Post # 1
I really could use some outsiders perspective on how to word our reception invitations! My FH and I are having a destination wedding in Lake Tahoe, CA on January 14, 2014. There are under 25 people who are invited to the ceremony (everyone invited to the ceremony got an “invitation” via a wine bottle with our own label on it).
Anyways, we are having a full reception at home (inviting just under 100 guests) on January 25, 2014. I’ve done a lot of research online about how to word my invitations to announce that we are getting married on January 14, but that the invitation is for our reception only. Here is what FH and I have come up with. I asked a few people, and some said it might be a little confusing. PLEASE, help me decide if this wording is direct enough to show that guests are only going to be going to a reception, but nice enough not to be considered rude for them not being invited to the destination wedding itself. I should also state that the reason I wanted a DW was because I am pretty shy and do NOT like being the center of attention, so I wanted a very small and intimate ceremony (25 people is even more than I would have liked). However, my FH has a fairly large family, which is part of the reason we are doing a full reception at home.
Bottom line… My question is, “As a guest, would you understand that we are announcing our wedding, and that the invitation is to the reception ONLY?” And please explain why or why not.
Also, those who are strict on etiquette, you can also check my invitation wording in general. 😉 I won’t be offended. Thank you sooo much!
HLiska & Mr. HLiska
Joyfully announce their marriage
Tuesday the Fourteenth of January
Two Thousand Fourteen
Lake Tahoe, California
Please join us at our reception
Saturday the Twenty Fifth of January
Two Thousand Fourteen
at six o’clock in the evening
The Mitten Building
Post # 3
@HLiska3: Mhmm…. I would “drop” that you are married at the 14th of January because that it is what confuses me the most… It is more clear that they are invited to the reception only and not the actual wedding ceremony. However, I am not an etiquette expert…
Post # 4
@HLiska3: The invitation isn’t confusing in terms of the event to which the guest is invited. I would be confused, though, at why you’d tell me the date and location of your wedding on an invitation for the reception only. My vote would be to keep just one date and location on the invitation.
Post # 5
I wouldn’t call it a reception. I would say
Please join us to celebrate our recent marriage.
Post # 6
As a general rule, you only mention, in detail, the event that people are invited to rather than include events that they aren’t. Otherwise you cause confusion.
A recent invitation that I received stated that I was invited to:
“An Evening Reception to Celebrate the Recent Marriage of A & B
Saturday xxxx April 2013
7pm at XXX Hall.”
This particular wedding took place at a different venue earlier the same day but none of this detail was included. It was absolutely clear to which part of the day my invitation referred to. So I suggest similar wording.
Post # 7
I do not have an etiquette book in front of ne, so I cannot say this with absolute certainty; however, I am confident that the prior posters are correct in their advice that you should omit any reference to the date of your wedding. To me, it seems as if you are attempting to combine a traditional wedding announcement with an invitation to the celebration of your marriage. I am not sure if I am correct, but I believe that you cannot properly notify guests of a *future* event to which they are not being invited. However, it is acceptable to mention that something significant has happened in the *past* that you are now celebrating. The fact that these two events are occurring so close together, and your wedding will not yet have taken place when guests receive the invitation to celebrate your marriage suggests to me that you should not include the future date of your wedding on the “reception only” invitations. (And, yet, I must admit to being stumped without access to an etiquette book as to whether it is proper to refer to a marriage that has not yet taken place in a manner that suggests that it has. Perhaps Aspasia475, who knows everything about these matters, or ThisTimeRound, who also is very well versed on matters of etiquette, may see your post and comment.)
Post # 8
What I would do, with respect, is not worry so much about precise rules of etiquette – many of which are outdated – but instead, go for clarity so that you don’t leave your guests with any uncertainty about what they have been invited to.
It is quite correct to refer to a future event as a past event in the context of this invitation. Because it would be impossible to send invitations out in anything resembling a timely manner if you waited until the event that they weren’t invited to in any case was in the past!
To make this clearer, you are marrying on the 14th January and holding a reception 11 days later. You can’t wait until after the 14th January to send the reception invitations out. Therefore, the fact that the wedding cannot have taken place when the guests receive their invitation to the reception doesn’t matter.
Post # 9
My FI and I have something similar (majority of the guests are only going to the reception) so we did:
You are cordially invited
to celebrate the marriage of:
Ms. Futurefishy &
on September 21, 2013
Post # 10
@Steampunkbride: +1. That makes it much less confusing. No need to give date and location to something ppl arent invited to
Post # 11
Okay, thank you everyone for the advice!
I guess it makes sense to not mention that we’ll already be married. I guess I just felt that the invitation would be so short otherwise, but I guess that doesn’t really matter if there is not a lot of wording, does it?
Also, like @j_jaye: mentioned, should it not be called a ‘reception’? Should I just say ‘the recent marriage’, instead?
Post # 12
You can mention the fact that you are married. But it’d be confusing to give the details of your marriage to people who aren’t going to be invited and who are getting a specific invitation to a post-wedding reception.
By all means use the words “recent marriage” but just don’t give out the date and venue it took place on and in.
I also think you do need to describe what sort of event you are hosting. That way people know whether they are going to a reception, a cocktail party or a BBQ in the local park.
Post # 13
@Steampunkbride: Okay, I see. We are doing the pocket fold invitations, so we have an insert that has a little bit more of that detailed information on what type of event it is (full reception with dinner, cake, dancing).
Post # 14
Well in that case I think you are safe going with an invitation to “Celebrate Our Recent Wedding”.