Composing a Reception Card
A reception card is used whenever the wedding ceremony and reception are held in different places. Because they are at different locations, they are considered to be different events, each requiring their own invitation. Reception card is not necessary when the ceremony and reception are held in the same place.
The first line of the reception card reads the occasion, for example "Breakfast", when occurring before one o'clock (regardless of the menu) and "Reception" when held at one o'clock or later.
The next line indicates the time and usually reads, "immediately following the ceremony". This phrase should not be taken literally as it simply means that the reception will start in, more or less, the amount of time it takes to get from the ceremony to the reception. If the reception is scheduled to start two or more hours after the ceremony ends, the phrase "immediately following the ceremony" should be replaced with the appropriate time. The line may then read, "at eight o'clock".
On the third line the name of the venue is listed. The address is usually shown on the fourth line, although it is omitted whenever the venue is very well know or when directions and map cards are used.
The city and the state follow on the next line if they are not the same as those shown on the invitation. If the city and state do not appear on the reception card, it is assumed that the reception is in the same town as the wedding. Likewise, if the city is different but the state is the same, you need only mention the city. These are options. You may, however, under any circumstances use both city and state.
[To that I would like to add that if you have a lot of out of state guests arriving, I would use the city, state and zip code, just to make it easier on your guests.]
Responding to Reception Cards
Historically, all social invitations were responded to through a handwritten note. However, over time this particular point of etiquette seeded to fade from the public consciusness and led to the development of reply cards. Most wedding invitation ensembles now include a reply card that serves as a response device for both the wedding and reception.
When reply cards are not being sent, a reply is requested in the lower left-hand corner of the reception card. Corner lines appear in a smaller size than the body of the reception card.
immediately following the ceremony
Sheepy Hollow Country Club
Scarborough, New York
The favour of a reply is requested
2830 Meadowbrook Drive
Bedford, New York 10506
P.S. Come back soon to read about how to fill out a reply card.