According to traditional wedding etiquette, everyone who is invited to the wedding ceremony needs to be invited to the reception. However, it does not work the other way around. Well, that only means you can still keep your wedding ceremony small and intimate, while still getting that chance to celebrate with plenty of friends and a wedding event organizer can help you with that.

But of course, since it’s your own special occasion, you can still do whatever you want and decide on the details that will make you feel comfortable. Below are a few guidelines for wedding reception-only invitations.

1. Set the wedding ceremony earlier in the day.

Are you planning to set your wedding ceremony and reception on the same day? If yes, then try to schedule the ceremony earlier that day. Doing so would allow you and the guests closest to you to celebrate and mingle more. By the time the other attendees arrive for the reception, you can make that much-awaited grand entrance and do more socializing.

2. Create 2 guest lists.

Another good idea is to make 2 separate guest lists—one for the reception only, and one for both the reception and wedding ceremony. Through this, you can make the reception and ceremony guest list as intimate as possible. You can even invite as low as 30 guests, composed only your family members and very close friends.

3. Make sure to do the right wording for your wedding reception-only invitation.

If your budget would allow you, you can print 2 invitations. One of these will invite a small group of people to both the wedding ceremony and reception, while the other one will only serve as an invitation to the reception.

If you wish to lower the costs, print the main invitation with the complete reception details. Then, you can just include a card containing the ceremony details for an intimate set of guests.

Whatever approach you choose, phrasing is the absolute key in making great reception-only invitations. On the reception invitation, rather than inviting them to witness the wedding, the phrasing should tell that they are being invited to a reception to celebrate the marriage. This indicates that once you arrive to the venue, you are already married.

4. Schedule the wedding ceremony and reception days or weeks apart.

This may be a bit unconventional for some people, but yes, it can be done. You can set your wedding reception and wedding ceremony in 2 separate days. This would allow you more flexibility. Whether you want it to be days or weeks apart, it’s all up to you.

5. Only invite the people that you want.

Your wedding is surely one of the most important events in a couple’s life. Surely, in one way or another, other people would pressure you into inviting them to both the reception and ceremony. If you don’t feel like inviting them, then don’t. Stay strong and stand by your decisions.