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With its substantial weight, luxurious paper, and carefully lettered name and address, a wedding invitation distinguishes itself from all other envelopes in the mailbox right away. The obvious care with which this small package has been created promises something special inside – and a special event to come. Your wedding invitation is also the first impression your guests will have of your wedding style.

The Ultra-formal wedding dictates the use of a formal, standard size, engraved invitation on white or ivory card stock. The wording is extremely traditional, formal, including ‘requests the honour of your presence’.

All other wedding styles have wondrous choices; the invitation itself, the paper, the wording and the enclosures.

Papers now can be bright, colored, recycled paper, printed with a design and always carry the beginning of a theme wedding. The invitation sets the stage for the entire ceremony and reception. Most invitation specialists have thousands of choices. It is usually helpful if your idea of how formal you wish your invitation to be. Your specialist can also help you with the proper wording for any of hundreds of circumstances and will have examples for you.

Making a list of the guests’ addresses, writing, stuffing and posting these important envelopes takes advance planning and attention to detail. Get organised at least a month before your desired send-out date (which is usually 6-8 weeks before the wedding). Remember that if you are expecting guest to travel from abroad, they need to make adequate hotel and flight reservations so let them know as soon as you have confirmed your wedding date.

The address on a wedding invitation should be handwritten, printed labels are not appropriate. Depending on your handwriting and the level of formality of your wedding, you may want to have your envelopes inscribed by a professional calligrapher. Allow your calligrapher at least three weeks. Also provide her with a neatly printed guest list, complete with full addresses and social and professional titles (Mr. or Dr. for example). Compiling the list, as well as making phone calls to parents or friends to acquire or confirm addresses and spellings, can take some time, so don’t wait until the last minute to get started. Remember, little things do matter so though etiquette for addressing and assembling invitations has relaxed, there are still some requirements. Addressing an invitation in the correct way, shows you have put thought into it.

Order your invitations and announcements 4-6 months before the wedding. Know your exact guest count first and order a few extra, to allow room for mistakes. You will need an invitation for your parents, each husband and wife, each single guest over 16 years of age, each attendant, each attendant’s parents, and the clergy. The latter is of special importance if you have a personal relationship with them. All persons’ names are completely spelled out, with the exception of Dr. Mr. Mrs. Miss and Ms., and written in black ink. Check your invitations carefully when they come in, some invitations can get torn whilst they are being printed.



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