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The Art of Inviting: The Beginners Guide to Writing Wedding Invites

The Beginners Guide to Writing Wedding Invites

Depending on how your wedding invite is written, it can have different influences on those you want as guests. Invites deliver the big news of your wedding to family, friends, and others. Creating the perfect wedding invite is essential if you’re going to get your big day off to a beautiful start! Inviting doesn’t necessarily have rules, but here are some beginner tips to guide you in making showstopping wedding invitations.

Guest List

Before you start making your invitations, you have to have a guest list. The guest should include only the people you actually want to come to your wedding. This may consist of family members, friends, coworkers, and peers. If there are any exclusions you wish to make, such as the people that you definitely don’t want to attend, create a do-not-invite list. Remember, it’s your wedding. If you don’t want young children to cause a fuss or for those crazy relatives to cause a scene, then make sure you avoid inviting them.

Another thing to decide is if plus ones are allowed to create the list, sit down with your partner, and determine who you want to invite to the wedding. When you both agree with who will be invited, it’s time to start planning how to ask them.

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Tips to consider when choosing a wedding invitation

Choosing to have a wedding invitation can cause fear similar to selecting the right wedding dress. This is because the first feeling will last a lifetime, and invitations tend to bring out the ideal theme and tone of the wedding. It will also become an unforgettable experience for your mother-in-law. Some of the tips to consider when making a wedding invitation include:

Determine your colors


It is crucial to consider the colors for your wedding too. One might desire to incorporate a motif and colors in their wedding invitation and carry both of them to the remaining wedding paper which includes either ceremony programs, menu cards or escort cards. This forms a more unifying appearance. Contrary to choosing a formal white, cream or ivory card paired with gold or black font, you could consider having a brighter look comprising of metallic or colorful font, liners, envelopes and paper stock. However, it is essential to consider readability when selecting the colors.

Make invitations legible


It is good to consider the text equally as the patterns and colors. This is because the information in the card is the reason for sending it to guests. You can choose to seek help from a stationer in your locality. However, avoid dark ink on dark backgrounds and light ink on light backgrounds. Pastels and yellow are usually difficult to read. Therefore, if you decide to go with them, it is crucial to ensure the background contrasts well for the letters to remain visible or incorporate the colors into the design instead of the text. Additionally, beware of text that is difficult to read such as an extreme scripted typeface.

Avoid overcrowding the wedding card


Write down only the important points on your wedding invitation card. This includes the RSVP information, dress code (optional), and the names of the couple, the hosts, location and time of the event. The attempt to squeeze a lot of information onto the card can make it difficult to read hence not elegant. Leave out details concerning post-wedding activities for your website or have them printed on separate enclosed cards as well as directions to your wedding location. The place that you got registered should not belong anywhere on a person’s suite. The wedding website is the only acceptable place to write any information regarding registry.

Have your dates right

The RSVP information should be included on the bottom right corner of the card or a separate enclosure. It is also important to ensure that the deadline does not extend to more than three or four weeks after the invitations have been given to the guests.

It is advisable for an individual to purchase a sample of the invitation before deciding to make an order. This allows you to see the quality of the invitation card before making a large order. Viewing the product makes the whole difference.

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Your invitations set the tone for your wedding?

“Your invitations set the tone for your wedding”, is perhaps the most common and redundant phrase you will hear while you and your betrothed scrupulously plan that once in a lifetime milestone celebration. Your invitations are a reflection of your personalities and a visual representation of your love. Thus, they not only provide your guests with the first glimpse of this special day but they also set the expectations. A word of advice, don’t delay or skimp out on the most important preview of this spectacular day.

