Post-Covid: How To Politely Invite Reception-Only Guests

Post-Covid: How To Politely Invite Reception-Only Guests

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With so many restrictions to your post-COVID wedding, the biggest headache would be figuring out how to minimise your guest list. It becomes harder to fulfil certain traditions like those of  Chinese wedding traditions. This is because ethnic wedding traditions (not just Chinese) tend to be big family affairs where it is customary to include your extended family in the invitation list.

But don’t worry, if you find yourself within this predicament, there is a way for you to invite more family members while sticking to the COVID restrictions! And that is, forming separate guest lists for your wedding ceremony and reception.

No doubt, doing so could develop into a sensitive issue, especially for your guest who will be left out for the main ceremony. So it’s finally time to take a breather because we’re here to help you avoid this undue stress! Here’s all you need to know about forming wedding reception-only invitations. 

1. Form Two Separate Guests Lists 

Post-Covid: How To Politely Invite Reception-Only Guests

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As mentioned above, start by forming your guest lists for the wedding ceremony and reception to ease this wedding-invite dilemma. Typically, couples invite their immediate family to both events. To minimise your guest lists, you can keep your extended family’s attendance to only the reception list. 

When your RSVPs start trickling in, that’s when it’s best to use these guests lists to guide you. You’d want to make sure you allocate the correct guest to the right venue! Despite the guest list separation, there might still be guests from the reception requesting to attend the ceremony as well. In those cases, it’s really left up to your own discernment. It might be a difficult call, but if you are open to it, you might allow some accommodation by checking your current lineup in your ceremony’s guest list before deciding if it’s appropriate to add those guests to it. 

2. Word Your Invitations Well 

This is where it gets tricky. Whether physical or digital invitations, it’s best to be courteous and send out appropriate ones to both sets of guests. But in the process of preparing, it’s understandable that you might get your ceremony and reception invitations mixed up.

Post-Covid: How To Politely Invite Reception-Only Guests

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One idea would be to craft the main invitation card for the ceremony and a separate invitation insert for the reception. When inviting your immediate family, you can easily place the insert in the cards. As the insert can stand alone, it can be given directly to your extended family.

Don’t forget to word your reception-only invitation sensitively. It’s always crucial to invite a guest sincerely. For instance, be sure to provide the full details of the venue and request for them to join in the celebration. These small efforts will assure your guests that you appreciate their presence on your big day. 

3. Have the Wedding Ceremony and Reception Days Apart

Post-Covid: How To Politely Invite Reception-Only Guests

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Worried that you’ll be pressured to invite reception-only guests to your ceremony? A straightforward way to avoid this is to have them a few days apart. Not only will it help to make the planning less stressful, but you also won’t be put in a position to rush your guests to the reception destination. 

While your intention may come from the right place, but it is never polite to rush your reception guests off. After all, they are precious family members that have made time to celebrate with you. Hence, holding them on different days might work best. It also gives you more time to create more memorable moments with all your loved ones! 

4. Children: To invite or not to invite? 

Post-Covid: How To Politely Invite Reception-Only Guests

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While children bring much joy and smiles to peoples’ faces, they might not suit the post-COVID wedding ceremony, sadly. Because of the small guest capacity, it might be best to leave the younger ones out. Not only will you able to maximise your guest count, but you are also able to stretch your wedding catering budget even further.

Limiting children’s presence at your reception is also a practical choice. Your younger ones are more vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus. Besides that, there is no guarantee that children will remain in their designated seats or abide by the safe distancing regulations. Rather than making them susceptible to the novel coronavirus, safeguard their health by letting them stay at home.

Bear in mind that a child-free wedding ceremony can be difficult for some guests to understand. How you can counter this is to explain your rationale (budget, safety restrictions, etc.) to your guests who have children. As long as you sincerely explain your rationale in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions, most guests should be understanding with regards to the matter. 

Post-Covid: How To Politely Invite Reception-Only Guests

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However, if they’re not, it might then be best to remove them from the guest list after all. Perhaps providing an online video call alternative on Zoom or Skype would be more feasible for those unable to attend physically due to these circumstances.


Planning a wedding ceremony and reception concurrently can be a tricky task in these post-pandemic times. Utilise the above tips in your discussion with your partner to come to a joint decision regarding sensitive matters such as wedding guest lists.

Remember: guest lists are meant to accommodate both you and your fiance’s side of family and friends. Hence, it requires both parties to accept and compromise on certain restrictions in a giving and understanding manner. After all, both of you just want the best for each other. And once that matter’s settled, congrats, you’ve just cleared a huge hurdle in your wedding planning checklist Singapore.

Post-Covid: How To Politely Invite Reception-Only Guests

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With that in mind, if you already have your guest lists but haven’t managed to match with the perfect wedding venues in Singapore — Let our experts at Blissful Brides give you a hand! Fill this form and we’ll sieve out your dream venue while hearing your wedding planning woes out.

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