Announcing reception cancellation how to take back a date

My daughter had an intimate wedding in Feb instead of May due to a pregnancy. We announced the marriage, with an October ‘save the date’ for the reception. For budgetary reasons and difficulty some out of town family members will have in getting here in Oct., we would rather provide an anniversary trip for them instead of a reception.

They are torn because they didn’t receive any gifts because people were confused, plus they’d like the party.

Is there a clever way to make the announcement again, only this time canceling the party? The baby is here now and we need to announce that too.
Any suggestions?

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Please no and no. There really shouldn’t have been confusion on anyone’s part. It really is quite simple. They decided on an intimate wedding, thus no wedding guests. So, they shouldn’t have expected gifts from those not attending the wedding. Those invited to the reception wouldn’t be obligated to give gifts either. Just because they married doesn’t entitle them to gifts. It’s just another life lesson.

If you were to be the host for the reception, you would be the person obligated to send cancellation notices. This is not a time to also announce the birth of their child. This would, most likely, be viewed as a plea for gifts not received from the wedding. The birth announcement should be a separate correspondence unless, of course, you are writing personal letters to each family member. This is a more casual way to inform people and rules are flexible. But, only those very close family members should be apprised of the birth or it could (again) appear as if this is all about gifts.


Thank you for stating it so clearly. I think I knew this would be the response.
I’m a little embarrassed, but I think I felt guilty that they didn’t receive many gifts. Honestly, we don’t have or attend many weddings in our family, and we’re out of the loop. When I was a kid, we had cake, ice cream and opened the gifts at the reception. We will announce the baby to close family separately and, as host of the cancelled party, I will send out notices of the cancellation. May I ask about the wording? The announcements went out to 50 people (only about 20 being close friends/family-rest business associates). Will they even remember or care? Should we just send a notification to the close friends/family? I really appreciate this service.

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Don’t feel badly. We moms always seems to do this to ourselves. Obviously our children are our first priority.

The wording could be very simple and short, like: “We apologize, but the reception has been canceled.” “We hope this hasn’t caused any imposition.”

Everyone who received a save the date should receive a cancellation notice.