Already Married but Having a Reception: Etiquette You Should Know


Weddings are usually followed by the reception party, but there are exceptions! At times, couples prefer to keep their wedding a private affair, or have a destination wedding. At such exceptional situations, the reception is held a couple of weeks later rather than immediately after the marriage ceremony. It is a matter of personal choice whether the couple wishes to host their wedding reception. Or their families can host the party as a present for the bride and groom. So, if you are already married but having a reception few weeks later, check out the nitty-gritty of planning the party.

Etiquettes About Holding a Post-Wedding Reception

Which Is the Most Suitable Type of Reception?

You can choose to go all out and throw a full-fledged party encompassing all the element of a customary wedding reception. Or you had no reception or have a small one! Totally based on the couple’s preferences, party can be formal or casual. Talking about the party host, the couple can choose to be the host, while either of the couple’s parents, cousins, or friends can host too.

Go ahead and embrace all the wedding reception components just as you like - dance, cake, buffet, flowers, speeches, toasts, and so on. Formal or informal, your choice! Thinking about the dress? Well, you sure can put on your gorgeous wedding dress or go with an attractive evening gown or cocktail dress. You can throw a bouquet or skip it. If you wish to have the customary wedding cake cutting ceremony, you surely can. You can have it cut and served by the caterers.

Basically, being already married but having a reception later gives you the flexibility to alter the usual tone of the reception party Unlike a formal marriage ceremony, you aren’t bound to have a formal reception. You can have the party your way!

Should I Look Forward to Receiving Gifts?

You may not expect any gift. Well, you might be surprised by some guests who may bring you something special. It is proper to control the curiosity and un-wrap the received gifts after the party is over and all guests have departed. Do remember to send them notes expressing your thankfulness.

Should I Send Out Invitations to Guests and How to Word Them?

Yes, you ought to insert all the necessary details in the invitation cards and send it to the guests you want to attend your party. Make sure you send out the cards 4-6 weeks in advance. As for the wording, there are no strict rules: you can choose to be very straightforward or prepare something quite poetic. If you are already married but having a reception and want to make sure sending out invitation with proper wording, here are some samples:

  • Private ceremony wording

On February 6 at St. Stephen's Church

John and Persia made a promise for life.

As they exchanged the rings, the holy space lit up with their love.

Please join to celebrate their union

By attending a dinner held in their honor

At The Diamond Room, 1009 Pierce Avenue

At 6o’clock in the evening

  • Destination wedding wording

There was the sea, there was the sand,

Of course they said yes, as they joined their hands!

Kevin and Tiara were wed April 14 on Cook Island.

Celebrating their wedding

On May 20 in the afternoon

Please join them for a garden barbeque at

Host's Residence, 891 Millard Drive, Sheriffs, Ohio

  • Elopement wording

With a twist in the tale and love in breeze,

Tanya and Michael ran off and slipped in their rings!

Join them in celebrating their March 9 elopement

By attending a brunch buffet in their honor on

April 10 at 11:00 in the morning

At the Palm Beach Club, Sarasota, FL

  • Simple wording

Steve and Maria are glad to declare their recent marriage

that was held on May 10

Please come and join the celebration held in their honor

on June 24 at 6:00 p.m. at the Golf Club.

  • Cocktail party wording

Mr. and Mrs. Evans

Who tied their knot on November 15

Are throwing a cocktail reception

On December 12 at 5 p.m. at their new home

Please join them!

  • Informal reception wording

In the party spirit of our wedding that was held on July 7th,

we are celebrating at our residence on September 18 at 1 p.m.

We look forward to you joining us in celebrating our new beginning and rejoicing along with our family and friends!

  • Surprise announcement wording

We Eloped and Married! Astonished?

If you wish to catch our love story, please attend a party in our honor.

To be held on August 3 at 5 p.m.

At the Cedar Country Estate

Sam and Nigella Biggs

Note: The invitation wording must include the name of the person who is the host of the party. If you are already married but having a reception later, remember to keep basic information on your invitation cards to let the guests learn of the future event and let them know their presence in the reception is cordially requested.