Invite Wording For A Couple Already Married?


 

My husband and I due to issues with the church, had a small and very private ceremony Jan 25th 2008. Our plan was to have the wedding and reception on Sept 6th 2008. Money was deposited and places booked so we want to keep the 6th of Sept as planned. How do we word the invites to let everyone know that we are married and its really just the celebration of our marriage and the dinner reception after? Everything in the church will be the same except the exchange of rings & signing the license. Also my parents put $ towards the cost, my husband’s parents may but the rest I am picking up so is it safe to say that we are are the ones inviting everyone? Thanks!

Donna, Wedding Queen

Since you’re already married, the service at the church would not be a wedding. Depending on the religious affiliation your ceremony is either a blessing of your marriage or a convalidation (Catholic). These are typically treated as a vow renewal or anniversary so word your invitations as such.

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Reader Response

Lutheran so it would be what the Pastor calls a Reconigation of Marriage. He did the ceremony in Jan so he is going to write one for September for us. So I would in general ask those invited to join us for a Reconigation of Marriage on such and such a date with dinner and dance to follow at such and such a place? Its going to be such a mess come Sept. LOL!

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

These ceremonies, although valid, are not always viewed positively if guests are invited as if it were a wedding, especially if the couple is not hosting it on a bench mark anniversary. This is supposed to be a small, immediate family (perhaps a couple of very close friends) ceremony, and most often part of a regular church service.

It would be best to just host a reception, which is proper if held within the first year after the wedding. If this is your plan (the most proper), you would be sending wedding reception invitations. You don’t have to mention the wedding on these, because your guests will know that you are married. Please also note that this is not a gift giving event.

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Donna, Wedding Queen

I’m not sure why you didn’t wait until September to have the wedding you wanted, in the church. As Rebecca suggested, you could invite close family and friends to the blessing of your marriage ceremony and then invite everyone to a wedding reception that follows. If you choose to do it that way you could have 2 invitations, one for the blessing ceremony and another for the reception.

Reader Response

I am not really worried about how others view it, its their choice to make it to the show or not. Reasons we didn’t wait are personal and our close family is very understanding, the photographer is paid for so having it in the church and going thru the motions is more for our parents and grandparents who were not there this winter. I just want the invites to sound 1/2 way decent.

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Donna, Wedding Queen, President

The show? Hmm, that explains a lot.

A good host is always concerned for their guests feelings. If you don’t care about your guests, then you’re at the wrong place since what we do here is give advice based on modern wedding etiquette – what is deemed acceptable by society in general. We cannot help you word invitations for an event which is inappropriate and doesn’t consider the guests attending.

I wonder how your guests, friends and family would feel, and how many would attend, if they knew you didn’t care how they view your invitation.

A wedding isn’t about having a paid photographer or reserved venue. It is about the ceremony, the couple and the act of binding the two together to form a marriage and new family. If you couldn’t wait to have the wedding you wanted, that is unfortunate, but it still remains that you are already married and what you’re hosting is not a wedding.

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

So true and I completely agree. The “show” still isn’t the wedding your family missed out on viewing. So, it doesn’t resolve any of your family’s issues with your wedding.

Reader Response

Look, I am really sorry. From my point of view if I wasn’t concerned about my family/guests then I wouldn’t be on some wedding site asking strangers for help. I can’t change the past or how we did it cause its done and everyone is very understanding. And yes, cause we are already married to me its the show that we are putting on for everyone. This is why I want to word the invites correctly. There will be no one but family and friends. It was always going to be a very small and personal wedding. So then should we skip the whole church & pictures thing and just do the reception? As a little girl growing up I never thought my wedding would be like the way it was, I guess I am still trying to live my dreams.

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Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

I completely understand, I really do. We ladies do, somewhat, want the fairy tale wedding with the flowing white dress and our man in a tux (darn those Barbie dolls [crazy]). But, life isn’t always the fairy tale we imagine. Believe me, I have felt disappointments like this too. We just want you to appear socially savvy and not embarrassed about hosting an event that may not be viewed as proper. I, personally, have heard from guests who discuss these events after the fact. It isn’t pretty and not something I would wish for anyone.

It would be best to host a reception only. You could keep your photographer and treat this as a wedding reception, minus some of the traditional elements that may seem more appropriate for just married couples (first dance, bouquet toss…). Your dress could be very nice; cocktail attire may be perfect depending on the time of day. So, if your event is just the reception, you would send out reception invitations. If you still want to have the blessing of your vows with reception afterward, then you would send invitations listing both of these events.

But, if you are blessing your vows, a wedding dress isn’t appropriate. This is the unfortunate truth. Please read more about vow renewal etiquette. The rules are the same for all of these ceremonies.

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