Wedding Invitations & Paper

Invitation Wording Assistance

Hey ladies. 

I know this has probably been asked, and some won't agree with this but I'd appreciate some help. 

We are getting married in a small church in May. The church is extremely sentimental, as my parents were married here and it holds so much family history. The problem - it holds 50 people max. Our guest list of just family is right around there, accounting for those who we know won't make it. Therefore, we will have a private family ceremony and a larger reception afterward. 

Just some info on the tentative timeline: The ceremony is 5 p.m. and will run approximately 30 minutes. Pictures and drive time to the reception push our arrival to the reception around 6:30 p.m. For those who won't attend the ceremony, 6 p.m. will be the reception start time and of course the bar will be open with appetizers for their 30 minute wait. 

I plan to send out separate invitations. I need help in wording the reception only guests invitations. Most of our guests are aware of the circumstances already and are totally accepting and plan to still attend. I just want to make sure it's communicated properly. 

Thanks in advance! 

Re: Invitation Wording Assistance

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Well, if you're going to do this, make the invitation to the reception the main invitation.  It would read:

    (If couple is hosting)
    The pleasure of your company is requested
    at the wedding reception of
    Bride
    and
    Groom
    on Day, Date
    at time
    Venue
    Address

    No need to put "timelines" or any information about whether there is a bar, dancing, etc.

    If parents are hosting, it would read

    Mr. and Mrs. Bride's Parents
    request the pleasure of your company
    at the wedding reception of their daughter
    Bride
    and
    Groom
    (son of
    Mr. and Mrs. Groom's Parents)-note: this is not traditional
    on Day, Date
    at time
    Venue
    Venue Address
    City, State

    The ceremony information would go on a separate insert and would read:

    The honor of your presence (for a ceremony at a house of worship)/
    The pleasure of your company (for any other ceremony)
    is requested at the marriage ceremony
    on Day, Date
    at time
    Venue
    Venue Address
    City, State

    Many people here, though, are opposed to inviting more people to the reception who aren't invited to the ceremony, so be prepared for feedback along those lines.
  • Jen4948 said:
    Well, if you're going to do this, make the invitation to the reception the main invitation.  It would read:

    (If couple is hosting)
    The pleasure of your company is requested
    at the wedding reception of
    Bride
    and
    Groom
    on Day, Date
    at time
    Venue
    Address

    No need to put "timelines" or any information about whether there is a bar, dancing, etc.

    If parents are hosting, it would read

    Mr. and Mrs. Bride's Parents
    request the pleasure of your company
    at the wedding reception of their daughter
    Bride
    and
    Groom
    (son of
    Mr. and Mrs. Groom's Parents)-note: this is not traditional
    on Day, Date
    at time
    Venue
    Venue Address
    City, State

    The ceremony information would go on a separate insert and would read:

    The honor of your presence (for a ceremony at a house of worship)/
    The pleasure of your company (for any other ceremony)
    is requested at the marriage ceremony
    on Day, Date
    at time
    Venue
    Venue Address
    City, State

    Many people here, though, are opposed to inviting more people to the reception who aren't invited to the ceremony, so be prepared for feedback along those lines.
    The bolded is where I was hung up. I like that wording, but did not know if I should mention to those who aren't aware that we were married in a family ceremony. 

    I know this isn't a popular topic here. In no way is this ranking guests, it's purely a space issue.

    For family invited to both, they're receiving a separate invitation with a reception insert. 

    Thanks for your input!  
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    katekha13 said:
    Jen4948 said:
    Well, if you're going to do this, make the invitation to the reception the main invitation.  It would read:

    (If couple is hosting)
    The pleasure of your company is requested
    at the wedding reception of
    Bride
    and
    Groom
    on Day, Date
    at time
    Venue
    Address

    No need to put "timelines" or any information about whether there is a bar, dancing, etc.

    If parents are hosting, it would read

    Mr. and Mrs. Bride's Parents
    request the pleasure of your company
    at the wedding reception of their daughter
    Bride
    and
    Groom
    (son of
    Mr. and Mrs. Groom's Parents)-note: this is not traditional
    on Day, Date
    at time
    Venue
    Venue Address
    City, State

    The ceremony information would go on a separate insert and would read:

    The honor of your presence (for a ceremony at a house of worship)/
    The pleasure of your company (for any other ceremony)
    is requested at the marriage ceremony
    on Day, Date
    at time
    Venue
    Venue Address
    City, State

    Many people here, though, are opposed to inviting more people to the reception who aren't invited to the ceremony, so be prepared for feedback along those lines.
    The bolded is where I was hung up. I like that wording, but did not know if I should mention to those who aren't aware that we were married in a family ceremony. 

