Question on how to write wedding invitations?

Here is the scenario: My fiance and I are getting married, but it's not a typical wedding plan. We were originally going to do a local wedding, but because of the cost, we figured we may as well incorporate traveling (because we love to travel) and have a destination wedding, and then host a reception for those who weren't at the ceremony. We are getting eloped in June to get all the legal stuff out of the way, then we are having a private (just immediate family) ceremony in Norway in July. After the ceremony, we are having our honeymoon in Iceland for a couple weeks, and then when we come back home, we are having our reception in August for everyone on our invite list to come to. We decided that since we were having a viking themed wedding, might as well go authentic and have the ceremony in Norway. The issue that I am having is how to write the wording for the invitations. What details would I need to incorporate? Since we want to keep it down to the immediate family in Norway, how do we invite everyone else to just the reception and not the ceremony?

Suzy Q

I think you're making it too hard on yourself by trying to word a formal wedding invitation to what basically isn't a wedding. I would go with something like this: Dear <invitee's name>, On June 6 we tied the knot in a courthouse ceremony. To celebrate this happy event, we invite you to our party on <date and location>. See? It's a party. The occasion is you getting married, but it's neither a wedding nor a reception. So just send invitations to a party. No need to mention your symbolic ceremony in Norway. People are invited to celebrate you getting married, and that happens the second you 'get all the legal stuff out of the way'.


First, you don't "get eloped." You are getting legally married at the courthouse. Then you are playing dress up in Norway with your family and closest friends. Then you hare have a party when you get home. You have three separate invitation. EACH of those should include the date, time, location, dress (if appropriate), and the purpose of the event. Please join Esme and Josh as the join in marriage at 2:15, Thursday, Newton County Courthouse, (address), etc. Josh and Esme request the honor of your presence as the reaffirm their vows Date Location Norway Rooms have been blocked at the Viking View hotel. (and any other info). Please join us for a party to celebrate our new life together Date Time Address


You want to keep the costs down but you're having three fake weddings?


You're NOT sending a wedding invitation and you're not inviting these people to a wedding reception either. If you want to invite people to a party to celebrate that you got married on a prior occasion, you just send an invitation with the date, time, place and any other pertinent information. No special wording is needed. Wedding receptions are events where the wedding guests are provided with hospitality as a thank-you for attending the wedding. It is horribly rude to invite people to a wedding reception when you intentionally excluded them from the wedding.


You send separate invitations. Those invited to the wedding and reception get an appropriately worded invitation. Those invited to the reception only get a different one, perhaps a wedding announcement with an invitation to join you at x place on y day to celebrate with the newlyweds. Note for clarity: A couple doesn't "get eloped." A couple either elopes or gets married.

Common Sense

So, you want your wedding festivities to begin with getting married in June, continue in July and then finalize with a party in August. Wow, making a whole three months out of it, eh? Elope. Then have your pretend do over wedding show and invite that audience with invitations. Then, after you elope in June, have the wedding show do over in July, send out invitations to celebrate your elopement and fake wedding for a date in August to celebrate your marriage, again for the third time.


Having a small number of guests does not make it an elopement. It just means you have chosen to have a small wedding. Having a civil wedding *also* isn't an elopement. You don't issue wedding invitations to people you don't want at the wedding. If you want to have a party when you get back, then that's what you have-- a party.


seems like 3 separate events for no reason.... just have a wedding and done. not 3 different wedding ceremonies. wow. talk about being extra. you just send out the invitations for the people you want to come... hey come to my reception at *time*. hey come to my ceremony at *time*. not hard. but some may be a bit upset they didn't get to go to the ceremony so that's a bit shady... why only invite some to the reception but not the ceremony? I would just not bother showing up at all if I only got invited to the reception. kind of a waste of time.


It's not a wedding reception. It's a wedding celebration. You can google invitation for that. It's like this John Smith and Jane Doe was married on Date June/July. You are invited to our wedding celebration Date Time Where when RSVP by then


Not sure you'll see this, but I wanted to add one other thing to comments. At the party, you want to be careful about any "wedding" aspects. In fact, on the best answer you picked, you don't want to say you're celebrating "this happy event". You are celebrating your marriage. It sounds picky, but it isn't. If you focus on wedding or ceremony aspects, you're asking people to celebrate an event to which they weren't invited. This can create bad feelings. My sister went to a similar event last year, and it was all about the wedding, including slide shows! Ish. A marriage celebration has a very different connotation than "look at what you missed". Just be sensitive to that. What's happening here is a married couple throwing a party.


