WEDDING INVITATION GUIDELINES
BY LISA D. FROGGE
One of the most important items in wedding planning is the type of invitation to send. The wedding invitation should reflect the style of the wedding ceremony and there are hundreds of styles to choose from at Weddings are Fun. No matter what style is chosen, carefully consider the wording on the invitation and proofread multiple times. Confirm the date, time and location of the wedding ceremony and reception before having invitations printed. Traditional invitations are worded in the following manner:
Mr. & Mrs. John Q. Smith (BRIDE'S PARENTS)
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Mary Ann (BRIDE)
Mr. David Michael Brown (GROOM)
son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Michael Brown (GROOM'S PARENTS)
Note that the information in BOLD/ITALICS is informational to this article. Words such as “honour” may use the traditional or newer form of spelling. There are many variations to this traditional form, depending on individual situations including divorced parents announcing their daughter’s wedding, the couple announcing their own wedding, etc. Once again, chose the invitation that fits your particular style and situation.
Invitations traditionally utilize two envelopes: an outer envelope and an inner ungummed (non-sealing) envelope. Invitations should be hand written. Many couples enlist the services of a calligrapher to address their invitations to enhance the artistry and formality of the invitation. It is also recommended that a return address is printed or written on the back flap of the outer invitation to ensure proper delivery.
The inner envelope contains only the names of the individuals invited to the wedding, (Example: “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” or “Uncle Charles” for close family members). If family members, such as children living in the household, are also included in the invitation, their names are spelled out on the next line(s) in order of age. Adult children should receive their own, separate invitation. If an invited guest is welcome to bring an escort (based on the number of guests that can be accommodated at the ceremony and reception), it is preferable to find out the name of the escort and send them a separate invitation.
The outer envelope is addressed using proper Postal standards and no abbreviations or symbols, except for non-professional titles, such as Mr. or Mrs. Spell out words such as “and”, “Street”, “Apartment”, “Boulevard”, and “Drive” as well as state names.
Assemble the invitation by placing the tissue over the top of the printed information. Place all enclosures on top of the tissue face up and insert into the inner envelope. Place the inner envelope into the outer envelope with the written address to the back of the outer envelope. Pay particular attention when addressing and assembling the invitations that the names on the inner and outer envelopes match.
Invitations should be mailed six to eight weeks before the wedding using first class postage. It is a good idea to take an assembled sample invitation that includes all enclosures to the Post Office to determine the proper postage amount. Also, consider choosing postage stamps that will complement the wedding invitation.
It is extremely important to have a system for tracking RSVPs for the wedding ceremony and reception. This information is vital when making final plans for seating and catering. Be as flexible as possible and aware that the number of guests isn’t really final until the event is complete!