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All About: Reception-Only Celebrations

All About: Reception-Only Celebrations

Receptions are on the rise!

First comes love, then comes marriage - much like first comes the ceremony, then comes the reception. Although this is the traditional order, it is becoming increasingly popular to host reception-only celebrations. We're here to help guide you towards a spectacular reception for your wedding, from wording the invites to finding the right venue!

Holding your ceremony and reception as separate occasions is a great way to stretch your celebrations or enjoy a bigger event with more of your loved ones in attendance now that pandemic restrictions have eased. The technical term for a ceremony with a party that does not take place immediately after is a sequel wedding. And the fact there is a technical term tells you that this is a really popular idea!

Couples often choose to have smaller ceremonies followed by parties later in the day, the following day, or even weeks or months apart. It's also common to hold your two events at separate locations if you want event more wedding photo opportunities!

Lindsay Grove by Wedgewood Weddings Outdoor Reception

Elegant outdoor garden reception with farmhouse tables - In Arizona

If you want to welcome children to only part of your celebration than a sequel event might be for you. You'll also see party-only invites are often popular following a destination wedding ceremony. And, with the health advisory guidelines so many couples faced in 2020, the number of elopements, mini-monies or intimate ceremonies was at an all-time high. Many people felt this thwarted their desired celebration and decided a big party at a later date would be an awesome opportunity to extend their celebrations.

If that's you, we can help! With our all-inclusive packages with-or-without-ceremony, our team of wedding professionals can plan a reception-only wedding for you. With 50 venues nationwide and customizable packages, we're ready to make your future wedding celebration happen. 

Galway Downs by Wedgewood Weddings Reception Barn

Grand Rustic Ballroom with an Indoor/Outdoor feature - In California



If you're hoping to party within the next year, it's essential to book your venue now. There are so many couples seeking a venue for a celebration in the near-ish future. We currently offer in-person and virtual tours at all our party and event locations depending on what works best for your schedule.

A reception-only post marriage celebration can often provide extra savings that can go towards your rainy-day fund, rent or mortgage, family, pets, or a bigger, more lavish party!


Mountain View Ranch by Wedgewood Weddings Reception Space

Stunning Backdrop of the Rocky Mountains in this Rustic Ballroom - In Colorado




Like your ceremony, pick your guest list and divide them into an A and B list. Be sure to stick to your guns about who gets invited! Etiquette says that everyone who came to your ceremony should also get invited to your reception - but it's also important to remember it's your wedding, your rules! When it comes to wording your invitations, be as direct as possible. We like this phrasing:

Emily and Michael will be married in a small ceremony on
Saturday the sixth of October

Please join us in celebration at their wedding reception
aturday the twentieth of October

For a simpler, less formal version:

Wedding Reception Celebrating the Wedding of
Irene Ellington and Jason Ward
on Thursday, June 10

Vaulted Ceilings in the Ballroom at Carlsbad Windmill by Wedgewood Weddings

Vaulted ceilings & wood accent beams in this contemporary reception hall - In California


It's important to have an honest and kind response to any questions that might pop up from guests only invited to the reception. 

  • Explain if you said your vows already, eloped, took a mini-mony, or celebrated at a micro-event previously and that you're throwing a wedding party for your loved ones now
  • In many cases, travel restrictions have eased so now it's easier for people to gather
  • Share why you've chosen your new date for your larger celebration - guests love to feel they have insider info!
  • Let your guests know what to expect. Is your afterparty more informal or formal? Are you planning your reception to follow traditional customs like a grand entrance? This is always a great start to a party even though you may have seen many of the guests since your vows.
  • If you are expecting wedding gifts, be sure to still include the registry information on the invite or website for the event. 
University Club by Wedgewood Weddings open reception space

Indoor/Outdoor options are available at this light and airy ballroom - In California

If you're one of the many couples that hosted a separate ceremony and are eager to celebrate with friends - we're ready to help! For more information, call or text 800.337.7073. We're excited to meet you!

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