitations
within the United States, it does
not violate any etiquette code if
you'd like to drop the extra "u" for
the more conventional spelling.

Nuptial Paws Wedding Reception Invitations

Popular Wedding Reception Invitation Wording

Formal - private ceremony with public reception

Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Williams
are honored to announce
the marriage of their daughter,
Ariel Williams
Jonathan Laurence Brown
on Saturday, July Seventeenth, Two-Thousand and Ten.
The couple will exchange vows
in a private ceremony.

Please join them for a reception
celebrating their union
at six o'clock in the evening
The Golf Club at Newcastle
15500 Six Penny Lane
Newcastle, WA 98059
(425) 793-5566

Casual - private ceremony with public reception

Guy Meets Girl

For the rest of the story…

Please join us at our reception
following the ceremony on
Saturday, the ninth of
October, two-thousand and ten
At four o'clock in the afternoon

424 N. Bellevue Avenue
Newport, RI 02840-6924
(407) 877-1000

As Robin
And Daniel
Celebrate their marriage

Formal - destination wedding with belated public reception

Mr. and Mrs. John Kelly
are privileged to announce the marriage
of their daughter

Julia Kelly
Michael Alex Thompson

on Saturday, the twelfth of June
two-thousand and ten.

The couple was joined in marriage in a private
ceremony in Florence, Italy.

Please join them for a reception celebrating
their nuptials on Saturday, the twenty-sixth of June,
two-thousand and ten
at six o'clock in the evening

The Space Needle
Seattle, Washington

Casual - destination wedding with belated public reception

Laurie and Roberto are happy to announce
their marriage that took place in a private ceremony
Wednesday, the third of November
two-thousand and ten
in Edinburgh, Scotland

Please join them for a night of merriment and
jubilation to celebrate their union on

Saturday, the twenty-seventh of November

two-thousand and ten

at 6 o'clock in the evening

Cedar Country Estate
123456 SE Lilac Road
Sandy, Oregon 97055
(303) 819-0761

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