Post # 1
FI and I are getting married in a private ceremony in his hometown, then we’re heading off to a brief honeymoon for a couple days. The weekend after our ceremony, we will be returning to our small town where we currently live, and we are hosting a lunch reception for about a hundred people, including our friends, colleagues and church family here in this town.
i’m working on the invitation, and I just want to make sure it doesn’t give the wrong impression that the guests are going to a wedding. Since it’s not a wedding, we wanted to specify that gifts are not necessary… basically we just want to treat our friends and church family here to a nice meal and invite their presence and blessing in celebration of our marriage.
Here’s what I have so far…
Ms. Alabamabee and Mr. Alabamabee are getting married!
in a private ceremony in Newark, New Jersey on June 29, 2013
You are joyfully invited to join us for a lunch celebration on
Saturday, July 6, 2013 at 11:00 AM
[insert banquet hall address here]
Gifts are not necessary
your presence is present enough for us!
… any comments or suggestions?
Post # 3
I highly recommend reading:
Crane’s Wedding Blue Book
It details answers to this type of question and many more that are bound to come up. Given that you have a somewhat unusual plan it is all the more important to get these details correct.
Quoting from my copy of the book, in the section titled “Late Receptions.”
Wedding receptions take place on the day of the wedding. Any reception occuring after that date is not properly referred to as a wedding reception. Rather, it is a party or reception in honor of the recently married copule.
The book goes on to provide example wording:
Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Jay Forrester
request the pleasure of your company
at a dinner reception
in honor of
Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Jude Strickland
Saturday, the twentieth of September
at seven o’clock
Sleepy Hollow Country Club
Scarborough, New York
Appparently, the key phrase is the “in honor of,” followed on a separate line with the names of the couple.
Hope that helps!
Post # 4
As above answered the first part of your question, but in general I would avoid any mention of gifts at all. Gifts are never “expected” and a good host doesn’t dictate to her guests, so the mention of them even if it’s saying not to bring them.
Post # 5
To be honest, I think that your original wording is perfect. It’s formal enough, but it also gives all the information guests might need. As for the part about gifts, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an invitation that didn’t include information on gifts! I’m not aware of any specific rule of etiquette that states that gift information shouldn’t be included in the invite.
Post # 6
Thanks for your help guys!
Yeah we purposely avoided all mention of “reception” and worded it as “lunch reception” instead to avoid any confusion.
And I just wanted to add that line about gifts just so it’s clear that inviting them to that lunch is not some gift-grabbing thing, since it can easily be interpreted as such (“I’m not good enough to be invited to the wedding but I still need to gift you for this!?” type mentalities). Basically it’s not a wedding, not a reception… Just a nice meal we wanted to host for friends.
Post # 7
@alabamabee369: How about using the more formal “luncheon” instead of “lunch reception”?
Post # 8
I would skip the actual ceremony date and location as it is just confusing to guests. Why tell them when/where if they are specifically not invited?
Post # 9
i don’t think that i would mention anything about gifts on the invitation. if someone wants to bring you something small, let them.
i agree with pp. having the ceremony date too will be a bit confusing for guests. just have the date and time of the reception that the guests will be invited to.