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How to Word Reception Only Invitations

Wedding Invitations

Dinner menu card

Whether you choose to have an intimate wedding or throw a big ceremony, you can invite some people to the reception only. The question is, how to word reception only invitations? We’re giving you tips and templates on how to write an invitation that only includes the reception details.

How to Word Reception Only Invitations

The key to phrasing a reception-only invitation is to explicitly state that you would like to request a guest’s presence in the reception, not in the wedding program. Be clear with the date, time, and venue, especially if the reception would happen at a different location or later date.

You can also include essential information such as the dress code or if kids can’t come. While the design is a significant element in wedding invitations, the words that go into the cards are also important. As you make the guest list, you’ll also know how many invitations to order.

Wedding invitation with a blue bow

Add Design Elements

One of the best things about sending reception-only invitations is that you can have more space for your creative ideas. You can add fun phrases or lovely typography representing you as a couple. 

You can have the word ‘got hitched’ in handmade calligraphy. You may even include letterpress place cards or foil printed table numbers.

Show Your Request to Attend

The request to attend allows you to specifically tell the guests that you’re only inviting them to the reception. This part also sets the celebration’s tone, so you can choose to use formal or casual words.

Moreover, make sure to highlight the word ‘reception’ in the invitation. You can choose a kind of printing, font, or design to make this part more prominent.

  • Religious service: “Invite you to share their joy in an intimate reception.”
  • Traditional: “Request the pleasure of your company in their reception.”
  • Informal: “Would love for you to join them in the after-party.”
  • Casual: “Invite you to celebrate their union at the after-party.”

State Your Names

Wedding reception invitations should feature your name. This also gives the guests an idea of whether you’re already married before the reception.

  • Use Mr. and Mrs. [groom’s name + surname] if you’re already married.
  • If you’re yet to be married, the bride’s name typically comes first. You can choose to include middle names or not.
  • For same-sex couples, opt for alphabetical or whichever makes you feel comfortable.

Identify the Date, Time, and Location Clearly

We’re seeing wedding trends for the new normal era. Among them are intimate weddings and receptions. In such circumstances, here’s how you can write the date, time, and location to invite guests to the reception only.

  • Some weddings would have different days for the ceremony and reception. Be distinct in writing in the invitation if the ceremony has occurred or is yet to happen with only a few guests.
  • You can decide whether to include the wedding ceremony’s date or not. What’s imperative is that you identify the reception’s correct date, time, and location. For example, simply state that the reception will be held on Saturday, June 25, 2022, at half after five in the afternoon, in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
  • If you are hosting the ceremony and reception in the same venue, only put the time of the after-party in the invitation to avoid confusion.
  • If the reception will be in a different location from the wedding ceremony, there’s no need to include the ceremony’s location. 
  • For a private residence reception, it’s best to put the exact address, including the house number and street. You can also include a hand-drawn map that emphasizes the house’s location.
Wedding invitation for Samanta and Brandon

Sample Templates of Reception Only Invitation Wordings

Inviting some guests only during the reception has become more acceptable. Whether you’re holding virtual ceremonies or scaling down celebrations due to the pandemic, having a separate reception day or after-party lets you invite more people.

These are wedding reception-only invitation templates you can use and adjust for your handmade and customized cards.

Informal Reception Only Invitation

The key here is to let guests know that you’ve already been married. Thus, be clear that you’re only inviting them to the reception in celebration of the wedding. This usually applies to a destination wedding, civil ceremony, or elopement.

We did it! Valerie and Frank got hitched in a private ceremony 

in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Now the Kanes invite you to their wedding celebration party!

Have barbeques and drinks with us at our party on July 30, 2022

Saturday, at six o’clock in the evening

Star M Barn

Belgrade, Montana

Casual attire

Adult-only event

Private Ceremony, Same-Day Reception

This kind of reception invitation is ideal if you would only like to have family and a few close friends at the wedding ceremony. After that, you can throw a huge reception party to invite more people.

Sarah Branwell and Angelina Eaton will be married in a private ceremony on Saturday, the tenth of October.

Please join us in celebrating at our wedding reception following the ceremony

November 11, 2023

Saturday at four o’clock in the afternoon

The Campbell House

Frankfort, Kentucky

Reception Only After a Destination Wedding

Got married in a foreign country, yet you want to celebrate with friends and family after? This is an example of how you can invite guests to a reception party once you return home.

Reception menu cards

Rosie and Carter Halloway are happy to announce

their marriage took place in a private ceremony

on Sunday, the tenth of April

two thousand twenty-two

in Geelong, Victoria, Australia

Celebrate with us at an intimate reception

on Saturday, the seventh of May

two thousand twenty-two

at seven o’clock in the evening

The 1850 House Inn and Tavern

Rosendale, New York

Smart casual

Wedding Reception at a Home Residence

For home receptions, be sure to state the home address clearly. You can also include a hand-drawn map for better directions.

With great love and joy

Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Truong


Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln Wells

invite you to a reception celebrating the marriage of their children

Kathy Marie and Sebastian Lance 

on Friday, August 12, 2022

At Truong Residence

1333 South Oakland Avenue, Pasadena, California


When crafting a reception-only invitation, clearly state that you’re inviting the recipient on the reception’s actual day, time, and location. After writing the right words, the next step is to design the cards. At Laura Damiano Designs, we can customize and handcraft wedding invitations that reflect your wedding’s theme and story.

  1. Flo Jacobson says:

    Such a lifesaver! Good idea especially the private ceremony, same-day reception.

  2. It is a great idea to know how to invite guests to a Reception- it would seem that this type of event may be the most prudent and practical for many couples who prefer not to have many people at the actual wedding ceremony ( for any reason) . If I marry for a third time I plan to do just this. Thank you for sharing: again, thank you 🙏.

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