We Eloped! How Should We Phrase Invitations to Our Reception?

As if wedding invitation wording wasn't hard enough..

Updated 09/01/17

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Sometimes, planning a big wedding and waiting for your wedding day is just too much, and getting married now is just so tempting! Other times, the appeal of planning a super-intimate elopement, with all the bells and whistles but minus the big guest list, sounds too good to be true. Whatever your inspiration, eloping is incredibly romantic, and is a beautiful way to start your lives together. Now that you’ve tied the knot, are you ready to celebrate with your family and friends? We’ve asked our experts for the basics of inviting guests to your reception after you’ve eloped.

Invitation wording is hard enough. The order and phrasing say everything from who the hosts are to whether your parents are still married—not to mention the important time, date, and location details! So what do you do once you’ve tied the knot? Well, some changes, and some stays the same.

What’s Different?

The major difference between a wedding invitation and a reception invitation is in how the invitation is introduced. Instead of saying that guests are invited to your wedding or to witness your marriage, the invitation should invite guests to a celebration in honor of your wedding. That could be as playful as “Jen and Mike are married! Now it’s time to celebrate!” or as formal as “Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Brown invite you to a celebration in honor of the marriage of their daughter...” depending on the event you’ve planned.

You could also treat the invitation as an announcement of your elopement as well as an invitation. The first line could read “Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Brown are pleased to announce that their daughter, Jen, was married to Mike, son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Robertson, on August 5th in Puerto Rico.” From there, invite guests to join you for a reception in celebration of the marriage, followed by the date and location. Instead of the specifics of the ceremony location, with “Reception to follow” at the bottom of the invitation, the location details will specify when and where guests should meet for the reception.

What’s the Same?

Similar to a wedding invitation, the wording and terminology all depend on how formal your event will be and who is hosting. A more casual affair might say, “Please join us for a reception in honor of Jen and Mike’s marriage,” while a formal reception should read, “The pleasure of your company is requested at a reception in honor of Jen and Mike’s marriage.”

Your invitation should also include RSVP information! That could be the URL of your wedding website at the bottom of the invitation, or a formal RSVP card and stamped envelope for guests to mail in their reply. And just like a wedding invite, registry information should never be printed directly on the invitation.

Want to share wedding planning tips with other brides-to-be around the world? Join our Facebook group!

Related Stories