Wednesday, September 19, 2012

*Guest Feature* Tyler Adams ~ Invitation Wording

As promised the wonderful Tyler Adams of The Girl Tyler is back for another Wed-iquette lesson. This week she is going to chat about invitation wording which we all know can get a little tricky! Have no fear! She breaks it down into easily understood bits that will have you on the right track in no time. If you missed her great post on the anatomy of an invite from last week you can check it out here. It's a great reference to keep on hand as you navigate your way through the world of wording.

There is etiquette for everyday and then there is something extra special that I like to call “Wed-iquette.” Let’s be honest, your wedding day requires a whole new set of language and rules for proper correspondence. What used to be the right way to word an invitation and it’s enclosure cards has since gone out the window and branched off into endless options for the modern couple. I know there are those that might cringe at some of the wording out there today, but weddings as a whole are no longer the same celebrations our parents had decades ago.  Couples are having all sorts of ceremonies and receptions these days – from big formal bashes to small destination beach weddings. They are also putting on their big day in a variety of different ways – everything from the bride’s parents hosting to everyone chipping in to support the happy couples. Overall, people are also putting more personality into their weddings, which means they need to put their personality into how they invite their guests too!
Design by The Girl Tyler. Photo by Bit of Ivory Photography
The paper goods you’ll need for your wedding aren’t only just about creating pretty pieces, they are essential for communicating the who, what, when, and where to your guests. A great place to begin your “wed-equitte” education is invitation wording.
Start planning your wording by considering the formality of your wedding day, which is typically dictated by location along with date and attire. Is your big day happening on the beach in flip-flops with a casual cookout style reception or will it be at your house of worship with a seated dinner in a grand ballroom?  Thinking about this will help you determine how traditional or casual you can be with your wording.
Host Line  Who is helping to throw the grand (or intimate) affair? These days it could be one set of parents, both, split parents or just the bride and groom. The “hosting” line on invitations is a way of acknowledging this support so you’ll need to think about who gets included and how that gets worded.
  • Formal: Dr. & Mrs. Peter M. Price
  • Casual:  Peter and Cindy Price
Request Line – Asking for the guest to join you at the celebration! Consider the wedding location – religious or secular will determine how you word this. Typically use “honour” for religious venue and “pleasure” for a secular space.
  • Formal: request the honour of your presence at the wedding of their daughter
  • Casual: requests the pleasure of your company at the wedding of
Bride & Groom Line – Where your names go! You can choose to be formal and include your full name or go more casual by using only first and last, even simply what people call you (ex. your name is Katherine but you go by Katie)
  • Formal: Katherine Anne to Mr. James Ernest Smith, son of Mr. & Mrs. Charles F. Smith*
  • Casual: Katie Price to Jimmy Smith.

*two things to note here:

1. since bride and her parents have the same last name, it does not need to be listed again here

2. Formality can also include an acknowledgement of groom’s parents

Design by The Girl Tyler. Photo by Bit of Ivory Photography
Date & Time – List the date of the wedding and time the ceremony will begin.  Choose to go formal with the numbers spelled out or be more casual and use actual numbers. Another piece to consider here is if your events be held over a holiday. If so, you may want to work that into the wording by mentioning both reasons to celebrate! It’s also a factor to consider in when to send out Save the Dates and Invitations… but paper timelines are another post all together.
  • Formal: Saturday, the thirty first of December, Two Thousand Twelve, half past four in the afternoon
  • Casual: Saturday, December 31st, 2012, 4:30pm in the afternoon
Location – List where the ceremony will take place, include name of location, street address, city and state (no need for zip code).  If you are having the ceremony and reception in different locations, you will need to provide the reception location either in the line to follow or on a separate reception card.
  • Formal: Christ and Saint Luke's Church
                        Norfolk, Virginia
  • Casual: The Sanderling Resort & Spa
                        1461 Duck Road
                        Duck, NC
Reception Line – What will come after the ceremony? This is a newer addition to the invitation as previous sets typically included a Reception card.
  • Formal: A dinner reception will follow at the Chrysler Museum of Art
  • Casual: Dinner, dancing and merriment to follow
Other things to remember when wording your invitations, is the importance of titles (for example doctors, lawyers, military)… but we’ll do another post on that when we address, well addressing!
Great sources to get you started on wording your invitations:
Thank you Tyler for another great lesson!!


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