It used to be that all wedding invitations followed a
traditional pattern: plain white or cream quality paper with engraved lettering spelling
out the accepted wording. Today, things have changed. You're free to be yourself. There is
such a choice in invitations. However, good taste should still be very much in evidence.
Choose a very good quality paper with engraved lettering. The wording, if not traditional,
should be decided upon with care. (sample wording can be found in the different invitation
catalogues at your local stationery store.) If your guest list is small, a handwritten
note is sent. The wording is quite informal -
i.e., Dear Mary: Jan and John are to be married on
June first, at four o'clock, in the Walton Memorial United Church here in Oakville. After
the ceremony we will be holding a reception in our home. We hope you will be able to join
us. Sincerely, Joan
Who Issues The Invitations
The Bride's parents traditionally issue the invitations
even if the bride no longer lives at home. If both parents are deceased, then a close
relative or guardian could sponsor the wedding. If parents are divorced, the parent with
whom the bride is living, issues the invitations. Today many couples choose to issue the
The Invitation List
Determine the number to be invited, and allocate a
portion of the total to the bride's family, groom's family, the bride and groom. Usually,
this is a third of the number of each. But the division of the list depends on a number of
circumstances: the size of the families (is one a great deal larger than the other), the
distance guests must come, large or small connections, etc.
The bride's mother should consult with the mother of the
groom regarding the division of the list and let her know the number of guests she may
Style of Address
There are two envelopes used with wedding invitations.
The invitation, along with the reply card, is inserted in the inner (smaller) envelope
which is left unsealed. This is then placed in the outer envelope.
The outer envelope should be addressed by hand (never
type-written). When sending to a married couple, it should be addressed: Mr. and Mrs. John
Jones, and a full address.
The inner envelope is addressed to "Mr. and Mrs.
Jones", without Christian names or addresses. When children are to be invited, their
Christian names are written on the inner envelope under that of their parents. Children
over twenty-one receive separate invitations.
Invitations to Single Guests
There are two schools of thought regarding single friends
who will be guests. One suggests that the friend should be contacted to determine her/his
guest's name and address, and that a separate invitation be issued to that person. The
other school contends it is quite proper to invite "Miss Jane Doe and Escort" or
"Miss Jane Doe and Friend". Choose the style you prefer; either is correct.
Invitation To The Clergy
If your minister is a personal friend, you would provide
him/her and spouse with a regular invitation. Otherwise, if the minister is to be invited
to the reception, a hand-written note is sent by the bride's mother thus relieving him/her
of the obligation of a gift.
The Wedding Party
The groom's parents and members of the wedding party like
to have their invitations as keepsakes. A few invitations could be sent to the groom's
parents, along with a note saying you knew they would want to see them as soon as they
were off the press. The keepsake invitation could either be given by hand, or mailed to
each member of the bridal party.
Invitations should be mailed four to five weeks before
the wedding date. This is to allow sufficient time for the replies to be returned to you.
(If using a reply card, request a reply date at least ten days before the wedding.)
Announcements are sent to those friends and relatives who
could not be invited to the wedding. They need no acknowledgment, nor do they require the
recipient to send a gift. The announcements should be ready the day of the wedding to be
mailed following the ceremony.