Wedding Invitations 101: Everything you Need to Know for the Perfect Invitations

October 2, 2020

Before we talk wedding invitations, do you remember when cursive was a mandatory part of school’s curriculum and you would spend time practising your “s” and “q” for hours? Well, kids of today will never understand the pains of perfecting one’s penmanship. In 2006, it was removed from schools in Ontario being rendered irrelevant and obsolete. Fast forward to today; have you seen an <18 year olds signature lately? Maybe cursive wasn’t so antiquated after-all.

The same thing can be said for invitations, with Facebook and group chats, cell phones and Evites complete with invite templates, a good ol’ formal invitation rarely makes an appearance; that is until you are working on your wedding invitations.

No need to fret, if you’re planning on only getting married once, which is the most common goal, you can follow our guide for making the perfect wedding invitations.

First things first: Paper or online or a mix of both?

You need to consider what your wedding invitations will consist of, and whether or not you will be sending out via snail mail or through email or have a nice mix of both. Here are all the potential components that can either all be included or down-sized depending on your preference:

  1. Save the Date
  2. Wedding Invitation
    1. Ceremony Card
    2. Reception
    3. Accommodations Card
  3. RSVP
    1. Acceptance of Invitation for yourself and guest (if invited)
    2. Food selection – note on restrictions/kids menus
    3. Fun Extras – songs that make you dance

Determine what’s in the budget, paper and stamps may seem like the cheapest portions that will call on your wedding funds, but together multiple cards and envelopes and stamps can cost a pretty penny. So the first step is to determine what will be included, what will be on paper and what will be online.

Save the Dates

There may be confusion as to the necessity of save the dates and the general question or argument is why not just send your wedding invitations a bit earlier than the recommended 3-4 months prior? Although valid, in some cases like destination weddings that require some serious planning, budgeting and time-off; guests will always appreciate the extra heads up.

If you’re planning a longer engagement – 2+ years here (many of you engaged during Covid-19), you may also consider this option or if you have your date but not much else; this secures your guest list a little bit better.

Here’s what to include:

  • “Save the Date”
  • The wedding date

It’s a simple as that, and if you feel like you would like to include this portion, the Save the Dates are easily transferred to online versions. Keep it simple and just include the date on a pretty card, or include an image of the happily engaged couple!

Wedding Invitation

When it comes to the actual wedding invitation, there are many options. Whether you would like to keep it on the simple side with just one card or have multiple cards, it’s easy to make all options work.

Here’s what to include:

  1. Who is Requesting your Presence – traditionally include parents’ names but no one says you have to be traditional! Also, if certain parents have passed away or are no longer in the picture, the second option is more sensitive
    • “the name’s of the Brides and Grooms parents”
    • “together with their families, followed by the Bride and Grooms names”
  2. The Request
    • “request the honor of your presence at the celebration of their marriage”
    • “request the honor of your presence at the marriage of”
  3. Bride and Groom’s Names if not included in the first section
  4. The Date
    • Formally written out in its entirety; fun fact, although the year is said Two Thousand and Twenty, when written you do not include the “and”
    • Informally make it clear the date of the wedding!
  5. Ceremony Location, Address and Start time
  6. Reception Location, Address and Start time
  7. Accommodations – Reserved Hotel Blocks
    • if hotels have been reserved generally there is a reservation number or specific instructions for booking

RSVP – répondez s’il vous plaît

Here’s what to include:

If you require your guests to return a physical response:

  1. Response Date
    • “Please RSVP by”
    • “Kindly reply by” OR “kindly let us know if you can join by”
    • “You reply is requested by”
  2. Line for the Name of the Guest and any Additional Guests
    • traditionally includes “M” at the start of the line for guests to fill out with “Mr., Miss, Mrs.” etc
    • “M________________________”
    • otherwise a line with Name(s)
  3. A Checkbox for Accepting or Denying – here you can have some fun or keep things traditional
    • “Graciously accepts” AND “respectfully declines”
    • “Will attend” AND “Unable to attend”
    • “Ready to eat, drink and be merry” AND “toasting you from afar”
  4. Entrée Selection
    • only required for plated options
    • include a section for dietary restrictions
  5. Fun Extras
    • “Songs that will get you on the dance floor”

If you require your guests to send an electronic response or RSVP through a website:

  1. Response date
    • “Please RSVP by”
    • “Kindly reply by” OR “kindly let us know if you can join by”
    • “You reply is requested by”
  2. Where/How to Respond
    • Whether it’s a response to an online invitation, or a wedding website with a built in RSVP section, make the instructions clear and concise

Here is an example of two wedding invitations that are doing the same thing a little differently, you can see that matching colors are conveying the same information but may be placed in varying locations. The invitation on the left features three cards, while the one of the right only one. Both invitations invite guests to RSVP online!

Are you recently engaged or know someone who is getting ready for their big day? If you are getting your wedding invitations ready, then we invite you to take a look at our Portfolio so that you can check Wedding Photographers off your to-do list!

You can also follow us along on both Instagram and Facebook where we are constantly updating our content with our latest weddings, engagement shoots and family photography.