What to Know Before You Order Invitations

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What to Know Before You Order Your Invitations

  • Invitations announce to the guest the location and time of the ceremony.
  • Reception cards announce to the guest the location and time of the reception.
  • Response cards, generally provided with a pre-addressed, stamped envelope, asks guest to respond if they will be able to attend or not.
  • Informals, used mainly as thank you notes, are blank cards with your names or initials printed on the outside.
  • RSVP are the initials for the French words “Respondez s’il vous plait”, which mean “reply, if you please”.
  • The words “honour” and “favour” are only spelled with a “u” when the wedding ceremony will take place in a house of worship.
  • All words, including the date, year, time, name of street, city, state, must be spelled out; no abbreviations, initials or nicknames are allowed (exception: Mr., Mrs., Dr., Jr., and Lt. when combined with “Colonel, General, or Commander”).
  • The word “to” is to link the names of the Bride and the Groom on the ceremony invitation. The word “and” is to link the names of the Bride and Groom on the reception invitation.
  • All invitations are to be printed in black ink, not color.
  • Envelope linings add a little flair and color to the invitations.

Helpful Hints

  1. Determine the number of invitations you need. This is not the same as a guest count as many times you only send one invitation per household (exception: if a child is over 18 and living at home s/he receives their own invitation).
  2. Take a couple of weeks to visit two or three stationers in your area.
  3. In ordering, it can take anywhere from seven days to two months to receive your order. Most orders take two to three weeks.
  4. Order at least 25 more invitations than your actual count in case you need more later. Also, order more envelopes in case of addressing errors (calligraphers often ask for 10% extra for mistakes).
  5. Proof read carefully before the order is sent in. If you didn’t catch a mistake in the write-up, the cost to reprint is yours. When the order comes in, proof read again and count the number of invitations to ensure you received the amount ordered. Do this before you leave the store. Stationers have only a 3-5 day window period allowed by printers to catch mistakes.
  6. Leave a two-week buffer zone in case your invitations come in with errors. One stationer told us that one out of every three orders comes in from the manufacturer with errors.
  7. Considering how busy you are with work and wedding planning, figure to leave three to four weeks to address invitations. If using a calligrapher, most take between one and three weeks to complete a job.
  8. Mail invitations to out-of-state guests at least six weeks before the wedding. For in-town guests, mail a least four weeks before the event. If the wedding is on a holiday weekend, consider mailing the invitations two weeks earlier so that your guests will have time to make plans and lock-in reservations.

Click here to view invitation samples.

Hints on How to Word Your Invitations Properly

When the Bride’s parents host the wedding

Mr. and Mrs. Charles William Pearson
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Rachel Lee
to
Andrew David Tucker
Saturday, the eighth of December
two thousand and eighteen
at four o’clock
Church of Spiritual Living
Prescott, Arizona

When the Groom’s parents host the wedding

Mr. and Mrs. John Lawrence Tucker
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of
Miss Rachel Lee Pearson
to
their son
Mr. Andrew David Tucker
Saturday, the eighth of December
two thousand and eighteen
at four o’clock
Church of Spiritual Living
Prescott, Arizona

When the Bride and Groom’s parents jointly issue the invitation

Mr. and Mrs. Charles William Pearson
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Rachel Lee
to
Andrew David Tucker
son of
Mr. and Mrs. John Lawrence Tucker
Saturday, the eighth of December
two thousand and eighteen
at four o’clock
Church of Spiritual Living
Prescott, Arizona

Bridal Couple hosts the wedding

If the Bride does not have a sponsor, or she and her fiancé wish to sponsor their own wedding, they may issue the invitations themselves.

The honour of your presence
is requested at the marriage of
Miss Rachel Lee Pearson
to
Mr. Andrew David Tucker
Saturday, the eighth of December
two thousand and eighteen
at four o’clock
Church of Spiritual Living
Prescott, Arizona

When a Widow who has not remarried hosts the wedding

Mrs. Charles William Pearson
requests the honour of your presence
at the marriage of her daughter
Rachel Lee
to
Andrew David Tucker
Saturday, the eighth of December
two thousand and eighteen
at four o’clock
Church of Spiritual Living
Prescott, Arizona

When a Widower who has not remarried hosts the wedding

Mr. Charles William Pearson
requests the honour of your presence
at the marriage of his daughter
Rachel Lee
to
Andrew David Tucker
Saturday, the eighth of December
two thousand and eighteen
at four o’clock
Church of Spiritual Living
Prescott, Arizona

