Amazing Wedding Reception Invitation Wording Tips and Samples


The right wedding reception invitation wording is crucial to how your guests feel about your event. It is important to take your time when writing your invitations and to understand the proper etiquette involved. For example, you may not be aware that there are different standards when it comes to casual and formal occasions. You may also be surprised to learn that there is a difference between the wording for a reception and the wording used for the ceremony. Naturally, how you ultimately word your invitations will come down to the specifics of your event like how many people you’re inviting, where the reception will be held, and who is paying for the party.

Give yourself a moment to look over these need-to-know rules surrounding invitation wording. Understanding a few points in advance about wedding reception-only invitations can make the process much easier for both you and your significant other.

How to Send Wedding Reception Invitation

Before you start writing your invitations, there are a few preliminary steps to consider. First, you must have your guest list finalized in advance. This also means having all of the information you need on all of your guests like their addresses and whether or not you will be giving them plus-one invites. Once you have this down, you can begin.

The Ceremony and Reception Occur at Distinct Locations

You may be curious about when you should send a reception-only invitation to your guests. One of the main reasons to consider this is when you are planning on having the ceremony and reception at separate locations. To make life easier for your guests, it can make sense to include two distinct cards within your invitation suite that contain the information about each of the venues.

Information to put on your cards can include: the address of the venue, the start time of the event, specific instructions on how to find the venue both by car and by public transportation, parking information, and any specific details that might be unique to the venue you have selected. If any of your guests are disabled or require special accommodations, be sure to mention details about accessibility on the reception card.

You’re Already Married

Another reason you may be sending out invitations exclusively to the reception is because you and your partner have already gotten married. Many couples decide to hold a private ceremony or tie the knot at their local city hall. However, these couples also usually want to get their friends and family members together for a party in order to celebrate the union. While plenty of people decide to announce their marriage on social media, you may wish to use your invitations as a way of unveiling this information to the public.

Though you don’t always need to tell your guests why you decided to host a private wedding ceremony, some people might feel offended that they didn’t know you got married. Soften the blow by including details on why you made this choice in the invites.

If the Ceremony Is Intimate

You may also wish to only send out invitations for the reception if you opt to have a small ceremony. There are countless couples who only want a handful of close family members and friends present for this part of the marriage process. Intimate ceremonies have become increasingly popular with couples in the post-pandemic world, as many people got used to gatherings with shorter guest lists during this time. A smaller ceremony can also give the event a more meaningful feel, especially when you eliminate some of the more grandiose elements associated with modern wedding ceremonies.

Naturally, there are a number of other reasons why you might decide to have a smaller ceremony. In some cases, the venue where you decide to tie the knot might not be big enough to accommodate all of the people you plan on inviting to your wedding reception. What’s more, you might be getting married in a religious venue that has very strict rules about who can and cannot be in attendance. Whatever the reason, it is important that you think about how you plan on including these details in your invitations.

Wedding Reception Invitation Wording: Intimate wedding party

To make your life easier, it makes sense to give each guest the same invite the includes only details about the reception. The people you plan on inviting to the ceremony can be informed directly, either during an in-person conversation or on the phone. This makes the process simpler and will make the people you invite feel special.

Who Should Receive Wedding Reception Invitation

According to traditional wedding etiquette, the people you invite directly to your ceremony should also be invited to your reception. Naturally, you might not want everyone you plan on having at the reception to also attend the ceremony. To make this entire process as easy as possible, it is best if you sit down with your partner in advance and come up with a concrete list of all the people you would like to be present at the ceremony. Many experts advise making two distinct lists during this process. One list is for the people you would like to be at both the ceremony and the reception, while the other list is for the individuals who you would only like to invite to the wedding reception.

It can often prove difficult for a couple to exclude certain people from the ceremony, even if there are plenty of good reasons why this is happening. To soften the blow, you may wish to consider providing details to your guests about why you are deciding to have a private or intimate ceremony. In many cases, your friends and family members will be happy that they are invited to the party even if they are not being asked to attend the ceremony. Still, a short explanation can go a long way to make people feel appreciated.

Wedding Reception Invitation Wording

There are a number of details to be sure to include on your wedding reception invitations. Use this as a checklist to make sure you have not forgotten anything:

  • Host Information: This is where you place information on who is officially hosting the event. According to tradition, the parents of the couple will take on this responsibility. However, this may not always be the case. If you are hosting the event yourself or another relative or friend has taken on the task, include their names here.
  • Your Names: After the hosts, you want to include your name and the name of your partner. Tradition states that the bride’s name goes first, though this is not a hard rule. Modern pairings and same-sex couples will usually break with this tradition.
  • Formal Request: Next, it is important to make a formal request that the recipient of the invitation attends your event. The wording will typically be something like “(Couple’s Name) kindly requests your presence…”
  • Information on Time: The first bit of practical information to include on the invitation is the date and time of the event. If you’re inviting the guest to the ceremony and reception, include details for both.
  • Information on Location: Next, include the address of the venue. Again, if the invite is for both ceremony and reception, you will need to mention both locations.
  • Special Details: At the end of the invitation, mention any special details like whether or not the guests need to dress in a specific way or if the wedding has a unique theme.

Reception-Only Invitation Wording Samples

While understanding what information to include on the invitation can be helpful, you might also need a bit of guidance to understand exactly how the invites should look. One of the best ways to make this happen is by looking at different examples of how reception invitations are worded. To get the ball rolling, we have come up with a handful of different samples that you can consider when writing your own invitations. Whether your parents are hosting or you and your partner are putting together the event, these examples will point you in the right direction.

Example 1: Parents Are Hosting
Mr. and Mrs. Smith kindly request your presence at the celebration of the union between their child
Namely Smith
Jay L’astname
On Friday, April 20th, 2023
At 6:00 PM
The Best Venue
123 Sycamore Street
Everytown, NY, 10202

Example 2: You Are Hosting a Formal Reception
Namely Smith and Jay L’astname
Humbly request your presence
At the reception celebrating their marriage
On Saturday, the fifteenth of September
Two thousand and twenty-three
At 7 o’clock in the evening
At Van Gogh’s Ear Cafe
1017 Stuyvesant Ave
Union, NJ 07083
Example 3: You Are Hosting a Casual Reception
Dearest Friend,
Namely Smith and Jay L’astname
Would be honored if you would join the celebration of their union
On Saturday, February 6th 2023
At 5:00 PM
At The Mutter Museum
19 S 22nd St
Philadelphia, PA 19103

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