Reception Invitations - The No-Nonsense Guide

Inner envelopes. Outer envelopes. Reply cards. Who knew ordering wedding invites could be so confusing? It can be even more puzzling if you're not hosting a traditional ceremony-plus-reception event. This question and answer guide will help you figure out when and how to use reception invitations --sometimes referred to as reception-only invites--in place of traditional wedding invitations.

Why do I need separate reception invitations?

There's no shortage of reasons you might need to turn to reception invites. Here are a few:

*Destination wedding - Whether your nuptials will be on a romantic Mexican beach or in a breathtaking Scottish castle, chances are that some of your family and friends won't be able to make the trip. It's common for couples married away from home to hold a celebration after their return. Reception invitations announce your marriage to potential guests as well as give them the party details.

*Space limitations - Dream of getting married on a small boat in the middle of the pond where you and your future spouse met? Is your ceremony going to be in the same 25-seat chapel where your great-grandma was married? Space constraints can force you to downsize your special event. Just like traditional wedding invite, reception invitations will let guests know that you still want them to share in a part of the joyous celebrations.

*Nuptial nerves- From fumbled vows to tripping down the aisle, you might have paralyzing fears that keep you from performing the ceremony in front of hundreds of guests. Since your wedding day is supposed to be one of the most joyful days of your life, you should feel comfortable. A private ceremony followed by a more public reception can help eliminate those performance jitters that can dampen the day.

We're having a small, private ceremony. Do I need separate invitations for guests who are invited to both the ceremony and reception than I do for those who are invited to the reception only?

You don't need to go through the expense or trouble of printing two sets of invitations. In fact, experts in wedding etiquette suggest printing reception invitations. For guests who will be invited to the private ceremony as well, simply send along a handwritten note or personally invite him or her.

Is there "proper" wording for reception invitations?

Just like traditional wedding invitations, you'll want to incorporate wording that suits the style of your ceremony, whether it's fun and casual or formal and traditional. If you're stumped, here's sample wording for your invites:

Mr. and Mrs. [name of bride's parents] invite you to a reception in honor of Mr. and Mrs. [your married name] at [time] [name of location] [city and state]

Regardless of whether you choose traditional or casual wording, etiquette experts suggest that you avoid listing a time or place for the actual ceremony--that helps ensure your office intern doesn't show up for the small, family-only ceremony you'd planned. Instead simply list the time and place of the reception.

Rose Watson is a reviewer and commentator on wedding invitations sites. For more recommendations and reviews of providers of wedding invitations , go now to:

This article was published on 05 Mar 2010 and has been viewed 930 times
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