Long elegant wedding gowns have always been a staple during the summer wedding season, and with good reason. They’re special and beautiful, and girls the world over dream of wearing one as they walk down the aisle to meet their future spouses. Shorter, more inexpensive dresses have become, in recent years, a breath of fresh air for brides who have revised their dreams for something stylish and a little more practical. Cute and spunky, I’ll take a short cotton dress over a lengthy satin train any day. Nothing beats a summer wedding and a no-nonsense bride who’s more interested in the food and dancing than a perfect bustle. Plus, no one steps on your nice white dress when it barely reaches your knees! More Personal Wedding Favors
Hosting your guests should be your first priority as a couple, and that attitude is reflected perfectly in personal wedding favors for your friends and family. When you’re spending a hunk of your wedding preparation time developing and making one-of-a-kind favors for your guests, it reflects a selfless attitude on your part that has been trending in the wedding community (hooray!). Your wedding is as much about your guests as it is about you, and personal wedding favors are a wonderful way to express your gratitude to the people in your life who love you and support your marriage! Geeky Invitations and Save the Dates
There’s something so wonderfully endearing about a photo shoot featuring a bride and groom interpreting their favorite scenes from Disney-Pixar’s “Up,” a valiant battle between a couple and an approaching zombie horde, or – my favorite – a comic book-style invite that features an illustrated couple costumed as superheroes under a punchy wedding date headline. Invitations and Save the Dates can be a fun opportunity to express your personality and quirks to your guests, and I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of a Save the Date with two people in love smiling from inside a blow-up Death Star.
Even if you’re trimming down your bulky invite envelope, a casual wedding invitation should probably include an RSVP card. While this is a personal choice (and the money you would save on both printing and postage is alluring), getting rid of RSVP cards in favor of email or website RSVPing is an invitation for late (or totally absent) RSVPs from your nearest and dearest. Guests are used to filling out the little card and sending it back for wedding invites. It is much too easy to forget if the little reminder isn’t calling out to them from their refrigerator every morning.
Just this once, deal with the price of postage and enjoy the rewards of NOT calling your relatives a week before the wedding to see if they’re planning on showing up. It’s worth the saved labor even with the extra printing fees. For wording:
The only info you MUST include on your invitation is where and when your guests should show up. Everything else (even the shape and dimensions of your invitation) are completely up to you. Well, full names are helpful too, even on save-the-dates. I’ve heard of families receiving super trimmed-down informal invites that featured only the first names of the happy couple – no date or return address. This is an especially helpful bit of info for your guests if you’re inviting family that hasn’t heard from (or of) you in a while. Even if you’re going informal, think of playing with the style instead of the number of words you’ve got on your inner envelope. For inserts:
While we’re all familiar with the extra-thick wedding invitation envelope in our mailbox, not all weddings are held to this creamy, caligraphied standard. If you’re hosting a casual wedding, your invites should reflect the tone of your event. There’s no need to go overboard. Even with the invention and proliferation of wedding websites and other access points for guests, your invitation is their first guess at what to expect at your nuptials. The numerous inserts and inexplicable sheet of tissue paper is a bundle that is typically reserved for big fancy weddings. If it isn’t your style, skip it. Forget the separate reception card and hotel information and the inner envelopes - you can fit everything your guests need on one postcard if you need to. Save the postage (but send an RSVP)!
The Evolution of Inexpensive Wedding Invitations
Inexpensive Wedding InvitationsIt’s a complete myth that you can’t find quality elegant inexpensive wedding invitations for your upcoming nuptials that fit your style. With the evolution of print media and the prevalence of online resources at your 21st century disposal, even the thriftiest bride can find inexpensive wedding invitations that fit the theme and style of her day. With resources such as inexpensive wedding invitations kits and packages, anyone with access to a printer (either one at home or in a copy shop) can create one-of-a-kind high-quality inexpensive wedding invitations. Most inexpensive wedding invitations (specifically the ones in kits) also come with other bits of stationary for your wedding. Many inexpensive wedding invitations sets feature more than one design, depending on the option you choose. Even if you don’t like the featured design on a set of inexpensive wedding invitations, always click on them to check for additional designs. Sets of customizable and varied inexpensive wedding invitations often also feature stationary like programs, table numbers, save-the-dates, and menus. The more cohesive and custom your stationary, the more put-together your day looks as a whole. So stop thinking that inexpensive wedding invitations have to be custom-ordered from an overpriced graphic designer and start planning the design you want featured in your own inexpensive wedding invitations!
