Archive for June, 2008

Wording Your Wedding Invitation

♥ June 14th, 2008 , , 96 Comments

Basic rules of etiquette

1. All phrasing is in the third person.

2. Punctuation is not used at the ends of lines (commas, periods, colons, etc.); however, commas are used within lines to separate the day from the date, the city from the state and a man’s surname from “Jr./junior/II/III”, etc.

3. No abbreviations are used. Either spell out a name or leave it out: “Mark Claude Mason” not “Mark C. Mason.” Also, “Road”, “Street”, “Avenue”, “Reverend”, “Doctor”, and all military titles should be spelled out. Exceptions are: “Mr.” and “Mrs.” Many etiquette specialists prefer that “junior” be spelled out. When it is spelled out, the “j” is not capitalized.

4. If both Mr. and Mrs. Carter are doctors, they can be referred to as “The Doctors Carter.”

5. Days, dates, and times are always spelled out.

6. Only proper nouns are capitalized (names of people and places, cities, states, name of the day of the week, month name, etc.) Exceptions are the year line(“Two thousand”) or where the noun is the beginning of a new sentence or thought (“T” in “The favour of a reply is requested” or “Reception to follow”)

7. Be consistent with your usage of “honour/favour” or “honor/favor.” Traditionally the formal, British spelling with the “u” is preferred in proper wedding etiquette but whichever form you choose, use it in both words.

8. It is considered socially incorrect to write, “no children please” on the invitation or any part of the wedding ensemble. “Black tie” does not traditionally appear on the invitation. If the event takes place after six o’clock, your guests should assume that it is a formal event. If you are concerned, however, you may write “Black tie” as a right footnote on your reception card. Note: the “B” in “Black tie” is capitalized, but not the “t.”

9. It is considered extremely socially incorrect to make any mention of gifts on invitations on the theory that we should expect nothing from our friends except their presence, therefore never list where you are registered, the name of a charity for donations or your desire for money rather than presents. The only slight exception to this strict rule is for shower invitations where it is permitted to list the theme of the gifts (“Linens”, etc.) but never where one is registered or any mention whatsoever of money.

Traditional Wording for Wedding Invitations

1. Begin with the full, formal name(s) and title(s) of the event sponsors. These are not necessarily the people who are paying for the wedding. While the bride’s parents traditionally sponsor a wedding, anyone can be a sponsor, including other relatives, the groom’s parents, or the couple themselves.

2. Following the name(s) is the phrase “request the honour of your presence” for a service held in a house of worship. The variation “request the pleasure of your company” is used for a wedding held in any other location.

3. The next line reads “at the marriage of their daughter” or whatever the relation is between the sponsor(s) and the bride.

4. The bride’s full name follows but often excludes her surname. If her last name is different from the sponsor name or both sets of parents are doing the inviting, include it; otherwise, omit it. If you use optional personal or professional titles (Ms., Miss., Dr., etc.), then include her last name.

5. Generally “to” is used on the line separating the bride’s name from the groom’s. The exception would be the use of “and” when both parents are doing the inviting or for a Nuptial Mass.

6. The groom’s full name—first, middle and last-is next. If the bride uses a personal or professional title, so should the groom.

7. On the next line, spell out the day and date with the spelled-out number inverted before the name of the month and a comma separating the day from the date: “on Saturday, the first of May.” Using “on” before the name of the day is optional but if you do, do not capitalize the “o.”

8. Listing the year is optional. If you choose to do so, it appears on the line following the day/date line. Only the first letter of the first word of the line is capitalized: “The year two thousand” or “Two thousand and nine.”

9. On the line after the date comes the time. List this spelled out: “at six o’clock” with the word “at” preceding the time. You do not need to put “in the morning” or “in the evening” since it should be obvious but you may if you would like to and must if it is not obvious (for example, a sunrise wedding “at six o’clock” would be more likely to get people there on time if you said “at six o’clock in the morning”). In any case, never put “a.m.” or “p.m.” on a formal invitation.

10. The name of the place goes on the next line: “Grace Cathedral”, “The Belser Arboretum” or simply the address if the wedding is in someone’s home.

11. Listing an address for the place is optional (unless the wedding is in someone’s home). If you do include it, place it on the line immediately below the name of the place.

12. Generally the last line lists the city and state, separated by a comma: “Louisville, Kentucky.”” Note that you never put a zip code here.

