Help me craft a nicely worded invitation for a party!
July 26, 2012 2:22 PM   Subscribe

I'm getting married - yay! I'm having a simply civil ceremony at the NYC wedding bureau and then plan to have a party a few days after. My dear me-fi'ers- What do you think is the best way to word an invite to a post-ceremony celebration?

It's not a reception, and not at a restaurant or other venue. I want to make it clear that we want folks to come celebrate our union, but that we aren't expecting any of the traditional wedding party trappings. (No gifts, or anything like that.) Just food, drinks, music and laughs.

I'll be sending out real paper invitations to our party and I've been struggling to come up with a good way to explain all of the above. I want to make sure our friends know that the party is to celebrate our union and that their presence is very much requested! :)

Maybe I am overthinking it?

Suggestions for wording is so much appreciated!
posted by carmenghia to Human Relations (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You're over-thinking it.

You might want to just have a party and when your friends get there, it can be a surprise that you're married.

Or you can say, "Married at the Courthouse, Party at Our House" and go from there.

Let people bring presents if they like. I was nearly 40 when I got married, owned my own home and had two of everything, I still registered. Why? Because people want to give you a gift, and if you don't register, you will get bizarre crap you'll never use!

I registered at Target. I got DVDs (it was 10 years ago, they were good gifts at the time.)

Don't address the gift situation. Designate a friend to tell people, "Carmenghia doesn't want or need anything, but they're registered at Macy's if you simply must."

I wish you could register with Con-Ed or the grocery store or something like that, but there it is. Embrace the toaster!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:29 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh! Thought of something,

Have your friends build up your bar stock and wine cellar. Good times for all!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:34 PM on July 26, 2012 [3 favorites]

"we got hitched, and now we want to party! all we're missing is you!"

then just tell the people in your group that talk to everyone that you aren't expecting or wanting gifts. some will still bring them.

posted by nadawi at 2:39 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Cover:

We are making it Official. Please come help us celebrate afterwards.

On blahdeblah date, (name) and (name) are tying the knot at yadda courthouse. You are invited to join us at yadda yadda location and time afterwards for a party celebrating our marriage.

Your presence is very much desired. Presents, not so much.

Optional humor in case you feel anyone needs a little prodding to actually show up:
(Please show up. Otherwise I may be forced to drink the booze I bought for you. If I pass out and fail to consumate my marriage, you will feel so guilty.)

Or you can just close with the usual: RSVP.
posted by Michele in California at 2:41 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

I would use a wording along the lines of:

BRIDE and GROOM are pleased to announce
their marriage on DATE at COURTHOUSE

Please do us the honor of joining us
as we celebrate our recent wedding
from TIME to TIME

I mean, it is a wedding reception, like, pretty much by definition, you know? Since it's more casual, I think you could get away with a line in small type at the bottom along the lines of "Celebrating this special occasion with the people we love is the best gift we could receive." You can also signal that it's a casual thing by the paper choice, font choice, etc. But I would probably just delegate people to say to people who ask, "Really, it's just a casual party and they don't expect gifts." And then for persistent people you can register somewhere.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 2:45 PM on July 26, 2012 [6 favorites]

Please come and celebrate our elopement.
posted by sciencegeek at 2:48 PM on July 26, 2012

I wouldn't put the wedding date/place on there, since it sounds like you'll need to send your invitations before the wedding date (you mention that the party will be only a few days later). Someone will take that as an invitation to show up at the courthouse.

I like Michele in California's: We are making it official. Please come help us celebrate afterwards.
posted by agentmitten at 3:34 PM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

It's not technically a reception unless you have a receiving line.

But yeah, just call it a celebration. Some people find it tacky to mention gifts on invitations, but I think this depends on the micro-culture you are in.
posted by gjc at 6:39 PM on July 26, 2012

Forgot the link.
posted by gjc at 6:40 PM on July 26, 2012

Best answer: Call it your wedding after-party.

As has been suggested above make no mention of a registry in the invite but be prepared to give people some direction if they want to spend money. My wife and I asked for donations to be made to the Trust For Public Lands, which meant people could give us a gift without us ending up with a lot of crap.

Congratulations and have fun!
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:01 AM on July 27, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for the suggestions - they were all so helpful!

One of the biggest reasons neither of us want gifts is that we live in a small-ish (big for NYC) apartment. There is no place to put anything that someone might give us. The suggestion for donating to a charity is awesome and if pressed, We'll probably go that route.
posted by carmenghia at 1:00 PM on July 27, 2012

Sidenote: If space for gifts is an issue, maybe do a Honeymoon registry? Several couples I know went that way, and I bought them a fancy dinner, snorkeling, a horseback ride, what have you. It's fun to gift people experiences, and is more personal than straight up cash. One of my friends used this service: Also, you could send a snapshot with an email/paper thank you, showing you and your honey enjoying the gifted activity.
posted by amileighs at 2:06 PM on July 28, 2012

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