What is the Purpose of a Reception Card?

The purpose of the reception card is to invite guests to your reception, let them know what type of reception it is, where it is being held and the time it starts.  It is never proper to announce this information on the invitation itself.  The reception card is enclosed with the invitation.

Set the tone: The wording of your reception card will set the tone of the type of reception you are having.  Dinner Reception implies that a sit-down dinner will be served, with the possibility of cocktails being served beforehand.  Cocktail Party indicates only drinks and hors d’ouvres will be served.  Dessert Reception means that only cake and punch will be served.

Time: If the reception is being held after the wedding, it is not necassary to name an exact time.  But keep in mind that receptions being held right after the ceremony rarely start as soon as the ceremony is over.  Do not forget that the bride, groom and wedding party will be tied up for 30 minutes to an hour having their pictures taken.  This is why you should avoid putting “Reception immediately following ceremony” on  your reception card.  If the reception is being held more than an hour after the ceremony, you indicate a specific time on the reception card, “Reception at six o’clock in the evening.”

Location:  If you live in a small town and everyone you have invited to the wedding is familiar with the town, you will not need to mention the address, just the location.  However, if a lot of your guests are from out of town, or your reception is being held in a large city, be courteous and include the name and address of the location.  If needed, include map or direction cards.

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