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If you’re planning a wedding with a reception only — meaning you already tied the knot — you may be wondering how to properly word your invitations. Throwing a reception-only wedding isn’t that strange of an occurrence, as we’re seeing it more often these days post-Covid. Many times, couples get married in an intimate ceremony by eloping, then throw a huge celebration with family and friends after the wedding.
Sometimes a private ceremony is due to space constraints or a medical reason, allowing the couple to wed the way they wish and in a timeline that suits their needs.
If you are planning a wedding with no ceremony taking place, due to a courthouse wedding, elopement, or other circumstances, you’ll need to send different invitations to your guests. If you’re struggling with the proper wording for a reception-only wedding, here are some invitations in this blog post to help you.
After all, you will only confuse guests if you send a standard reception card, as they’ll wonder if their invitation with the ceremony portion went missing.
Furthermore, sending a proper invitation with wording that explains you are married — and now throwing an awesome reception — is proper etiquette for your guests. To do so, order specific reception-only wedding invitations. In this blog post, we’ll show you exactly where to get them, the proper wording for reception-only invitations for a wedding, and why it is good etiquette.
Think of this as a fun after-party invitation: guests are invited to celebrate you, the newlyweds! Let’s get started.
Why would couples have a wedding with no ceremony?
Since the wedding is all about the union of marriage, it sounds strange to some to have a wedding reception without inviting guests to the ceremony.
And while it is strongly encouraged to invite guests to your ceremony if at all possible, sometimes a couple has reasons why they wish to elope in a small, private setting.
► Perhaps a couple dreams of eloping in a destination wedding and prefer to keep it small and private.
► Others may want to choose a destination location but they don’t want to burden family and friends with the cost.
► In some instances, it is due to a medical reason or the health of a family member.
The reason why you may want to plan a reception-only wedding isn’t really up for debate to others: it’s your day, your way! It should be welcomed by your closest family and friends. The desire to throw a fun celebration is a wonderful way to include everyone who is special in your life and we love the idea of a reception-only wedding when it is necessary due to circumstances.
How to Invite Guests to a Reception Only Wedding
An invitation looks very similar to a standard wedding invite with one major difference: there’s no ceremony. The invitation will invite your guests to the reception, where they can expect all the merriment of a traditional reception: food, festivities, toasts, dancing, and more. It’s all the fun of the party, dining, and dancing, but no formal ceremony takes place. As simple as that!
Where do you buy wedding invitations for the reception only?
It can be tough to find the proper invitations to invite guests in this unique way. But we did all the digging to help! Below, you’ll find the best reception-only invitations for a wedding in beautiful styles with the perfect wording you need to inform your guests. (Want to skip ahead? You can find beautiful designs here.)
When do you mail reception-only wedding invitations?
For a wedding such as this, mail invitations in the same timeframe as a traditional wedding. (Read: Here’s Exactly When to Send Wedding Invitations for a calculator based on your wedding date.) A good rule of thumb is to mail your reception invitations approximately 6 to 8 weeks before the wedding date.
Reception Only Invitations for Weddings
1. The Ultimate After Party
These invitations are perfect for a reception-only event. It eloquently describes how the couple wed — “____ & ____ wed privately in Napa last spring” — which you can easily edit to match your own story. The rest of the after-party invitation describes the fun after-party that awaits.
By Becky Nimoy.
More color options available here.
Explain how you wed in a private ceremony and now the festivities await with this invitation by JoAnn Jinks.
3. We Said Yes
These invites are perfect for a casual wedding reception party. By Ateliar Adair.
4. Happily Ever After Party
Love the play on words here! The back of the card can feature a photo, as shown in the second photo. By Julie Horton Designs. This is perfect as an elopement reception invitation.
5. Photo Arch
Include a heartfelt note on the invitation to tell guests you eloped privately. Now you’re throwing an amazing reception and they’re invited! Get the card designs shown here by Julie Horton Designs.
6. Organic Florals
This lovely design is perfect for celebrating your recent marriage. By Susan Moyal.
Maybe you don’t need or want to explain why you wed privately. No need! Send these reception-only invitations and simply invite your guests to “celebrate the marriage of _____ & _____” at your reception. Easy as that! By Peach Blomme.
8. Nothing Fancy, Just Love
A perfect reception-only wedding invitation for a casual, low-key celebration. By IYHTVDesigns.
9. I Do, Me Too
And last but not least, this may be my favorite of the reception-only invites! It simply says, “I Do, Me Too… Now, Let’s Party!” Guests get the idea! By Adore Paper Co.
And there you have it!
As you can see, it’s not so tough describing a wedding reception with no ceremony to your guests. They may want more information (not out of nosiness, but out of interest!) so you can describe your wedding ceremony in greater detail if you wish on your wedding website. (Make one for free here.) You don’t have to explain it to anyone, though: the reason to wed privately is yours alone. Having a party afterward is a great way to celebrate your new marriage and share happiness with your family and friends. I hope this blog post helped you to find the perfect invitations with wording to explain it’s a reception-only wedding to avoid the endless questions from guests. :)
► Need more? You can browse additional designs here.