This post originally appeared on The Celebration Society Blog
The venue has been chosen, the dress has been found, the flowers have been picked, and now it’s time to start designing your wedding invitations! Piece of cake, right? Cue finding the perfect stationer to assist you in creating the pretty paper for your big day! A stationer can guide you in formulating the wording so that no etiquette rule is broken – so choose wisely. In the moment of typing up your wording for your wedding paper pro, you realize you have a tricky situation and although you want to advise your guests, you feel a little awkward adding this to the invitation. Although explicitly mentioning an uncommon situation might seem complicated, it will save your guests from surprises and from an even more awkward conversation later.
One of the most common of these situations is the “no kids” request. The debate on including or excluding children is a different discussion, but this decision is ultimately up to the bride and groom. Giving the request with the invitation is imperative so that guests with kids can make preparations. Listing “adult only reception” on the actual invitation piece is the simplest way to get this message across. Adding a blurb to the RSVP card reminds guests again and makes this request extremely clear: “Although we love your children, this is an adult only event.”
If you don’t plan on serving dinner at the reception, you should be upfront and let guests know this beforehand. Concluding the invitation with “cocktail reception to follow” should allude to the fact that guests shouldn’t expect to receive a full meal. Use one of the following statements on your reception cards to be explicit in making sure guests are prepared to not eat dinner.
“Hors d’oeuvres and cocktail celebration to follow the ceremony”
“Please join us for cake and dancing after the ceremony”
Addressing your envelope should be clear on who exactly is invited, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes a guest might bring a plus one, even if you haven’t allocated space for an additional person. To be explicit, state on the RSVP card: “We have reserved X seats in your honor; number attending X.” You fill in the first blank, which makes it very clear on if the guest is allowed to bring a date.
Being upfront about this seemingly “awkward” information will be beneficial and less awkward in the long run.In addition to making the statement on your invitation pieces, it’s also a good idea to add it to your wedding website as well. Overall, being clear and explicit about these tricky situations is your best bet to a wonderful wedding day!
Check out my guide on getting started with wedding invitation wording here!