Everyday Etiquette – Delayed Wedding Receptions

Question:

My husband and I were married by our pastor in our church 10/3/11 in the presence of two non-family witnesses. My family is all out-of-town, so we didn’t allow any family. (We wanted to go ahead and get married and my folks couldn’t make it to town.) Now we want to have a church ceremony, reception in April to include all of our family and friends. We’re leaning towards very simple…no “wedding” dress, bridal party, first dance, bouquet toss, sheet cake instead of wedding cake…does this sound appropriate? I guess it would be more of a renewal of vows. We’re thinking an 11am wedding and a catered lunch in the fellowship hall. Nice, but not formal. The biggest struggle now is what kind of announcement/invitation do we send out? Can we send out a combo to tell folks we got married, and we’re having a ceremony/reception that we’d love for them to attend? Is there an invitation from American Wedding that you would recommend for this scenario?

Thanks in advance for your time!!!!
Shannon

The Everyday Etiquette Answer:

Shannon,

First of all, my best wishes to you on your recent marriage. Renewing your vows in April with family and friends in attendance is a very special gesture. I am sure your family & friends will really appreciate this.

I think you can send out an invitation stating when & where you were married in October and inviting family & friends to your “renewal of vows and celebration luncheon.”

I might say:

Shannon and husband’s name
request the honor of your presence
at the renewal of their marriage (wedding) vows
Saturday, the (date) of April
Two thousand and twelve
Eleven o’clock in the morning
Church’s Name
Address (optional)
City, State

Luncheon Reception
immediately following the ceremony
Fellowship Hall

The info listed below is optional and should probably be in a smaller font size if included.

Shannon & husband’s (first & last name)
were married on the third of October
Two thousand and eleven
City, State

The American Wedding has many invitations that would be perfect for this occasion. I think you can choose whatever style you wish. This is still a wedding ceremony and reception. My only advice is to be sure that the invitation reflects the tone of the wedding and reception. I would choose something simple that reflects you and your husband’s personality. You do not need a reception card since the reception is in the church’s fellowship hall. Since your luncheon is being catered, you will want a respond card so you can get an accurate head count.

I hope this information is helpful. If there is anything else I can do to help you with this special event, don’t hesitate to ask.

Ms. Carey

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