Tag Archives: invitations

Avoiding Snaf(who)s

When planning a wedding, you will spend countless hours, months and sometimes years making sure that every detail is covered and everything is as perfect as it can possibly be. While the focus is certainly on you and your soon-to-be husband, it is important that your guests have an enjoyable time as well and that their feelings, expectations and desires are taken into consideration too. Inevitably, there will be some snafus but there are things you can avoid and do so in tasteful and thoughtful ways.

Chances are that many people at your wedding will not know one another as they come from both you and your fiancé and, most likely, haven’t met. As most strangers don’t tend to intermingle, if you are going to have an extended period of time between your wedding and reception, it is imperative (not to mention appropriate) to have some sort of diversion/entertainment for your guests. Plan for appetizers and cocktails to be available, rent a photo booth, have some games set up or anything else to keep your guests occupied so they don’t even notice the lapse in time.

Taste your food beforehand and give it some thought as two of the biggest gripes about weddings are that the food is either inconsistent in quality or that there are things that some of your guests, whether due to allergies, dietary restrictions or simple dislike, cannot eat. Choose a company that is reputable and is known for the first chicken breast, for example, tasting the same as the hundredth. Also, it is very important to make sure that you ensure an ample amount so that no one leaves feeling hungry.

Specify just who is invited on your invitations so you are not caught off guard and the location is not crowded to the point of being uncomfortable. It is prudent to either add specific names or include a check box for “plus ones” if they are welcome. Additionally, doing so can easily and tastefully avoid any issues if you choose to have a wedding in which children are not invited. All of these will help you to avoid unexpected guests as well as irritation, discomfort and a calamity of other errors.

At your reception, obviously, you choose those most important to you to give the toasts. Keep in mind a couple of things however. First, do exactly that. You don’t need to ask each relative, friend or everyone you’ve ever known to say something. Also, remember that many people who do so make references to times and events that a vast number of your guests will both have no knowledge of and/or in which they find no significance. The only thing worse than hearing about things you are not interested in is hearing about them for a prolonged period of time. Let your toastees know prior to the reception to keep it short and sweet. Have them choose a few important moments and express their wishes for you in a concise manner. That way, everyone can enjoy the speeches and memories and then the party can go on.

Respect your guests enough to spend some time considering the date you choose so it can both be special to you and not interruptive to them. There are many dates that you might not even think would be intrusive but often are such as any time around holidays as, for example, invitees from out-of-town may be less inclined to attend because they are accustomed to spending those times with their families. Days such as Friday where people either have to take off work (such as your wedding party) or attend after a long day are also not the best idea. Of course, perhaps there is a particular day that means so much to you that you insist on it and those who either can or choose to attend do and those who are not available for whatever reason don’t. The most important thing (if you are not set on a particular day) is to check the availability of those who are most meaningful to you and whose presence you want the most.

These are just a few of the things you should consider that, while may add additional time and effort into the planning process, will certainly make things easier as well as be worthwhile for both you and your guests in the end.

How to Invite You…

As you know, each and every aspect of a wedding takes more time and energy than you realized prior to planning your own. It is easy to get caught up in the small details and obsess over everything but fortunately there are some things that come with “instructions.” No matter how unique and different you want your day to be, some things tend to always be the same but don’t take anything away from setting you apart. One of those things is the information included on your invitations as you can be as creative as you want with the design but the wording should follow “protocol.”

Address: It is important to acknowledge that some of the people you invite to your wedding will be from out-of-town and unfamiliar with the area. While you and most of your guests will know the streets and how to get to the venue, the visitors won’t. While it is not necessary to include the exact street or zip code of your location, it is important to include the name and city. As for those from other cities, a great way to make sure they get to your ceremony without them getting lost along the way is to suggest a few hotels that are nearby and then simply include maps from each one. That way, you don’t have to personalize every invitation with an applicable map nor do you leave them finding a place to stay in an unknown area.

Acknowledgements: Regardless of who is hosting your wedding, it is imperative that those who are receive recognition on your invitations. For example, if your parents are taking care of things, you should mention that they are the ones who request your presence. If the parents of both you and your fiancé are involved, each need to be recognized and should be named. If the affair is one that is being handled solely by yourself and your future husband, what is appropriate is to simply say both of your names and that you request their presence.

Formalities: Typically, numbers on your invitation are spelled out. For example, instead of 7:30 P.M., you should write seven-thirty in the evening. If your wedding is very casual, it is acceptable to use P.M. but if it is more formal, even the letters should be reworded and written out. It is also a good idea to include on your invites a date by which you want an RSVP. That way, you can easily have an accurate estimation of the space you need for the ceremony as well as helping you budget the cost of the reception.

