How should I word a invitation for a wedding reception?

My fiance and I both have very large families and lots of friends, The place we are getting married would never hold all them so we had to decide who we were inviting to the wedding and who just to the reception, I am in the process of ordering invitation and i was wondering if any had any suggestions on how i should word the invitation just for the reception?

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10 Responses to How should I word a invitation for a wedding reception?

  1. Sage says:

    I am really surprised at all the comments saying it is rude to invite people to the reception and not the ceremony. This has come up on these boards plenty of times before, and the general consensus has usually been that while it’s rude to invite somebody to the ceremony but not the reception, the other way around is fine. This is what I have seen from a couple of other etiquette experts as well. Anyway, here is a post from a woman who wrote an etiquette book where she shows the acceptable wording of the invites for this situation:

  2. oy vey says:

    This is so wrong. It is just uber tacky to invite some to the reception and others to only the ceremony.

    If you can’t accommodate them all then you really need to scale back your guest list.

    Our families are large as well and it was hard to determine just where to draw the line but it needs to be done. I would rather not be invited to a wedding at all rather than find out that I just wasn’t good enough to make the cut for who gets dinner.

  3. Julia B says:

    Sue and Bill didn’t want you at their wedding ceremony, but they would like to invite you to the afterparty so you still have to give a gift!

    That is so rude. Why would you invite people to one and not the other? The ceremony is the most important part, it is when the vows are made, afterall.

  4. sillycanuckpei says:

    Yeah, I agree with oy vey – you can’t only invite certain people to the reception unless it’s truly "immediate families only". Sometimes people have a kids-free reception, but it’s super tacky to invite some and leave some off.

  5. Amy B says:

    Word it like a regular invitation, but say something along the lines of "Bride and Groom (or your parents) invite you to a reception celebrating their marriage" followed by the date, time, place, etc.

    *I agree that this can be viewed as tacky, however, I know that in some cultures and communities this is the norm. In some countries, everyone is invited to the wedding, and only a few invited to the dinner afterwards. My husband and I (and his mother) were not allowed to attend his brother’s wedding ceremony because we are of a different religion and could not enter their temple. Please do be aware that some people will view your plan as inappropriate and be prepared if you receive this response.

  6. Skyline says:

    That’s a tough question!

    How about:

    (Bride’s parents’ names)
    together with
    (Groom’s parents’ names)
    request with pleasure, the company of
    (guest name)
    at the reception to celebrate the
    marriage of
    at (reception centre)
    date, time, RSVP and all that as per usual.

  7. SirenSong says:

    If you can’t invite everyone to both events then you need to find a larger ceremony venue. It is rude to only invite people to one or the other but not both.

    Edit: there should never be any mention of gifts (even if you don’t want any) anywhere in the invitations.

  8. Lydia says:

    As others have said, this is crazy rude.

    for reception only

    Jane Doe and Joe Cool will be married August 21, 2009. Please come with us to celebrate at a reception held in their honour.

    Cocktails 5:00 p.m.
    Dinner 6:00 p.m.
    Dance to follow
    Fancy Ballroom
    123 Apple St.
    Anywhere, US

    No Gifts, Please.

    You must put ‘No Gifts, Please’ as an addendum, since these people will not be at the ceremony.

  9. B2B 04/11/09 says:

    I agree, that’s wrong. You can’t invite people to the reception without inviting them to the ceremony. Maybe if you had a private ceremony prior to the date of the reception it wouldn’t be soo bad, but doing one after the other is tacky. It’s like saying you’re good enough to buy me a present but not good enough to see me actually marry.

  10. Live4Love says:

    I suggest having an outdoor ceremony and reception that way all your family and friends can be invited to attend both. My fiance and I were thing about inviting people to the reception only and having only our parent attend the small ceremony. But after a lot on long thinking we realized this seemed rude and decided on an outdoor ceremony/reception so everyone could celebrate with us.

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