Invitation wording. This phrase can make even the most calm and collected bride to be start to sweat. Well, this phrase and the words seating chart. Before we start the stress, let’s begin with some humor from one of my favorite cats:
So let’s get down to wordifying your invitations, ok? Coming up with invitation wording can be tricky, because sometimes parents want their names on there, sometimes you are paying for the event yourself and want only you and your fiance’s names to appear. There isn’t really a “wrong” way to do it these days, unless you forget to include the following:
Who is getting married? Make sure you put your names on there. This shouldn’t be too hard unless you’re proofing your invites when you’re totally blotto. I don’t recommend this.
You’ll want to indicate in some way that it’s a wedding invitation and not, say, a bat mitzvah or a Friday night wannabe adult prom. You can indicate this by saying “at the marriage of their daughter/children” if you are including your parents’ names or, if not, you can write “as they join together in matrimony” or “as they exchange wedding vows”. There are a bunch of ways you can say this, more than I can write here. Google is your friend, my peeps.
So, where is this beautiful little (or big) shindig happening at? Include the venue name and address. If the reception is at a different place, I recommend putting that information on the main invitation too. Inserts can get lost or fall out in the bustle of the day, and an insert can easily be tucked into a suit jacket pocket. This is a great example of my client Erin’s invitation and how she placed both addresses on her invitation without making it look too jumbled up or busy.
Make sure you put the time the ceremony begins! I’ve recently seen some brides on wedding forums lately stressing over whether to write that the ceremony time starts at 4 when it really begins at 4:30. As a guest, I would find this annoying. If it starts at 4:30 I will make sure I get there on time, and to be honest quite often weddings get started a little bit late because of unforeseen snags. If you have your guests sitting there waiting for 45 minutes, they are going to be really annoyed – especially if the venue is too hot or too cold. Please trust that they are adults and can get there on time. And if not, then they’re going to miss out on your big walk down the aisle and they can seat themselves after the fact.
Whether it’s on a separate card (which I recommend) or via a wedding website, make sure you have your RSVP deadline clearly stated. Having said that, also trust that people are going to promptly ignore it, and you’ll have to chase them down. People are ridiculous with RSVPs for some reason. It’s not just weddings, I’m finding it with children’s birthday parties and wedding anniversary parties too. So make sure you have given yourself enough time to chase down the guests who have not responded! And make sure you have stocked up on wine, chocolate, oreos, episodes of Teen Mom or whatever your poison is to get through the hell that is called RSVP follow up.
To card or not to card?
Why do I recommend having an RSVP card? First, it’s tradition and expected, at least for the older set (like me – sob).
Second, not everybody is computer savvy. I know it’s hard to believe, but my first girl scout co-leader didn’t even have a cell phone until I basically harassed her into getting one so she could communicate with the service unit and stop making me do all the work – not that I’m bitter or anything.
Third, I am barraged by emails and links and things I need to RSVP to for my kids’ school, and it always somehow piles up. If it comes to me in a paper copy, it’s much easier to just quickly answer it and then pop it in the mailbox when I make my daily trip. That means you’ll get the response faster. I feel like a website response will become a part of the tech noise I deal with every day – but that may also just be me. You do you – I am approximately 12954 billion years old after all.
I will get more in depth with invitation wording in another post, but hopefully this gives you a brief overview of what is required. Happy wordifying! I’m gonna go food some chocolate now.