Wedding Invitations & Paper

Small Ceremony, Large Reception

So we are having a small, intimate ceremony with only very close friends and our families. We are going to send them all an invite that is fancy and such. For guests that are just coming to the reception do you say do the same thing (formal invitation just different wording) or is a smaller card with an RSVP sufficient? TIA

Re: Small Ceremony, Large Reception

  • I don't like reception with ceremony invites, I think they're rude, especially if you're inviting some friends (as opposed to restricting the ceremony to just immediate family).
  • I disagree with the previous posters. While very rude to invite someone to the ceremony, but not the reception, the opposite is not true. However, you do have the invitation situation backwards.

    In your situation, make the "fancy" invitation the reception invitation. The wording is similar to a typical invitation:

    Mr. and Mrs. John Smith 
    request the pleasure of your company 
    at the wedding reception of their daughter
    Penelope Grace
    and (note the "and" - it's not "to" for a reception invitation)
    Mr. George Frank Carpenter
    on Saturday, the ninth of June
    at six o'clock
    The Hilton Hotel

    Then, add small cards as an insert only to the ceremony invitees requesting their presence at the church. 

    For the record, I would be very put off by receiving a small card when the real invitations were "fancy and such," but wouldn't at all be bothered by being excluded from the ceremony in typical situations. The manner in which you describe sending "fancy" invites to the ceremony invitees only sorta smacks of "B list" for the reception invitees. 
  • I was planning on doing the same invites (just different wording or something) but my SIL said she'd just send a postcard or something. I thought that was a huge slap in the face. Thanks for your advice!
  • And by close friends I mostly mean SO of the WP.
  • I agree 100% with Geaux Tigers.  Maybe it's a Louisiana thing, but no one I know would mind getting invited to the reception only. It's just like getting invited to a great party.  Sure it might upset your grandma or something, but many distant family members and friends who aren't in the inner-circle won't care. 
  • Sorry, I forgot to answer the OP question.  Do the formal invites for everyone whether invited to just the reception or both reception and ceremony.
  • Also, the RSVP is for the reception only.  People don't need to RSVP for the ceremony.
  • While you CAN invite people to the reception only and not the ceremony, be prepared for some hurt feelings.

    That said, if you keep the ceremony truly intimate (like under 20 people) then you can get away with this.  You'd send invitations to the reception and then insert cards would be sent to those you're including in the ceremony.
  • I just made two invitations. 15 for ceremony/reception and the rest were just for the reception. We are keeping our ceremony small (it's on a beach so while it's public there just won't be enough space, chairs, etc.!) and then the reception space can hold more people. RSVP cards in both and that was that.
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • Thank-you ladies for all of your advice. Small and intimate to me means my family and they alone are close to 75 people. Yes I have a very LARGE family. Thanks for the advice!
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