On Fancy paper is best. In black ink. Maybe hire a scribe to write one fancy then run them out on a printer. Discribe the event in terms folks wish to come. & rules. We will a be getting hitch in the big barn. Door wide open for some air. Minister will be free to sample the liquid provisions before the wedding. May not be able to stand. All other will need stick to well water threw the event. After the event the new bride & I will walk between the stables to the wide part of the barn. You may all follow. There will be a grand pork pulling & sides. Cold Keg beer & shine. Soda for the kids & icecream to go with the cake. After the feast. There will be sporting events. Spinning, quilt making kindling splitting for the Lady's. Shootin knife tossing & rail splitten for the men folk. You all need not worry bout diven home at night. We setting in anuff booze to last till daylight. Invitation like that will bring them in & some extra. Not hard to do.


You are inviting them to a party to celebrate your new marriage. It's a party at this point - not a reception or a wedding.


I apologize for my grammar, and I should have added more detail. You're correct, we are eloping. It will just be my fiance and I (with our minimum required witnesses) merely for legal and documentation purposes. We wanted to be able to get that out of the way instead of having to go through the US Embassy in making sure it's legalized in Norway. Once it is legalized, we are going to Norway for the symbolic ceremony, where we are only inviting parents and siblings, and then once we return home, it will be the reception/party. I just wanted to know how to word it in the invitations for those only invited to the reception. I want to make sure I don't sound rude or off-putting.


I too am wondering how you are going to word invitations to this party. A wedding celebration is for newlyweds – it celebrates a NEW wedding. Such celebrations can take place immediately following the ceremony, anytime during the honeymoon, or at the end of the honeymoon. But once day to day married life has commenced, you’re not newlyweds any more and it’s not a new marriage anymore. The window for a wedding celebration has come and gone. I advise that avoid styling your party as a wedding reception, a wedding celebration, a wedding anything. Instead, simply invite people to help you celebrate returning home after your extensive and eventful absence. The pleasure of the company of [Write in names, inviting EVERY guest by name] Is requested at a small dance (or whatever kind of party) To celebrate the return of Fred and Jill Ferris (formerly Jill Jackson) From their honeymoon On Saturday September Thirty First At Six O’Clock in the evening At Hank’s Banquet Hall 1234 Main Street, Townville. RSVP 407 555 1313 You might want some alternative for the “Fred and Jill Ferris (formerly Jill Jackson)” line; not sure if you’re changing your name to his or what. If you’re inviting people who might not be 100% sure who it is that has married, who exactly Fred Ferris is, then you may want to add parents’ names, like in a wedding invitation. … celebrate the return of Jill Ferris (formerly Jill Jackson), daughter of James Jackson and Sylvia Sims Jackson, and Fred Ferris, son of Franklin Ferris and Lydia Lymon From … Traditionally ceremony and celebration are two distinct events, even if taking place back to back with identical attendees. So the way you invite people to a party without asking them witness your ceremony simply to invite people to your party without asking them to witness your ceremony. (Sorry, didn’t mean for that to sound smarty pants, but that’s it.) While in the USA it’s highly usual for ceremony and celebration to be back to back, as if it were all one big event, it doesn’t translate to other formats being incorrect. The Wedding Industry [TWI] is not to be trusted for etiquette guidance. The Wedding Industry’s agenda is to sell stuff, to make weddings as costly as possible, and driven by this agenda TWI promotes many unauthorized revisions of etiquette. Among these is the idea that anyone invited to ANY wedding event must be invited to EVERY wedding related event. This is simply untrue. It is not incorrect to marry privately and then celebrate with a huge party. It is not incorrect to marry in a cathedral with everybody in town looking on and then celebrate quietly with a few intimates. You needn’t take my word for this; Miss Manners (Judith Martin) is very clear on this in both “Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior” and “Miss Manners’ Guide to A Surprisingly Dignified Wedding.”