Destination wedding home reception

Sarah Clifton

We are getting married in Jamaica June 3 and having a reception back home June 10. I am sending save the dates stating Jamaica June 3 with a snipit on the back including travel agents info and to contact by April 1st for travel info to attend the ceremony. I also put home reception to follow June 10th. My dilemma is the formal invitation. I don't know how to word it so that everyone knows the ceremony in Jamaica is open but the emphasis is placed on the home reception. I don't want it to be confusing. I don't need RSVP's to the Jamaica ceremony as I already pretty much know who is going and contacting the travel agent serves as an rsvp. I do however need people to rsvp to the home reception. I will likely send out save the dates and invites together. Should I even put info on the invitation about Jamaica since it's on the back of the save the date and I'm sending together? Or how should I word it if I do put info to cut down on confusion.... I do not want to send two separate invitations for ceremony and home reception.

Comments (2)
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You are correct that you need to be careful here to be both polite and CLEAR.

Do I assume correctly that everyone is invited to both the ceremony in Jamaica and the reception at home?

If so, then I think you can put both on the same invitation. I know you feel you don't need replies for the ceremony, but let your RSVP card (or online system, or whatever you're using) have both on it, or people may be confused about what they are and are not invited to.

Don't worry about the invitation putting emphasis on the reception. You may be trying to avoid being pushy about expecting people to fly to Jamaica, but the effect is often the opposite; you don't want to imply that you are hoping they won't attend the ceremony. But make sure that the dates are very clearly connected to the events.

And you said it is to be a formal invitation? You didn't say who is doing the inviting (you and your fiance? Your parents?). Here is fairly formal suggested wording for an invitation (1) issued by the two of you (2) for a nonreligious ceremony (see below if not). I'm assuming you are having a meal for your guests after the ceremony. I can't get the lines centered, but you get the idea:

Sarah Clifton and John Smith

request the pleasure of your company as they are married


June 3, 2017

5:00 pm

Dinner to follow

Hotel Pina Colada

Montego Bay, Jamaica

Cocktail attire


June 10, 2017

6:00 pm

Monroe Hotel

123 East Main Street


Casual attire

Then the response card (or whatever) could say

Number attending

June 3 ceremony in Jamaica ______

June 10 reception in Hometown ______

If your parents are the hosts, substitute for the first two lines

Mildred [Jones] and Zebulon Clifton

request the pleasure of your company

at the marriage of their daughter

Sarah [insert "Clifton" here if your parents aren't both "Clifton'}

to [or "and" for a Jewish wedding, and I think some others]

John Smith

[optional in some cultures] son of

Ann [Simmons] and Jerome Smith [or whatever his last name is if not the same as the groom's]

If it is a religious wedding, substitute "honour of your presence" for "pleasure of your company."

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Sarah Clifton

Thank you! This is very helpful!! This has been so stressful for me! I don't want it to come off tacky, but also don't want there to be any confusion either! I appreciate your help!

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