Having worked as a seasoned bridal consultant for 4 years and a wedding invitation shop manager for 2 years in my past life, I have quite a bit of insight into the planning process. Aside from the romantic notions, there are some very practical reasons why your invitations should be at the top of your wedding planning checklist. For the next 6-12 months your invitations will serve as your guide for almost every aspect of your wedding planning. I suggest getting your invitations 4-6 months before the wedding date. Turnaround and production time generally takes 1-2 months and you want to make sure your guests have plenty of time to make arrangements in their schedule for your special day. If you are having a destination wedding, send out your invites or a save-the-date card 1 year prior to your wedding day.

What is more important, however, is that by creating a custom invitation with a professional designer, you can nail down the look, theme, and colour scheme for your wedding. This “wedding scheme” is like an inspiration board of all your ideas, which will be required for almost every aspect of your planning. For example, many cake artists will ask you for the invitation as the inspiration for a cake. How will you coordinate your bridesmaids’ dresses? Nowadays brides are stepping away from the conformities of a single colour and choosing to do an ombré effect with their bridesmaids wearing various transitional colours. What about your bridal gown accessories? Will your shoes match your bridesmaids’ dresses or your bouquet? Or perhaps you want to match your groom’s accessories to your own, and the bridesmaids’ accessories to the groomsmen? And don’t forget the colour of your bouquet(s) and flower decorations. Decisions, decisions! All of these elements make up the look and feel of your wedding. All of these should reflect you and the groom on that special day.

Enter your multifaceted fairy-godmother bridal guru. Yes I am boasting, but ask any of my brides and they will confirm that their planning became a lot simpler after contacting me for invitations. I will become your personal wedding planning advisor. Once we sit down with your ideas, I will help you conceptualize your bridal vision. The invitations will become your mini inspiration board and will serve as a guide and help you make decisions in all the other items on your checklist. I am here to make your life a lot simpler and the process enjoyable.

Here are some helpful hints from White Dove about invitations, but if you are a bit overwhelmed with all the above aforementioned, please do take a breather, maybe grab a latte?

Here goes…

  1. Guest Sift: The first decision you should make before looking at invitation styles is the guest list. Sift, sift, sift. An easy way to make sure you don’t forget anyone is to separate the guests into categories, such as: bride’s friends, groom’s friends, bride’s family and their friends, groom’s family and their friends, mutual friends, and others. Write each category at the top of a sheet of paper and brainstorm. Take the appropriate papers to your family as well as your fiancé’s family to see if anyone was left off. When a number of all invited guests is reached, divide this number by two and add 25-50. The remaining number should be the amount of invitations you order, with the extra going towards potential extra guests or lost mail.
  1. Create a timeline and sense of urgency: Technically, invitations should be mailed 8-10 weeks (2 – 2.5 months) prior to a wedding. However, more than that is too early as many will put off RSVP’ing and then forget altogether. You should have your final headcount 1-1.5 months before the wedding. The sooner you receive your final guest attendance count by RSVP, the easier it will be to finalize your quantities and menu items (in case of food sensitivities or allergies) with your caterer, seating arrangements (seating charts), and rentals. Also, depending on your invitation choices, you may need as much as two months more for design and printing time, so be sure not to cut it too close. Ordering your invites early can save you money for rush fees and expedited shipping.

It’s a simple equation:

order invitations early = receive replies early = save money and your nerves

  1. Count Carefully: Be sure to count mailing addresses and not invited guests! Remember, many guests are invited as couples or as a family. If you have 100 total invited guests, you may only need 65 invitations. Add approximately 10 to 15 extras for last minute guest-list additions.
  1. Creative reply cards and website: Reply postcards are a really popular and great way to save money by avoiding the envelope. They can be well designed with a vintage emblem to look like an old postcard. You can also leave a blank space for your guests to reply with a note. Another idea I pitch to clients is that they can create their own wedding website for free and use it to communicate with their gusts as well as set up virtual RSVP. For the older generation of less tech-savvy guests like grandparents and foreign family members who speak a different language, you can purchase the physical reply cards. This will substantially lower your overall cost!
  1. Avoid using address labels if possible: You really don’t want your wedding invitations to look like a mass mailed corporate office mailer. My best suggestion is to hand write them yourself or get your family and bridal party involved! It’s a great way to spend some quality time…just tell them it’s a little party with lots of food and goodies (wink, wink) and then casually have each person address 10 envelopes for you. 10 people addressing 10 envelopes = 100 envelopes. Easy breezy and you had a fun time doing it! Who doesn’t love to see a hand-addressed envelope waiting for them in their mailbox? It’s that extra personal touch. Just an FYI, when you order with White Dove Invitations, we will always provide an additional 10 envelopes with your order for free just in case.
  1. Be neurotic about postage and mailing:Make sure that your invitations have the correct postage. Go to the Post Office to send them out and get them weighed. Ensure the ink and handwriting is clear and legible so that your good tidings arrive to their intended destinations. Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3…Mail one invitation to yourself as a test to ensure that you used proper postage. It’ll also be a keepsake with a postmark from your local post-office.

Hope these tips are helpful! Just remember, you only have one opportunity to make a first impression, so make it count.

Xo xo,


Invitation artisan for White Dove Invitations

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Wedding Invitation Etiquette

Invitations aren’t just about picking the perfect paper, colors or designs. Not only do they allow couples to show off their unique style and personalities, but they also provide wedding guests with a small glimpse of the highly anticipated event by giving them details and more. Wedding invitations these days are more creative, colorful and gorgeous, but one thing stays the same – wedding invitation etiquette. Many of the exact same rules from yesteryear still apply – from what information to include or how to address people. Here are some tips to have perfectly personalized and worded wedding invitations.

1. Formal Phrasing

wedding invitations
Via Best for Bride


A formal invitation is still preferred by many couples who want to approach their pending nuptials with decorum. Formal phrasing will work for any type of wedding and is great for church ceremonies, civil ceremonies, backyard weddings and more. Usually, a formal invitation might look something like this:

Mr. & Mrs. John Smith

Request the Pleasure of Your Company

at the Marriage of Their Daughter

Anne Smith


Jake Brown

Saturday, the Tenth of December

Two Thousand and Fifteen

Three O’Clock in the Afternoon

Calloway Winery

46 Pine Road

Napa, California

Reception to Follow

2. Casual Phrases

wedding invitation
Via Best for Bride

It’s perfectly acceptable to loosen up the language on your wedding invitations if you’re having a more artistic, whimsical or laid back wedding. For a more laid back look, you can easily use actual numbers instead of spelling out the numbers for addresses and dates. And you can opt to take out the hosts’ names completely, just using something more simple like “Together with their families…” or go with something way simpler like Anne Smith and Jake Brown Are Getting Married!”

3. Look At Examples

If you can’t decide on what type of phrasing you want, make sure to look at examples of other wedding invitations for inspiration. Look online or ask your wedding invitation vendor for a few samples of past invites they’ve created. Talk with your fiancé about how you want to communicate with your guests. Then once you’ve created a list of invites and phrases you like, narrow it down to the ones that better reflect your personalities.

4. Always Include the Three Ws

No matter what type of wording you want on your invite, it should always address the three Ws: Who-full names of the bride and groom; When-date, time, month and year of your wedding; and Where-this is where your wedding will take place, complete with the full address of the venue. Some choose to add their reception info or use a separate invite for it.

5. What to Leave Out

Via Best for Bride

It’s best that you don’t include your gift or registry information on your invitation. You can opt to include wedding registry cards inside your invitations, but it’s a faux pas when it’s included on the actual invite. Also, make your reception cards and information on a separate invite. Creating Reception RSVP cards are perfect to include in your wedding invitation’s envelope.

Best for Bride

Best for Bride is a one-stop bridal shop that has everything a bride and her wedding party needs for their big day. From gowns to bridesmaid dresses, shoes and accessories – a bride will find everything needed for an unforgettable wedding day.