    I know this isn't a popular topic here. In no way is this ranking guests, it's purely a space issue.

    For family invited to both, they're receiving a separate invitation with a reception insert. 

    Thanks for your input!  
    You're welcome, glad to help!

    I think it's not necessary to mention that you were married in a "family ceremony."  They'll most likely get the idea just from the basic wording of the reception invitation.  The important thing is to make it clear whether or not they are invited to the wedding ceremony, the wedding reception, or some other event.


  • katekha13 said:
    Hey ladies. 

    I know this has probably been asked, and some won't agree with this but I'd appreciate some help. 

    We are getting married in a small church in May. The church is extremely sentimental, as my parents were married here and it holds so much family history. The problem - it holds 50 people max. Our guest list of just family is right around there, accounting for those who we know won't make it. Therefore, we will have a private family ceremony and a larger reception afterward. 

    Just some info on the tentative timeline: The ceremony is 5 p.m. and will run approximately 30 minutes. Pictures and drive time to the reception push our arrival to the reception around 6:30 p.m. For those who won't attend the ceremony, 6 p.m. will be the reception start time and of course the bar will be open with appetizers for their 30 minute wait. 

    I plan to send out separate invitations. I need help in wording the reception only guests invitations. Most of our guests are aware of the circumstances already and are totally accepting and plan to still attend. I just want to make sure it's communicated properly. 

    Thanks in advance! 
    I am concerned about your plans.  Fifty people is NOT a private wedding ceremony.  A private ceremony means immediate family only - siblings, spouses, parents..  If you are having fifty guests, including aunts, uncles and cousins, then you should have those same people at your reception afterwards.  To add more people is bordering on what is called a tiered reception, and that is very rude!
    How many people are you thinking of inviting to just the receptions only?
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • The tentative guest list for the reception only is in the 120's. We would love to have everyone at the church but it isn't possible.

    We both are very close with our families and consider aunts, uncles, and cousins to be immediate family.
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited November 2014

    katekha13 said:
    The tentative guest list for the reception only is in the 120's. We would love to have everyone at the church but it isn't possible. We both are very close with our families and consider aunts, uncles, and cousins to be immediate family.
    It doesn't matter how close you are to your extended family (uncles, aunts, cousins).  What you are proposing to do is very, very rude.  How would you feel as a guest, mingling and hearing "Wasn't the ceremony beautiful?"  Ceremony?  We weren't invited to any ceremony!
    You are basically telling your other guests that they are good enough to give you a gift, but not good enough to be invited to your ceremony.  50 guests on the "A" list, and 70 guests on the "B" list?  No way!   You have some choices here:

    1.  Cut your guest list down to include only the people you are inviting to the ceremony.
    2.  Find a different venue that will allow for more guests.
    3.  Cut your ceremony list to include only immediate family -  Parents, siblings and their spouses.  NO uncles, aunts, cousins!  This is all that would be allowed at a private ceremony.

    That's it.  You cannot have it both ways without being very rude to your other guests.  One option is to have your small wedding and reception, and have a party later on (NOT another wedding reception!) and share your wedding photos and honeymoon pictures with your other friends.  This party is not a part of your wedding, and the guests would not bring you gifts.

    When you plan a wedding, you start with a budget, a guest list, and THEN you find your venues.  In your case, you started with the venue, and are now trying to fit too many guests into your wedding.  It cannot be done without insulting some of your guests.  Please change your plans.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    [Deleted User]
  • Thanks for your input, I appreciate it. 
  • Yes I agree this plan as it stands is super rude. You're basically inviting half your guests to witness your marriage and leaving everyone else out.

    I would either find a new place for your ceremony where you can accommodate everyone, or have a smaller wedding all around and just invite hose 50 people. Or ask the ceremony venue if you can bring in extra chairs for your other guests.
    *********************************************************************************

    image
  • No offense meant, but my question was answered. I have the wording advice I need to proceed with our plans. 

    Thank you, though.

     
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited November 2014

    katekha13 said:
    No offense meant, but my question was answered. I have the wording advice I need to proceed with our plans. 