Be whimsical. Have fun and show off your personality when asking your guests to join you for your big day. However, be aware of the information that needs to be included as well as how invitations usually are worded regardless of whether you have chosen to be formal or informal, whether there are only a few guests or a few hundred, whether you have chosen the daytime or the evening or anything else.

Guest Wishes

 

When it comes to your wedding day, it is inevitable that not everyone you wish could be there will be able to be, whether due to budget constraints, prior commitments, etc. However, there are ways in which your friends and family who are not in attendance can take part (aside from sending a gift) that will let them know they are valued and that their presence is missed. Here are a few ideas to achieve that as well make those who can be present feel special and appreciated.

Send a fabric square along with each invitation for your guests to decorate and return with their RSVPs. Let them know that they can sew, paint, glue etc. a wish for your future, a favorite memory, story or anything else they would like to share. When you get them back, they can easily be sewn together to create a quilt which can either be used for warmth or hung on a wall as decoration. It will serve as a whimsical, yet sentimental reminder of not only your wedding day but also of the people and relationships you cherish.

A similar idea (perhaps for guests who are a little bit less crafty) is to, in lieu of a fabric square, include with your invitations a blank puzzle piece. Have everyone write a wish for you both or a word that comes to mind when thinking of you, etc. Not only will your guests feel as if they were able to participate, you and your husband will have a wonderful time putting it together.

If you are going to have a yard, a great idea is to place a basket of different rocks at the entry way to the church and an empty basket next to it. Request that every guest, as they come into the ceremony site, pick up one of the rocks and make a wish for you and your fiance before placing it into the empty basket and proceeding to their seat. All of the rocks can later be used to decorate your yard or as part of a garden. Although you will likely never know what the wishes were (unless your invitees disclose them to you), each time you see the rocks, you will be reminded of your wedding day and it will be fun to spend time wondering and guessing.

Depending on an individual’s relationship to the bride or groom, there are people who might feel as if they were invited out of a sense of etiquette or obligation. Taking the small amount of extra time to show your guests, both in attendance and not, will not only be appreciated by each one of them, but it will leave you with tangible memories of both your relationships and your wedding day.

Do I Know You?

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and usually, the most, to date. A lot of brides want to share it with everyone but eventually realize that doing so comes at a high price so they find themselves asking the question “Who should I invite?” Here are some things to keep in mind to simplify the guest list and cut down on costs.

You don’t have to allow invitees to bring a guest. You can ask each person to come individually or invite some and tell them they are welcome to bring someone with them and not mention it to others.

If you haven’t spoken to someone in a year prior to your wedding, you shouldn’t invite them. Even if you used to be close, there is a reason that you haven’t spoken and there is no need to extend the invitation.

Decide if you want to have a child-free wedding. Some of your friends may have several kids and inviting the husband and wife means their 6 children are coming along too. These days, saying that you love children but your wedding is an adult only affair is perfectly acceptable.

Think about whether or not you would have the potential invitee over for dinner. Your home is a special place and if you or your fiancée wouldn’t welcome them into your personal space, you probably shouldn’t ask them to attend your big day.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to invite someone just because they invited you. That’s like saying you have to date someone just because he invited you to prom. Maybe your budget is different or you have a more extended family to consider.

However, it is important to remember that 10-25% of the people you invite will not be able to attend so you should ask more people than you expect to see. That’s not to say that you want to extend invitations just to fill seats but if there are a few people you would like to have but don’t think you will have room for, invite them because it is guaranteed that some people are going to have other commitments, etc.

Be My Guest

The first step in getting anyone to come to your wedding is to invite them, of course, and most people do so with fancy invitations using decorative fonts. A lot of people don’t realize that invitations are a great way to not only show off some of your personality, but also to let your guests have a little bit of fun.

Turn your invitation into a puzzle, whether a jigsaw puzzle that has to be put together, a brainteaser or a crossword that has to be solved. Not only will your invitees enjoy the challenge of figuring it out, it will be a great way for them to mentally save the date!

Take a video of you and your fiance inviting everyone to the wedding and send it out either on DVD or, for a more modern twist, email it to your guests. You can’t get much more personal than that. It is important to include a small card with the written information regarding the date and time so your guests don’t have to replay the video.  If you choose not to make a video, including a photograph in the invitation is a great alternative.

Have a drawing made based on a picture of the two of you. It is a whimsical way to showcase your fun side and will surely put a smile on everyone’s face when they open the envelope.

Write a poem incorporating both fun information regarding your relationship and the pertinent details about your wedding date. After all, not everyone you are going to invite has had the opportunity to share in the special moments with you so it would be a great chance to let everyone in on some of the things they missed.

While weddings are steeped in tradition, there are countless ways to step outside of the box, add personal touches and make the day uniquely your own. Sending out one-of-a-kind invitations is something you can do well in advance to get your guests excited about the day and peak their interest for what is to come.