Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Wedding Invitation: Expert Dos and Dont's

It’s that time of the year. The Wedding. You may be sending out invitations or receiving them. No matter how hard couples try to make everything about their wedding unique, few invitations are as truly unique and beautiful as those designed by top calligrapher, Ellen Weldon.( She also comes from good stock, her mother is cake maker extraordinaire, Sylvia Weinstock). Ellen read our blog and asked if she could talk to us about invitations. Yvonne and I jumped at the offer.

Warning: Some of these questions may seem dumb but they have been ripped from real life.

1. With same sex marriages how has wording for wedding invitations changed?
With same sex marriages, the wording can be the same as with heterosexuals:
The pleasure of your company is requested
at the marriage of
Tony Jones
Jimmy Smith
On Saturday, the sixth of June, etc

Others have been more creative:
We're doing it!
Sarah Long and Tabitha Haines
Are getting married
On Saturday, the thirtieth of May

Some couples include their families by saying on the first line of the invitation:
Together with their families, etc….
*Ellen notes that depending on the state you live in, you wouldn’t always use the word, marriage.

2. If a couple doesn’t want children at their wedding; can that be stated on the invitation?
You can state on the invitation on the lower right corner:
Please no children
I have also done this on a separate card, so it really stands out.

3. What if a couple prefers money instead of a gift, can that be stated on an invitation? Is it ever appropriate?
You can’t dictate what gifts people will give you. It’s bad manners. Your maid of honor, bridesmaids, and your parents can spread the word that you are saving for a house, apartment or a china pattern and would prefer a gift that could help them reach that goal. Some couples set up a website where guests can receive this information.

4. People send out cards printed with their store registry information, is that acceptable?
Sending cards with bridal registry information is considered bad form. You cannot include that with the invite, it looks as if the gift is the reason you’re inviting them! If you’re having a bridal shower, it can be included in that invitation, but never in the wedding invitation.

5. What’s the most common mistake people make on an invitation?
The most difficult decision for most people on the invitation is the dress code. I don’t agree with "black tie optional". I think it leaves people totally confused and half the guests who do not own tuxedos will be left wondering if they’ll be dressed appropriately. It’s either black tie or not. You must decide so that your guests feel more at ease. If you want women to wear long dresses, that should be clearly stated on the invitation.

The other common mistake is the correct wording for an invitation when it’s in a house of worship or another location. The invite for a ceremony in a house of worship includes the word honor as a show of respect.
The honor of your presence is requested…

The wording for any other location would be:
The pleasure of your company is requested

6.What happens when mom and dad are divorced and mom has been with her new husband or partner for many years and the bride wants to include her stepfather on the invitation?
Stepparents, who have been part of the bride's and groom's lives, should definitely be included just make sure to put the bride’s last name on the invitation to avoid confusion. Another example of a more inclusive invitation is in the case of a Jewish wedding. It’s customary to have the groom’s parents mentioned on the invitation either above, ‘son of’ or at the top along with the bride’s parents.
When there are complications between the bride’s parents, the stepfather can be listed on the ceremony program as the escort of the bride’s mother or grandmother.

More questions? Please post in the comments sections of our blog.
If you're interested in invitations, call Ellen.
Ellen Weldon Design

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