Invitations for wedding reception months after wedding

tammie1786February 24, 2008

My daughter was married on the beach in Flordia last November with family and close friends attending.

We are planning a reception at home this summer and are having trouble with the wording of the invitations. Do you have any suggestions?

It will be an outdoor reception

Food will be served

Outdoor games available


Music and dancing.

\Thank You


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Congratulations to you!

For two reasons, I would not call this party a "reception": (1) the party is much too far after the wedding -- closer to the first anniversary -- and (2) although it was a very small wedding, it wasn't an elopement or a City Hall ceremony with no celebration or guests at all.

I would just call it a party in their honor. I would omit any reference to the wedding at all, so as to avoid any appearance of the party being an attempt to get gifts, as if the couple wanted an exotic private wedding at the time, but now feel they missed out on gifts. Of course, people who didn't already send a wedding gift probably will bring them one anyway, but you don't want it to look like you are prompting them. Everyone you are inviting will understand that the party is in honor of their marriage, because you will only (I assume) be inviting people who are close enough that they know that the couple were recently married, and that's why you are doing it.

You wrote "food will be served," but I don't know if that means a casual barbecue in your yard, a picnic lunch at the park, a tea dance at a country club, a brunch, snacks, or what. The games make it sound casual, but you also mentioned music and dancing. Once you decide on your plans, that of course will affect the text of your invitation.

If it will be a casual evening barbecue in your yard, for example, you might word the invitation like this:

Please join us for a cookout, dancing, and swimming
in honor of
[couple's names, including last name(s)]

Sunday, June 34th
5:00 p.m.

at our home
123 Sesame Street

R.s.v.p. 555-5555 [or, or omit if you are including a response card or trust your friends to respond without prompting!]

Or, you could leave out "and swimming" and add "Bring your bathing suits for a swim" at the end, depending on what you want to emphasize as the tone of your party. It's not necessary to mention that games will be available.

I don't think you need to specify attire, unless you want it black tie, which doesn't sound likely. If you feel you must, IMHO it is better to stick to "casual" or "dressy" or something rather than anything confusing like "festive attire." But I don't think you need to say anything: the style, color, and font of the invitation will get the message to your guests. (We went to 3 weddings this month. One invitation said "black tie optional," one said "cocktail attire," and one said nothing, but it was a rather formal looking invitation to a Saturday night wedding with dinner and dancing. The guests' attire was the same at all three of them! Well, no tuxedos at the last two, but the women at all of them wore dressy evening outfits, some long, some short, some pants.)

Have fun.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 10:52AM
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It is A reception. Anytime you gather people together to honor someone for something, it's a reception.

It is not THE reception, nor is it a WEDDING reception. But it is A reception.

And the etiquette books say that when a reception is given on honor of a recently married couple (the classic is a reception in the groom's hometown for friends who couldn't travel to the wedding in the bride's hometown), no mention of the marriage is made, just the couple's names, as Gellchom mentioned.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 8:38PM
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