Invites and Paper

Funny Invite for Reception, Ceremony is Family Only

Our wedding is being held at a lake cabin with not a lot of property. We decided to invite family only (and bridal party) to the ceremony. How do you invite people just to a reception?

Re: Funny Invite for Reception, Ceremony is Family Only

  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana
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    I don't get what you mean by funny/witty way to invite people to just the reception. There is a traditional way to do it @CMGragain but it isn't funny. Do you mean so that they know they aren't invited to the ceremony?
    InLoveInQueensMobKaz
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
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    edited January 10
    The only appropriate way to not invite someone to your wedding is not to send them an invitation.

    Beyond that, to be honest, no matter how small and/or intimate a wedding ceremony is, as a guest I would be put off by a "funny" or "witty" invitation.

    I would also not want to receive an invitation only to the reception. The purpose of a wedding reception is to thank guests for attending the ceremony. A thank-you gesture to people who aren't guests at your ceremony would be off-putting. If you don't want or can't invite them to the ceremony, then you need to accept that they can't be "included" in your wedding.

    You can throw a "celebration" after your wedding and invite non-wedding guests, but it would need to not have any wedding elements, such as a ceremony reenactment, attendants, gift registries, spotlight dances (and IMO a bridal gown or a cake cutting) to pass etiquette muster.

    The purpose of a wedding invitation is to honor the guests (not the couple, their parents or anyone else) and to provide the logistical information about the wedding (who, what, when, and where) and it really needs to be clear and concise. It also needs to set the tone of your wedding. If the ceremony and reception are not supposed to be "informal" and are supposed to be taken seriously by your guests, then "funny" and "witty" wording is going to be counterproductive. Even if you're not having a formal ceremony, using "funny" and "witty" wording may suggest to your guests that they don't need to take you, your wedding or your marriage seriously.

    There just happen to be instances where humor and wit is IMO not warranted, and wedding invitation wording is among them. 
    short+sassy
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana
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    I agree it is awkward, but we have had this discussion on these boards before. I truly family only ceremony followed by a larger reception is etiquette approved. A lot of people don't like them and wouldn't attend, but they are approved and can include a cake, dinner, dances and toasts - no ceremony re-enactment. I also agree that funny isn't the way to go.
    CMGragainahoyweddingscribe95
  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited January 10
    IMHO, "funny" wedding invitations are in poor taste and are disrespectful to the occasion and to the guests.  Please don't do this.
    Here is traditional wording:

    The pleasure of your company is requested
    at the wedding reception of
    Bride's Full Name
    and
    Groom's Full Name
    Day, date
    at half after four o'clock
    Venue Name
    Address
    City, State

    This wording makes it very clear that you are inviting guests to the reception only.  Expect a lot of declines.
    Here is a more contemporary wording:

    You are invited to attend
    the wedding reception of
    Bride's Full Name
    and
    Groom's Full Name
    (etc.)

    It is not proper to write any details about the ceremony to which your guests are NOT invited.  "Private ceremony" should not be on the invitation.  As I said, expect a lot of declines.



    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    MairePoppy
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    Our wedding is being held at a lake cabin with not a lot of property. We decided to invite family only (and bridal party) to the ceremony. We want a funny/witty way to word the invitation for the people only invited to the reception following the ceremony which is a 45 minute drive away. It feels awkward...

    Any help appreciated!!
    We're gettin" married in the morning.
    Ding! Dong! The bells are gonna chime.
    Pull out the stopper!  We're gonna have a whopper.
    But don't worry about gettin" to church on time.





    MairePoppyLondonLisa
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member

    CMGragain said:
    IMHO, "funny" wedding invitations are in poor taste and are disrespectful to the occasion and to the guests.  Please don't do this.
    Here is traditional wording:

    The pleasure of your company is requested
    at the wedding reception of
    Bride's Full Name
    and
    Groom's Full Name
    Day, date
    at half after four o'clock
    Venue Name
    Address
    City, State

    This wording makes it very clear that you are inviting guests to the reception only.  Expect a lot of declines.
    Here is a more contemporary wording:

    You are invited to attend
    the wedding reception of
    Bride's Full Name
    and
    Groom's Full Name
    (etc.)