13. If you are not using reception cards, you may include the information here as the last line of the invitation: “Reception immediately following”, “Reception to follow” or “and afterwards at the reception.” These sentences indicate that the reception is in the same place as the wedding. If it is not, reconsider ordering reception cards so that the important wording of your invitation will not be reduced in point size to accommodate the several extra lines of the reception information.

Stuffing the Envelopes

♥ June 14th, 2008 , , 106 Comments

Traditionally wedding invitations have required two envelopes – an inner envelope that contains the actual invitations and inserts and an outer envelope to hold the inner envelope. While many brides continue to follow this tradition, it is acceptable to omit the inner envelope.

Inner Envelope

The inner envelope only bears the names of the guests. No address is necessary. The inner envelopes should be addressed as follows:

Married Couple:
Mr. & Mrs. James Martin

Unmarried Woman and Guest:
Miss Allison Wright and Guest

Unmarried Gentleman and Guest:
Mr. Dustin Chase and Guest

Engaged Couple:
Miss Allison Wright and Mr. Dustin Chase

Unmarried Couple who lives together:
Ms. Allison Wright and Mr. Dustin Chase

Several Young Children:
Braxton, Levi, and Lisa

Parents and a Young Child:
Miss Brook Chase should be written underneath Mr. & Mrs. Dustin Chase

Close Relatives:
Aunt Darlene and Uncle James

Outer Envelope

No abbreviations are made on outer envelopes. Words naming roads such as Street and the names of states must be written out. Wedding invitations are always addressed to both members of a married couple.

If you are allowing single guests to bring dates, the proper thing to do is to simply write your friend’s name on the outer invitation and add the “and Guest” part to the inner envelope.

With so many unmarried couples living together nowadays, you may be confused as to how you should address the envelope. The proper thing to do is to address it to both of them even if you are really only friends with one of them.

Return Address

You need to include a return address on your wedding invitation. For one thing it allows the guest to know where to send the wedding gift. In addition, it lets the postal service know where to return it if it is undeliverable for some reason. The return address is usually printed on the back flap of the envelope.

When to Order and Mail Invitations

Ordering your invitations 6 months before the wedding is not too soon. Keep in mind that it can take anywhere from two weeks to two months to receive your invitations depending on the stationer. You should allow yourself a month to address them, and they’ll need to be in the mail 6 to 8 weeks before the wedding.

You should mail the invitations to out-of-town guests at least 8 weeks in advance so that they can make travel arrangements. Mail invitations to local guests at least 6 weeks in advance.

How many invitations will you need? Consider your guest list. Count one invitation per couple, one for single guests, and one for children over age 18 in a family. Then add an extra 25 for mementos, and 25 to 50 extra envelopes for mistakes.

Invitation Shopping and Savings Tips
Saving Tips: Invitations & Stationery

Here are some suggestions of ways to save money on your invitations and
·    Choose response postcards instead of regular cards to save on postage.
·    Don’t buy oversized invitations that cost more to mail.
·    Skip response cards all together and just pay for a certain predetermined number of people.
·    Choose thermographed invitations.
·    Don’t buy all the extras such as the linings and reception cards.
·    Hand-address the envelopes rather than paying for calligraphy or printing.
·    Order extra invitations up front because it is cheaper than having to place a separate smaller order later on.

Invitation Shopping Tips

·    Before you visit the stationer, determine your budget for the invitations and stationery.
·    Before you visit the stationer, make sure you have the correct spelling of all names and venues that you will be including on the invitation.
·    Before you visit the stationer, decide on the exact number of invitations you will be ordering. Keep in mind that you will need to order extra invitations and even more envelopes in case you make any mistakes while addressing them.
·    Before you choose an invitation style, consider the style of your wedding. If your wedding is formal you will need a formal invitation and if your wedding is informal you will need a less formal invitation.
·    When choosing an invitation, decide on the type of paper first, then the printing style. From these two items you should be able to choose an invitation that fits your budget.
·    When ordering the invitations, order at least 25 extra invitations and 10% more envelopes.
·    When the order comes in, proofread and count the order while you are still at the store to make sure that you received everything. Don’t leave the store until you are sure!
·    Don’t buy stamps for the invitations until after they have come in. Stuff an envelope with everything that will be included, response cards, maps, etc. and then take it to the post office to be weighed.

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♥ June 11th, 2008 , , 148 Comments

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