gellchom, I agree, except this is not a wedding but a reaffirming of wedding vows, so I think that should be what it is billed as. Wording could be, "as they affirm before friends and family the vows they took 2/1/14" (or whatever the actual date of the legal wedding was)
I understand your point, but did you read this, above, from the OP?
Hmmm...I suppose part of it depends what you're calling this event. She surprised you with a legal wedding a few weeks ago when you were visiting your uncle...or am I mixing you up with another poster?
That is us, but we are still calling this our wedding. I know it's complicated and non-traditional. But that was our "we have to do this for it be legal" wedding, this is our "real" wedding. Since we couldn't have both in the same place legally. We just a bit extra with the legal one because my great uncle was there.
I know others disagree and insist that people in the OP's position not call events like this a "wedding." But especially for people like same-sex couples in states without marriage equality who MUST have the legal and the local celebratory ceremony separate, that seems unkind to me. If this is what feels like and functions as their "real wedding" to them -- not a second big shindig, but the important, significant ceremony for them, even though the one necessary for government recognition was done earlier -- then as far as I am concerned, society should honor that. I think of the same sex couples I know who have gone to other states to have a quick civil ceremony, sometimes before, sometimes after, their local wedding; it never made any difference. It was their wedding, and that was that. I am sure I would have felt different if they had a big celebration another time and place. But that's not what the OP is doing. This isn't just an affirmation; to them, and evidently to their families and friends, it's what is really marrying them, just as it would be for a couple for whom religious vows are much more important than government requirements.
Anyway, the question is what should the invitation say, and as I wrote above, clarity is paramount in that inquiry. Not clarity as to the government's interests (which isn't the guests' business and doesn't affect them), but clarity as to what the guests are going to be attending. If it's to be a ceremony followed by a reception, then call it a wedding. If it's just a reception, then call it that.
With all due respect, this is why I don't like wording like this, suggested by Maude:
the union of
Glitter and Partner!
There will be a (party, shindig, knees-up, ) with family and friends
from(time) until late.
And I would feel that way irrespective of whether there were one or two ceremonies involved. The problem is that I can't tell what I am being invited to if I'm being invited "to celebrate someone's union" or a "celebration of their love." Give guests a break and be clear. If it's to be some kind of ceremony or ritual, tell me so.
I also disagree that whether or not their parents are paying for anything makes any difference in whether they are named as hosts in the invitation. If they are in any sense hosts, and the couple wants to acknowledge that, as the OP says they do, then they should. It is truly no one's business who pays for what. (My daughter hasn't finalized her invitation wording yet, but we would be happy to list her fiance's parents as hosts right along with us, even though they are not paying for anything; conversely, I am very sure that my mother will insist that she not be listed as a host, even though she is helping us pay.) There is more than one way to share the role of hosts.