wedding-reception-invitation
Invitations

Wedding Reception Invitations: What to Write and When to Send Them

How to word wedding reception invitations is something we’re asked about a lot; couples are often worried that having evening-only guests to their wedding will be seen as an insult, and that people invited exclusively to the evening reception will feel offended that they’re not “good enough” to be invited to the ceremony too.

This of course is rarely the case, and there can be any number of reasons that you’ve decided to have a smaller ceremony, from wanting to keep it intimate, to trying to keep the budget down.

Make your evening guests feel every bit as important as your all-day guests with wedding reception invitations that are just as carefully considered as your ceremony invites.

“Invitations to your wedding reception are usually perceived to be less important than those sent to your day guests; this is such a pity as you are inviting them to the most amazing party that you have put a lot of thought and effort into,” laments Nicky Espinasse of With Love Wedding Stationery.

“As your day invitations did, evening ones set expectations for the day and build anticipation, so send an invite which reflects the style and feel of your celebration.”

evening-only-wedding-invitations
Courtesy of With Love Wedding Stationery

Designing Wedding Reception Invitations

It’s up to you whether you want your wedding reception invitations to be identical to your day invites, or if you want to flex your creative muscles and choose something coordinating, but a little bit different, or a totally different design altogether.

“If budget allows, I always recommend sending a reception invitation which coordinates with your other stationery, and to word the card with the same formality as you did for your day guests,” says Nicky.

“The information that both invites hold, though slightly different, should stay consistent with your unique wedding style and personal language,” agrees Emily of Luna June Paper Co. “Your evening celebration will involve all guests, so why not set the same scene for everyone?”

Our main advice is to go with a consistent theme with your invites, as Emily advises: “Try to style both invitations with similar colour ways, graphics and accessories and use the same fonts throughout.”

The invites should still reflect your day, so avoid going rogue and choosing invites that don’t tie in with your theme. If you’re on a tight budget and want to use shop bought or generic invites for your evening, opt for minimalistic invites that work for any theme.

What to Include on Reception Wedding Invitations

Reception invitations are likely to need a lot less information than ceremony invites; for the evening, you mainly just need to let guests know where to be and when.

If you’re planning on providing an evening buffet, or a hog roast or pizza van, let guests know so they don’t eat too much before the come!

It’s also worth noting if there’s a cash only bar.

If you want to include gift list information, it’s worth creating a wedding website and putting a link to this on the evening invite.

wedding-reception-invitation
Courtesy of With Love Wedding Stationery

When to Send Wedding Reception Invitations

We recommend sending out the evening invites at the same time as the full invitations – sending them at a later date could make the guests feel like an after thought, when you know this is far from the case!

Save the dates aren’t as necessary when it comes to evening invites as you’re not asking your guests to set aside a whole day, but do make sure they know an RSVP is required from them – especially if you’re providing food at the reception.

Do keep in mind the distance guests will be required to travel if they’re exclusively invited to the evening reception; a long journey might not seem worth it to them for a few hours, so don’t be offended if some guests politely decline, it won’t be personal, and isn’t a sign they were offended not to be invited to the ceremony!

How to Word Wedding Reception Invitations

Reception invitations don’t need to be as formal as day invites, but that’s not to say you can’t keep the formality going if that’s the way you want to go with your invites.

It’s key that reception invites convey they are exclusively for the evening celebrations, so tread carefully with your wording. Rather than inviting guests to witness your marriage, the wording should say guests are invited to a reception in celebration of your marriage — letting them know you will already be married by the time they arrive.

Scroll down for wedding reception invitation wording examples, courtesy of With Love Stationery.

Formal wording examples:

Mr & Mrs Smith

request the pleasure of your company

at the evening reception to celebrate

the marriage of their daughter

Laura Jane

To

Harry James Ford

At East Lodge Hotel

On Saturday 21st May 2021

At 7.30pm

 

Laura Smith and Harry Ford

request the pleasure of your company

at the evening reception to celebrate

their marriage

At East Lodge Hotel

On Saturday 21st May 2021

At 7.30pm

wedding-rsvp
Courtesy of Luna June Paper Co

Informal Wording Examples:

Mr & Mrs Smith

have great pleasure in inviting you to at the evening celebration

following the marriage of their daughter

Laura Jane

To

Harry James Ford

On Saturday 21st May 2021

The reception begins at 7.30pm, with dancing until late

 

Laura and Harry

would be delighted if you could join them in

celebrating their marriage

The evening reception is to be held

at East Lodge Hotel

On Saturday 21st May 2021

From 7.30pm until late

READ MORE: When to Send Your Save the Dates and Wedding Invitations

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