We asked the lovilees at Crystal Print to provides us with some expert advice on wedding invite etiquette. How to deal with the sensitive issues one might face when choosing your wedding invite wording. Let us know what you think in the comments section below!
Proper etiquette is sometimes overlooked when planning wedding invitations. The information that needs to be sent to family and friends must not only be clear, but at the same time written with care, so as not to offend, as a wedding can become a sensitive issue. We provide some tips below:
Wedding Hosting details:
- If you, as a couple, are hosting your wedding, paying for it yourselves and are doing the inviting, then
the invite should read: “Bride” and “Groom” invite you to our wedding day …”.
Many couples like to include their parents but don’t want to name them personally, so the invite could read: Together with our families we, “Bride” and “Groom” invite you ….
- Now on the other hand, if the parents are paying for the wedding it is IMPORTANT that their names are added to the invite. The vibe these days has become very relaxed, but is this not a sign of respect and acknowledgement to the parents for all they have done and their involvement in your wedding day? So in this case the invite could perhaps read: “Mr and Mrs Bride” invite you to witness the marriage of “Bride” to “Groom”, son of “Mrs and Mrs Groom ….”.
- Now there are other sensitive areas with hosting etiquette eg. my parents are divorced, I don’t want to include my mother etc. The best way to get around this would be to stick to “Together with our families…” as it saves complication and honours them at the same time.
- If a parent has passed, remember that they will come first when mentioned “ … son of the Late Mr Groom and Mrs Groom…”.
The next step is the wedding and reception details:
This is pretty straight forward and we suggest that it stands out as this is the body of the invite – informing guests of the place, date and time. One thing we have noticed is that a lot of invites we receive have a repetition of words, e.g. “On Saturday the 4th March 2012 at Greensleeves at 13:00”. Do you see the “at” has been repeated twice?
Whilst it make sense, it is suggested to put the venue first, date second and lastly the time which reads and looks better in print. Don’t forget to add the reception details if the celebrations are to take place at another venue. If the venue has a chapel and hall, you can simply say “Reception to follow at the same venue”.
Your RSVP follows, and a planned reply date is important to note. Check with your venue and caterers as to the latest date that you can give them final figures for your wedding. Add 3 weeks minimum onto that date, giving you sufficient time to add up your replies and to the chase any that haven’t got back to you. We see this happening all the time with clients and it becomes an added stress, as well as an unnecessary expense at the end of the day. Remember to put a contact number and email for the reply. If you are going to attend to the replies yourself, bear in mind that this task entails a lot of running around, so maybe you can nominate a close friend or family member to take on or assist with this role.
- There is other additional information that needs to go with your invite. Are you having a casual wedding or do you want your guests to dress to impress? A dress code is required and you need to state that on the invitation.
- Are you having an open bar, limited bar or cash bar only? If it is an open bar then there is no need to add this to the invite, if it is a limited or cash bar, then you must inform your guests so they know in advance.
- If your wedding is out of town, or a number of guests are travelling, another overlooked detail is accommodation. We suggest that you find out from the venue whether they have accommodation available. This, together with a list of surrounding B&B’s and hotels, can also be included with your invite. An accommodation list and a map can always be printed onto an additional insert and we are sure your guests will appreciate the added effort.
- Are you having children at the wedding? Always a sensitive issue but it doesn’t have to be. You need to bear in mind that weddings can be costly and that at most venues children are counted at either a full or half rate. If you are having kids at your wedding there is no need to put anything on the invite. If you are limiting it to close family or friends children then you can always put “Children by invitation only”. If no kids at all, just simply state “Regret no children”. Another option is to find out from your venue whether they have kids’ facilities and if they offer packages. This will make you feel more at ease and the kids will be entertained on your wedding day.
- The debated gift registry has been a sensitive issue for as long as we can remember. Do you have one or don’t you? At the end of the day family and friends will buy gifts. It is tradition and they want to spoil you on your wedding day. There are a number of ways to word your gift registry – from poems to “sayings” or quotes, however I feel the best way is to be subtle but direct. If you have set up a registry, then name the store and the registry number. If you prefer cash / gift vouchers you can mention that on the invite, but we would suggest maybe print “Gift Ideas please contact ….” and leave it up to the person doing your RSVP or a family member to tell your guests. If you are not having a registry, sayings such as “Please no gifts, your presence is more than enough” are popular, or else support a good cause, eg. “ Donations to www.savethekidsfund.com would be appreciated in lieu of gifts” is always an option.
The above can sound overwhelming but with the right stationer to guide you through the process it needn’t be. Hope this has spread some light on etiquette and given you ideas on where to start with wording your invites.
A big thank you to Hugo Ross for the lovilee article!
Crystal Print are designers and printers of fine personalised invitations and stationery. We use only the finest materials in our work and keep up to date with all local and international trends ensuring you of stationery that is unique as your special day. We offer the full stationery experience ranging from: Save the Dates, Invites through to your reception programmes, menus, table numbers, gift boxes, seating plans, guest books and more …
Give them a call to view their showroom or have a look at our website at some of their work. Take a look at this lovilee special they are running at the moment:
- Telephone: 082 417 4668
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.crystalprintsa.co.za
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- Twitter: @crystalprint
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about the author
I am a creative at heart, who likes being surrounded by pretty things. My new house was the main inspiration for Lovilee, finding time to prettify, paint and ponder about change. Coffee, lavender, numbers, the color purple and my jeans inspire me. I believe that you should do what you love and love what you do! -