LilBeachBride's blog / Advice to you, with LovE / Watch Your Words - how to correctly word your wedding invitations

Watch Your Words - how to correctly word your wedding invitations
So, I'm having trouble posting pictures to my blogs and with the font/colors and formatting. Anyone else?

 

Sorry I haven't been able to show you pictures of Jackie's wishing well - as soon as I fix the issue, I'll be happy to showcase my masterpiece :)

 

Moving on......Invitations.

 

One of the MOST stressful steps to "I do". But also one of the most fun. If I could do it all over again, there are a few simple things I would do differently. Luckily for you, if you haven't already tackled your invitations, you can learn from my missteps.

For starters, there is SO much more to think about then you originally plan on.

 

What color? Well, when I asked for white, the most simple color - its not even a color, really, just a blank slate, the wedding planner said, "Well do you want ivory, pearl, cream, off-white, ecru..." Umm.. How about white?

 

I wanted a script-ish font. Simple right? NOPE! Serif, sans-serif, italics...What do the important letters look like ("A" for Adina, "M" for Matt, "A" for Agliano, "P" for Perullo...just to name a few).

 

I wanted pocketfolds. Great. I made one huge decision on my own. But wait.. Portrait or landscape? Where should the pockets go, on the side, underneath or above?

 

Did I want inner and outer envelopes?

 

What about the hotel information?

 

Before I knew it, this calm, cool and collected B2B was completely in over her head.

 

So here are a few basic guidelines that I learned from my experience, even some details of where I went wrong. 

 

       The wording on your invitation informs your guest of more than the date and the time…it also clues them in on the formality of your event. So choose your wording wisely.

 

       My mistake – I was so engulfed in the fact that I was having my dream beach wedding, that I wanted the entire invitation to SCREAM ‘beach’. Unfortunately, due to the phrase “Beachside reception immediately following”, my guests were under the impression that the wedding was out on the SAND, instead of in a beautiful mansion on the water NEAR the sand.

 

       More about the wording – Although etiquette will tell you otherwise, sometimes it’s not about whose paying for the wedding. Etiquette will tell you that those responsible for footing the wedding bill should be listed on the invitation. If just the Bride’s parents, then Mr. & Mrs. SoAndSo invite you to the wedding of their daughter…etc. If both parents, list both sets of names at the top. If the couple is shelling out all the money, only their names are listed. Well, yes. This is a good basic guide to follow. But sometimes, etiquette is not what’s best. Sometimes, you need to know the people you’re dealing with.

 

      My situation – Matty and I decided that since we were going with the beach theme, we wanted our wording to be different. And since I wrote EVERYTHING that had to do with the wedding, I decided to keep with that and put a quote at the top, our names in the middle, and invite our guests to share with us “the sun, the sea and the memories of our wedding”. My parents were okay with that, as we were never a ‘by the rules’ family, and they knew that there was no disrespect.

 

Matty’s parents were different. They believed that not including them on the invitation was a direct act of disrespect. This was one battle that Matty and I couldn’t just let go of. We fought tooth and nail to try and explain that it had nothing to do with money, it had nothing to do with disrespect – we just wanted it worded differently, and we wanted to feel proud of the hard work we put into OUR wedding. I’ll say it again…OUR wedding. After weeks of extreme awkwardness, I decided that we compromise. COMPROMISE. It’s what keeps the wedding on track and keeps marriages together.

 

Our compromise was listing “Blessings given by…” and listed both sets of parents…at the very bottom of the invite…in very small font. But, it was on there, and it cooled everyone off. This is still a matter that we disagree on, but it is in the past, and everyone felt comfortable with the end result

 

       If you have the ability to splurge a little, Calligraphered envelopes make a BIG difference.

 

       My story – I just wanted the best. I didn’t have money for the best, so I decided I would save in some areas and splurge in others. And for some reason, Calligraphered envelopes meant a lot to me. I felt that it set the tone – getting a piece of mail that was hand calligraphered means that you are opening something special, something one-of-a-kind. And let me tell you ALL the feedback we got on from so many different people. Even one of Matty’s friends, who would have been just as satisfied with a text message as he was with a formal invitation, said that the calligraphy was "really awesome and made him feel special."

 

       Don't send the invites out too early, but leave yourself enough time to reach out to those non-responders - because TRUST ME, you will have them.

 

       I sent my invitations out 6 weeks early, and for me, it was perfect timing. I did, however, have 20-30 non-responders that I had to track down (or have my family track down for me) way after the RSVP date.  The day of the wedding, I still had about 5 people not respond. I was lucky enough to not have to give my final count until the day before, so those 5 people were not going to have a seat. If they showed up, we would have found a place for them, but it would have been made VERY clear that it was an inconvenience.

 

      Be prepared for EXTRA POSTAGE COSTS! It is a very rare occasion that your cards will cost $0.44.

 

       Anything outside the normal shape of a greeting card - this includes square, even if it is small - WILL COST EXTRA. Add that to weight, which increases massively if you have an inner and outer envelope and/or heavy card stock. I would suggest making up an invitation EXACTLY how you want to mail it out to your prospective guests. Bring it to the post office and have it weighed, to find out the exact price per invite. And then mail it to yourself. It may seem like a silly waste of money, but trust me - it's worth it. You'll get to see how long it takes to arrive and in what condition it arrives in. Maybe you need to close your envelopes better or stick your address labels on a little better. Or maybe, hopefully, it will come back perfect. Either way, it's always better to deal with one problem than over 100.

 

   
My last suggestion is to keep your guests addresses in a safe place. If you are going to be sending out holiday cards as a new married couple, a great piece of advice I received was to send one card to each family you invited to your wedding. Then, only send cards to those who send you one back.

 

You may not want to send out so many holiday cards, but it is a great starting point when your first December strolls around and you have no idea who to send to.

 

Furthermore, if your wedding is a few months before the holidays, don't be afraid to plan ahead to wear Santa hats, or bring some sort of holiday prop, and ask your photographer to take a holiday picture. You could easily choose that picture and combine your holiday card and your thank you card.

 

Ohhh, how I wish I would have thought of this a few months ago, as I now have paid double postage less than 3 weeks apart.

 

Well, ladies. That's it for now. Like I said, when I can post pictures again, I will. I hope this has helped you move forward with invitation process with some gumption:). I look forward to hearing about how it goes for you!

 

Your happily wedded wife,

 

Adina Marie :)

 p.s. I really write WAY too much, don't I?? :)

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"Ever since I knew what a BRiDE was, I knew I wanted to be one" - The starting line of my vows, spoken to the love of my life on August 26, 2010. Now that my day has come and gone, I can't wait to help all brides-to-be achieve the wedding of their dreams

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