Wording for someone other than parents hosting reception?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
42135 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@MlleDarcy:  I’m sure the etiquette snobs (LOL) will weigh on on this, but the only way I can think of is to use separate invitations for the wedding  and reception. The wedding invitation can be as you suggested, and a reception invitation as follows:

Mrs.____  _____
requests the pleasure of your company
at a reception celebrating
the marriage of her niece
Anne Elizabeth
Mr. Steven John Smith
The Sheraton Hotel
at 6.00pm

RSVP: 30th September 2010
Phone: (02) 9495 6520
Dress: Formal

Address: 15 Kardella Street
Kardella NSW 2001

Post # 4
11379 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

@julies1949:  i would suggest a version similar to this as well.


@MlleDarcy:  it was so nice of your aunt to step up and offer to pay.  i am sure that she will be very grateful to have her name included on the invite but you may want to ask her what she wants first.

Post # 6
2546 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

the traditional wording has to do with who’s hosting, so if you want traditional wording how about:


Mrs Mile’s aunt

requests the honor of your presence at the wedding of




daughter of


miledarcy’s mom and dad

Post # 9
4402 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

@bebero:  +1

I would do it this way — it’s simple, and it gets youre point across. I don’t think there’s a need for separate invitations. She is hosting the event, so she’s the one inviting people to the whole thing — ceremony and reception both. 

Post # 10
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@MlleDarcy:  I agree that a separate reception card would be appropriate.  When you order your invitations, you just need an additional reception card which is usually smaller than the invitation but it could also be a sheet in the folio if you do pocket folds.

Post # 13
1644 posts
Bumble bee

@julies1949:  No need for us Etiquette Snobs to chime in: you nailed it. Well, almost:


@MlleDarcy:  if your surname is different from your Aunt’s surname, then your surname goes on the reception invitation. Your ceremony invitation should read “request the honour of the presence of ….” instead of “the pleasure of the company of” which is correct for a reception.

Choose now whether to have double envelopes or not: if you have double envelopes you can get away with saying “request the honour of your presence” and “request the pleasure of your company” as noted by julies1949, because the names of the guests can be written on the inner envelopes. If no inner envelope you need an extra blank line, so:

Mrs.____  _____
requests the pleasure of the company of

at a reception celebrating

Sticklers will argue that “Formal Dress” should not be used as guests can infer that from the formality of the invitation; and that the R.s.v.p. date should be omitted because guests know that they are obliged to reply immediately to any social invitation. Serious sticklers will feel guilty for allowing the “R.s.v.p.” line at all for the same reason. As you can see, sticklers are prone to wishful thinking.

It isn’t just about giving credit, but also about taking responsibility. Guests have a right to know, before they trust their safety and comfort to some hostess, just who their hostess really is. The reason you use “requests the honour of your presence” for a public ceremony like a church service, is that the officiant is the true host. The parents who are “requesting” are really only giving notice to their friends about an event taking place, that the friends already have a right to attend. This two-card solution is most properly accurate without humiliating anyone.

Post # 15
11668 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Why don’t you do 

mr and mrs x 


mrs x

request the honor of your presence….

Post # 16
1644 posts
Bumble bee

@MlleDarcy:  Absolutely, include it in the box with the rest of your suite. If it is in its own envelope inside the box, then that envelope counts as an “inner envelope” for the purpose of writing the guests’ names.

1) I would be inclined to use the same style and stationery for both invitations, and put them both in the same inner envelope. A formal traditional invitation is written on a folded heavy-paper letter sheet printed on the front only, but many modern invitations are written on an unfolded single card. Since there are two invitations, I would be inclined to use the two unfolded single cards to minimize the sense of “too much paper”.

2) Or, if you want to minimize the remotest embarrassment to your parents, put the ceremony invitation on the full-size folded sheet, and the reception invitation on a matching half-size unfolded card (there might be a “reception card” in your suite that you could use for this second invitation. Use the write-in line on the ceremony invitation, and just use the “your” wording on the reception card. That’s likely to be least confusing to your guests, since people are used to getting a separate reception card along with the ceremony invitation.

3) Indian and Chinese weddings often use the folded heavy-paper letter sheet, but with the printing on the inside of the fold: English wording on one side, and Indian or Chinese wording on the other side. A third option would be for you to follow that model, and write the ceremony invitation on one side and the reception invitation on the other side.

I am on your Auntie’s side on this one: I think she should get full and equal credit because she is gracious and generous. But I think your heart is in the right place to show respect to your parents, and I get it that your Auntie is on your side and supports your good instincts. So while I would vote for option 1) for myself, I think your best option is number 2).

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