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Invitations to the Most Important Day of Your Life – The Choices, Wording and Proper Etiquette

By:Rebecca Sherman

Some of the toughest decisions in planning a wedding are faced when the guest list is made. Only you and your fiancé can decide who to ask to be a part of your special day. The decision-making process does not end here, however. Many options exist when making the guest list, but just as many options exist when choosing the invitations.
The following are some of the basic traditional rules of wedding etiquette you may want to remember when preparing their invitations and announcements:

1. Names and titles should be spelled out. The only exceptions are Mr., Mrs., Ms., and Jr.

2. Write out all dates and times in the invitation. The numbers in addresses need not be spelled out, although streets should be. Include the state if the city is not well known.

3. Never under any circumstances, include information regarding your gift registry or desire for monetary gifts. All information regarding gift preference should be passed along by word of mouth. Today, however, it has become acceptable to declare "no gifts" or in lieu of a gift to make a donation to a specified charity.

4. Put response cards and stamped pre-addressed envelopes inside the invitation with any other enclosures. Place this in the inner envelope, and put the inner envelope in the outer one, so that it faces the back flap.

5. Do not seal the inner envelope. Address it simply to "Mr. and Mrs. Jones". Do not use first names, except in the case of children. Even then, they should be listed on a second line underneath their parents’ names.

6. Envelopes should be addressed in black ink and never typed. Do not abbreviate names or addresses and include the return address centered on the back, near the top.

7. Mail invitations six to eight weeks before the wedding.

8. Mail announcements on the day of the wedding (or soon after) if you are sending out announcements.

Inserting Invitations
1. Insert invitation into the inner envelope along with enclosure card, reply card and any other enclosures. Always remember the front (printed side) of the invitation faces the back side of the envelope, fold down. The tissue that is placed over lettering to prevent smudging may be discarded or left in place.

2. Place the unsealed inner envelope into the outer envelope. The front (addressed side) of the inner envelope faces the back flap of the outer envelope.

Helpful Hints
Since most couples do not know a great deal about the process of inviting guests, they are encouraged to keep a few other things in mind:
1. Order invitations four to six months before the wedding. Make sure all details are secured before ordering (i.e. location, date, time).

2. Find a store where the staff will spend enough time with their customers. Deal with people who know what they are doing. Not all people who sell invitations are professionals who know proper etiquette and wording.

3. Get everything - invitations, envelopes, announcements and any supplements - at the same time. Be sure to have an accurate guest count. Order extra invitations and envelopes, because extra orders later will mean extra costs.

4. To save headaches later, you may want to choose programs, thank-yous, printed napkins, place cards and other related items now.

5. Proofread the order form carefully before signing it. Printers will not usually correct mistakes unless you pay for them.

6. Mail invitations six weeks before the wedding (eight weeks if most of the guests are out-of-state or it is a holiday weekend).

7. After the invitations are sent, responses begin arriving immediately. Devise a system to keep track of replies. An alphabetized checklist, index cards, ledger or home computer are all easy ways to keep track of who has and has not responded (keep in mind that statistics show you should only expect a 75 to 80 percent return).

Article Source: http://www.redsofts.com/articles/

Rebecca Sherman is an editor at ModernWeddingPlanner.com

Planning a Wedding? Our Free Wedding Planner has sections to track guest information, RSVP’s, budgets, shower and wedding gifts and More! Plus export your data to Excel.

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