Wedding Invitations Tips

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How do I choose a wedding invitation to match the theme of my wedding?

Themed wedding invitations

Any wedding can have a theme. It can be a color theme, a party type theme or a style of wedding theme. You can reflect all of these in your wedding invitation. You can match your invitations, envelope liner and font color to match your wedding colors. You can choose a more informal invitation with a tropical theme to reflect your tropical themed wedding. There are so many ways for your guests to know exactly what type of wedding they are attending as soon as they open the wedding invitation envelope. Have fun and be as creative as you can. This is a day you will remember forever and it should reflect your personality.

How many wedding invitations should I order?

Ordering Wedding Invitations

We recommend that you order 15-25 more wedding invitations than you think you need. It can be expensive to place a smaller additional order after your initial order has been completed. You will need extra invitations for any mistakes and last minute additions to your guest list. It's also nice to save a few as keepsakes!

How would I word a second marriage invitation?

Second marriage invitations

Weddings for a second marriage can be hosted by the bride's parents, the bride and groom themselves or other people. Whoever is hosting would be listed on the invitation as the host. The rest of the invitation can be traditional wedding invitation wording or can be fun with a poem, rhymes, an invitation with fun graphics or a photo depending on the formality of the event.

Should I order extra wedding invitaitons and envelopes?

Should I order extra wedding invitations?

Ordering extra wedding invitations with your initial order is a must. You should order extra wedding invitations and at least 25 extra envelopes.

You need extra envelopes and invitations in case:

1.) You forgot to add people to your wedding list and need to send them an invitation.

2.) You mail some invitations to the wrong address and they get all marked up and returned to sender and you need clean fresh invitations to resend to the correct address.

3.) You may make errors when writing the addresses on your envelopes and need new ones to replace them.

4.) You may have a few people reply and say they cannot attend. Once your first wave of guests accept or decline you can send invitations to your second guest list to fill the alloted slots.

5.) You will want to keep one or two yourself to have framed or to put in a scrap book to remember your special day.

When you order extra envelopes or invitations with your initial order the costs are very minimal. If you have to order more later they cannot be added to your initial order - they are considered a seperate order by the printer and can cost up to 3 times as much for just 25 more. You would be wise to order too many and have extra than to be under and have to reorder and pay the extra costs.

How do I tell people I am married and having a reception?

Reception only, not ceremony

You can invite your guests to a local reception after a destination wedding. You can usually still use a standard wedding invitation, just word it as follows:

If hosted by the bride's parents:

Mr. and Mrs. John Smith
are pleased to announce
the marriage of their daughter
Jane Elizabeth Smith
Mr. James Doe Jones
on the fifth of May
two thousand and four
at Saint Mary's Church
in Cochobomba, Bolivia

Please join us in celebrating
this most blessed union with
a party in our home
Saturday, the twenty-second of May
555 North Elm Street
Columbia, South Carolina

What rules do I follow when addressing my wedding invitations

Addressing wedding envelopes

Many wedding invitations have double envelopes. This is from when they hand delivered letters and the outer envelope would arrive filthy and torn but it would protect the inner envelope so it was delivered in a pristine condition.

Wedding invitation envelopes need to be hand-written either in handwriting or calligraphy. Labels are not acceptable for wedding invitations.

The information on wedding invitation envelopes needs to be written out in full everywhere possible. This adds formality to the envelope.

Addressing the outer envelope:

Mr. and Mrs. John Doe Smith
One Elm Street
Lumberton, North Carolina 28358

Inner envelope:

Mr. and Mrs. Smith

What color paper is traditional for wedding invitaitons?

wedding inviation paper color

Traditional wedding invitations are white, ivory, or ecru.

What invitations can I use for a second marriage?

Second marriage invitations

Second marriages can be hosted by the bride and groom, the parents of the groom or anyone else. You would note the host of the event at the top of the invitation, just like a traditional wedding invitation hosted by the bride's parents.

You can use a traditional wedding invitation or you can choose to have a more fun and creative wedding wedding invitation to reflect the type of wedding you are having.

Some people even like to add "together with their children Katherine Elizabeth Jones and Michael James Smith" so they can include them in the ceremony.

Are wedding guests expected to give a gift?

Wedding Announcements and Gifts

You are not expected to send a wedding gift upon receipt of a wedding announcement. If it is a member of your immediate family or if it is a good friend you should give them a gift to celebrate such a happy moment. Still, a wedding announcement is not like a wedding where a gift is really required.

When and to whom do I send wedding announcements?

Who to send marriage announcements to

You send marriage announcements to any friend or family member who would want to know (or need to know) that you were married. Don't send announcements to just anyone to hopefully receive a gift. Send them to the people who really care and would love to know that you are now married.

You should have the marriage announcements printed, addressed and stamped to go into the mail the day of your marriage or very close after. It is really nice for the recipients to see the postmark on the announcement as the same date of the wedding. It puts that extra personalization and thought into the announcement.

What formats can I use for my wedding invitation?

Wedding invitation formats

All formal wedding invitations follow the same format:

Mr. and Mrs. John Smith
request the honour of your presence (if in church)
pleasure of your company (if not in church)
at the marriage of their daughter
Jane Elizabeth
Mr. John James Jones
(you can add "son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Jones)
Saturday, the fifth of May
two thousand and four
two o'clok in the afternoon
Saint Mary's Church
Lumberton, North Carolina

Reception to follow at
Pinecrest Country Club

Different people can host your wedding other than the parent's of the bride. When others host the wedding and reception, they are listed at the top of the wedding invitation.

If you are having a more casual wedding, you can write as creatively as you like. You can rhyme, add a poem, etc. just make sure you include the who, what, when, where that is needed for your guests to know the specifics of your event.

When should I order and mail my wedding invitations?

When to order and mail wedding invitations

When should I order my invitations?
Invitations should be ordered at least three months before the wedding. Engraved invitations should be ordered four to five months in advance. All of your wedding details, such as date, time, approx. number of attendees and locations should be confirmed prior to placing your order.

When should I mail my invitations?
Typically, wedding invitations should be mailed 4-6 weeks prior to the response date for a formal function and 3 weeks prior for a very informal wedding. (This may fluctuate depending on your RSVP date.)

How do I decide whom to invite to my wedding?

Who to invite?

You should sit down long beforehand with both parties involved and get some ground rules established. All the factors need to be discussed; from family size to geography to who is paying for the wedding - get it all out in the open. As in, "Look we're going to have 200 people, we're not going to give them dinner, it is going to be a cocktail party. 125 come from the bride's side, 75 come from the groom's side." If that's understood right at the beginning, and then the groom's family wants a few more, you've got a basis to work from.

Invite those closest to you within your budgeted amount of people. Some people get carried away and invite everyone they know to their wedding. I've found the most enjoyable weddings are the ones that have the people closest to them. One couple I know only invited guests they BOTH knew. It kept their parents from inviting strangers to their wedding and they were surrounded by everyone they loved on their special wedding day.

What type of invitation would I use for a destination wedding?

Destination Wedding Invitations

You would write your destination wedding invitation in the same format as a "home-town" wedding invitation, including the location.

You should also send a save the date card to your guests WELL in advance with the date, location, and accomodation information. This way your guests will reserve the date for you and they can budget for the flight and accomodation costs.

When should I order my thank you notes?

When to order thank you notes

You may wish to purchase your thank you notes at the same time that you order your invitations. In most cases, we offer thank you notes that coordinate with your wedding invitation.

You should have individual and joint thank you notes on hand before the wedding so that you can write your notes as the gifts come in or you will extremely overwhelmed after the wedding when you have to write 250 thank you notes at the same time.

Also, you want to send in a timely manner or people will wonder if you received their gift or if it was lost in delivery.

Should I invite my co-workers to the wedding?

Should I invite co-workers to my weddiing

This is another area that is likely to breed envy among people. In a close knit office environment, they all think they should be invited. I know several young people who have solved this by not inviting any of them to the wedding, but by having a special party for them alone. They'll get a cousin or grandfather, their uncle or a friend to have a cocktail party and invite all co-workers and have a long cocktail hour just with them and the bridal couple and they'll feel that they've been at a wedding reception and feel special which is great.

Another couple invited everyone to the wedding ceremony but explained their cost restraints and that only family and close friends were to attend the reception. The co-workers understood completely and were happy to be a part of the ceremony itself.

What invitation would I use for a same sex marriage ceremony?

Same Sex Ceremony Invitations

There are wedding announcements and wedding invitations for commitment ceremonies and now for same sex marraige ceremonies. Traditional wording is fine or it is obviously at the discretion of the participants to decide how formal an affair this will be. Choose an invitation to best reflect your type of ceremony.

Can I use labels instead of handwriting on my wedding invitations?

Labels vs. Handwritten Envelopes

Labels on wedding invitations are terrible. You want your wedding invitation to stand out and if you are going to the trouble and cost of planning a formal wedding, why would you consider making your wedding invitation envelopes look mass produced? Weddings are one time everything should be done by hand. Even if you can only get a high school student with bad handwriting, it doesn't matter, it just has to be handwritten.

How do I address a no-children policy for our wedding?

No Children, Please

Some people may only be able to accomodate a certain number of people at their wedding because of financial or size limitations and cannot invite children because they need the space for additional adult friends.

Some people may want to have an adult celebration with drinking and dancing and would like the parents to stay late and "party" with them at their wedding and children and heavily drinking adults aren't really an ideal mix.

You would not address "no children" on the actual wedding invitation. You make a few well-placed calls. Have your bridesmaids or your family say, "you know I hate to tell you but they can't accommodate kids at this upcoming wedding. Please arrange for somebody to take care of them." It's terrible to put it on the invitations. It's such a strong negative to have printed on such a positive invitation - "no children" or "adults only". So just make a few telephone calls and tell them to spread the word, and they will.

Some couples may supply a couple of sitters or nannys to sit for children who may come with their parents. You can include this information with your save the date card or in the invitation.

Make sure you address the wedding invitations (inner and outer) with the parents names only and if you are not having any children, make sure you don't allow some people to bring children and others not or you will end up with hurt feelings.

What information should be included on a wedding announcement?

Marriage announcement info

Wedding announcements are similar to wedding invitations in that they should contain certain information about the event. Information to include on a marriage announcement is:

Who hosted the wedding
Who was married
The date

Hosted by bride's parents:

Mr. and Mrs. John James Smith
are pleased to announce
the marriage of their daughter
Elizabeth Jane
Mr. David Jordan Tisdale
Saturday, the fifth of May
two thousand and four
Saint Mary of the Mills
Laurel, Maryland

Hosted by bride and groom:

Elizabeth Jane Smith and David Jordan Tisdale
are pleased to announce their marriage
Saturday, the fifth of May
two thousand and four
Saint Mary of the Mills
Laurel, Maryland

How will my wedding guests know where to send our gifts?

Where will guests send gifts

You can put an address on the wedding invitation "at home after June 3rd" or you can just show it on the return address. If you're going on a cruise and you haven't been living together, you're going to get wedding presents sent and there is going to be nobody there to get them. So what you do is you say, "at home after January 20th" on the invitation or on a separate At Home card. If the wedding is on December 20th, and you put your parent's address as the return address they will get the RSVP's and the early wedding gifts. Some guests will wait until you're back and you're in residence and send your wedding presents then, which isn't a bad idea either. Many different situations can be addressed with the use of an At Home card.

How do I ask for money or gifts on my wedding invitations?

Wedding Invitation Gift Requests

The only proper place to include registry information is on a bridal shower invitation. It is considered improper to put registry information on or inside your wedding invitation. If you do not have a bridal shower before your wedding, you would have your friends and family spread by word of mouth where you are registered or the things you need to set up your home.

It is also considered improper to ask for money instead of a gift at any time, for any type of event. You can have your friends and family discretely spread this by word of mouth also but do not have this type of information printed on your invitation or risk insulting your guests.

If you have an established home and don't need any other home items - think outside of the box when you are registering. Register at home improvement stores to rennovate a room in your home, or for new carpet, or for new large appliances that people can pool together and purchase or give you gift cards toward. Or register for things to do on your honeymoon that people can help you pay for. Many people will write a check if they don't know what to buy you but others like to buy gifts and will need a little more direction, so you should register somewhere.

We have too many people on our guest list-where do I cut back?

Too many people on guest list

The first thing to realize is that guests make the wedding. Better to cut down on the menu - don't serve filet mignons, serve meatloaf if you have to. Cut down on the extravagance of the food and wines that are served but don't cut down on the people who deserve to be there.

Invite your truly great, old friends that you grew up with and invite your best college friends as well as those new friends you love and adore - get a sprinkling of all your favorites. Then explain to the people you've invited that you plan to have a small wedding so they don't expect to see every "Tom, Dick and Harry" there. Tell them to please keep quiet as you're very strictly limited on invitations and they'll understand. Realize you may end up hurting some feelings no matter what you do.

The one group you must take care of is family, family members and those who helped raise you - put them at the head of the list. Take care of family because family gets very touchy. If you leave out cousins, 2nd cousins, they just get furious. Even invite that cousin you've never gotten along with. Weddings should be a time to overlook family problems. You cannot leave out the "steps" and the "halves" from another marriage, you have to invite them all, so put them right up there on the front of the guest list. Weddings are supposed to be a time of joy and that starts by being inclusive.

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Guru Spotlight
Heidi Splete