Even though we live in a high-tech world, with email, social media, and hundreds of ways to communicate instantly, the wedding invitation delivered by snail mail is still crucial.
If you’re wondering why, not only does the wedding invitations convey a special meaning, letting the guests know that you want them to come, and they’re not simply copied on an email, it also contains vital information crucial to your guests arriving at the proper time and place.
When someone receives a wedding invitation, the style and wording of the invitation conveys meaning, such as the theme of the wedding, whether formal attire is required, or possibly if they should dress in a costume. The invitation is very personal to the bride, groom, and parents, but it’s equally important to the recipient.
The first thing to realize concerning your wedding invitations is simply this; there is no right or wrong way, it’s a personal decision. Certainly, it is possible, probably a fact, that you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed and wondering exactly which traditions to follow. After all we live in 2018, and what was normal for our parents and grandparents, maybe completely different for us in today’s world. Essentially, the wedding invitation is a statement from both the bride and groom which conveys the meaning, style, and substance of their wedding. There will be those who opt for the traditional, and those who opt for the unusual, either is fine, just keep in mind the wedding invitation should convey the theme of your wedding.
In most instances your wedding invitation will be divided into four distinct sections, they are:
1. The host of the wedding
2. The guests
3. The date time and location
4. The reception
We Will do our best in this article to give you some guidance, however, keep in mind deviation is permissible.
1. The hosts
Looking Back into History, it was a tradition that the bride’s parents would host the wedding. However, times have changed. In today’s world, it’s possible the bride and groom will host the wedding, the groom’s parents may host the wedding, or the wedding may be hosted by both sets of parents who have undertaken the responsibility of helping their children on their special day.
If the bride and groom are personally hosting the wedding, the following wording should be used as a guide; again, a deviation is permissible.
The honor of your presence is requested at the marriage of…
Jane Taylor and James Jones request the honor of your presence at their marriage…
Jane Taylor and James Jones and (can also use together) with their families wish to request your presence to join them on the day of (can also say “occasion of”) their nuptials.
With (can also say Together with) their families/parents Jane Taylor and James Jones request the pleasure of your attendance at their nuptials.
Should both sets of parents act as host of the wedding the following guide can be used:
Mr. and Mrs. John Taylor
Mr. and Mrs. William Jones
request the pleasure of your company
at the marriage of their children…
Lastly, if it’s the bride’s parents who were hosting the wedding, the following example may be used:
Mr. and Mrs. John Taylor
request the pleasure of your company
at the marriage of their daughter
Jane Taylor to James Jones
Traditionally, the bride’s name would appear first on the invitations; this was no doubt because historically, the bride’s parents paid for the wedding. However, in today’s world, the groom’s name may be mentioned. First, that is completely acceptable. The decision of which name is mentioned first should be discussed between the bride and groom and has no bearing on the actual construction of the invitation.
2. How to address the guests properly
This might sound like a simple afterthought, after all – you just say Mr. or Mrs.? Well in many cases you can do just that however in today’s world things are a bit different than they were in the days of our parents and grandparents. For instance, a wife may use her maiden name as her last name, instead of taking her husband’s last name. If this is the case, you would simply address it to both parties with each using their last name, ie. Mr. John Davis and Mrs. Carol Bailey. If one of the parties is a doctor, the same rules apply, you would simply substitute Dr. for Mr. or Mrs.
The same rules apply if the marriage is between a gay or lesbian couple, however in that case you would list them alphabetically.
Should a single guest be arriving, meaning an unmarried guest who may bring a date, the invitation should state, plus one.
3. Date, time and location of the wedding
traditionally speaking when a formal wedding invitation was sent, the time and date was spelled out explicitly, i.e.
“The twentieth of June two thousand and 18 at two-thirty in the afternoon”.
Whether or not you wish to follow that tradition, will be a personal choice, or a choice based on the design of your invitation and theme of your wedding. It is also permissible, especially in 2018 to use the numeric values of the time and date such as:
The location of the wedding normally appears after the date and before the time, however as in the example above the time can appear for the venue if desired. This is followed by the location of the reception, as shown in the example below:
Mt. Olivet Church, Nashville, TN. at 3:30 in the afternoon
Reception follows at Rafferty
To be held at three thirty in the afternoon of Sunday the fourteenth of June two thousand and eighteen at Mt. Olivet Church, Nashville, TN
and afterward at Rafferty’s for food and cheer.
When sending an invitation, you need to find out clearly how many guests will be attending. This is accomplished by asking them to RSVP which can happen in a variety of ways to you can either include a self-addressed stamped envelope our card, and email address, or phone number. It’s also permissible in this day and age, to have them access a particular page on the wedding website entering their information and who will attend via an online form.
The overall idea of the wedding invitation is it needs to be valuable to the guests while also serving as an indicator of who will attend for you to plan accordingly. Since it’s possible many of your guests could be traveling long distances, a list of accommodations and a map to the venue can be included separately from the invitation. An alternative method is to provide a website link, which can be your wedding website, which in turn contains directions to both ceremony reception local activities and accommodations.
The wedding invitation is essential to your guests, helping them to understand spirit theme and intent of your ceremony. We wish you only the best of life love and may your marriage reach to infinity.