Not all receptions are alike, so why should your invitation have to confirm to traditional standards? After all, according to custom, an invitation only welcomes guests to the ceremony. Often, the suite includes a reception card with details. But what is the reception is a belated one? Or, if the bride and groom chose to have a private ceremony, and a reception with guests later on? Our etiquette experts weigh in.
If you want to combine your invitation to the ceremony and reception, you can simply add, after the ceremony information, "and afterword at the reception at Plain Oaks Country Club," with a paragraph underneath requesting the favor of reply.
However, if you're inviting guests to the reception only, there will obviously be a bit more to change around. Typically, you start the invitation the same, but instead of writing "at the wedding" or "marriage of their daughter" you'd write "at the wedding reception for their daughter Danielle Jill and Mr. Timothy Green," with date, time, and location to follow.
Reception cards are the most popular way to invite guests to your party, and sometimes, are even more necessary when your ceremony's guest list is larger than the reception's. In this case, you'd enclose a reception card only in the envelopes going to guests who are invited to the event. Wording should go as follows: "Reception immediately following the ceremony" with the name of the venue, and address for R.S.V.P.s at the bottom of the card.
Last, but not least, there's the case of throwing a belated reception, for which you'd write after the hosts' names "at a reception in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Smith." And, we can't forget the case of throwing a reception at someone's home. When it comes time to write the venue, you should denote "at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Williamson" with the address immediately following.