You’re Not Invited: Announcing an elopement

Q: I am planning to elope with my parents approval. My fiance and I will travel to the Islands at the end of June to be married. My parents will then host a party to celebrate with us in approximately six weeks after the wedding.

Do we send a formal announcement of the wedding to our friends and family at the time of the wedding then later send an invitation to the party for those invited to the party? My mother wants to wait to send announcements with an insert invitation to the party as appropriate. Help? What is the proper etiquette in such a situation. I have many friends that I would like to let know that I got married but who I do not expect to travel to the party.

A: You do two things. You order announcements to send to those who won’t be able to travel to the reception and send them as early as the day after you are married. Announcements are worded something like this:


Mr. and Mrs. Henry Muller

have the honour of

announcing the marriage of their daughter

Heidi Sue


Mr. Francis Scott Corwin

Saturday, the fifteenth of June

two thousand four

St. Kitts

British West Indies


Then you order invitations to the party and send those, which serve as an announcement, to those you are inviting to the party. The wording can be something like this:


Mr. and Mrs. Curlin Charles Craven

request the pleasure of your company

at the wedding reception

for their daughter

Judith Marie


Mr. Jorge Santelli

Saturday the twenty-third of July

two thousand four

at three o’clock

563 Grant Street





  1. Winifred Rosenburg

    I don’t think it’s correct to call it a “wedding reception.” That implies that it’s shortly after the wedding, in other words the same day as the wedding. They should call it a “party in honor of the newlyweds.” Also, if she wants to let people know she’s married, another equally correct option would be to call or email her friends.

  2. Tiffany

    People will get the picture when you change your Facebook to married.

    I agree with the other commenter, labeling it a wedding reception would imply it proceeds a ceremony, and make guests think gifts are required.

  3. Sue

    I have a question: If you’re not invited to a very small wedding and you receive an announcement of the marriage, are you obligated to send a wedding gift?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *