Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Q&A: Wedding Invitation Wording

Reading Question: I am struggling with the wording on our invitations. We are hoping to make the entire weekend into the celebration of our marriage, not just the ceremony. Our save the date cards said June 12-14, 2009. This also helps because everyone who is coming to the wedding is from out of town (we rented a house two hours away from our house, free camping everywhere!). Do you know of any good resources for this type of thing? This will be an outside wedding (non-traditional) but because of the financial contributions from both sides of the family (equal shares) we need to be respectful of using some sort of traditional wording (nothing too gaggy AND definitely not anything that includes giving someone away!). Any thoughts you have or resources would be great!

Ariel over at Offbeat Bride has pulled together some great resources, in case you haven't checked those out yet!

My general advice: Brainstorm a few ideas (by looking at others' invitations, as well as pulling them out of your head), create a rough draft, and then revise, revise, revise! When we realized we didn't have to follow any standard formulas, it was very liberating. I know our wording won't help you very much because we didn't include our parents' names, but here it is for anyone else who's interested:

Birds of a feather, please flock together to celebrate the marriage of Matt Bradford and Sara Cotner...

Saturday, July 19, 2008; 4:00pm
Allenspark, Colorado

For more information and to RSVP (by 6/1/08) in an environmentally-friendly way, please visit http://ofafeather.us or send a note to 2428 Benton Street; Edgewater, CO 80214.

Best of luck (and let us know what you come up with!).

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DCKate said...

These are great! However, I have yet to see wording that reflects our situation, payment-wise. We are splitting the cost of the wedding with my parents. His are not chipping in. How best to reflect that in the invite wording?

Marina said...

My process of figuring out invitation wording was less "how" than "why". Who wanted to be represented? What did the various people care most about? In my case, my parents were paying for all of it and wanted that to be acknowledged, but weren't attached to being named, so we just put "please join [me] and [him] together with their families" etc. My parents were happy, his parents didn't feel snubbed, I didn't feel like anybody was selling me, it worked out.

Er, which is a wordy way of saying, DCKate, what do you actually want to reflect in the invitation? Do your guests need to know who's paying and who isn't? Do your parents need the guests to know? Do you need the guests to know that your parents aren't paying for all of it? Who wants to be represented on the invitation, regardless of how much they're paying?

Unknown said...

I guess, I don't really understand why it is necessary to reflect who is paying on the invitations. It's no one business who is paying for what in a wedding. A guest is coming to celebrate the marriage. If parents are helping to pay, it is to celebrate the marriage. I don't know if we'll include our parents or not on our invitations, but if we do, it will be out of respect to those who raised us, not homage to those who are helping to foot the bill.

Kaitlin Wainwright said...

I`m with Ruthie.
Why do we feel we have to acknowledge who paid? Neither my nor his parents are chipping in, and that`s not something we care to announce.
Our plan is to acknowledge the support of our families in our toast. Regardless of who paid for what (warning, diatribe: my mother and i had a recent conversation of her baking buns, and how it would be too much trouble, and she would just buy some...so, do i have to make a point of thanking her publically? thanks mom, for the love and buns...anyway, off my soapbox), our parents do love us, despite the difficulties, and toasting to them is a good way of acknowledging that.

Autumn said...

This is such a tricky subject. I agree, you need to figure out why you want to list names and what you hope to accomplish, that should help clarify things.

We're paying for 95% of the wedding ourselves, and my mother is really not even helping or being positive about it, so I didn't feel like we needed to list any of the parents on the invite. We're throwing the party, we're doing the inviting. That said, we see the wedding as a joining of two families, not just the two of us, so we went with "Together with their families, Autumn and David invite you to share in their happiness ..."

His parents are hosting/ organizing a big fancy welcome dinner for all our guests, we're pretty much just showing up and we thought that deserved recognition, so we are acknowledging that in our "additional info" booklet we're sending with the invitations (we just put "hosted by the groom's parents" and their names under the details).

Good luck, and if your parents get their feelings hurt, see if you can come to a compromise you're all happy with.

Anonymous said...

In general, if the parents of the bride are paying for the wedding, it starts off like this:
Mr. and Mrs. James Walter Cross
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter...

If both parents are spliting the cost, it would read:
Mr. and Mrs. James Walter Cross
Mr. and Mrs. Larry Dean Carpenter
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their children...

If everyone is chipping in (parents and the couple), the invitations would be issued from all and would read something like this:

Rachel Leanne Garrison
Thomas Leonard Tillman
together with their parents
request the honour of your presence
at their marriage

Hope that helps!


Sara E. Cotner said...

@ Laurie: I understand that the examples you gave are how the wording traditionally works (by the way, thank you for being so specific with your examples), but I think it's important for couples to question tradition. They can either follow it if it's something they agree with, modify it, or throw it out and create something completely different. When we're bombarded with so many messages about how a wedding is supposed to be done--from our families, TV, magazines, etc.--it's hard to remember that we truly have options.

Anonymous said...

i'm glad someone posted about this! noone has my situation listed anywhere!

His parents are paying for 75% of the wedding, we're paying for about 15% and my mom (maybe) will be bringing up the rear with the last 10% and my dad isn't contributing squat and i'm not particularly close to him. how the hey am i supposed to put that? i want his parents to be adequently thanked, especially bc they hosted his bother's entire wedding and barely got a nod of gratitude. i think i will just have to put "together with their parents" and thank them on the closing paragraph of the program...THIS is the one part of the wedding that has me a little stressed.

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