Today’s post is all about wedding invitations, etiquette tips, what to include in your invitations,as well as my personal experience while ordering my cards. Your invites are one of the most important elements in your day because they provide guests with crucial information. And while some details of your wedding don’t follow a strict set of rules, your invitations do have a set of hard-and-fast rules to follow.
I am so pleased to finally have my wedding invitations printed! (Hooray) It truly was a stressful process for me. I had a particular design in mind, however couldn’t find the right card company to produce it. I also relied on a supplier for months, and unfortunately they let me down last minute (that is not something a bride likes to hear). Approaching the 6 months mark until my wedding day, I started to panic! My friends kept asking me when is the wedding? I really wanted something to present them with, rather than tell them verbally. My wedding is abroad and I wanted to give my guests plenty of time to start planning their travels. I am slightly OCD when it comes to event planning, hence why a wedding and event planning blog was the perfect fit for me. After hours and days of researching, I finally found a supplier I was comfortable with, due to the short time frame I had remaining, I chose an elegant design, with a customised logo of both our names on the envelope. (I will share this with you soon). The next step was deciding what I wanted to write in my cards, as me and my fiance are from different cultures, we have certain traditions from both sides we wanted to incorporate, while still remaining modern, and unique. We both agreed on a mutual decision, and ordered the prints.
I choose this topic for today’s blog post to help all the future brides out there with their decision and planning process. While composing this article, I realised that I have so many helpful tips I need to share with you, therefore I have split this article into two parts.
- KEEP IT SIMPLE
Wedding invitations should include the full names of the couple marrying and those of the hosts (if they’re different), the place and time, and that’s it. “No children” isn’t included on the invite; it’s implied by the names on the envelope.
- PLAY THE NAME GAME
Your guests’ entire names should be written on the outer envelopes. Address married couples as “Mr. and Mrs.,” followed by the husband’s first and last name. It’s also fine to list both full names. When a woman keeps her maiden name, the names are written in alphabetical order: Ms. Susan Jones and Mr. John Smith. For an unmarried couple who live together, write the names on two lines.
- TITLES DO MATTER
If the wife is a doctor, her full name comes first, as in “Doctor Sharon and Mr. Gary Smith.” When the husband is a doctor, the titles appear as “Doctor and Mrs.” and if both husband and wife are doctors, the envelope should say “Drs. Sharon and Gary Smith.” A single woman (unless she’s a doctor) should be addressed as “Ms.” If she’s under 21, use “Miss.”
- BE GRACIOUS—IN A TIMELY FASHION
Thank-you notes should be treated with a sense of urgency. Send them within two weeks of receiving the present to express your true appreciation.
DETAILS TO INCLUDE WHEN WORDING YOUR WEDDING INVITATION:
- Start with the names of those issuing the invitation, traditionally the bride’s parents. Evolving family structures and financial dynamics often make this the trickiest part of the process, so follow the format that best fits your situation.
- REQUEST LINE
Two phrases are the most traditional; one indicates the ceremony will be in a house of worship, the other that it will not. But informal wording is becoming very common. Just be sure that whatever phrasing you choose indicates that guests are being invited to a wedding ceremony or the reception only.
At a Place of Worship: Request the honor of your presence…
Informal Ceremony: Would be delighted by your presence at the marriage of their children…
Informal Reception Only: Invite you to join them at the wedding reception of…
DATE AND TIME
- Don’t worry about using a.m. or p.m., or a phrase such as “in the evening,” unless the wedding will be held at 8, 9, or 10 o’clock. The year is traditionally omitted as well, but it is sometimes included for the invitation’s keepsake value.
Traditional: Spell out numbers and capitalize proper nouns only; you can begin the line with the proposition “on” if you’d like.
Contemporary: Though using numerals is a more modern practice, it is not necessarily more casual.
RECEPTION LINE OR CARD
- If the ceremony and reception are in the same space, they can be on a single invitation. If the reception is held elsewhere, a separate card might be helpful. It is no longer considered acceptable to invite some people only to the ceremony.
R.S.V.P. LINE OR REPLY CARD
- Brides today generally include paper, envelope, and stamp to encourage guests to respond to their invitation in a timely manner, even though traditional etiquette doesn’t actually call for them. It’s not rude to omit these, but it might be risky.
S.V.P. Line on the Invitation: It goes in the lower left corner; you can also include mailing address, phone number, email address, or website.
On a Separate Card: A traditional fill-in-the-blank version provides the first letter of Mr. or Mrs.; or try a single line, such as “Please let us know whether you will join us,” with space for writing.
SPECIAL DETAILS ON THE WEDDING INVITATION
- If your event won’t include a full meal, it’s courteous to inform your guests. Use phrasing such as “and afterward for cocktails” instead of the classic “at the reception.” If you want to stress the importance of the style of dress—black tie, for instance, or casual attire—place that information in the lower right corner, or on the reception card. The only thing that should not be included anywhere on your invitation-not even as an insert—is your registry information.
(Click here for more inspiration)
I hope you found this post helpful, Stay tuned for part two of my blog post including FAQ and wedding invitation designs.
A little help from: Martha Stewart