I got into graphic design accidentally. I took a course and did well. The professor kept telling me how good I was at it and offered me a job in the computer lab. While working, I practiced more. Then one day I was designing an invitation for a party at school and I remember thinking – if I could make money – I’d do this for the rest of my life. Ten years later – here I am. Still designing invitations – just on a slightly larger scale.
You may have noticed that we temporarily took down our invitation section. It’ll be back on before the re-launch on April 1st. We are changing vendors and coming up with some sweet new suites (had to.)
The first time I was hired to design a custom invite I was nervous – to say the least. This was a card for someone’s BIG DAY. I knew how important it was – I had a scrapbook since I was a teenager with the perfect samples of what I would want MY future wedding stationery to look like. A little strange – I know. But I digress.
So I got the job – talked with the bride and the groom – they wanted florals – okay – I was ready to design. The design went smoothly (only one edit that I can remember – phew!) They loved it and now it was time for the wording. I did research previously, but figured they had specific text in mind. I was wrong. They said “whatever you think is best”, definitely not what a newbie, nervous graphic designer wanted to hear. Anyway – this was my chance to learn. And folks, let me tell you, the words and phrases you use are completely up to you. However – by researching I found some old traditional “guidelines” when preparing how you address and invite guests to your wedding.
First, there is the invitation structure. Typically, the invitation has five parts: the host, the couple to wed, the invitation, the information and the reception information.
Okay, so here we go:
First, the host(s). This can be the couple, the bride’s parents/family, the groom’s parents/family, the couple’s friends or whoever is doing the inviting of others to the event. In the case of the sample invitation above, both the families of the bride and groom are hosting the wedding along with the couple. Here is some additional common host phrasing:
Brides Parents are hosting: Mr. and Mrs. (Bride’s Father)
Grooms Parents are hosting: Mr. and Mrs. (Groom’s Father)
Both Sets of Parents are hosting: Mr. and Mrs. (Bride’s Father) and Mr. and Mrs. (Groom’s Father)
Bride and Groom are hosting: Bride’s Full Name & Groom’s Full name
Bride and Groom and Parents: Together with their families…
There is always the case of the parents who are remarried – In that case you would include both parent’s and their spouses. The mother’s name typically comes first in this situation.
Next, the names. This one is simple Bride and Groom’s names. With the bride first. Or Bride and Bride or Groom and Groom – whatever the case may be!
Now it’s time to actually invite your guests. If the Bride and Groom are doing the hosting – they are requesting the company of the guests. So you may something like (Bride and Groom) request the honor of your company as they wed. While, if the parents are hosting they are requesting the guest’s presence as their child gets married. The wording in that situation may sound something like: (Bride’s Parents) request the honor of your presence as their daughter marries.
Next up, it’s time to inform your guests on where and when. In formal wedding situations, it is traditional to spell everything out. For example, 3:00PM would be Three O’Clock in the Afternoon.
Lastly, you want them to know when it’s time to party. So you may want to include a small phrase at the bottom with “Reception to follow” if you intend on having the reception at the same location as the ceremony. Many times, couples decide to include additional cards with the invitation such as an RSVP card to mail back to the bride and groom. Often, there is also a reception card in the suite that tells more about the reception and accommodations if need be.
And THAT, my darlings, is how you typically structure a wedding invitation. If you have any questions – let me know. Or if there is something you would like to add – comment below!