Your wedding invitation sets the mood and style of your wedding. You should coordinate your invitations to complement the color or theme of your wedding and the style of attire of the wedding party. Formal wedding invitations are usually ordered well in advance (a minimum of three months) to allow time to be addressed and mailed six weeks before the wedding. Invitations are usually written in the third person. Your invitiation professional or printer can help you with formal wording. Also, be sure to proof everything carefully.
The traditional wedding invitation has changed little over the years. Its essential purpose is to invite your guests and to tell them where and when your wedding is being held. Most other information is superfluous.It’s that simplicity, coupled with fine paper and distinctive engraving, that makes formal wedding invitations so elegant. There are a number of basic points of etiquette to follow when wording a traditional wedding invitation.
For instance, the Groom's name.
The groom always uses his full name, preceded by his title. There are no abbreviations, except for "Mr." All other titles, such as "Doctor" and “Reverend" should be written out, although "Doctor" may be abbreviated when used with a long name. Initials should not appear on formal wedding invitations. Men who dislike their middle names and use their middle initial instead should be discouraged from doing so. If your fiancé refuses to use his middle name, it’s better to omit his middle name entirely than to use just his initial.
Assembling the Invitations
Your wedding invitations may arrive already stuffed into their inner envelopes or in separate stacks of invitations, enclosure cards, and inner and outer envelopes. If yours come unassembled, there’s no need to panic.
Assembling wedding invitations is really quite simple, although a bit time-consuming.
For the most part, wedding invitations are assembled in size order. The invitation itself is first. The enclosure cards are stacked on top of the invitations, not inside. The reception card is placed on top of the invitation. Then the reply envelope is placed face down on the reception card. The reply card is slipped face up beneath the flap of the reply envelope. These are the most frequently used enclosures.
There are several types of enclosure cards you may wish to send, alerting guests to special arrangements.
Reception Cards: to limit the number of guests invited to the reception.
Ceremony Cards: to invite a limited number of guests to the ceremony.
Pew Cards: for special seating for friends and relatives.
Any other enclosures are added face up in size order (usually at-home card, directions card, accommodation card, pew card, etc.). The single-fold invitation and its enclosures are placed into the inside envelope with the fold of the invitation at the bottom of the envelope and the engraving facing the back of the envelope. You can tell whether or not you stuffed the envelope correctly by removing the invitation with your right hand. If you can read the invitation without turning it, it was stuffed correctly.
The procedure for assembling traditional invitations (those with a second fold) is similar. The enclosures are placed on top of the lower half of the invitation's face in the same order described above. The invitation is folded from top to bottom over the enclosures. The invitation is then placed into the inside envelope with the fold toward the bottom of the envelope. As with other invitations, traditional invitations are correctly stuffed when they can be read without being turned after being removed from the envelope with your right hand.
Once stuffed, the inside envelopes are inserted into the outside envelopes. The front of the inside envelope faces the back of the outside envelope.
Be sure to order enough invitations. You’ll need one for every married couple, each single adult guest, each attendant, your attendants’ dates (if single), everyone in the groom’s family, and your clergyman and their guest. Also order
additional invitations for emergencies and keepsakes. Extra envelopes are a must! This allows for mistakes made when addressing. Be sure to order response cards (R.S.V.P.) and matching envelopes. Response card envelopes should
be pre-addressed and stamped for the convenience of your guests.
Address envelopes by hand or calligraphy, using full names. If a guest or additional family member(s) are invited, they are indicated on the inner envelope only. The invitation is inserted into the inner envelope with the enclosure cards
and printed side facing the back flap. Insert the inner envelope into the addressed envelope.
Finally, be sure to order Thank You notes… and send them out within one or two months after your wedding. Dear Abby is deluged with complaints about brides who don’t send these most important expressions of gratitude.
By Cynthia Adkins, A Legendary Affair
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