When planning your wedding, leave sufficient time to consider the invitations. The look of them, the wording of them, the intent behind their presentation, all send a message to the recipients and set the tone for the wedding itself.

Traditional wording for your wedding invitations would be something like this:

Mr. & Mrs. John White
Request the honor of your presence
To witness the bonding together
Of their daughter Evelyn Linda White
Mr. Michael Warren Jessop
Son of Mr. And Mrs. Winston Jessop

This would, of course, be followed by the particulars.

A less formal approach might read something like this:

Evelyn Linda White
Michael Warren Jessop
Invite you to witness
Their vows of love
On their wedding day.
(And so on…)

There is nothing inherently right or wrong about a formal versus a casual approach to your wedding invitations. That decision simply depends on the scale of the event.

There are situations when it would be appropriate to include the invitation to the wedding reception with the wedding invitation. At other times, it would be more prudent to create a separate invitation for both events.

A separate invitation to the reception only might look like this:

Evelyn Linda White
Mr. Michael Warren Jessop
Request the pleasure of your company
At their wedding reception,
Sunday, the tenth of June
3:00 P.M.
St. Andrew’s Church
3268 Sixth Avenue

Black tie requested

888 376-9882

Note: E-mail RSVPs are still not acceptable unless the event is informal. Also, there is rarely, if ever, a time when it would be appropriate to invite a guest to your wedding but not to your reception.

A fairly new accessory to the wedding and reception invitations is the “reply card.” This is simply a separate card included inside the invitation, with lines to be filled out. Etiquette requires you to provide a stamp on the reply card’s envelope.

The rules are not as important, however, as your intention. If you put a little conscious energy into every phase of your wedding, including your invitations, you will manifest a clear and ringing expression of your love and commitment, and a beautiful memory for a lifetime.

By Stephen Kreutzer