    Thank you, though.

     
    @katekha13, although I gave you advice on how to word the invitation, I do have to admit that a wedding ceremony of 50 people isn't private, and wanting to add 70 more on top of that to the reception who won't be invited to the ceremony really does come off as "tiered hospitality" which is very rude.  It really doesn't matter how close to them you perceive yourself to be or how "understanding" of not being invited to the ceremony you think they'll be.  They may side-eye you without explicitly saying so, and it could impact negatively on future relationships with them.  So I take back my advice on how to word the invitations and urge you to limit them to those who can actually fit in the church.  Only those people should be invited to the wedding reception.

    It is possible and polite to have a celebration later-but not on the same day for those who do not get invited to the ceremony.  And that later celebration is not a "wedding reception" and should not contain a re-enactment of vows or other "wedding" elements, such as attendants, first dances, cake cutting, etc. that are associated with weddings.  It's a separate occasion from your wedding.
  • As I stated above, it's 120 reception only guests, not a 50/70 split. (Making the total 50 + 120 = 170)

    Luckily, none of our guests we've communicated this plan to are offended. If they would be offended by this, most likely we wouldn't have them in our lives to begin with. They understand the space issue and church significance and still want to celebrate with us in whatever capacity they can. If they side-eye it, that's their choice. Life is entirely too short to be butt hurt over something like this.  


  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    katekha13 said:
    As I stated above, it's 120 reception only guests, not a 50/70 split. (Making the total 50 + 120 = 170)

    Luckily, none of our guests we've communicated this plan to are offended. If they would be offended by this, most likely we wouldn't have them in our lives to begin with. They understand the space issue and church significance and still want to celebrate with us in whatever capacity they can. If they side-eye it, that's their choice. Life is entirely too short to be butt hurt over something like this.  


    You're missing the point.  It doesn't matter whether individuals are offended. The point is not to develop a defensive attitude about how something is so important to you that you don't care if the plans make the people you love unhappy or uncomfortable-a polite person who wants to include them in any capacity makes plans that take into account that they shouldn't be made unhappy or uncomfortable just so you can have your "dream wedding."  They may never tell you to your face that they're okay with what you're doing, or they may say that they "understand," but inside they're hurting because you have an "they don't matter so they shouldn't mind" attitude.  If you really care about them, then stop trying to have it both ways by expecting them to "understand" for you and start taking their needs into consideration in your plans by not expecting them to "understand" about not being invited to your ceremony.
    fwtx5815CMGragain
  • Defensive, yes. I don't feel anyone else can rank my family's importance. Proper or not, I consider aunts, uncles, and cousins immediate family. The number we have happens to be the number the church seats. That to me is a private family ceremony. If we excluded that group, I suppose this would be an approved plan. 

    I didn't post to seek anyone's approval of our plans. You aided me in the question I posed, and I appreciate that. That advice will be utilized. 
  • @katekha13 do whatever makes you happy! It obviously means a lot to you. I don't have anything to add invitation-wording wise, but I just know it's frustrating to hear people criticize your decisions, especially when you did not ask for an opinion on that. So just ignore the comments claiming you are rude and do whatever you feel is best for you and your fiance. This is your day. 
    katekha13
  • Don't fret @katekha13, you're Miss Manners approved: "It has always been correct to invite more people to the reception than the ceremony."
    katekha13
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    katekha13 said:
    Defensive, yes. I don't feel anyone else can rank my family's importance. Proper or not, I consider aunts, uncles, and cousins immediate family. The number we have happens to be the number the church seats. That to me is a private family ceremony. If we excluded that group, I suppose this would be an approved plan. 

    I didn't post to seek anyone's approval of our plans. You aided me in the question I posed, and I appreciate that. That advice will be utilized. 
    Look, it's not about what you "consider" proper. And sorry, but no, if we get asked how to do something that is inappropriate, we are not going to tell you how to do it or withhold our disapproval because you "didn't post to seek" it.  We're adults, and that's not how adults respectfully address each other.

    And to the PP who indicated Miss Manners' approval:  Even she doesn't approve of tiered hospitality.  The situations in which she would approve of more guests being invited to the reception than the ceremony would be not be ones where the couple wants to marry in a venue that is too small to accommodate all the guests they want to invite to the reception.  If there were institutional reasons, such as a Mormon sealing or a military issue, where of necessity some guests can't be invited to the ceremony, she would not object, but that's not the reason the OP is giving.  There's no reason why she can't look for a venue that can hold her guests other than "I want my dream ceremony!" which is not an acceptable reason for doing this.