Mr. Joe Shmo and Mrs. Jen Shmo
Request the honor of your presence
at the ceremony uniting their daughter
Ms. Joanne Shmo
Mr. Jacob Boe
In the bonds of holy matrimony
On Sunday the Fifteenth of September
Two Thousand and Thirteen
At Four O’ Clock in the Afternoon
Reception to Follow
Think about revising that template if…
Your ceremony is actually a Vow Renewal:
Vow renewals, like first weddings, happen when they do for a variety of reasons, most of which are completely valid. You have every right to a fun day of celebrating your unity with your family, but you have to keep in mind that a vow renewal isn’t a wedding. There are certain things you have to miss out on (bachelorette parties, bridal showers) and you should always be honest with your guests. If you signed the paperwork already, you’re married, and the invitation wording should reflect that. Think about changing:
At the ceremony uniting
Ms. Joanne Shmo
Mr. Jacob Boe
In the bonds of holy matrimony To
At the vow renewal ceremony of
Mrs. Joanne Boe
Mr. Jacob Boe
The hosting of your wedding isn’t clear, or you want to de-emphasize it:
Weddings used to be fully-funded by the parents of the bride, but that’s rare now. Couples are marrying later, family financial dynamics are shifting, and many couples want to make their own way in the world and are hosting the whole shebang themselves. If you still choose to word your invites so that the hosting situation for your wedding is clear, that’s completely fine. If not, think about changing:
Mr. Joe Shmo and Mrs. Jen Shmo
Request the honor of your Presence To:
Together with their families
Ms. Joanne Shmo
Mr. Jacob Boe
Request the honor of your presence…
Set the Tone with Sophisticated Wedding Invitations
Sophisticated Wedding InvitationsThough backyard barbeques and events featuring mason jars are becoming more and more popular, there are still brides working to create weddings that highlight the finer things in life. If you really don’t want guests showing up to your high-class to-do, think about utilizing the services of sophisticated wedding invitations. Sophisticated wedding invitations will feature high-quality materials with simple designs and understated elegance. Sophisticated wedding invitations will often employ some of the more traditional elements of wedding invites, such as thin segments of tissue paper between the invitation and the RSVP, simple cream envelopes, and elevated wording. While black and white dominate the aesthetic of many sophisticated wedding invitations, there are some modern twists to the classic design. Many sophisticated wedding invitations employ the use of bold blocked colors to make an elegant statement. Shop around and don’t think that you don’t have options for your sophisticated wedding invitations. Your sophisticated wedding invitations will set the scene for your wedding, and they’ll let guests know what to expect before they arrive. Most guests look to the invite for clues to the formality of the event, so let your sophisticated wedding invitations lead the way with grace, simplicity, and understated beauty.
You shouldn’t send tiered invitations (B-listing) or hold a tiered reception (where certain guests are only invited to certain parts of the reception), but you should tier your first draft of your guest list. Who must be invited, and who can’t be invited without inviting three other people? Immediate family (parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles) may be one tier while cousins and great aunts and uncles are another. Instead of cutting individuals (which can cause some family tension), try to cut your guest list off at a tier. Maybe you invite family but not friends – it all depends on what your guest max is. Invite all significant others
If one of your adult guests is in a relationship, you should invite the significant other. While some people may say that it’s okay to not invite someone who is only a “casual” boyfriend (or you should only invite couples together if they’re married), you begin to tread in dangerous waters when you start making those decisions and distinctions yourself. Your definition of a “serious” relationship may be different from someone else’s, and you don’t want to split up a couple who identifies as a unit in social situations. They may be offended, and you could end up with a “regretfully declines” from someone you really wanted there. Decide about +1s now
If you allow your single friends to bring guests, prepare for your guest list to grow significantly. You may alter who gets a +1 depending on various factors, such as how far your guest is traveling or if they’re attending with their families, but whatever you do, decide now what your plan is before you deliver any numbers to vendors or venues. You don’t want to quote 100 people to your venue when adding +1s would bump your guest list to 150. Be clear on your invites
The best way to guarantee a final guest list even close to the original number you intended is to be clear in your invitations. If you aren’t inviting children to your wedding, only write the names of the adults invited on the invite, and be sure to add “(2) seats reserved in your honor” to the RSVP. If someone RSVPs with more names than you intended, make a quick phone call to your guests to clarify who the invitation was for. Most people will understand, though you should be prepared for a few “regretfully declines” when you aren’t willing to invite everyone.
