There are lots of things to think about when writing your wedding invitations, and there are lots of important pieces of information that need to be included. Here is a guide detailing information that you should include and other useful information.
- Whose wedding?
The most important information of all is to say whose wedding it is. Traditionally, it would be the parents of the bride who would host and pay for the wedding, and therefore invitations are often addressed with the parents of the bride inviting you to the wedding of (bride then groom’s names). However, these days, weddings are often paid for by the bride and groom with help from both sets of parents. You could say the parents of and then write the names of the bride and groom or you could simply say the bride and groom (full names) request the pleasure of your company.
- Date and time
This needs to be exact with the time. The date should say the day of the week with the date, month and year. Think carefully about the time. You want to give your guests plenty of time to get there, find somewhere to park and then sit down. Tell them 15 minutes or so before you want the ceremony to start, that way, the odd late arrival who couldn’t find the venue or parking doesn’t walk in during the ceremony. Don’t go too much earlier than this as guests will be impatiently waiting. It’s also helpful to state the time your reception will start, as there may be those who wish to go home in between (particularly those with children or elderly people).
You need to say where your wedding is and if the reception is in a different place, simply state reception to follow at… Give the address with the post code and further information such as landmarks if you feel it could be tricky to find or park, give more details later on in your invitation.
It’s more or less a given that there will be food served at some point, whether it be a sit down meal, hog roast or buffet. If you are having a sit down meal, ensure that the options are clearly listed with any allergens. Often venues will want to know definite numbers for food as soon as possible, so give a date by when people should submit option. If there is a children’s menu, ensure that this is included for those with children. It’s useful if the menu choice information is on a separate sheet with a tick box selection and a place to put their names, so that they can send their requests back to you or give them to you.
It’s the most awkward part of your invitations. In some respects you do not have to say anything about presents if you do not wish but if you and your partner have been living together for a while, it’s unlikely your going to need another toaster or kettle. Generally, most couples appreciate some money if anything that could go towards a honeymoon. Find a nice poem that explains that, but also emphasises that it is not essential to give a gift and you genuinely just want them to come to your wedding. There are lots of them on the Internet but something like, ‘it’s not your presents but your presence…’. Some couples may also wish donations to be made to charities but again when suggesting this, don’t make it mandatory, rather a suggestions for those wishing to give a gift.
The venue and you will need to know who is coming to arrange seating plans, food, seats etc. Give plenty of time, don’t give them the same date or the day before the venue need to know final numbers. There will always be someone that doesn’t reply on time, so make sure you give time. Unfortunately, you may find you need to chase people for menu decision so give yourselves time to do this.
People also need to know to whom they must RSVP. Give people a few ways to do this, as you will have guests that prefer a handwritten posted reply and those that will simply prefer to send a text or email. You can put both the bride and grooms details but it is probably best that if you want to give a mobile number that you just put one, as when it comes to making the final list, you don’t want to be looking through lots of emails, mobiles and letters. It may be an idea to attach a separate slip, like the menu one where people can tick box if they are coming and if they are bringing a guest or not.
- Helpful information
It is often useful to give people a bit more information about the day. If you are having your reception in a different location, sometimes people offer a coach to get people from one place to the other. If not, it may be good to offer some directions and advice for parking or the number of a good local taxi company. You could even print a little map with the two places pin pointed on them.
More than likely, you will have guests travelling to attend. If your venue happens to be a hotel, often discounts are given to guests of the wedding, so it’s good to let guest know how much discount. It’s good to offer a couple of other places near by, in case the venue gets full or is a little expensive, (often hotel venues require guests to stay for two night too). You may know some good places but ensure they suit the guest you are inviting (families, elderly). Include the names, addresses and telephone numbers of these places. You don’t need to list loads and loads, two or three should be plenty.