How To: Format Wedding Invitations

LISTEN UP EVERYONE! Wedding invitations have gone down the toilet. My refrigerator is covered in invitations, I’m a young Mormon girl living in Utah Valley after all. And we all know that everyone and their dog is getting married. At least 3/4’s of the invitations I receive are disastrous. No one has been taught how to properly format their wedding invites and it is a tragedy. “It’s just an invitation,” you may say. I say, it is SO much more than that. This is how you are introducing your future husband or wife to everyone you know. You want to make a good impression. Nothing is worse than to have someone you love dearly thinking that your fiance’s name is Tyler instead of Taylor due to the adorable but illegible fonts or for them not to realize who the groom is at the reception because you two were kissing in the picture sent out and their face was unrecognizable.

For the benefit of invitee’s and attendee’s here are the rules on how to format and judge the format of the invitations you send and receive.

Wording and Formatting: There is a right and a wrong way to word and format the wording on your invitation. There are nine crucial bits of information you must provide. Some information must be presented in a particular order, other’s may be placed in various places.

  1. Announce the wedding
  2. Introduce the bride
  3. Introduce the bride’s parents
  4. Introduce the groom
  5. Introduce the groom’s parents
  6. Announce the wedding date
  7. Announce the wedding venue
  8. Inform them of the events they are invited to 
  9. Inform them of your registry

First, announce the wedding. This can be the very first thing your audience reads OR it can be placed before the announcement of the date or venue. Also be careful in your wording of the announcement. Many parents announce the marriage of a daughter who is yet to be wed. Instead, they need to announce the upcoming marriage. This is such a prominent problem I have included this note twice. Here are two examples for placement.

Robert and Helen Parr

are proud to announce the forthcoming marriage of their daughter

Violet

to

Marty McFly

son of George and Lorraine McFly

(Note on wording: the usage of the word FORTHCOMING. If you are not already married then you are not announcing your marriage, you are announcing the upcoming day. If you are already married and are merely sending out announcements and not invites or you have been married and are now being sealed then it is appropriate to withdraw the word forthcoming or upcoming on the announcement.)

OR

You are formally invited to the forthcoming sealing of

Violet

daughter of Robert and Helen Parr

to

Marty McFly

son of George and Lorraine McFly

 

Second, introduce everybody! The bride, groom AND THEIR PARENTS. Why are people neglecting the four people who raised, nurtured, and are most likely paying thousands of dollars for the two VIP’s? Introducing the bride and groom is straightforward. The bride is always, always, ALWAYS before the groom. (After marriage the husband is always before the wife.) For the bride and groom all you need is to state their name. It is up to you whether or not to include full or middle name’s. However, I find it much nicer when “Bob” is introduced as “Robert” or if “A.J” is introduced as “Alan Jackson.”

As for the parents, as they are already married, you introduce the husband first. If the parents have been divorced and remarried then you state the husband, the current wife (step-mother), and then the name of the birth mother. For some reason many people are neglecting to put the name of one of the mother’s. How sad is that? To have raised or birthed someone and not get any credit.

Next, you announce the wedding date and venue. I trust everyone is capable of properly writing a date and time. However, when it come’s to the venue it is important to include the name of the venue, the room in which it is being held (if applicable), and the address. It is even helpful to include parking tips. Only the name of the venue is required on the main announcement page. Extra information is best included on a separate piece of paper that is only sent to the people who are formally invited to that particular event.

These small pieces of paper are how invitee’s know which events to show up to. For example, even though it is announced to everyone that your sealing ceremony will take place in the Mt. Timpanogos Temple on June 21, 2017 only those who receive a card stating their invitation to the sealing will be allowed inside. In addition to the parking information and address of the venue, it is important to include the time they should arrive.

Last, inform everyone of your registry. It is nice to get towels that match your color scheme instead of plain white one’s from Costco. I personally like the registry to also be on a small card included with the invitation. However, I understand that the additional cards add up and it can be much cheaper to include at the bottom of the main invite, “The couple is registered at Bed Bath and Beyond,  Target, and Amazon.” Please put this in smaller lettering though so it doesn’t detract from the announcement.

And there you have it! How to properly word your announcement. You may think that I have introduced you to many new rules. Hopefully, most of you only found one or two new tidbits. But I am not done yet!

Photographs: the first thing everyone will look at when they first open your invitation is the photograph included. It is the part that will hang on their fridge until the day of the wedding (or if they’re anything like me they hang it until they need to put a new one up in it’s stead.) Unfortunately, half of the pictures I receive don’t even show off the two people getting married. Here are the rules for choosing one favorite engagement picture for the invitation.

  1. CHOOSE ONE, JUST ONE PICTURE
  2. Face the camera
  3. Close up
  4. Formal attire

We get it, you LOVE all of your engagement pictures. I know, it is hard to choose. That does not mean that you put a whole collage on the back of your invitation. It’s distracting, it’s tacky, and only you care about each of the photos. I will testify to you that it IS possible to narrow it down to one appropriate picture. You can put the rest on social media and revel in the likes and comments.

Second, stop kissing, stop gazing at each other’s lips seconds before you kiss, stop looking into each other’s eyes nose to nose, stop sitting on his lap and turning your head to face him, and just TAKE A NORMAL PORTRAIT PHOTO. The rest of the pictures described are adorable and perfect to post on Instagram with a countdown of how many days left until the wedding. For this, please select a photograph that shows off how ruggedly handsome or astonishingly beautiful your fiance is. Show off their eyes, their smile, their hair. Show off their whole face! You are introducing this person to every single person you send your invites too. Many of these are people that not even you know because your parents think it is necessary to invite all of the work associates, Great Aunt’s and Uncles, and various other miscellaneous people. When they arrive at the wedding, it let’s them know who to look for. They won’t gaze over the crowd wondering who the groom is since he’s wearing just a suit like everyone else at the event (another pet peeve I will touch on later.)

Now that you two are actually facing the camera and allowing everyone to see your faces let’s zoom in. The meadow you are walking through is gorgeous and so is your floral maxi dress that you’ve worn for engagements. But, STOP with the full length photos. Zoom in so we can clearly see your faces.

And finally, the photo you send out should be in nice attire. Most photographers allow for wardrobe changes. You can get several casual photographs everyone seems to love. In addition it is important to “get done up,” this is your wedding after all. Brides, wear a dress and grooms, wear a button down shirt and tie at the very least. Make sure the groom is clean shaven. Scruff is not tolerated on formal photographs. (If he chooses to wear a beard then make sure it is properly groomed.)

I hope this information is helpful to all future brides. I hope that this ends the terrible invitations I continually receive. I hope everyone chooses to be more traditional, classy, and appropriate with their cards. It is up to you now to stop the madness that is announcing your marriage before your wedding, collages of photographs, and photographs in which no one can be seen! It is out of my hands now. (For any additional questions feel free to contact me.) For examples of good and bad wedding invites visit my Pinterest Board at https://www.pinterest.com/mybloggstory/wedding-invites/

Now, let’s play a game. Answers will be at the bottom of the page.

GUESS WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS INVITATION! 

(I would like to apologize in advance for anyone who’s invitations ended up on Pinterest and subsequently on my article as examples of the worst invites. But it’s your own fault for choosing such terrible designs.)

 

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  1. Illegible font, no registry, and personally I find the geometric shapes ugly, (Acknowledges parents but doesn’t name them)
  2. Kissing picture, no introduction of event, no listing of parents, no registry
  3. Collage of pictures, two of which you can’t see their faces, introduces one set of parents, and is hard to read
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