When the Bride’s Mother has remarried after being widowed or divorced

Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Joseph Henderson
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of Mrs. Henderson’s daughter
(or, if the Bride is close to her stepfather,
their daughter)
Rachel Lee Pearson
to
Andrew David Tucker
Saturday, the eighth of December
two thousand and eighteen
at four o’clock
Church of Spiritual Living
Prescott, Arizona

When the Bride’s Father has remarried after being widowed or divorced

Mr. and Mrs. Charles William Pearson
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of Mr. Pearson’s daughter
(or, if the Bride is close to her stepmother, their daughter)
Rachel Lee
to
Andrew David Tucker
Saturday, the eighth of December
two thousand and eighteen
at four o’clock
Church of Spiritual Living
Prescott, Arizona

When a Divorced Mother has not remarried
If issuing the invitations, she may use the traditional divorcée’s combination of her maiden and married surnames (Mrs. Armstrong Pearson), or she may drop Mrs. and substitute her first name (Virginia Armstrong Pearson). It is also acceptable for her to use her first name, middle name, and married surname (Mrs. Virginia Mary Pearson). The rest of the invitation is worded as for a widowed parent.

Virginia Armstrong Pearson
requests the honour of your presence
at the marriage of her daughter
Rachel Lee
to
Andrew David Tucker
Saturday, the eighth of December
two thousand and eighteen
at four o’clock
Church of Spiritual Living
Prescott, Arizona

When a Divorced Father has not remarried
If the Bride’s father issues the invitations, it carries his full name and the phrase his daughter. The wording is the same for a widower who has not remarried.

Mr. Charles William Pearson
requests the honour of your presence
at the marriage of his daughter
Rachel Lee
to
Andrew David Tucker
Saturday, the eighth of December
two thousand and eighteen
at four o’clock
Church of Spiritual Living
Prescott, Arizona

When Divorced Parents send a joint invitation
This may be sent if the parents are still on good terms. Avoid using Mr. and Mrs., since that is no longer the case, and list their names on separate lines, remarried or not.

Virginia Armstrong Pearson
(or Mrs. Stephen Joseph Henderson, if remarried)
and
Charles William Pearson
(or Mr. Charles William Pearson)
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Rachel Lee
to
Andrew David Tucker
Saturday, the eighth of December
two thousand and eighteen
at four o’clock
Church of Spiritual Living
Prescott, Arizona

Double Wedding

Mr. and Mrs. Charles William Pearson
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughters
Rachel Lee
to
Andrew David Tucker
and
Laura Lee
to
Robert Earl Dawson
Saturday, the eighth of December
two thousand and eighteen
at four o’clock
Church of Spiritual Living
Prescott, Arizona

When Relations, other than the parents, host the wedding

The sponsor’s relationship to the Bride is spelled out with such words as his sister, her sister, or their niece, substituted for the word their daughter.

Mr. and Mrs. James Lionel Pearson
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of his sister
Rachel Lee
to
Andrew David Tucker
Saturday, the eighth of December
two thousand and eighteen
at four o’clock
Church of Spiritual Living
Prescott, Arizona

If a Friend hosts the wedding

The invitation lists the Bride’s full name with Miss (or Ms.) before it.

Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Sean Kaites
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of
Miss (or Ms.) Rachel Lee Pearson
to
Mr. Andrew David Tucker
Saturday, the eighth of December
two thousand and eighteen
at four o’clock
Church of Spiritual Living
Prescott, Arizona

When the Bride has a professional title

Mr. and Mrs. Charles William Pearson
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Dr. Rachel Lee Pearson
to
Mr. Andrew David Tucker
Saturday, the eighth of December
two thousand and eighteen
at four o’clock
Church of Spiritual Living
Prescott, Arizona

When the Bride or Groom have a military title

Mr. and Mrs. Charles William Pearson
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Commander Rachel Lee Pearson
United States Navy
to
Major Andrew David Tucker
United States Marine Corps
Saturday, the eighth of December
two thousand and eighteen
at four o’clock
Church of Spiritual Living
Prescott, Arizona

Wedding and Reception Invitation in One

Mr. and Mrs. Charles William Pearson
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Rachel Lee
to
Mr. Andrew David Tucker
Saturday, the eighth of December
two thousand and eighteen
Church of Spiritual Living
Prescott
and afterward at the reception
Prescott Creek Country Club
116 North Summit Avenue
Prescott, Arizona

Invitation to Reception Only

Mr. and Mrs. Charles William Pearson
request the pleasure of your company
at the wedding reception
for their daughter
Rachel Lee
and
Mr. Andrew David Tucker
Saturday, the eighth of December
two thousand and eighteen
at five o’clock
Prescott Creek Country Club
116 North Summit Avenue
Prescott, Arizona
R.s.v.p.

