Wedding Etiquette: Reception Invitations & Late Receptions

kate spade new york reception cardRECEPTION INVITATIONS

Wedding ceremonies and receptions do not necessarily have the same number of guests.

Many couples, especially those in which the bride is a second-time bride, have small, intimate ceremonies with larger receptions afterwards. Since more people are invited to the reception than the ceremony, the invitations are for the reception. Guests invited to the ceremony are sent ceremony cards with their reception invitations.

Reception invitations always “request the pleasure of your company,” since the reception is not being held in a house of worship. The word “and” is used to join the names of the bride and groom. The phrases “marriage reception” and “wedding reception” are both correct. “Marriage reception” is the more traditional of the two. However, many brides prefer “wedding reception” on the grounds that a wedding is the act of getting married while marriage is the result of that decision.


Wedding receptions take place on the day of the wedding.

Any reception occurring after that date is not correctly described as a wedding reception. Rather, it’s a party or reception in honor of the recently married couple. These receptions are held for a variety of reasons. Most are held when the bride and her family live in different parts of the country. Other times, especially when older couples or second-time brides are involved, they are held due to professional considerations.

Whatever the reason, late receptions are becoming more common. Invitations to a late reception contain a line reading “in honour of” or “in honor of” followed on a separate line with the names of the couple.

If you are having a small ceremony and a larger reception at a future date, it is not proper to send the reception invitation with the wedding announcement. Each requires its own mailing.

Similarly, if you are having a small reception the day of your wedding and a larger reception at a future date, each reception requires a separate mailing.

6 thoughts on “Wedding Etiquette: Reception Invitations & Late Receptions

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