When you first start planning your wedding invites, you probably don’t think straight away about the wording that will go inside it.
But with years of experience I do know that it is so important to get this right.
So I wanted to spend some time today talking you through the ins and outs of wording your wedding invites. There is a lot to think about, so grab yourself a cuppa, get comfy and take notes if necessary.
There are a few things to consider here.
First of all, who goes first?
This is a 2 parter.
The first thing I want you to think about is how do people know you as a couple? Are your names shortened? Are you Bruce & Jacqui (using mine and my boyfriend’s name as an example here), Jacqueline & Bruce? Or something else?
Much of the time, couples are talked about in a certain way, it’s a funny little thing and can depend on which family or friends group it comes from but when you send your invites, the names on the front of your exquisitely crafted pocketfold will be the first thing they see. So you want them to recognise it instantly, the excitement for your big day often begins right here. You may have initials, so remember to put them the right way round.
The second part of this is what happens inside the invitation.
The same rules may not necessarily apply here. Traditionally, the bride’s parents paid for the wedding, so their names would go at the beginning, with the bride’s full name minus her family or surname going first, followed by her fiance’s full name. Both would include any middle names that may not ordinarily be used (this usually raises an eyebrow or two).
Mr & Mrs Tom & Sarah Chamberlain
Request the honour of the presence of
At the marriage of their daughter
Phillip Peter Carrington
Or you might choose to begin with something a little more inclusive for both families, such as:
‘Together with their parents
Helen Marie Chamberlain & Phillip Peter Carrington
Would like to invite……’
When I sit down with my couples at a consultation we talk about everything to do with their invites and they are given various wording choices from the more traditional (see above) to something like this more modern one:
Helen Marie Chamberlain & Phillip Peter Carrington
would be delighted if
would join them to celebrate their marriage at…
There are some lovely verses that can be used, more light-hearted fun ones and I do need to say it is really important that what you choose reflects your personalities. You want both of ‘you’ to shine through, so your recipients know absolutely that your special day will totally have your stamp on it.
If you are getting married for the first time, you want it to be the biggest statement you can ever make. Or perhaps it is your second time around, and this time you are doing your day, your way, rather than following the more traditional rules you did when you got married before. It isn’t something you are going to want to rush, so take your time to get this right. For more inspiration, check out my brochure with wording ideas here.
Hopefully it goes without saying that there are several important details that must be included on your wedding invite wording.
A/ Names – both of your names, and your parents if you are going for the more traditional option.
B/ Wedding Date – remember to put what day of the week it is.
C/ Wedding Time – can be formatted however you wish – 13.00 or 1pm? The choice is yours. If you are being a little more formal the 24 hour clock works well.
D/ Wedding Venue (and reception, especially if they are different).
E/ Wedding Breakfast– try and remember to include if a wedding breakfast follows – there’s nothing worse as a guest than not knowing what to expect. I had one couple who had to make a last minute alteration to their invites because it said the wedding was at 1pm and was followed by an Evening reception. That’s all very lovely but what happens in between? Where are they supposed to go, will they get a drink? Try not to have too much text but remember the vitally important information.
My couples often choose something like:
‘Drinks and Wedding Breakfast to follow’
Followed by a Wedding Breakfast and Evening Reception at….
You may have spent some time drafting your guest list, this is usually the case, it might have been painful and you are relieved you now have your short list.
So when it comes to wording your invites, be clear on who – specifically – is invited, if sending to a household.
You don’t have to have guest names printed (although with my invites, guest names are printed as standard, with no additional charge) but if you opted for the sort of wording that’s a bit more relaxed, for example something like this:
Helen Marie Chamberlain
Philip Peter Carrington
Request the pleasure of your company at the celebration of their marriage
Stop for a minute and think, who is ‘your company’ referring to?
***real life story-time***I always use the example of an invite I received a couple of years ago for a family wedding. Now you would think working in this industry and especially in the job I do, that it would have been automatically understood but on this occasion I was a little embarrassed.
An invitation, with the envelope addressed to me arrived. It was for a wedding celebration after an overseas ceremony. Excitedly I began making plans for myself and my boys (I was a single mum at the time) to travel down south and find somewhere to stay so we could party the night away with the family.
My boys don’t actually enjoy parties that much as it happens, but I chatted to my mum and then it was mentioned in passing that ‘oh, there are no kids invited, their names weren’t on it were they?’. Well, no, but because there wasn’t anything to tell me that it was adults only I (again, how did I manage this in my job!) assumed it was for ‘us’.
Not a problem, a weekend letting my hair down was actually just what I needed so my plans changed a little and we all had a great time, no children required. (as you can see from the following pic!)
So you can see that it’s actually vitally important you either specify names, or make allowances for the fact that some may bring their children, some may not.
In either case, it’s important to be clear, especially if you are sending to a household that maybe has older children living there, there are all kinds of scenarios for that these days.
If you are specifically stating there will be no children, here are a couple of simple one-liners you can use:
‘Due to restrictions in numbers, children are not included on the invite
‘Children are not invited to the whole day’
‘I am afraid it is a no kiddies event so please let your hair down, relax and celebrate by having a drink or 2, or 3…’
It can be helpful to your guests to mention on your wedding invitation is what time the evening ‘do’ is likely to start.
This will help your guests but can also take up valuable space if you are struggling, in which case include it on the gift information or elsewhere within the invitation. And remember, when calculating how many invites you need, you only need evening invites for those not already invited to the day – see my 10 top tips here for more advice on that subject.
I realise there is a lot to consider here, and this is a much longer article than I had originally intended because there is so much to say – I haven’t even got started on other information to be included so I will do additional posts on those, to give you time to think about how you can make your wording work best for your special day.
I am always happy to help if you are trying to include something and don’t know how. Drop me a line if you have a quick query, or to find out more about my tea-room consultations where we can get all of this sorted for your big day.
I have also written some of the gift poems in my brochure so have a look for ideas there too – I am sure we can find something that will work perfectly for you. For now, I have LOTS of sparkles to be working on so I will scoot. Much love,