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Anatomy of a Wedding Invitation: What Goes Where and Why

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Wedding invitations give people a preview of what to foresee at your wedding. They are stationery cards that convey important information in a few words and with limited space. Certain essentials go on a wedding invitation, often in a particular order and style. Formatting personalised wedding invitations will be much easier if you go the extra mile to be thorough and precise. Professional designers usually know wedding invitation anatomy like the back of their hand, but it always helps to do your homework before you sit down at the design studio or start browsing options online.

Here is an itemised list of everything that goes on your wedding invite.

1 Names of the Couple’s Parents

Most wedding invitations begin with the parents of the couple requesting the honour of your presence or the joy of your company at their children’s wedding. Their precedence in the invitation usually signals that they are fully or partially sponsoring the event. Even if one set of parents cannot afford to fund the affair, it is only considerate to include their names on the invite. Deceased parents are indicated by prefacing their names with ‘the late.’ Divorced parents are listed separately alongside the names of their current partners.

2 Names of the Spouses

The couple’s full names are positioned front and centre, usually in a larger, attractive font. Some couples may choose to omit their last names from the invitation. The bride’s name is typically listed first, but this order does not apply to same-sex or non-binary couples.

3 Date and Time

Dates and times are not presented numerically on personalised wedding invitations if it is a formal occasion. For example, you would say, ‘the fourteenth of July’ instead of ’14/7,’ ‘half past three’ instead of ‘3:30 p.m.’ and ‘four o’clock’ instead of ‘4 p.m.’ However, informal wedding invitations use numerical dates and times, abbreviated names of months, and two-digit years. For example, ’30 Aug 2022 at 5:00 p.m.’

4 Venue

Two locations are pertinent to the big day: the venue of the wedding ceremony and the venue of the reception. For the sake of brevity and presentation, only the names (and not the addresses) of the venues are included. Guests can expect to find some elaboration only if either venue is not a recognisable landmark.

5 Dress Code

Some personalised wedding invitations specify the dress code: black-tie, white-tie, cocktail, semi-formal, or casual. If the invite does not provide this information verbally at the bottom right, it will do so visually. Many wedding invites hint at the colour the bridal party will wear. To respect the bridal troupe, your guests may pick a different colour. They should remember the golden rule of never wearing white to a wedding.

6 Response Information

Every host and couple has different RSVP preferences. Some may include an RSVP card, others may telephone one of the hosts or the event manager, and others may request you to fill out an online form to establish the headcount and make/change the necessary arrangements.

7 A Quotation

This is optional, but a handful of personalised wedding invitations feature a quote at the top as a highlight. This quote, usually about love, unity, soulmates, and married life, may be extracted from sacred scripture or secular sources. 

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