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Everything You Need to know About Wedding Invitations
By Leah H Fairman

Your invitation is the first formal announcement of your wedding to your friends, family and loved ones. As with most first impressions, you would want your invitation to stand for a wedding that promises to be a truly momentous event. Wedding invitations generally follow the theme of the wedding itself - if you're having a traditional, white wedding, your invitation should be traditional and formal as well. If you're having a more informal ceremony, a more contemporary invitation is appropriate.

The style of invitation gives your guests an idea what your wedding will look like even before they read the details. Most wedding invitations are set in ecru colored paper, you may accentuate the invitation with your wedding motif, coloring borders or fonts with the same color as your wedding décor. If you're having a garden wedding, insert baby's breath in the envelope ribbons or, for a beach wedding, emboss with a starfish seal you can find in crafts shops.

Traditional invitations use calligraphy or elegant script fonts, while contemporary invitations, especially for semi-formal and party wedding celebrations, can be done in any fashion you please. You could also have a photo of you as a couple printed on the invitation, which many guests have come to find charming. Also based on whether your invitation is traditional or more contemporary, the wording on your invitation should follow accordingly.

Traditionally, whoever hosts or pays for the wedding are always found at the top of the invitation. If both sets of parents contributed to the wedding expenses, both sets' names should appear, usually with the bride's parents above the groom's. If only one set is hosting the wedding, it is just right that only their names appear at the top of the invitation. The parents are identified by the introduction of their children, such as if the bride's parents are hosting, they're inviting you to the wedding of their daughter to the daughter's fiancé. Both sets of parents are inviting you to the wedding of the bride and the groom.

When only the groom's parents are hosting, they are inviting you to the wedding of the bride to their son. When the hosting parents of the bride are divorced and remarried, it is proper to include their spouses in the presentation; or when even one remarried parent hosts the wedding, the parent's name is written out with their new spouse, introducing the bride as "Mrs. Husband's-surname's daughter," for courtesy. A divorced mother who has not yet remarried may appear on the invitation alone, with her maiden name and married name, or simply just her maiden name, as she prefers. If neither divorced parent has remarried, but agree to co-host the wedding, their names are separated by an "and."

Choose and order your invitations around four to six months before your wedding day, even earlier if you plan to make them by hand. Wedding envelopes are addressed by hand, and there is no exception to this rule. Invitations must be sent out six to eight weeks before your wedding. Any later than a month before your wedding may hurt or offend your guests. Likewise, you don't want them out too early, either. The period spent waiting for RSVPs may seem a while, but you won't even notice. Next thing you know, you're walking down the aisle in front of all the people who happily received your well-planned invitation.

Leah Fairman is Principal of corporatesnobs.com. We have serviced businesses with unique corporate gifts and execellent business gifts since 2004.
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