Writing Out your Formal Wedding Invitations
Formal Wedding InvitationsFormal wedding invitations are the one sure-fire way to let your guests know that your wedding will be formal. Formal wedding invitations are your last hope against jeans and sneakers at an event that you’ve spent a lot of time and effort coordinating and planning. While it usually isn’t right to tell your guests how to dress, your formal wedding invitations are an easy way to let your guests know what to expect. If your wedding is taking place at a venue with a dress code, don’t hesitate to add “jackets required” or “black tie” onto your formal wedding invitations. Formal wedding invitations don’t have to be as expensive as they look, either. With kits available at most distributors, you don’t have to pay outrageous prices for formal wedding invitations. Print them yourself! Handwriting is important for your formal wedding invitations. Consider hiring someone to address your envelopes if you’re opting for formal wedding invitations. You don’t have to break the bank for a calligrapher, either. Enlist the help of a particularly penmanship-blessed bridesmaid, or post an ad for an art student at a local college. Of course, if you believe that your handwriting is beautiful enough for equally beautiful formal wedding invitations, don’t hesitate! Get to addressing your formal wedding invitations as soon as possible!
Casual Wedding Invitations for your Laid-Back Nuptials
Casual Wedding InvitationsYour wedding invitations are the one bit of wedding stationary that almost no one skips, specifically because of how important they are. Casual wedding invitations will help your guests understand what the vibe of your wedding is – how they should dress, what they should expect, etc. If you’re planning on a big to-do black tie affair, it’s safe to bet that you don’t want to stock up on casual wedding invitations. Casual wedding invitations are for casual weddings; weddings where your guests don’t wear ties or sip expensive cocktails. Casual wedding invitations still conform to all the protocols of standard invitations, however. Be sure to give your guests plenty of notice (6-ish weeks) and make sure they have a card to return an RSVP. The difference with casual wedding invitations, however, is that you probably won’t have delicate inlayed spacer paper and a thousand tiny envelopes within the casing of your casual wedding invitations. Casual wedding invitations should also be paired with equally casual Save-the-Dates, if you can. They, along with casual wedding invitations, will help your guests navigate the formality of your event and plan accordingly.
Envelope Plain white envelopes won’t get you shunned by your family and friends, but invitations can be a fun way to experiment with new colors and textures. Andres and Andrea chose to begin their invitations with a parcel-brown envelope that incorporated a simple, wrap-around blue address sticker with hand-written guest addresses. They also used a stamp that integrated their color theme!
Invite The vivid, swirling colors that Andres and Andrea used throughout their invitation were also found all over their wedding day. From menus to table numbers, the stationary at their wedding promoted a feeling of unity and cohesion. Remember that simple designs are always appreciated by sometimes-overwhelmed guests. Andres and Andrea included only information that was necessary, and used an additional insert for extra info.
RSVP Keeping with the colors and feel of the invite, the RSVP card was a simple, elegant design that would be easy for any guest to navigate. Note that they saved themselves some paper by making the RSVP card a postcard!
Website A yellow insert with Andrea and Andres’ wedding website information allowed guests to answer any extra questions online. This is usually the best way to alert your guests of registry details (other than word-of-mouth).
Writing out wedding invitations
Wedding invitationsWedding Invitations are something that all brides will eventually find themselves putting off. When the guest list has been finalized, it will still be a few days before you’re comfortable sitting down for a long afternoon of calligraphy (or, if you’re lucky, someone else will be the one penning stylized names on papyrus envelopes) No matter who is doing the addressing, it’s important to keep the following etiquette rules in mind while writing out wedding invitations:
- Couples are a social unit and should be invited together on wedding invitations. Generally, it doesn’t matter how long the two have been together (questioning it too much could cause some undue anxiety), they should be invited as a unit if they identify as a couple. Wedding invitations should be addressed to Mr./Ms./Mrs. _____ and Mr./Ms./Mrs. _____ if the couple live together, and Mr./Ms./Mrs. _____ and Guest if they live apart (addressed to the member of the relationship the couple knows).
- Wedding invitations should offer no directions regarding the attendance of children. If children aren’t invited, don’t list them on the wedding invitation. If the parents call and ask, politely tell them that the event is adults-only. If they RSVP with a child, you should be the one to make the call.
- Be sure to check the spelling of all names before you start the wedding invitations! Even if you’re %100 sure of a spelling, keep correct copy beside you while you’re writing, checking it often. Wedding invitations should always list the names of all guests invited to the event – correctly!