Weddings – these are occasions that can either bring the best or the worst in a person. Your wedding is that moment when there are long to-do lists and where everyone needs to be up on his toes. One of the must-do things during this time is to send out your wedding invitations.
If you are thinking that wedding invitations are merely cards sent out to guests, think again. Propriety is vital when sending these cards.
There are two ways to have your wedding invitations done. First, you can ask someone (preferably a pro) to design the cards for you. The second option is to surf online or read books about wedding cards and to simply make the design yourself.
Wedding invitations tell your guests about all the necessary information about your upcoming wedding such as the date, specific time and the location of the wedding. The wedding theme can also be reflected on each of the invitations.
If you are clueless with regard to wedding invitation rules or etiquette, here are the basics:
Know When to Send Your Save-the-dates
Save-the-dates were not necessary in the past but, nowadays, couples are already expected to send these out a few months prior to the wedding. These are especially useful when guests come from out of town or when the wedding takes place during the holidays or some other peak time.
Since wedding invitations should not go out till about 6-8 weeks before the wedding, your save-the-dates are the best way to give your guests a heads up. They then can make travel arrangements for that big day.
Just a few rules apply – first, the information that must be included are the bride’s and groom’s names plus the wedding date. Location information is also acceptable since some wedding guests will need to make travel plans.
Send your save-the-dates right after you secure your wedding venue and date. Keep in mind that those who receive save-the-dates must also receive an invitation.
Incorporate the Latest Trends
Try to include your favorite poem as a couple, one that symbolizes the beauty of your relationship. Use vibrant colors that will attract the attention of your guests the moment they open the envelope.
If you are marrying on an autumn, then you may use orange, yellow and red graphics that will correspond to your wedding season. When having a Christmas wedding, you may also turn your save-the-dates to holiday greeting cards.
Now who says that wedding invitations need to be printed on stationery? Stand out by turning your wedding invitations into stickers, pens, magnets or calendar markers.
Set Your RSVP Deadline
You may set the RSVP date at around 2-3 weeks before the wedding. This will give you ample time to finalize the headcount for the seating arrangement. If there were some who did not respond, you also still have enough time to get in touch with them ask for their repondez s’il vous plaît.
Etiquette in Addressing Guests
When addressing wedding invitations, keep in mind that this is not as simple as writing your guests’ names on envelopes. Formal weddings, for instance, follow these guidelines:
- Never use abbreviations.
- Do not use “&”, you must spell it out.
- Do not spell out numbers on recipients’ addresses.
- Spell out words such as avenue, street, drive and state names.
- For adult guests only, use – Mr. and Mrs. Lim
- For adult guests with children – Mr. and Mrs. Lim and family
- For adult guests with partner – Mr. Lim and guest
- It is also acceptable to invite a guest as individuals if they are still unmarried.
Now…the Invitation Wordings
The general rule in wording your wedding invitation cards is to mention all the vital details such as the bride’s name, groom’s name, the name of your parents, and to mention whether they have already passed away (the word deceased can be enclosed in brackets right next to the departed parent’s name). This format may also be used –
Mr. Lim and the late Julie Lim
For those with divorced parents, it is ethical to address the mother first. Make sure not to put the word ‘and’ between the divorced couple’s names.
Personal message, prayers, poems and quotes may be included in each card. Make them simple, heartfelt and concise, though.
Put in also the wedding date and the theme that will be used. Is it going to be a traditional church wedding immediately followed by a reception? Or will you invite guests to an outdoor wedding? Mention the venues separately so that the guests do not get confused.
The Dress Code
Indicating a black-tie ceremony is a direct way of informing your guests of your formal wedding. Properly designing your wedding invitations will also imply what kind of wedding will be held. For instance, a sophisticated and calligraphy-written invite suggests a formal wedding. A playful and colorful one, on the other hand, suggests a more casual wedding.
Acceptable Phrases Indicating Ceremony and Reception
Tradition dictates that the following phrases be used when indicating a guest’s presence during the wedding ceremony or just the reception:
- Wedding at a place of worship: “Request the honor of your presence…”
- Wedding at a Secular place: “Request the pleasure of your company…”
- An informal ceremony: “Would be delighted by your presence at the marriage of…”
- An informal reception: “Invite you to join them at the wedding reception of…”
A single invitation may indicate that the wedding and the reception are going to be held at the same location. If, however, you will hold the reception elsewhere, it is appropriate to send a separate card.
We’re Not Serving a Full Meal – What Now?
If the event is not inclusive of a full meal, you may use the phrase – Join us afterward for cocktails – and not the usual “Join us at the reception”.
Now that you know these simple rules and etiquette, it should be easy for you to send those wedding invitations. You also eliminate any worries that usually come with sending invites.