Wednesday, April 22, 2015

How do I Address My Save-the-Dates / Invitations?

It is #WeddingWednesday! As promised, I am presenting a blog on one of the most common questions about wedding planning!

This week’s question asks what the proper way to address your invitations is.  Often individuals find themselves stressing over this.  If you take a breath and look at these tips, you’ll find yourself tossing those invites in the mail in no time!

The invitation, or Save-The-Date, is the first indication to your guests what the atmosphere of your event will be.  This will help them determine what to wear, how to groom, how they act, etc.  As such, it is important to send a clear message.  Will your event be formal?  Will it be super casual?  Let’s break this down into design/style and wording.

When deciding on the design and style of your invitation, the first thing you should think about is the formality of your event.  If you are hosting a White- or Black-Tie function, a more elaborate invitation would be appropriate.  Think lush paper, multi-layered envelops and inserts.

If you are going for a laid-back, casual affair, a single sheet/single envelop invite works great.  You could use postcards, or even email depending on the event and audience!

Don’t forget to consider your theme and/or color scheme, if you have one.  Are you planning an “under the sea” waterside picnic? It’s probably going to be a little confusing if you send out movie themed invitations!

Wording for Invitees
The next big hang-up is how you write the names on the invitations.  Again, first, consider the formality of your event.  If you are hosting a White- or Black-Tie affair, formal titles are a must.  Imagine if you received a lush wedding invitation with tons of layers and inserts, but then it was addressed “Kaylee and Simon,” instead of “Miss Kaywinnet Frye & Dr. Simon Tam.”  It would be a little confusing as to the environment of the affair.
Here are some ideas for how to word your invitations:

Man’s name first, Woman’s name second when listing them together formally.  If listing them separately and/or informally it would be Woman’s name first, Man’s name second.  If you were inviting the crew of the Serenity, the invite might look something like this:

Formal: Mr. and Mrs. Hoban and Zoe Washburne
Informal: Zoe & Hoban Washburne

If the couple has the same last name, you can keep them on the same line, as above.  If not, you can list them on separate lines…with the Woman’s name first, Man’s name second.

Ms. Zoe Alleyne Washburne
Mr. Hoban Washburne

With same-sex couples, I would follow the rule of thumb to list the person you are closest to first (This also applies for male/female couples where you don’t really know one of the people).  If you are just as close to both people, list them alphabetically.

Ms. Yolanda Saffron Bridget
Ms. Inara Serra

If you don’t have a multi-layered invite, the envelop should list all of the individuals invited, including children.  If you do have a multi-layer invitation, you can list the adults on the outside envelop and add the children to the inner envelop, if children are invited.  I follow the rule of listing children from oldest to youngest.

Formal: Mr. and Mrs. Hoban and Zoe Washburne, Mr. Stegosaurus, Mr. Apatosaur, & Miss Ceratosaurus
Mr. and Mrs. Washburne & Family

Informal: Zoe & Hoban Washburne, and Stegosaurus, Apatosaur, & Ceratosaurus
The Wasburne Family

In regards to single invitees, the following examples works:

Shepard Derrial Book
Shepard Derrial Book and Miss River Tam
(If You Know Their Guest’s Name)
Shepard Derrial Book and Guest
(If You Don’t Have a Guest Name)

When deciding to use titles, be sure to use the correct titles.  Don’t list someone as Mrs. if she uses Dr. or hasn’t taken her husband’s last name…in which case it should be Ms. (Unless of course it is Dr…lol!)

CORRECT: Dr. Simon Tam
INCORRECT: Mr. Simon Tam

Wording for Host(s)
When deciding whether to list who is hosting the wedding, and if so how to word it, once again the formality of the wedding should be taken into consideration.  A formal wedding invitation is more likely to have the host/parental information listed.  For example:

Ms. Inara Serra and Capt. Malcolm Reynolds
Wish to Invite you to the Wedding of their Daughter
Miss Kaywinnet Lee Fyre
Dr. Simon Tam
Son of Mr. and Mrs. Regan and Gabriel Tam

If neither set of parents is contributing to the wedding, the bride and groom may opt to leave this out.  If they decide to list their parents’ names in the invitation, it should be bride’s parents first, groom’s parents second.  This should also be the order if both sets of parents are contributing to the wedding.
If one set of parents is contributing, but not the other, some may argue that the non-contributing parents should either be left off the invitation or listed second.

I hope this helps you check off your Save-the-Date/Invitation to do on your wedding planning checklist!  Send me your questions, and I’ll answer you in depth in a future blog!