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Wedding reception invitations are used when you want to invite guests to the reception as well as the wedding ceremony. Some people may come to the ceremony but will not be invited to the reception.
There are a variety of reasons why this might be the case and it is perfectly acceptable. In any event, write clear and concise invitations and be explicit with the details.
Don't leave anything up to your guest's own interpretation.
Make your wedding invitations clear in these ways...
This seems to be all the rage at the moment, so I'm collating my section on my latest Pinterest board to show off my favourite elegant invitations. I'm especially looking for ones that can be personalized as this is such a bonus. Having the ability to add your own wording and have bulk invitations sent to your door is just such a saving of time. There are so many to choose from and I especially like the selection here from LightintheBox.
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If your ceremony and reception are being held at the same venue, and you want to invite all attendees to both the ceremony and the reception, then a simple line on the wedding invites, such as "...reception to follow" is all that is needed.
If the reception is at a different location from the ceremony, then you'll need to add the specific details about the reception. Depending on the style of your invite, you may be able to get all the information on one card, or print the reception information on a separate insert.
There will be situations when you want to invite guests to a reception only such as if you opted for a destination wedding, eloped or got married out of town and are now hosting just a reception. Or, you may get married in a quaint chapel or other very small venue that simply won’t be large enough for the guests you want at the reception. These are both times when a reception-only invitation would be used.
Wording of the invites frequently depends on who is footing the bill. Something like join us to celebrate their return as husband and wife would imply that the bride and/or grooms parents are hosting the party.
The wording itself is so very personal and depends on the style of your wedding. Formal celebrations call for formal wording and of course a casual wedding would warrant a casual writing style.
Remember to be clear with your writing with wording such as following the recent marriage. If the wedding is earlier the same day and some people are being invited to the reception only, be prepared with your reasons. This is precisely the time when people could end up with hurt feelings because they thought they were an "A" list friend. You don't have to defend your reasons, just know what they are and apply them consistently.
If you decide that no children will be at the reception but make an exception for your best friend or a niece or nephew, you risk losing respect. Decide early the type of celebration you want and be consistent.
Don't want children at the reception? An easy way to be very specific is by writing, "... Adult only reception "or "...We have reserved # seats for you at the reception." This is clear. Your guests don't want to have to guess, they just want to know what you want.
You really want to avoid confusion with wedding reception invitations. I know of situations where one party is sure that they weren't invited to the reception although they had been at the church. So, in keeping with the understanding, have left the church to go on their own way, only to be called later on to come to the reception. All a misunderstanding! Clearly written wedding invitations would have avoided the situation.
If you are trying to save costs, the reception is the biggest area where savings can be realized. Usually by eliminating a hot sit-down meal will cut your expenses dramatically. This can easily be done depending on the time of day you are getting married and of course, by clearly writing the details on the wedding reception invitations.
Serving a lighter meal may perfectly suit your theme. Get married mid afternoon and host a dessert reception. Or choose an evening candlelight ceremony, with a cocktail party afterward.
And remember – if you don't want kids at the party, use obvious language on your wedding reception invitations such as Adult only cocktails and reception.
If you would like to notify your guests about your wedding six months in advance, you can always send a 'save-the-date' invitation. This is not the formal invitation, but just a note for people to add the date to their diaries.
To make your wedding invites unique, add special touches that are definitely 'you.' Why not have an invitation on a photo of the happy couple? Or consider using a wedding postage stamp with your photo on it? Make your own invitations simply and use material that remind your guests of you. Keep it real.