Post-Wedding, Reception Only Announcements/ Invitations

by dustytoes

Sometimes couples choose to marry in a private ceremony but they want to celebrate the marriage with family and friends at a reception later on.

Any couple who elopes, or is married in a private ceremony in a far off location, will likely still want to have a party to celebrate the marriage. They will need to throw a post-wedding reception, or "reception only" party.

Destination weddings are great for picture perfect ceremonies on the beach or at a special location chosen by the couple. The cost of flying all the relatives and friends to be a part of such an event would be costly, and asking guests to shell out the money to be present for your big day could be asking way too much.

No worries! Many couples will get married either all by themselves, or with family and / or very close friends in attendance, and save the reception for weeks later. It's a popular idea to have a post-wedding reception that takes place when the newlyweds return from the honeymoon.

Do you have a theme for your wedding announcements?

The choices range from simple to extravagant.

polar bears The location chosen by the couple for the marriage ceremony might work as a theme for the reception invitations.  Think, locations such as the tropics, mountains, lakes, countries, or famous cities.  

Choose stationery and decor that matches the season, or use the favorite colors of the newlywed couple.  Build it around the couple's favorite flowers, animals, a hobby, or pastime.   Choose a modern design like "chalkboard" and "typography" styles.  The options are limitless.

A reception only party is quite popular these days and anyone planning one will easily find a wide selection of themes in stores and online.   Just as wedding invitations themselves have varieties of prices and paper options, so do the reception only invites.  The wording just needs to be done a bit differently.

(photo credit: Pixabay)

Tropical Photo Card Announcements

Invitees would appreciate seeing a photo of the happy newlyweds.

Pretty, Floral Wedding Announcements

Floral paper is probably the most popular choice when it comes to announcing a marriage.  Flowers are a big part of any wedding ceremony and using a favorite flower image on the announcement cards adds beauty and style.  The top wedding flowers are roses, hydrangeas, peonies, lilies, and daisies.  But that list will change according to theme.  Tropical ceremonies will typically feature hibiscus and plumeria, and country weddings may feature dried or succulent bouquets.

If it's floral paper you are after, there will be an abundant selection to choose from.

Teal Blue and Gold Paper with Photo Template

Green, Floral Photo Reception Only

Modern Typography and Chalkboard Stationery

Typograhy and the chalkboard wedding theme is a lovely combination.  For casual country style events or rustic, outdoor weddings, a uniquely worded invitation carries the theme well.

This same style works well for the "we're married" announcement.  Adding cute hearts, swirling banners and strings of lights provides a whimsical flair.

We Have Tied The Knot

Black and white announcements with whimsical and unique designs.

Wording Ideas For a Post-Wedding Reception Invitation

The wedding reception can be held directly following a private ceremony, or later on the same day.  Or, it can be planned for many weeks after the ceremony.  The couple will need to word invitations  to this post-wedding event in a way that makes sense to the guests.  

The first thing to mention on such an invitation is the wedding itself.  It's the reason for the celebration, so tell guests about it.  At the very least, tell them the date of the marriage, and probably the destination as well if it was not a home-based marriage.

The wording will look something like this:

Angela Blue and Andy White...

were married in a private ceremony in

Key West, Florida... on October 23rd

A reception for the newlyweds will be held

on November 10, 201x at the

North Shore Ballroom, address, and RSVP.

Also mention if it's a surprise, if there will be a "no gifts" policy, or other information.

Should guests be expected to give a gift to the newlyweds?

They didn't attend the wedding ceremony, so does that mean they can skip the gift?
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No, it's a party after the fact and no gift should be offered.
Guest on 11/16/2013

We had no gifts from those who were not at our wedding and my vote is based on that fact. But I think this is a personal choice.

Yes, attending the reception means they should give a gift.
Tolovaj on 11/18/2013

Sure, give them the gift!

