Invitations

Tips for Bride’s..
Your Invitations


Inviting guests to your wedding is one of the most important details when planning a wedding. Invitations also may be one of the most time consuming activities you will encounter in the wedding process. When you follow these tips, your invitations will be a breeze to do.


The Guest List

The very first thing that must be done is to have the bride, groom, and both sets of parents create their wedding guests lists. This allows the parents to feel a part of the wedding and it also helps the bridal couple remember who to invite. After the preliminary list is compiled, the first round of elimination should begin (this only needs to happen if your guest lists exceed your budget!!) It is important to not presume guests may not show (they usually do!!). After the preliminary round happens and your list is still not what you need it to be, just keep narrowing it down. It is beneficial for you to consult your parents when you are narrowing the list. This will allow hurt feelings not to surface and you will appreciate it in the end. If there are groups of people that are on the list (ie Dad’s Monday Golfing group, or Mom’s Book group), it is better to eliminate the whole group then to only invite one couple out of the group. Just remember, this is your wedding and you should want to invite all the guests on the guest list. While you are compiling your list also record current addresses and phone numbers of your guests. It is alot of work, but in the future it will serve as a nice Christmas card list.

Invitations should be ordered at the minimum of four months before the wedding. It is important to not wait until the last minute in case there is a mistake. When you are ordering your invitations, you must have all the information of your wedding and correct spellings (names times of events, addresses for ceremony and reception). For your comfort, you should have enough time to address the invitations without doing it all in one day. If you are going to have engraved invitations, allow one extra month when you are ordering. Traditionally, the invitations are issued by the bride’s parents however, now they are being issued by both sets of parents or even just by the couple themselves. All invitations should be sent at the same time (6-8 weeks before the wedding). If you are getting married around the holidays, you may want to notify out-of-town guests earlier so they may make travel arragements. Your invitations should reflect the formality of your wedding.

When ordering your invitations, the most important to thing to do is PROOF READ everything. I cannot emphasize this enough. If your invitations have a mistake on them because you did not proof read, the printer is not responsible to reprint them. It is beneficial to you to have three or four people proof the order. It is possible for the two of you to miss the incorrect spelling of a name (having an extra or missing letter) or the year of the wedding (especially if you are getting married in the beginning of a new year). Proof reading will save on time, money and frustration.

When you pick up your order, check everything from spelling to ensuring the correct amount invitations are there.

You are not obligated to invite guests with your single friends, but if you do, you must send a separate invitation to their guest. It is not proper to to write “and guest” on the invitation. You also must send invitations to the members of the wedding party, parents, and special assistants in the wedding.

Order approximately ten percent more invitations than your guest list count. These will be used for guests who may have been left off the list or as keepsakes.The easiest way to count the number of invitations is to list the families or couples on loose leaf paper like the following example:

Name		  Address         Phone	    #Invited  #Accept  #Regrets
Joe Smith family  1 Main St. USA  555-1212  5         3	       2

This example will help you because not every family member receives an invitation. Although 5 people will be invited, only one invitation will be sent to their house. When you use this system, all you do is count the number of lines and that will give you the number of invitations to order. Remember, if there are children over 18 in a family, they receive their own invitation. Do not forget to count them seperately.


Invitation Printing

Engraved:

       This is the most formal type of printing which involves a copper or steel plate made and the stationary is pressed onto it. It is the most expensive type of printing and it does take longer to print. Allow extra time when ordering your invitations. The letters are raised on the paper giving an elegant look.
      Thermography: This is a heat process where ink and powder are fused together which allows the letters to be slightly raised on the paper.

Embossing:

       This is where the letters are raised from the paper without the use of ink.

Offset: 

      This printing takes the least amount of time to complete and is the least expensive. It is also available in a variety of colors as well as styles.It is considered to be the less formal than engraving, but a nice alternative to anyone who is on a limited budget.

Choosing an Invitation

As you will find in the various invitation books you will page through, there are thousands of different styles of invitations. Although there are many different styles, the following tips will help to make your decision easier. You should choose an invitation that:

  • Coordinates with the theme of your wedding
  • Matches the colors you are using in your wedding
  • Is the correct size to fit your script on
  • A shape that you like (heart, castle, gazebo,bicycle or limo)
  • Represents your beliefs (religious or philosophical)

 


Wording of Invitations

There are many different styles of wording for your invitation. It is important to follow the correct wording so that confusion does not occur with your guests. The following lists are the formats that should be followed, but each invitation wording is created by the couple with additional quotes and thoughts. You will obtain all your ideas for wording by looking at the various styles in the invitation books.

