Sending out wedding invitation cards in advance of an upcoming marriage gives the bride and groom the opportunity to let family and friends know when and where the big day is. Wedding invitations also provide information about who is hosting the wedding, the formality of the event and in some cases where to R.S.V.P. for the ceremony. Adding the right messages to your invitations ensures that your guests know what to expect on the day of the ceremony.
The first lines of a wedding invitation sends the message about who is hosting the wedding. These lines traditionally feature the names of the bride's parents, written "Mr. and Mrs. James Johnson." For a wedding where both families are sharing the hosting duties, the invitations should list the bride's parents followed by the groom's parents. When the bride and groom are sharing in the hosting responsibilities, their names should be listed first, followed by any parents who are assisting. For example, in the event that both sets of parents are helping the bride and groom, the invitation should read "Miss Kelly Elizabeth Johnson and Mr. John Anthony Smith, together with their parents Mr. and Mrs. James Johnson and Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Smith."
The request line comes immediately after the host lines on most wedding invitations and is used to extend the invitation to the event. The Martha Stewart Weddings website notes that traditionally the phrase, "request the honor of your presence," is used to signify a ceremony in a house or worship, while "request the pleasure of your company," is used when the wedding is held in a secular location.
Bride and Groom
Following the host and request lines, the next message on a wedding invitation is the name of the bride and groom. The bride's name is listed first followed by the groom's name. If the bride's parents are hosting alone, the invitation should include just her first and middle name. For example, ". . . at the wedding of their daughter Kelly Elizabeth to Michal Anthony Smith." When both sets of parents are hosting, the bride's full maiden name should be included. In the event that the bride and groom are sharing the hosting duties, their names have already been included in the invitation and do not need to be listed again.
Time and Place
The next message on a wedding invitation focuses on the time and location of the event. The day of the week should be followed by the day and month of the event, then the ceremony's start time, followed by the ceremony location's name and location. For example, "Saturday the 15th of June at four o'clock. St Paul's Church. Orlando, Florida". The Martha Stewart Weddings website notes that the time of day, am or pm, does not have to be included in the invitation unless guests may be unclear about when the wedding is to be held. Modern invitations often include the street address of the ceremony location as well to help guests find their way.
Other messages that may be included in the wedding invitation include information about the reception or how to R.S.V.P. to the event. A single line noting, "Reception to follow," may be included on the invitation when the reception will be held at the same location as the ceremony; otherwise, an additional card should be sent with the invitation focusing on reception details. Though many invitations include a separate R.S.V.P. card, this information can be included on the bottom left corner of the wedding invitation and should include information on how guests can R.S.V.P, such as a phone number or e-mail address.
The tone of the wedding invitation, including the type of paper and the wording, signals to guests the formality of the affair. While invitations designed by a calligrapher and printed on heavy white or ivory paper generally signal a formal affair, colorful invitations and upbeat wording let guests know the ceremony will be more laid back.
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