    Also,"It's my day, I'll do what I want!" is a mindset that doesn't fly here.  As soon as you invite or involve a single other person, the wedding is not "your wedding" or "your day" and to claim it as the reason for not taking proper care of your guests'  needs is 'zillaish.  If you really want the wedding to be "your day" only, then only you and your FI can be present.  No guests.  You don't get to have it both ways.
    fwtx5815
  • I am also quite concerned with the reception only guests being invited to the reception location half an hour earlier than the ceremony guests will get there.  That seems extra rude to me.  They'll be standing around twiddling their thumbs for 30 minutes having a cocktail or appetizer wondering where everyone else is. . . . then the bride, groom, and the 50 people they liked more will all come walking in at the same time, laughing and talking and discussing how beautiful the ceremony was. 

    Yikes!
    fwtx5815[Deleted User]
  • @kaos16 - "our arrival" is indicative of my fiance and I. All guests, aside from our parents will be arriving around 6 p.m. to the reception. Our parents will obviously be taking photos with us after the ceremony. I doubt the guests will be wondering where everyone is, as it will be indicated on their invitation and a family friend has agreed to receive the guests on our behalf as a hostess. 

    @jen4948 - That is not my mentality and you're free to presume these things.  

    The purpose of the post has been served. I appreciate all the concern, but it isn't necessary. I hope you can find other brides to school on the proper way to host "her day." 


  • fwtx5815fwtx5815 cowboys nation member
    500 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    OP it's clear that you aren't INTENDING to make some of your guests feel like shit because they don't get to attend both parts of your wedding. However when Internet strangers with knowledge of etiquette, and particularly wedding etiquette, tell you that your plans are rude, then there's a VERY good chance that your guests will think so too. You say the ones you've spoken to are okay with it - but even if they weren't, they probably aren't likely to say it to your face. Posters on TK have no reason to lie to you.

    Two things that play out over and over on these boards that always get the same result: when a bride creates rude plans because she's following her VISION, and when a bride hosts a wedding poorly because of wanting certain things that aren't in the budget. People on these boards WILL tell you what guests are thinking.

    Your vision should never result in people being treated poorly.

    ----


     fka dallasbetch 


    image


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  • OP, how many people are in your family? Unless you both have a Duggar sized family, there's no way that 50 people is "immediate family only." Immediate family usually refers to parents, siblings, and perhaps grandparents.
    CMGragainsouthernbelle0915
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited November 2014
    katekha13 said:
    Defensive, yes. I don't feel anyone else can rank my family's importance. Proper or not, I consider aunts, uncles, and cousins immediate family. The number we have happens to be the number the church seats. That to me is a private family ceremony. If we excluded that group, I suppose this would be an approved plan. 

    I didn't post to seek anyone's approval of our plans. You aided me in the question I posed, and I appreciate that. That advice will be utilized. 
    We are trying to help you from making a terrible mistake that will offend many of your friends and relatives.
    It does not matter what YOU THINK!  It matters what your guests think!
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg

  • OP, how many people are in your family? Unless you both have a Duggar sized family, there's no way that 50 people is "immediate family only." Immediate family usually refers to parents, siblings, and perhaps grandparents.
    I've explained, whether it is proper or not, family is family to us. They're all immediate. Disagree with that - whatever.

    It's clear we differ on the definition of immediate family, but the bolded is nonsensical. I wouldn't have what you all deem immediate family without my grandparents. We each have one living grandmother, and you bet your bottom they will be on the front pew.   
  • katekha13 said:

    OP, how many people are in your family? Unless you both have a Duggar sized family, there's no way that 50 people is "immediate family only." Immediate family usually refers to parents, siblings, and perhaps grandparents.
    I've explained, whether it is proper or not, family is family to us. They're all immediate. Disagree with that - whatever.

    It's clear we differ on the definition of immediate family, but the bolded is nonsensical. I wouldn't have what you all deem immediate family without my grandparents. We each have one living grandmother, and you bet your bottom they will be on the front pew.   
    I really didn't mean to offend with the grandparents part. I only have one surviving grandparent and she may not be alive at my wedding. So if someone did not have grandparents or was not on speaking terms with them (or any of the people I listed), they would not be considered a part of the immediate family.
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