Your Wedding Invitations Guide

Now that you are engaged, congratulations! As you begin organizing details, take some time to find a style of wedding invitation that is right for you.  Here is a guide to helping you begin the selection process as well as understanding how to properly address and insert the correct wording.

Style

First, determine whether you plan to have a casual or formal event and keep your setting in mind.  Will your wedding take place indoors or outdoors, in the evening or early afternoon? Are you planning a destination wedding, or something at your local church? Each of these factors can play a part when deciding which invitation to choose. A formal wedding invitation is better suited for an indoor wedding in the evening hours where a sit-down dinner will be served.  A casual invitation is better suited for an early afternoon wedding on the beach. It is essential that the formality and style of your selection corresponds with your atmosphere.

Colors

Have you already selected the colors of your bridesmaid’s dresses and floral arrangements? If you have a shade in mind, wedding invitations are a perfect avenue for introducing your color theme.

Addressing

Before you order your wedding invitations, pre-plan who will be included on your guest list.  Always order additional invitations in the event you need to extend a last-minute invite. Address your envelopes to clearly reflect who you plan to include.  If you are hoping for a family along with their children, address your envelopes to the “Family of….” If you only intend to invite the couple, address the invitation to “Mr. and Mrs.…” For the singleton who is engaged, be sure to include their fiancé. In this instance, or in the instance of a single person who you want to bring a guest, write “Mr. or Ms.….and Guest” While most single adults are allowed to bring a date to weddings, if you are keeping your numbers low and only want to invite him or her, be sure you only address the invitation to the name of the person you plan to include. Here are more tips on how to keep your guest list small.   Here is a guide to knowing when you should allow a “plus-one.” Make sure you include response cards and envelopes with postage to keep your RSVP list in order.

Wording

This part should take most of your attention and time. It is essential to include the name of the bride and groom, the exact wedding location and time, parent’s name if they are taking part in wedding payment and planning, and any other pertinent information your guests will need to know. Avoid adding registry information or logistics. If you want to include anything additional such as these items, add them to a card or small note within the envelope. Feel free to add a poem, or something unique to make your invitation special, but remember to keep it simple with few words. Too much information in a small space can be overwhelming. Here are some invitation mistakes to avoid. If you are planning a reception following your ceremony include a note stating “Reception to follow” so all guest can plan ahead. Optional elements to include in your envelope are, reception details, directions, registry information, and anything else.  Wedding website details can be added to your invitation or as an optional add-in.

The Perfect Time to Serve Dessert at Your Reception

Timing your wedding reception is key to keeping your guests engaged and having a good time. While there is a typical order of events, when you serve dessert will determine how the rest of the evening will flow. Here are some tips to helping you plan ahead.

Let it flow

If you are hosting a sit-down meal, let the courses flow naturally and offer your sweet treats once the main course is complete and the dirty plates have been removed. At this point, direct everyone’s attention to the cake display and begin serving slices as soon as you finalize the cutting celebration. If you are hosting an open buffet, let your wedding coordinator determine when your guests are wrapping up their final course. Then you can cut the cake and set out dessert alternatives.  Find great options for a sweets table here.

Don’t delay

Some guests will be ready to leave after dinner is served, yet they will want to see the newlyweds cut their cake. While dinner should not be rushed, do not delay for too long! Timing your dessert will allow these guests to fully enjoy your celebration and head home before the party and dancing takes over. You can leave the sweets on display and available for your long-term party guests to enjoy throughout the evening.

Setting the party mood

Cutting the cake is a great way to direct the attention of your guests away from their table members and towards the happy couple. This can lead smoothly to toasting and first dances. It is understood to be the finality of your meal and the introduction to the reception party. Have fun with it and allow the DJ to take the floor. It’s only fun from here!