January 17, 2013

stationery guide: wording etiqutte

January 17, 2013

Long gone are the days of traditional invitation wording.  Today, your invitation wording is based on personal preference, your family structure and the formality of your wedding.  The only must-have inclusions are your names, wedding date and time, and where the ceremony and reception will be taking place.

When it comes to your wedding invitations and enclosures, what to say and how to say it can confuse a lot of couples. What time of day is considered evening? What do I do if it’s a black tie event? What if we don’t want children in attendance?

Each piece of your wedding suite can be carefully worded to communicate the proper information. Let’s walk through each step of the process, and review different ways to word your invitations:

1. How do I word my wedding invitations?

Who is hosting your wedding and where you are getting married dictates the formality of your invitation wording. Be sure to write out names in full, including middle names and dates. Note that is there is no “and”: two thousand ten is the proper spelling of the date. 

If you are having a Church wedding, is it commonplace to use the phrase “request the honour of your presence”. Honor can be spelled honor or honour, though honour is the more formal of the two. Regardless of the spelling you choose, make sure your response card matches as well — favour or favor.

southwest chevron invitation by blush printables

If you are having a civil ceremony, or getting married outdoors (at a country club, beach, a museum, etc), you can choose to use the phrase “request the pleasure of your company”.

Always have more than one person proof read your invitations. Sometimes it takes more than one eye to catch a mistake. Many common words are often misspelled, like night or two thousand twelve, and while many designs try their best to catch misspelled words, we often don’t know if your middle name is Marie or Mari.

2. What am I supposed to include in my invitation suite?

Every invitation should include:
The name of the bride and groom
The ceremony date, date of the week, time and location

And should never include:
Your registry information

Never, under any circumstances, include gift registry information.
It is in poor taste to suggest that wedding gifts are a requirement of your guests’ attendance.

The phrase “Black tie” does not traditionally appear on the invitation.  Your invitation speaks volumes of your wedding theme, and your guests should be able to figure out if you’re having a formal or casual affair.  If you are concerned, however, you can write “Black tie” as a footnote on your reception card.  Note: The B in Black tie is capitalized, but not the t.

3. Our guest list is finalized.  Who exactly gets an invitation?

Anyone over the age of 18 gets their own invitation. This means that cousin Joe, who is 18 years old, is sent a separate invitation even if he still lives at home.

1. How do I prevent my wedding guests from inviting other guests?
Choosing the incorrect wording for your response cards is an invitation (no pun intended!) for your guests to invite more guests.

Carefully word your response cards.

Instead of including a line that says:
Number of guests attending ____

____ accepts ____ declines

This way, your guests are asked to check whether or not they will attend your wedding.
Since they are not asked to specify the number of guests attending, you are eliminating the possibility of any unwanted extras being added.

gold chevron response card by blush printables

2.  How do I word my response card?
RSVP is an abbreviation for the French phrase Répondez s’il vous plaît which means “please respond”. Using “Please RSVP” would be redundant.

3.  Who do I address the response cards to?
Your response cards will come with an envelope that should include your address for both the recipient and return address.  Be sure to include postage on the response card;  otherwise, your guests will be responsible for adding postage to their response card!

1. What is a reception card?
If your wedding ceremony and location are being held at two separate locations, it’s customary to include a reception card to notify guests when and where your reception will be taking place.

2. How do I word my reception card?
There are a number of words and phrases that you can use on your reception card, like, “Join us for dinner and dancing” or “dinner, dancing and merriment to follow” but also include the name and address of the reception site. 


1. How do I address my invitations?Your outer envelope should be addressed formally, including the name and address of your invited guest(s).  Children’s names should be listed below their parents’ names on the envelope.  A formally addressed envelope does not include abbreviations.

For example:
Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Durrand
1178 Presidential Drive
Allison Park, Pennsylvania 15101

– or –

Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Durrand
Chloe and Colin Durrand
1178 Presidential Drive
Allison Park, Pennsylvania 15101
If your unmarried friends are invited to the wedding and allowed to bring a guest, you would indicate this on the envelope.  If they are in a long term relationship, it’s common to include that persons name on the envelope as well.

For example:
Mr. Benjamin Durrand and Guest
1178 Presidential Drive
Allison Park, Pennsylvania 15101

– or –

Mr. Benjamin Durrand and Ms. Chloe Archer
1178 Presidential Drive
Allison Park, Pennsylvania 15101

5. How much postage am I supposed to use?

The size and shape of your finished invitation suite will affect the amount of postage required to mail your invitations. Take your finished invitation suite to the post office to have it weighed – a free service! – and purchase the necessary postage. Square envelopes will automatically incur additional postage fees because of their odd size, but even traditionally sized invitations may require extra postage because of their weight. Don’t forget postage for your response envelopes, too!



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stationery guide: wording etiqutte

stationery guide: wording etiqutte

stationery guide: wording etiqutte

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