Belated Wedding Reception
When a reception is not held at the time of the wedding, the couple or their parents often have one later, possibly when the newlyweds return from their honeymoon, or returning from being deployed in active military duty. Although the party is being held to celebrate the wedding, the wording must be slightly changed.

Mr. and Mrs. Charles William Pearson
request the pleasure of your company
at a reception
in honour of
Mr. and Mrs. Andrew David Tucker
(or for less formal invitations,
Rachel and Andrew)
Saturday, the eighth of December
two thousand and eighteen
at five o’clock
Prescott Creek Country Club
116 North Summit Avenue
Prescott, Arizona

Response Cards
The custom of using response cards has evolved due to sheer necessity. Guests are too lazy or inconsiderate of good behavior to respond to an invitation. The problem is you need a head count to give to your caterer. Response cards have thus become a practical matter. They are to be the smallest size accepted by the postal service, engraved in the same style as the invitation, and should include a self-addressed stamped envelope.

M __________________________
Accepts ____________
Declines ____________
The favour of your reply is requested by November 26

A response card should not include “number of persons”. Those whose names appear on the outer and inner envelopes are the only ones invited and other members of the family are not included. When “number of persons” appears, people are inclined to think that other members or guests of the family may attend, and you will find yourself with many times the number of guests you expect.

Wedding Announcements are mailed as soon after the ceremony as possible (never before) to friends and family not invited to the wedding. The traditional wedding announcement follows the same form as the traditional wedding invitation, except that the wording is changed a little. Announcements must include the day, month, year, city and state where the ceremony took place. No abbreviations are permitted. “At home” cards may be included in Announcements.
When the Bride’s Parents Send the Announcement

Mr. and Mrs. Charles William Pearson
announce the marriage of their daughter
(or have the honor to announce or
have the honour of announcing)
Rachel Lee
to
Andrew David Tucker
Saturday, the eighth of December
two thousand and eighteen
Prescott, Arizona

Bridal Couple Send the Announcement

Rachel Lee Pearson
and
Andrew David Tucker
announce their marriage
Saturday, the eighth of December
two thousand and eighteen
Prescott, Arizona

Maps and Travel Information
Maps and travel information can be very helpful to guests unfamiliar with the area. Maps should be included in the invitation, small, neatly drawn, showing the best routes to the church and/or reception from every direction.
Admission Cards
Except when a wedding is held in a cathedral or a church that attracts sightseers, admission cards are not necessary. To ensure privacy in those circumstances, each guest is asked to present his or her card at the entrance. It is engraved in the same style as the invitation.

Please present this card
at
Church of Spiritual Living
Saturday, the eighth of December

Renewal of Vows and Reception

1977  2016
In honour of
Mr. and Mrs. James Oliver Long
their son and daughter-in-law
(or “their sons and daughters-in-law” or “their children and spouses” or “their family”)
invite you to attend
the Renewal of Vows
Thirty-Ninth Anniversary
of their marriage
Saturday, the eighth of December
two thousand and eighteen
at five o’clock
Church of Spiritual Living
Prescott
and afterwards at dinner
Golden Hills Country Club
(street address optional)

Please reply to
Mrs. James Oliver Long, Jr.
1121 Main Street
Prescott, Arizona 86301

Anniversary Reception hosted by Family

1977  2016
In honour of
Mr. and Mrs. James Oliver Long
their son and daughter-in-law
(or “their sons and daughters-in-law” or “their children and spouses” or “their family”)
request the pleasure of your company
at dinner
Saturday, the eighth of December
two thousand and seventeen
at seven o’clock
Golden Hills Country Club
(street address optional)

Please reply to
Mrs. James Oliver Long, Jr.
1121 Main Street
Prescott, Arizona 86301

At Home Cards
If the Bride and Groom wish their family and friends to know their new address after their marriage, you may insert an “at home” card in the invitation.

Mr. and Mrs. Andrew David Tucker
(or Rachel and Andrew Tucker)
will be at home
after December 15
9936 West Grand Avenue, Apartment B
Prescott, Arizona 86301
(928) 555-5555

If the Bride plans to keep her own name, “at home” cards are a great way to inform people.

Dr. Rachel Pearson and Mr. Andrew Tucker
will be at home
after December 15
9936 West Grand Avenue, Apartment B
Prescott, Arizona 86301
(928) 555-5555