Formal or Informal Wedding Invitations?

Wedding invitations are one of the first items you will select for your wedding. There are a few steps involved and some details to consider when finding the right fit. If you have begun your search, you have probably noticed there are thousands of options out there and it can seem a bit overwhelming!  Here is a guide to helping you select and personalize the right set for you.

The first question you need to ask is…are you hosting a formal or an informal wedding? Formal wedding invitations are considered to have a “proper” look and the wording is remarkably different from the casual invite. If you are moving in the formal direction, choose invitations that use a tissue liner in the center with an exterior envelope to protect the invitation itself. While a few physical characteristics may vary, the key distinction is in the verbiage.  Here are a few wording details that may diverge in a formal invitation:

  • They are sent by the “host” of the event using a formal or proper name and a title.
  • Middle names are included.
  • “Request the honour of your presence” is often used over statements such as, “please join us”.
  • The time and date are spelled out such as, “Saturday, the twenty-fifth of May at seven o’clock in the evening.”
  • The city and state are included and fully spelled out.

A casual wedding invitation creates a canvas for creativity and character. These invitations may appear more simple or imaginative and allow the use of informal wording such as:

  • We are saying “I do!”
  • “We have found our happily ever after. Join us in celebrating!”
  • The date and time do not need to be spelled out in a formal way.
  • You can include the name of a particular host or just let your guest know they are invited in any creative form.

If you are unsure about which invitation best suits your wedding motif, click here for your wedding invitation guide

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.