Use a Pretty Card Box to Collect Well Wishes From Guests

This type of box can be fancy and expensive or simple and very affordable.
Martha Stewart Gift Card Box, White Eyelet

Keeping the Reception Within Budget

Ideas for keeping the reception classy and affordable.

reception table outdoorsHere's where having some helping hands (preferably attached to crafty people!) will help greatly in keeping the cost down.  Family members and best friends, who missed out on the wedding ceremony, may jump at the chance to help with the reception party. 

Even if the couple specifies "no gifts" people close to the newlyweds will want to wish them well in some way, so let them help with the reception plans. 

One main part of the reception, or any big event, is the food.  Make sure there is plenty of it and that it tastes great.  Have it catered, meet at a restaurant, or ask family and friends to contribute to a buffet.

Have music of some kind, or the party will be dull.  Consider hiring a local band in your home town or area.  Get one of the teenagers you know to play some cd's, or ask a musically inclined family member to make that their contribution.

Use affordable cut flowers to decorate the home, hall, or any venue and buy them yourself.  Many grocery stores have floral departments and sell bouquets and centerpieces for much less than a professional florist shop.  Use some ribbon and decorate dollar store vases (see the video below), then add your preferred flowers.

A Big City Marriage

City Theme

Cityscape invitations for an evening affair with a dark sky and full moon.

A city location can be very exciting with lots of options for celebrating.  This card is made for a reception only event and features a beautiful skyline cityscape under a full moon. 

This card  would be a nice choice to send out if the bride and groom are planning to elope or have their own private ceremony, but want to party directly afterwards.

Learn to Do a Ribbon French Braid Around a Vase

Easily decorate vases to hold flowers for the reception. Save money and add your own cut flowers - looks professional!

I Love This Idea For a Marriage Reception

Personally I love the idea of having a wedding reception later on instead of on the wedding day.  The newlyweds have had time to relax and get used to being married and the stress of planning the wedding ceremony is past, or maybe it was never there, since the ceremony was likely small.

It's like having two celebrations for the same occasion and the couple can thoroughly enjoy their time with guests.

Tropical Hibiscus Wedding Breakfast / Brunch Cards

A morning celebration with the newlyweds.
Updated: 06/11/2014, dustytoes
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?

I like the idea of partying with the newlyweds. What about you?

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Sarav on 02/12/2015

Wedding invitations are the first and foremost ceremony of a Big Day

Indian Wedding Cards on 02/19/2014

Wow… what an interesting and amazing way of making wedding cards. The role of wedding stationary including wedding cards is very high. The post really shares this importance in an attractive and beautiful way.

dustytoes on 01/14/2014

Thank you @BWI for the kind words.

Brilliant Wedding Invitations on 01/13/2014

Fabulous..!!! What a creativity with wedding cards! All cards are really sophisticated in all aspects such as in printing, font. You have given a great description about the wedding cards, their color combination, texture everything. Your post is really helpful. I love the theme you have described and it is really amazing and fashionable in all case. Thanks for sharing this valuable though with us.

dustytoes on 11/18/2013

@cwi - thanks very much. I hope this page is helpful.

cutomized wedding invitations on 11/18/2013

Very nice post, well written, you have given great knowledge about the wedding cards. you have given great description about the "wording Ideas" and also given great wedding invitation themes. Your post is really very helpful. Thanks for sharing.

Tolovaj on 11/18/2013

Partying before AND after sounds like a best plan to me:)

dustytoes on 11/17/2013

I'm not sure how long is too long to wait to throw a Reception Only party, or how long it's been for you, but I'm all for a big party - at any time! Now I may have to make a bears-theme invite!

Guest on 11/16/2013

Aww. Bears! That's a lovely picture and would have suited any reception invite in which I had a hand, as everyone knows I am obsessed with polar bears.

My in-laws still seem to be sore that we never invited them to our wedding and haven't yet thrown a major party for them all. At least judging by their recent behavior, that is. You can please some of the people some of the time...

dustytoes on 11/16/2013

Thanks very much younghopes! I hope it is helpful for engaged people.

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