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Invitations

To start with, you will need a completed guest list. The size of the guest list will mainly depend on your budget. After you have estimated the number of people you can afford to invite, each of you (and your family) can invite half of that total to the wedding. You can make up a list of all your close friends and family members who must positively be invited, and then make up another list of all your other friends, associates, etc. If cutting is necessary, you can start the hard decision with the second list of people.

Once you have a final guest list, you can make a decision on what invitation components you would like, and what kind of wording you should use. With these things in mind, you can go to a reputable stationer to order. Once you choose, you should add about twenty-five or thirty extra to the total when ordering or making your invitations and envelopes. The extras are for the unexpected, last-minute guests, or possible mistakes that may be made when writing or printing them up.

It's always a good idea to do things early so there will be less hassles as your wedding day approaches. Sending your invitations out at least one or two months before your wedding date will allow your friends and families ample time in their busy schedules to keep that day marked on their calendars as especially for you. This should also allow you enough time to receive responses from your guest list and coordinate your arrangements with the church, wedding hall, caterers, or whomever. The good thing about getting early refusals is that you should still have enough time to immediately send invitations to anyone you may have cut from your initial list because of budgeting.

Therefore, make sure that if you are having your invitations printed and double check the wording on all your invitations, allow the printers at least two or three months before you wish to send them out. This is because printers take time to fill your order (you may be last on their list!). Timeliness is also important if you are creating your own invitation cards. Don't wait until the last minute to make your own cards, envelopes, and then off to printing our invitation

For many people, traditional invitations are very important, but if you know that your friends and family wouldn't mind a non-traditional invitation (perhaps something more unique or personal) so long as they get something that gives them the name, date, time and place, then by all means do as you wish. This is your wedding after all!

 

Components  Traditional Invitations   Guest List   Wording of Invitations  printing

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Informal Invitations. Formal Invitations and Wordings for Special Situations.
Formal Invitations Wordings for Special Situations.

 

 


Consider the following points:

Who is most actively involved in the wedding planning?
Who will be playing the role of host/hostess on the day itself (greeting guests, etc.)?
Does any one of the contributing parties know more of the guests than the others?

Answers to these questions, along with consideration of financial contribution, might point to who the hosts really are. However, if it is still unclear or seems unfair, or if complicated family circumstances further muddy the waters, it might be best to stick with a simplified wording such as the following:

Together with their families
Jane Doe (name of bride)
and
John Brown (name of groom)
request the honour of your presence...


Or, for a less formal wedding:

Please join the ________ and ________ families
in celebrating the marriage of
(bride's name)
and
(groom's name)


For formal weddings, the word "honor," as in the phrase "request the honor of your presence," is always spelled with the "u."

One common misconception about invitations is that they are a vehicle for "honoring" people. Some couples think that they must include all the parents' names so as not to offend anyone; we have even had inquiries from people who thought their grandparents should be included as well -- even those who would not be attending the wedding or who were deceased! Technically, the invitation is not the appropriate place to honor people; this can be done in many other ways, such as in the wedding program or in speeches/toasts at the reception. The invitation is simply the means by which the hosts of the event (see above) invite the guests and relay important practical information (date, time, place).

Deceased relations' names should not be included on a wedding invitation for two reasons. The first is that a deceased person obviously cannot extend an invitation, much less host a wedding. The second is that the joy of a wedding should not be interwoven with grief over departed loved ones.

Some couples are faced with the unhappy situation of not wanting to include a stepparent in the invitation. (For example, the bride's father is hosting the wedding, but the bride does not get along with his new wife and wishes to exclude her name from the invitations.) Technically speaking, the stepparent should be included in the invitation. From the point of view of strictly formal etiquette, you should acknowledge the fact that the parent in question is married, and married couples host such things as weddings together, whether people like it or not. If it is simply too awkward or too painful to abide by these rules, the simplified wording above ("Together with their families...") may be the best solution.

 

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