Wedding invitations

posted in: examples of work, Weddings | 0

Pasties & Petticoats blog 1

Stop! Read this!

Words are powerful. After all, you stopped and read this, didn’t you!

Reading or hearing the words ‘Once upon a time…’ puts you into a comfy chair, cuddled up waiting for a good story, hopefully with a happy-ever-after.

‘It was a dark and stormy night…’ is a different kind of story altogether.

This blog is about invitations, specifically how they are written. Imagine, you are opening the post one day and see three wedding invitations.

Invitation 1 says:

Mr and Mrs Arthur McGulliver-Jones cordially request the pleasure of the company of (you) at the marriage of their daughter….

Invitation 2 says:

Frank and Helen Armstrong invite (you) to help them celebrate the marriage of their daughter…

Invitation 3 says:

Josh and Serena are finally tying the knot and we would love (you) to help us party!

So, three different styles.  The pictures you conjure on reading those three different invitations are three very different weddings.

1 says you need to go and buy a new dress, probably with matching hat, shoes and bag. You’ll need to get your hair done, and make sure your +1 has his cut too. As you read further down, you’re not surprised to learn this wedding is in a big old church, or grand stately pile.

2 says you can wear that nice dress you bought last summer and only got to wear twice. You’ll be part of a family celebration, so you will probably find yourself dancing with the bride’s grandfather and the groom’s 4-year-old nephew during the evening. The food will be lovely but not the five courses with scary amounts of cutlery that wedding 1 promises.

3 doesn’t surprise you at all when it gives the venue as a beach-front bar’s function room. You know the groom will probably change into board shorts part way through, if he doesn’t turn up in them in the first place. You can wear whatever you like, but probably with your bikini underneath. It will be a wild party and you’ll probably end up dancing with pretty much everyone.

You need to think, when you write your own invitation: what image do you want to create in the minds of your guests as they read it. You need to make sure they don’t misunderstand the type of wedding you will be having, and turn up in the ‘wrong’ clothes. You might like to include a note of dress code if there is something particular – boardshorts, kilts, black tie…

Other things you need to make sure are included in your invitation are:

  • Where
  • When
  • Ceremony, or just reception
  • RSVP details, with date to reply by, and option to specify dietary requirements.

Your guests will also want other information which can clutter up the look of an invitation, and is often worth putting on a separate sheet:

  • Directions to the venue(s)
  • Local places to stay, and whether the reception venue has a special deal for your guests
  • Contact details for caterers, so special dietary requirements can be discussed
  • Any disability-related issues, such as whether the venue has level access, or is upstairs/outside/etc
  • Gift list, or alternative suggestion

As well as working out what you want to say, you will need to think about how you want your invitation to look. This again will set the tone of the wedding, and help guests form a picture of the occasion. However, that’s a blog post for another time.

Thankyou for reading, and best wishes with organising your wedding, and for a long and happy marriage!

Weddings blog – complete series:

  1. invitations
  2. invitations again – making vs printing
  3. vows
  4. the rest of your ceremony, music, readings, etc
  5. speeches – content, running order, and who should give them.
  6. how to give a great wedding speech

Condensed version: ‘top 10 tips for words to get right at your wedding‘, for the Pasties and Petticoats newsletter.

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