Bride’s family hosting:Mr. and Mrs. Bride’s parents name
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
bride’s first and middle name to
groom’s first middle and last name
date
time
ceremony site
city and state
Bride’s and Groom’s family as joint hosts:Mr. and Mrs. Bride’s parents name
and
Mr. and Mrs. Groom’s parents name
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their children
bride’s first and middle
and
groom’s first and middle
date
time
ceremony site
city and state
Widow hosts the wedding:

        (the deceased parents name should not be listed on the invitation)

Mrs. bride’s mothers name
requsets the honour of your presence
at the marriage of her daughter
bride’s first and middle
to
groom’s full name
date
time
ceremony site
city and state
Bride’s Mother has remarried:Mr. and Mrs. Stepfather and Mother’s name
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of Mrs. Mother’s name daughter
bride’s name
to
groom’s name
date
time
ceremony site
city and state
Brides father has remarried:Mr. and Mrs. Father and Stepmother’s name
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of Mr. Bride’s fathers name
daughter
to
groom’s name
date
time
ceremony site
city and state
Bride’s parents divorced:

        (invitation is to be issued by the parent who raised her or if they are issuing the invitation together)

Bride’s mothers full name
and
Bride’s fathers full name
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Bride’s name
to
Groom’s name
date
time
ceremony site
city and state
Grooms parents divorced and listed on the invitation:Bride’s parents names
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Bride’s name
to
Groom’s name
son of
Groom’s mothers name
and
Groom’s fathers name
date
time
ceremony site
city and state
Single parent host with a significant other, grandmother, aunt or uncle, etc.:Host first and last name
and
second host first and last name
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of (relation to the bride)
bride’s name
to
groom’s name
date
time
ceremony site
city and state
Bride is being remarried and retained her first spouses name:Bride’s parents name
request the honour of your presence at the
marriage of their daughter
Ms. Bride’s first, maiden, last name
to
Groom’s name
date
time
ceremony site
city and state
Bride and Groom are issuing the invitations:The honour of your presence
is requested at the marriage of
Miss Bride’s name
to
Mr. Groom’s name
date
time
ceremony site
city and state
Double Wedding (sisters):Mr. Bride’s parents name
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughters
Bride 1
to
Groom 1
and
Bride 2
to
Groom 2
date
time
ceremony site
city and state
Double Wedding (not sisters):Bride 1 parent’s name
and
Bride 2 parent’s name
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughters
Bride 1 full name
to
Groom 1 full name
and
Bride 2 full name
to
Groom 2 full name
Personalized invitation:

      You create your own invitation wording by using your own thoughts, ideas, quotes etc. A traditional format is used as a guide.

 


Addressing your Invitations

Your invitations should be all addressed by hand. With your invitation order, you will receive a cardboard card with evenly spaced lines on it. You slide this card in the envelope to use it as a ruler.

Most couples choose to have their invitations done by calligraphy which always looks elegant. As long as you or some one you know has clear and beautiful penmanship, they may address the invitations.

With the development of computers and high -tech printers, many computers have a variety of script choices and are able to print envelopes on their system.

Although some couples address their invitations by themselves, it is more fun to involve willing family members and wedding party members to join in the fun. By having an “invitation party”, the wedding party will have an opportunity to meet and become aquainted with eachother.

Couples may also choose to hire a professional calligrapher to address their invitations. There is an additional charge for this service, but if you are involved in a hectic schedule, this is a very helpful alternative. Your printer willl be able to reccommend calligraphers to you.

Do not put printed computer labels on your invitations.

Do not use abbreviations on your invitations. Write out completely streets, cities and states. The only abbreviation that should be used are Mr., Mrs.,Ms.,Jr.,and Dr..

The only time an address appears on the invitation is on the outer envelope. The inner envelope is designated for the names of the people that are invited. The titles and surnames are only written. The inner envelope is not sealed when it is placed inside the outer envelope. Here are samples of difficult addresses that you may encounter:

Children under 18 years of age are listed on the inside envelope:

        Mr. and Mrs. parents names

 

        Childrens names

Children over 18 years of age receive their own invitation.

Siblings living together not at home residence:

        Mr. Sibling 2 Miss Sibling 2

Widow:

        Mrs. first and last name

Single Woman:

        Miss first and last name

Single male under 13 years of age:

        Master first and last name

Separated woman:

        Mrs. first and last name

Divorced woman:

        Mrs. maiden name and last name

 

        or

 

        Mrs. first name and married last name

 

        or

 

        Mrs. first name and maiden name

Women with Professional titles:

        Military:Captain first and last name

 

        Doctor: Dr. first and last name

 

        If the professional titled woman is married, the inner enveloped is addressed as:

          Dr. first and last name

 

          Mr. first and last name

Married couple and both doctors:

        The Doctors last name

Unmarried couple living together:

        Mr. first and last name

 

      Miss first and last name

Invitation Postage

This is one of the expeneses that most often is forgotten on the budget list. After your invitations have arrived, you need to assemble one invitation and take it to the post office to have it weighed. This is when you will purchase your stamps. Do not forget to purchase the stamps for the outer envelopes, but remember to purchase stamps for the response cards as well. Stamps for your invitation will easily be over $100.00 depending on how many people you invite. Invitations are not able to be sent bulk mail.


