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Wedding Etiquette Wednesday: Wedding Invitations

April 4, 2012

Now that you’ve started planning the wedding, you’ve picked the date, reception location, and more, it’s time to send out your wedding invitations.

But where do you start?  We have some advice for you, and we went to some experts in the area for their input as well.

First step: Decide when you need to get your invitations in the mail, so your guests have plenty of time to arrange their trip. Typically, invitations are sent out at least 6-8 weeks before your wedding day. If you are ordering custom invitations or having an intricate design, be sure to allow extra time for ordering, so you can get them out in time. Don’t wait until the last minute!

Next step: Figure out the style and formality of the invitation. Not all invitations will be the same. Depending on the overall feel of the wedding you are going for will help determine what type of invitation to choose.

We asked the ladies from The Green Kangaroo, and they said it best:

“The formality of your wedding invitations should reflect the formality of your unique wedding. If you are planning a casual beach side ceremony, your invitation should reflect the informal nature of your event, whereas you may opt for a more formal, elegant invitation if you’re planning a black-tie affair.”

With formal weddings, there are some amazing options in the Raleigh area, both for invitations and calligraphy.  However, if you have decided to go with a more informal wedding, you may want to look into ordering your invitations online. There are great invitation companies online, which can create the same customized look of a stationary/invitation shop.

No matter what style or formality you decide, there is always some basic information that you must include! We asked one of our local stationers what these musts were. Maria Scheel, owner of Maria Scheel Invitations, informed us that you must always include:

  • Who is inviting guests to the wedding (brides parents, grooms parents, bride and groom, etc.)
  • The bride and grooms name
  • Your wedding date and year
  • Time and place of the ceremony.

These are just the basics to include on your invitations.  However, other optional information Maria suggested to include is reception information. She mentioned you could include this information on the invitation itself or even on a separate card included with the invitation. Other information that we have seen included with the invitations on separate cards are: hotel accommodations, transportation arrangements, as well as things to do in the area.

The ladies from The Green Kangaroo mentioned that:

“Couples who have a lot of information to share with their guests (accommodations, directions, reception location, etc.) may opt to add an accessory card or even select a pocket wedding invitation.”

If you decide you want to include more information than just the basics, we suggest including them on separate cards so you don’t clutter the important information. However, if you want to include your reception information on the invitation, the ladies at The Green Kangaroo mentioned a great cost saving tip is to add this information at the bottom of the invitation and include the basic information. Here is an example:

Celebration to follow
Reception Venue
Reception Address | City, State

Now that we have provided you with general information on the “do’s” of wedding invitations, we wanted to give you a list of “don’ts” Maria and The Green Kangaroo ladies suggested:

  • Do Not write “No Children” on the invitation – Maria suggests that if you don’t want to invite children to the wedding, it’s better to let your guests know by word of mouth as well as the way you address your invitations. By only addressing the adults in the family, your guests should understand no children are invited.
  • Do Not use your married name before you are married –  Maria mentioned she see a lot of brides wanting to use a monogram on their invitations. It is perfectly fine to use monograms. However, make sure to use only your first initials and not what your last name will be after you are married.
  • Do Not list your gift registries – including your registries indicates you are expecting a gift from every guest. Providing this information on the invitation can be in poor taste. It is better to have this information on a wedding website, by word of mouth, or even on a separate card.

We hope this helps!  If you have any questions at all, feel free to contact us or leave a comment!

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