Post # 1
I’m having a ceremony in the church from 1 pm to 2 pm. After that we’ll be taking pictures at the church for maybe another hour or so and move to the reception site. The reception is at 4 pm.
We thought 2 hours would give enough time for the guests to get some pictures and get from the church to the reception venue without having to rush. 4 pm is when the food stations start (it’s a cocktail dinner).
In this case what do I say on the invitation? Could I say “reception to follow” with a 2 hour gap? Or should I say the reception is at 4 pm?
When we use “reception to follow” how soon does it usually follow?
Post # 3
i plan to use the line “reception to follow” even though there might be a 2 hour gap. i think it different if you say “immediately followed by reception”
Post # 4
I would say ” Reception to follow at 4″.
Our ceremony and reception is at the same place and we have a cocktail hour in between so our guests will be entertained for that one hour we’re taking photos. If there’s nothing in between for the guests to do, then I think it would be kind to add the start time so they don’t get confused. Also, they might thinking the food will be served right away and will be hungry if they don’t know the start time. The more they know, they can plan accordingly. Especially if there are young ones there or the elderly. Ya know they gotta eat when it’s their “normal” eating times.
Post # 5
In that situation, I would say “reception at 4pm” As a guest, I would be surprised if there were that much of a gap and I hadn’t been given a heads up.
Post # 6
To me, “reception to follow” means there is no gap (probably straight into cocktail hour of some kind then dinner), and it will all be at the same venue.
For yours I would say “reception at 4pm at address”, to avoid any confusion.
Post # 7
So if the ceremony and reception is in a different location, I wouldn’t be able to say “immediately followed by reception” unless it was less than an hour (assuming travel time is around 30 mins), does that sound right? Or if there were some snacks and drinks served at 3.00 pm waiting for the 4.00 pm reception would that help?
Post # 8
@mountain.bride: ohhh I never thought of that…I wouldn’t want some of the guests to come out of the church wondering where the food stations were!
Post # 9
I think “reception to follow” implies immediately and in the same place, because you haven’t given an additional time or place. If you know there will be a two hour gap, it might be nice for people to have a heads up for medication/food/fatigue reasons.
I guess, when in doubt, I would probably just say, “Reception at 4 pm at address” like mountain.bride suggests.
Post # 10
Usually “reception to follow” is used when the reception is in the same place. Otherwise, a reception card with all the pertinent details is traditionally included with the invitation. If the reception is at a different place, the tradition is that you don’t put reception info on the invitation because it’s actually a different event.
Post # 11
Technically, if your reception is not at the same site, it is not mentioned on the invitation. There should be a separate reception card.
Post # 12
I think people have already said this but do NOT say “reception to follow”!! That literally means that after “you may kiss the bride” come COCKTAILS and reception. Guests like to know what’s going on — just say “4pm cocktail hour” or whatever you think makes it clear.
Post # 13
as a guest, that has ALWAYS killed me. when i see “reception to follow” i think immediately following, not get there and then have to wait. that really grinds my gears. so unless you’re having the reception and ceremony in the same place, give your guests a time. if they’re like me, they would really appreciate a heads up going in. i’d much rather find something to do to occupy my time than head over to the reception site only to wait for a couple of hours.
Post # 14
@tea: ME TOO! I feel like they tricked me!
My FI’s brother got married with an evite stating “reception to follow” at a place 30+ mins away. The ceremony ended by 4:30pm and dinner was not til 8pm! They decided to just take pictures for 3 hours in between (without guests btw!). We actually were rushing there because we didn’t want to be late, but they never told us when dinner was. We ended up just watching them take pictures with no snacks or drinks in the freezing cold. I was bitter and starving by the time we had dinner.
Do NOT do this unless you have something else planned to occupy guests with.