    It is not proper to write any details about the ceremony to which your guests are NOT invited.  "Private ceremony" should not be on the invitation.  As I said, expect a lot of declines.



    I have not paid much attention to invitation wording under these circumstances but something caught my attention in this post. 

    I thought wording typically said something along the lines of, "celebrate the wedding/marriage of......."

    In this example, the wording is more specific and states a "wedding reception".

    Is the difference in the timing of the reception?  Is it a wedding reception because it falls on the day of the actual wedding versus an "after party" for lack of a better description?

    Sincerely curious.

    I really very much dislike this trend.
    charlotte989875
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited January 11
    So do I.  The wedding reception is held on the same day as the ceremony.  It is permissible to invite guests to the reception only, but the ceremony must be limited to immediate family only.  Bridesmaids are not usual in a private ceremony like this, and I question why they are necessary at all.  I think they are inappropriate.  This practice is usually when a courthouse ceremony is planned because courthouses often limit the number of people allowed at the ceremony.  This is set by the courthouse - NOT by the bride and groom!

    If a celebration party is to be held, it is on a different day than the ceremony.  Celebration parties are NOT wedding receptions, and the invitation wording is different.  They are not a part of the wedding.

    In the OP's case, she has chosen her lakeside venue over inviting all of her guests to her ceremony.  So the scenery is more important than your guests?  OP, I think you should find a different ceremony site so that all of your guests can attend both the ceremony and the reception.  Your guests will be happier, and you will be just as married.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    MobKazILoveBeachMusicInLoveInQueens
  • OP, revising your original post is rude.  You were quoted, so we can all see what you originally wrote.  Why change it?
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • MobKaz said:
    Our wedding is being held at a lake cabin with not a lot of property. We decided to invite family only (and bridal party) to the ceremony. We want a funny/witty way to word the invitation for the people only invited to the reception following the ceremony which is a 45 minute drive away. It feels awkward...

    Any help appreciated!!
    We're gettin" married in the morning.
    Ding! Dong! The bells are gonna chime.
    Pull out the stopper!  We're gonna have a whopper.
    But don't worry about gettin" to church on time.





    I'm dead. This is great!

    But OP, don't try to be witty about it. I think it's technically etiquette-fine, but kind of awkward. is the reception close to where your friends live? Are most of your guests to the reception local? If so, then it's probably fine, but expect people to not travel in for it. Be honest in your invites that they're only invited to the reception; the wording CMG suggested is good.

    My cousin had a wedding kiiiiind of like this. She and her H were from the same city, had most of the same friends, etc. They got married at her parents' house with family only and then had a reception at the local banquet hall/VFW/whathaveyou. It worked because most of their friends still lived in the same city, or within like 20-30 minutes. Their reception was very much "come when you want" (food was out the whole time and constantly replenished, etc) and they didn't do cake cutting, garter toss, wedding-y things. They had a DJ because our family are dancing fools. It just kind of seemed like a big party, not specifically a wedding reception.
  • If it's truly a family only/intimate wedding that's fine. But just be simple and straightforward. One invite for wedding and reception; one invite for just reception. 

    My H and I were recently just invited to the reception for a couple - first time ever - and it was still very fun. A bit odd but not a big deal. 
  • scribe95 said:
    If it's truly a family only/intimate wedding that's fine. But just be simple and straightforward. One invite for wedding and reception; one invite for just reception. 

    My H and I were recently just invited to the reception for a couple - first time ever - and it was still very fun. A bit odd but not a big deal. 
    You don't need two invitations.  Since the ceremony is immediate family only, you enclose a card in their invitations that says:

    You are invited to attend the wedding ceremony
    at three o'clock
    Address
    City, State
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
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