Shopping for wedding invitations is fun insofar as learning all about different sorts of inks and papers and fonts is fun. Learning all about wedding invitation etiquette is slightly less fun. Why? Well, what sounds more engaging -- sitting down with your stationery designer to choose floral embellishments for your thank you cards or looking up when you should start sending your invitations? Some brides- and grooms-to-be find the whole process daunting! Is it offensive to write Dr. instead of Doctor? What if you know unmarried couples who live together? It's a lot to take in!
Wedding invitations should only be sent to those friends, relatives and acquaintances who are to be present at the ceremony. You may be tempted to invite individuals you are sure will never, ever show up, but is it worth it to run the risk of having 20 extra people at $75 a head? Most people are not offended to hear they haven't been invited to a wedding, and they may even send a gift anyway!
Invite people you care for, not necessarily people you feel an obligation to invite. When the wedding is to be a large church affair, invitations are sent to all those whose names appear on the visiting lists of the two families including relatives and friends of the bride and groom. With regard to business associates, the invitation should be extended because of friendship, not the business connection.
For a home wedding, more discrimination can be shown in the issuing of invitations. Intimate friends and relatives of both families are invited, but no casual acquaintances need be invited if space is limited. Don't pack people in! If your home can comfortably hold 50 guests, then invite only that number.
The Invitation List
It is the responsibility of the bride- and groom-to-be to make the initial list of invitees, though they should be aware that their parents and grandparents may also begin inviting people via word-of-mouth. To avoid any fighting, sit down with relatives to discuss who you think should be invited and who they think should be invited. Compromise will probably be necessary.
If the wedding is to be a large affair, not only their friends but the friends of their parents should be extended an invitations, and business acquaintances of both families can be invited, but only if you can afford it comfortably. If the wedding is a small one, great care should be taken lest the guests are so numerous as to overcrowd the church or home. Remember, few people take offense at not being invited to a wedding.
Mailing the Wedding Invitation
All wedding invitations should come from the home of the bride, even if the bride is outsourcing her envelopes to a calligraphy service. If you're having your wedding in an exotic locale or far away from your hometown, or if your friends and relatives living at some distance away, consider sending out save-the-date cards to give everyone invited time to make travel arrangements. The wedding invitations themselves should be mailed about six weeks before the wedding, and you should ask that guests RSVP no later than two weeks before the event.
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