Who Sends the Invitations?

  • Traditionally, the bride’s parents organise the invitations as they are the hosts of the wedding. The bride’s mother usually sends out the invitations and receives the replies. This applies even if the groom’s parents make some financial contribution towards the wedding.
    If the wedding is being hosted by the betrothed couple or another relative, such as an uncle or a godparent, the invitations should be sent by the couple themselves.

When Are Invitations Sent?

  • Once the wedding arrangements have been finalised the wedding invitations should be sent out. It is usual to send out invitations 2 or 3 months before the wedding day.
    Many people book holidays many months in advance so if the wedding date is set for the summer or one of the other popular holiday periods it may be advisable to give longer notice to close family and friends.
    All the invitations should be sent out at the same time if at all possible.

Compiling a Guest List

  • The guest list was traditionally compiled by the bride’s mother in consultation with the groom’s family.
    Nowadays the guest list is usually compiled by the couple in consultation with their parents and family.
    The number of guests from each side of the couple’s family should not be influenced by who is paying for the wedding. The numbers of guests related to each of the couple may be different because one of the couple has more relatives or one side may live some distance from the wedding and therefore find it more difficult to attend. However, the families of each of the couple should be given the same opportunity to attend.
    If the wedding is hosted by someone other than the couple’s parents, they should also be consulted as to whom to invite.
    Immediate family and close friends are the first to be put on the guest list. The difficulty comes when choosing whether to invite more distant relatives and other acquaintances such as colleagues from work or neighbours.
    It is helpful to group potential guests into :
  • definites: immediate family and very close friends
  • probables: other relatives and friends
  • possibles: work colleagues, neighbours and other acquaintances
  • The number of guests will be determined mainly by cost although other factors, such as the size of the wedding and reception venues, may also have an influence.
    Many couples choose to follow the wedding reception with a dance and drinks in the evening. This provides the opportunity to include people in the celebrations who could not be invited to reception.
    Some Register Offices and smaller churches have a limit on the number of guest who can attend. If this is the case, then perhaps some guests could be invited to the reception or evening celebrations only.
    Although most people will understand why they have only been invited to part of the celebrations some thought should be given to people’s sensitivities.
    Some reception venues have age limits on children allowed to attend. Additionally, they may not be suitable for children. It is therefore important to decide when choosing venues if children will be invited. Again, a solution may be to invite them only to part of the day’s celebrations.
    As a matter of courtesy invitations should be sent to the Best Man, bridesmaids and other attendants. If the wedding is hosted by the bride’s parent’s, an invitation should also be sent to the groom’s parents. The minister who officiates at the wedding and their spouse should also be invited. They will not normally accept unless they know the family well.

 

 

Styles of Invitation

  • The wedding invitation should reflect the style of the wedding. This gives the guests an idea of what to expect. For example a formal invitation on heavy embossed card with classic typeface would indicate a formal wedding whereas a hand written invitation would indicate a more informal gathering.

Hand Written Invitations

  • A hand written invitation is ideal for small, informal weddings. The personal touch is often appreciated by those invited.

Shop-Bought Invitations

  • There is a wide variety of styles of invitations available in stationery shops and newsagents and it should be easy to find something appropriate for most styles of wedding. This type of invitation has spaces to fill in the appropriate information, such as the couple’s names and wedding location.

Bespoke Invitations

  • Many printers specialise in wedding stationery and will allow the couple to design invitations to their own specification. They will also help in the design by presenting a variety of styles of invitation which can be modified to the couple’s taste. There is a selection of colours, typefaces, borders, motiffs, drawings, embossed print, and even incorporation of ribbons to choose from which result in a highly personalised invitation.
    All the details of the wedding are incorporated into the invitation except for the guests’ names which are written in by hand to give a personal touch.
    It is essential to check the proofs before the invitations are printed and perhaps ask several people to double check. Small errors in times, dates or locations can ruin the day if not corrected.
    It takes about two to three weeks from ordering to receiving the finished invitations.

Wording

  • Traditionally, the wording on invitations has been formal to reflect the seriousness of the occasion. Today it is acceptable to be less formal if the couple wish. They may adapt the traditional wording or choose their own.
    Certain information should be included, irrespective of the style of invitation:
  • hosts
  • the couple
  • relationship of bride to the hosts
  • wedding ceremony venue and/or reception venue
  • time and date
  • RSVP
  • Address to reply

Traditional invitations use the more formal third person e.g. “Mr and Mrs Green request …” rather than “We request …”
The following is a standard wording for an invitation given where the bride’s parents are the hosts:

 

Mr and Mrs John Smith
request the pleasure of the company of
………………..
at the marriage of their daughter
Nicola
to
Mr David Brown
at
St Luke’s Church, Priory  Lane, Nottingham
on
21 June 2008 at 2.30 p.m.
and afterwards at the reception at
The Egerton Hotel, Hawthorn Street, NottinghamRSPV
by 30 May 200865 Hallow Gardens
Nottingham
Tel: 01134 123111

Including a phone number allows to guests to respond as soon as they receive the invitation before sending their formal acceptance and also allows them the opportunity to clear up any queries before replying.
When the wedding is hosted by the parents of both the bride and the groom:

Mr and Mrs John Smith
and
Mr and Mrs Nicholas Brown
request the pleasure of the company of
………………..
at the marriage of
Nicola
to
Mr David Brown
at
…….

 

When the wedding is hosted by the bride and groom:

Nicola Smith and David Brown
request the pleasure of the company of
………………..
at the their marriage
at
…….

When the wedding is hosted by divorced parents of the bride:

Mr John Smith and Mrs Sybil Green
request the pleasure of the company of
………………..

If one divorced or widowed parent is hosting the wedding:

Mrs Sybil Green
requests the pleasure of the company of
………………..

If a divorced mother , who has remarried, and the stepfather are hosting the wedding:

Mr & Mrs Stephen Howard
requests the pleasure of the company of
………………..
at the marriage of her daughter
Nicola
to
Mr David Brown

 

The simple rule is if the hosts are married then they are named as Mr and Mrs X …. If they are divorced they are name separately e.g. Mr X and Mrs X … or Mr X and Mrs Y …

When the wedding is hosted by a relative other that a parent, such as a sibling, a grandparent or godparent, the same rule applies in naming the host. The relationship of the host to the bride is given, for example:

Mr & Mrs Edward Wilson
requests the pleasure of the company of
………………..
at the marriage of their niece
Nicola
to
Mr David Brown

Reception Only Invitation
Although not essential, a simple explanation at the end the invitation will avoid possible misunderstanding.

Mr John Smith and Mrs Sybil Green
request the pleasure of the company of
………………..
at the reception to celebrate the marriage of their daughter
Nicola
to
Mr David Brown
to be held at
The Egerton Hotel, Hawthorn Street, Nottingham
Owing to the small size of the Church only immediate family
can be invited to the ceremony. We hope you will understand.RSPV
by 30 May 200865 Hallow Gardens
Nottingham
Tel: 01444 123111

Evening Only Invitation

Mr John Smith and Mrs Sybil Green
request the pleasure of the company of
………………..
at an evening reception to celebrate the marriage of their daughter
Nicola
to
Mr David Brown
to be held at
The Beacon Hotel, Sidley Street, GloucesterRSVP
by 30 May 200865 Hallow Gardens
Nottingham
Tel: 01444 123111

 

 

 

 

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