(Closed) No ceremony, just reception, HELP.

posted 5 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
13251 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I’m not entirely sure how one would word an invitation to a wedding reception minus the wedding.  It’s fine if you don’t want the wedding or want something small and intimate, but in the same vein, you give up the big reception after.  It seems gift-grabby to me to turn around and have a big party to celebrate the wedding that you didn’t invite your family and friends to.

Post # 4
295 posts
Helper bee

I’m assuming you want something more informal. I’d go with something along the lines of this:


Your name and SOs name

were married in a private ceremony

on ___ (date).

Please join in celebrating their marriage

at a beachfront BBQ

Date and Time


Please RSVP to ___ no later than ___.

Post # 5
46609 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@iiiEllie:  It is not uncommon to invite friends and family to attend a joyous celebration of a marriage when they were not invited to the ceremony itself. It happens under different circumstances- the couple’s families live far apart and they want to celebrate with both, they had a small, intimate closest family only ceremony, the wedding takes place overseas, the ceremony is done on an urgent basis because someone in the family is ill etc  – so don’t listen to the naysayers. People will just be happy for you.

The pp has given you a sample for appropriate wording. You can always include an information card to let them know to dress casually, bring bathing suits, the length of the celebration – whatever is pertinent.

On April 15, 2010
In a sunset ceremony on St. John
Sean Mack and Elizabeth Swank
became husband and wife
Please join them in a beach BBQ celebration
July 10, 2010

Post # 6
5475 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@iiiEllie:  I think if you call it a celebration of your marriage and not a reception then you are fine.

@jbh13:  +1 on the wording here.


I do agree with Abbie that it could appear gift-grabby to call it a reception, or to participate in any of the traditional pre-wedding parties like bridal showers, etc.

I think it’s fine to host your friends and family in a low key celebration to acknowledge your marriage.

Post # 8
1876 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

PPs gave great advice on wording. I just wanted to say that this sounds fabulous!!

Post # 10
313 posts
Helper bee

We’re having a private ceremony, but are inviting guests to the reception. I’m thinking something along the lines of “We regret that we cannot accommodate everyone at the wedding ceremony, but would like to invite you to a celebration of our marriage.” We’re also thinking of having several parties leading up to the wedding day as well.

Post # 11
43 posts

This is very similar to what we are doing. As you’ve seen from a couple responses, you aren’t going to please everyone. I don’t think it is “gift grabby” and to suggest that it’s gift grabby to approach it this way versus spending 25k on a wedding that you don’t really want is a bit crazy to me and a large part of why the bridal industry makes me want to scream.

Do you. You have some good advice here on how to word-I’m thinking (and posted) about the same exact thing right now.

Post # 12
1557 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014


1. I saw the photos, and immediately thought of my family’s land in Nova Scotia near Pugwash, so I scrolled up and saw that it’s PEI! Must be on the south side, I’ll wave next time I’m up there.

2. I think the wording along the lines of:

Please join us on

Day, month, year

for a Beach BBQ

celebrating the marriage

Mrs. iiiEllie & Mr. iiiEllie

who were wed in a private ceremony

day month year


It will be a great time! Maybe have some bocce courts mowed down, bean bags/cornhole games set up, and definitely some room for dancing!


Depending on our vacation schedules, we may be having a similar celebration for the Canadian family members & family friends that we couldn’t invite down to our Houston wedding. We got engaged up there last summer, and everyone was asking if we were going to have a celebratory shindig this coming summer for the Shore friends!

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