Invitation Enclosures

Invitations are complex. There are many enclosures to be placed inside the invitation:Reception Cards: 

        This card will inform your guests on the time, date and location of the reception. It also may list the activities of the evening (ie champagne and hors’d’ouvres 2-4pm, dinner 4-6p, dance 7-12am). You may find that some of your guests will only attend the reception and not the ceremony. This information will be noted on their response cards.

Response Cards: 

        These are beneficial not only for your head count for the number of guests, but for planning the seating arrangements. Response cards will list how many will or will not attend. When you receive these cards in the mail, it is helpful to create two boxes; one for accepts and one for regrets. Keeping accurate track of this information will allow you to monitor which guests have or have not returned their response. About two weeks before the wedding you will need to call the guests you have not received a confirmation from. Your caterer will usually need to know a head count at least three days before the wedding.

At Home Cards: 

        These are enclosed with the formal invitation and list your address you will be living at after you are married with the date it is effective. At home cards provide your guests not only with your address, but with your sanity. When you do not use these, you will find your guests asking for your address at your reception.

Pew Cards: 

        These cards designate special seating at the ceremony. They may be sent with the invitation or sent to the guest after their response has been received.

Within the Ribbon Cards: 

        Similar to the pew cards, these inform the guest that they must be seated in pews that are within the ribbons.

Name Cards: 

        These are issued when the bride is to inform professional colleagues to either change or hyphenate her name or they may be used if the husband and wife decide to both hyphenate their last name.

Rain Cards: 

        These are extremely important when you are planning an outdoor ceremony. This will allow your guests to know where the alternative ceremony site will be if it is raining outside.

Travel Cards: 

        This allows your guests to know that there is transportation available to them for reception sites that are located a far distance from the reception.

Map Cards: 

        These are most important for your guests when they are coming from out of town or state. The map will show where the ceremony site and reception site along with exact directions on how to get there. It may also have the hotels where the guests are staying at ,so they will know how to get home after the reception. It is beneficial to list the exact miledge between the hotel, ceremony site and reception site.

Hotel Cards: 

        These cards will list the hotels that your guests may stay at. You should try to choose at least two hotels for the guests because some may want to stay at a less expensive hotel due to traveling expenses, wedding gifts and time off of work.

Activity Weekend Cards: 

      This new trend is when the couple has a whole weekend planned for their guests. For example Thursday night= Bachelor/Bachelorette or Jack and Jill parties, Friday= bride and groom luncheon, golfing, site seeing tour of the city, brides team vs. grooms team softball,basketball or touch football games, rehearsal dinner, pre-wedding breakfast, Saturday = the wedding schedule, Sunday = post wedding breakfast. You may enjoy doing activities like these and it is a great way for the wedding party to meet and get to know eachother, afterall, they will be together for the whole day on Saturday. The pre -activities also give the out of town guests something to do in a new city.

Additional Stationary

Thank You Cards:

      Thank you cards are the most important part of your stationary. You will be writing thankyou notes for your bridal and bachelor showers as well as your wedding gifts. You should respond to your guests within two to three months of receiving their gift. People may not mention if they receive a thankyou note, but they will definitely remember when they do not receive one. It is the least that a couple may do considereing the guest took the time to buy a gift for you. You will need to have separate stationary for your pre-wedding gifts as oppossed to your post wedding gifts. You should not use cards with your married name on them before you are married. Most couples use thankyou notes that resemble their invitation. You should always order more thankyou notes than invitations because you may receive gifts from people that will not be invited to the wedding. You may always use the thankyou otes with your married name on them after the wedding for any type of gift received (birthday, baby shower, or childrens birthday). These notes should always be hand written!!

Wedding Programs:

        Programs are most useful to your wedding guests. It allows them to become familiar with your wedding party and the significant people in your life.It also allows them to follow the ceremony and events of the day. It is a nice touch to have an insert in the wedding program with a short paragraph about each of your attendants. These short excerpts may have stories of the person, how they are related to you, how long you have known them, their importance in your life or anything you want. It is a nice tribute to all the people who have helped you get to where you are today. Programs may also explain the different traditions in different religions for your guests.