postponement announcement with same love new date - reception invitation wording after a private wedding in 2020 - Leah E. Moss Designs

So, we all know that 2020 has been the year of the postponed wedding. Couples navigating this pandemic have been faced with tremendous hurdles, and it’s been amazing seeing the individuality shine through with each couple’s answer to the inevitable “what the heck do we do now” question. For some, a complete postponement has been in order – and that’s amazing. I know your day will be worth the wait! Other couples want to get married now and are opting to make things official privately this year and postpone their larger celebration until next year – for lots of reasons, this is my personal vote! But this begs the question… what does this mean for your reception invitation wording after a private wedding?

ceremony programs with cypher monogram - reception invitation wording after a private wedding in 2020 - Leah E. Moss Designs - photo by Blaine Siesser

First, determine the scope of your large event

As a starting point, you should determine what next year’s event will include. Just because you’re officially tying the knot privately ahead of time doesn’t mean you can’t also have a public-facing ceremony, too! If you want to experience the traditional walk down the aisle and vows exchange in front of all your friends and family, then go for it! Likewise, if you’re opting for a courthouse ceremony now and want to have your religious traditions incorporated, do that!

If you’re skipping the second ceremony and you’re hosting a reception to celebrate later on, that’s great too! The beauty here is that the choice is yours. But, determine this first, so you know exactly what you’re inviting people to. Let’s make sure your reception invitation wording after a private wedding is either JUST for the reception, or for a ceremony if applicable, as well.

An elegant wedding honoring tradition at Congregation Shaarey Zedek - Leah E. Moss Designs

If you’re going to have a second ceremony

There are two options for this type of wedding day. For some couples, they word it as if nothing had happened and have their invitation read “normally.”


Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

request the pleasure of your company

at the marriage of their daughter…


If this doesn’t feel right to you, since you’ll already be married by this point, feel free to get creative here – there isn’t etiquette police! We opted for wording that said “…exchange vows beneath the chuppah,” which is the Jewish marriage canopy setup for ceremonies. This wasn’t a lie – we were doing exactly that (exchanging vows beneath the chuppah) since we opted for a public ceremony to honor our Jewish traditions and recite our own vows. The key here is that we weren’t inviting people to bear witness to our marriage.

exchange vows - reception invitation wording after a private wedding in 2020 - Leah E. Moss Designs

Suggestions for wording on a public ceremony/reception invitation, if you’re already married:

  • exchange vows
  • commit to one another
  • a celebration of marriage
  • vow renewal (if people already know you’re doing the private wedding first)
  • anniversary of their marriage (if the new date is the first-anniversary event)

Live wedding band Sound House - Eastern Market wedding recap from Detroit calligrapher Leah E. Moss Designs with photos by Jill DeVries Photography #detroitwedding #moderncalligraphy #custominvitation

If you’re hosting an event that’s reception only

You’re skipping the formality – you’re already married, so let’s party! Here, you’ll only need reception invitation wording after a private wedding, so you should be crystal clear that your loved ones shouldn’t expect a ceremony.

Suggestions for wording on a public reception-only invitation:

  • request the pleasure of your company / at a reception celebrating the marriage of…
  • join us to celebrate the marriage (or union or love or commitment) of

The big choice here in terms of wording is if you want to include the original ceremony date. This is optional. Some people simply omit it and it’s implied. Others opt to add a line that states the marriage (with or without the first ceremony date).

Example – without the date:

Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

are pleased to announce

the marriage of their daughter





Please join us…


Example – with the date:

Name and Name

are pleased to announce

they were married in a private ceremony



Please join us…

I hope this gets the creative juices flowing for you. If you want expert guidance on wording something like this, I do this for each of my couples, both with my semi-custom collection and custom designs. Don’t feel stuck – get help from a professional!