wedding invitations and accessories
As the saying goes, “First impressions are lasting impressions,” and when announcing your wedding, the invitation is an especially meaningful consideration: its style and presentation is closely linked to our strong understanding of tradition and etiquette.
Today’s invitation trends also give the guests a true sense of the wedding event to come, whether it’s expressing a formal, traditional affair through black engraved type on ecru stationery or conveying a free-spirited, informal wedding by using imported paper set off with a dried flower stem and tied with a silk ribbon. Colors and prints of every kind are replacing the more customary white or ecru, and they tie in the other design elements of the event. Even the invitation’s packaging can be made more personal, using slender, ornate boxes instead of envelopes.
The very best papers made of 100% cotton fiber and consisting of heavy stock, are the best foundations for your invitation set. Acceptable formats include the folded invitation with printing on the first page, or a single card. The typeface should always be elegantly simple, and either hand- or photo-engraved. Several printing options are available when using colored ink, including engraving, letterpress, offset printing, thermography, and foil stamping.
Couples may choose to compose their own wording on invitations, but be sure to check with etiquette for some basic guidelines first. For formal invitations, tradition is expressed in both the phrasing and format of the line, with the absence of punctuation and the numbers, dates, and times fully spelled out. The wording and order of the host line can vary depending on who is paying for the wedding and the people involved, especially if they are blended families.
Transitions in families, such as deaths, divorces, and rifts can complicate matters, but there are ways to remain tactful and inclusive. One of today’s issues in writing and the wording of invitations is when it comes to divorced families and multiple marriages. As sensitive the issue regarding such a family situation may be it must be discussed. Whether it is painful or not it will actually work as a cleansing process for the family at large because if there is one thing we know about weddings; it is the family dynamics. So we are here to assist you with the initial wording for the start of your invitation based on specific situations:
When the bride has one living parent:
Mrs. Michael Adam Smith
requests the honour of your presence
at the marriage of her daughter
Mr. Andrew Paul Anderson
You should not use. . .the late Mr. Michael Adam Smith requests the honour of your presence.
If you want to include the name of a deceased parent on the invitation you can do as such:
Mary Alice Smith
daughter of Donna Jane Smith and the late Mr. Michael Adam Smith
Andrew Paul Anderson
son of Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Anderson
request the honour of your presence
When divorced parents give the
wedding together and one or both are
remarried, the bride’s mother’s name comes first:
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Newman
(bride’s mother and husband)
Mr. Larry Peterson
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Sally Marie Peterson
When both the bride’s and groom’s parents have been divorced and have remarried:
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Smith
(Bride’s mother’s name)
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Olson
(Bride’s father’s name)
Doctor and Mrs. Russell Halverson (Groom’s mother’s name)
Mr. and Mrs. John Lewis
(Groom’s father’s name)
Request the honour of your presence
At the marriage of
Lisa Marie Olson
Couples getting married later in life and who are paying for the wedding themselves frequently put their own names on the host line. If this is your situation, consider following your names with a phrase such as: “together with their families…” It acknowledges your families and the support they have given you while also establishing that you are hosting the celebration. Consult your stationer for etiquette tips on the most appropriate, inclusive language for your personal situation.
Once you decide on the invitation style and format, don’t forget about the place cards, table cards, menu cards, and thank-yous; these should all match the rest of the invitation ensemble. Since the time for writing thank-you cards will come before you know it, it’s most convenient for you to order these at the same time.
The fine art of the reply used to include the ritual of responding on your own stationery. Today, however, it’s best (and expected) to enclose a response card with a stamped, pre-addressed envelope.