Wedding Invitations by Coral Pheasant Stationery Ideas & Advice Wedding Invitations by Coral Pheasant Stationery

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Wedding Invitations Guide

Plan your invites with this comprehensive guide to wedding invitations – including etiquette, cost, trends, and wording samples for wedding invitations.

Wedding invitations are the focal point of your wedding stationery, providing the first glimpse into the style and formality of the wedding. While save-the-dates can be flirty and fun, your invitations will be a true reflection of the event you’re planning.

Everything You Need to Know About Wedding Invitations…

The Anatomy of a Wedding Invitation

Wedding invitations can include a number of enclosures, depending on the nature of your wedding and your stationery budget (obviously more enclosures means higher costs).

  • Outer envelope: Holds all enclosures, formally addressed to the recipient.
  • Inner envelope: Holds all contents of the formal, third-person invitation for protection during shipping.
  • Reception card: Specifies where and when the reception will be held – usually included only if the ceremony and reception take place at different locations.
  • Response card: On which your guests indicate acceptance or regrets; in self-addressed stamped envelope; make sure to include an RSVP deadline.
  • Map/Directional: Optional insertion to help guests navigate and arrange for accommodations.

Wedding Invitations Cost & Budget Considerations

Before you go shopping, become familiar with the invitation printing process and lingo; this will help you determine your needs in advance and avoid unnecessary costs. Price is determined per invitation, so if your guest list is huge, be prepared to designate a significant portion of your budget to wedding invitations. Costs can range anywhere from $1–$50 each. Bulky papers, colored inks, and unique graphics all increase the cost. Custom designs can also be pricey.

Printing options also affect the cost.

  • Engraving: A traditional, formal and expensive technique that results in raised print pressed through the back.
  • Thermography: Less expensive than engraving – the results are a raised print that does not press through the back.
  • Letterpress: An old-fasioned relief-printing technique that produces stamped images; cost varies though it tends to be an expensive option.
  • Lithography: Less expensive than either engraving or theromography, the results are a print that is neither raised nor pressed through.
  • Laser printing: This is the least expensive option; produced on a laser printer – the results are similar to that of lithography.

When factoring total costs, don’t forget to consider postage as part of your budget, including stamps for the response card envelopes. Looking for ways to save? Keep your design simple, sticking to one color. Use lighter weight papers and include less inserts. Use response postcards instead of cards with envelopes.

For even more ways to save on wedding invitations, consult our guide to budget-friendly stationery.

Wedding Invitations Trends

As with all other aspects of your wedding, your invitations give you an opportunity to reflect a particular color, theme, and/or season of your wedding. They are your first opportunity to “wow” guests and give them a sneak peek into your wedding style. Incorporate colors and motifs reminiscent of the time of year without being too predictable. For example:Unique tree silhouettes and shades of gold in the fall and a stag head or antlers with deep cranberry and rich blues in the winter. Creative additions like ribbon, jute string, or a small feather can help create a memorable design. Whatever you decide, make your invitations innovative and unique to your personal style and wedding.

Wedding Invitations – Tips, Rules & Etiquette

  • When to send them: Though not entirely necessary, save-the-dates are a great way to generate excitement and should go out five to six months prior. Your invitations should be sent six to eight weeks before the big day. Try to order them three or four months in advance to ensure they go out on time.
  • How many to order: Order about 25% more than the number of guests you’re inviting – you’re bound to make mistakes and last-minute additions.
  • Consider hiring a calligrapher for an added touch of elegance. Make sure to factor in the additional timing to ensure your invitations go out on time.

Wedding Invitation Wording Etiquette
Many rules apply to wording and addressing invitations. Here are some of the basics to ensure yours are faux pas-free:

  • Dates and times should be spelled out (half after four o’clock in the evening, not 4:30 p.m.; the twenty-second of April, not April 22)
  • Mr. and Mrs. are abbreviated and Jr. may be, but the title Doctor should be spelled out
  • No punctuation is used, except after abbreviations and between the city and state.
  • An invitation to just the wedding ceremony does not include an R.S.V.P.
  • “Hosting” the wedding can mean anything from a set of parents helping to plan the event, inviting the guests, or covering the costs:
  •   If there is one set of hosts, list their names at the beginning.   If both sets are hosting, list on separate lines with bride’s parents first.   If one set is hosting but you want to include the other set as well, note their names under their son’s/daughter’s name.   If you are hosting your own wedding, begin with the request line and state parents’ relationship under your name.   If you and both sets of parents are hosting, list your names first followed by “together with their parents” before the   request line.

Weding Invitation Addressing Etiquette

  • No abbreviations, except for Mr., Mrs., Ms., and Jr. States must also be spelled out.
  • If one of your single guests is bringing a date you know personally, send that person a separate invitation instead of including “& Guest” on the inner envelope.
  • If you are unable to obtain the name of a single friend’s guest, indicate on the inner envelope that they may bring a guest – NOT on the outer envelope.
  • Unmarried couples who live together should receive one invitation, where their names are listed in alphabetical order and on their own lines.
  • Invited guests who are living together as roommates, not couples, should each receive their own invitation.
  • List the names of children under the age of 18 who still live at home on the inner envelope instead of “& Family,” which can be very ambiguous and easily misinterpreted. Children over the age of 18 should receive their own invitation, regardless of their living situation.
  • The traditional, married couple recipient should follow this format:
  •   Mr. & Mrs. Ryan Parker   2211 First Street, Apartment 3   San Diego, California 92109

Wedding Invitation Wording Samples

Gone are the days when wedding etiquette mandated that the bride’s parents, and the bride’s parents only, hosted the wedding. Today, anyone can foot the bill, and with modern familial arrangements often anything but nuclear, there is no straightforward rule for wording invitations. We’ve sorted through the confusion to bring you wording samples for the most common arrangements. Have a scenario not listed here?  Consult our complete list of wedding invitation wording examples for nearly every familial situation.

Simple, traditional format
[proper names of those hosting] official hosts
[request line] request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their [relationship of the bride to the host]
[bride’s first and middle names]
[groom’s full name],
the [day of the week] of [day and month of wedding]
at [hour] o’clock in the [time of day] at
[name of wedding venue] in
[city, state]
Reception to follow

Divorced parents
[proper name of host]
requests the honour of your presence
at the marriage of [his/her] [relationship of the bride to the host]

Or, if parent is remarried and hosting with new spouse:
[proper names of those hosting]
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of [his/her] [relationship of the bride to the host]

Or, if divorced parents are mutually hosting:
[proper name of mother]
[proper name of father]
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their [relationship of the bride to the host]

When the bride’s one living parent is hosting
The invitation is issued only in the name of the living parent:
Mr. [Mrs.] Jonathan Stephen Smith and Timothy Wright
requests the honour of your presence
at the marriage of his [her] daughter
Elizabeth Ann

When the bride and groom host
The honour of your presence
is requested
it the marriage of
Miss Ashley Johnson
Mr. Paul Wilkins


Miss Ashley Johnson
Mr. Paul Wilkins
request the honour of your presence
at their marriage

Alternative “request line” options

“pleasure of your company”
“honor of your presence”
“share and celebrate in their joy”
another creative idea that reflects the theme and tone of your wedding