The rules for wedding related paper products (i.e. invitations, save the dates, and the like) are a little less formalized nowadays. However, there are still guidelines you should follow when sending along your love mail! According to Emily Post, here are some rules that you should follow:
Here is a cheat sheet for all engaged couples whom may be experiencing pangs of confusion on how to address your wedding guests – some people have fancy titles like doctor and judge.
How to Address Your Guests
To a Married Couple
Even if you aren’t close with both members of the couple, you still need to include both names on the outer envelope. Guests rely on the outer envelope to determine who exactly is invited. For example:
Mr. John and Mrs. Carrie Preston
Mr. and Mrs. John Preston
1234 Park Avenue
New York City, New York 11238
On the inner envelope, lose the first names or the titles and last names if you’re very close with the couple:
The Inner Envelope
Formal invitations are always slipped into an unsealed inner envelope to be placed inside the outer envelope. They are addressed in a more informal fashion — typically only title abbreviations and last name — and include the names of all invitees at the address, including children. For example: Mr. and Mrs. Estonia & Farrah, Gilbert, and Harriet
Mr. and Mrs. Preston or John and Carrie
To a Married Couple that (Different Last Names)
List the person you’re closest with first on the outer and inner envelope. If you’re similarly acquainted with both, list them in alphabetical order.
Mr. John Preston and Mrs. Carrie Bradshaw
To an Unmarried Couple Living Together
Like a married couple, both names should be included on the envelope, but in this case, each name gets its own line.
Mr. David Hirsch
Ms. Samantha Jones
1234 Benoit Road
Plano, Texas 75023
Again, go for alphabetical order if you know the couple well. If you’re primarily friends with only one member of the couple, it’s completely acceptable to address the outer envelope to that person and include “and Guest” or that person’s name on the inner envelope:
Mr. Hirsch and Ms. Jones or Mr. Hirsch and Guest
To a Same-Sex Couple
Use the same rules as you would for any other unmarried or married couple. If the couple is married or lives together, list them on the same line:
Ms. Celine Dion and Ms. Jacqueline Laurita
Or simply list their full names on the same line without titles.
Celine Dion and Jacqueline Laurita
On the inner envelope, use titles and last names:
Ms. Dion and Ms. Laurita
Or you can skip titles and simply address it to their first names.
To a Married Woman Doctor or Two Married Doctors
If a woman uses her maiden name professionally and socially, the outer envelope should read:
Dr. Addison Montgomery and Mr. David Thompson
Or, if she uses her husband’s name socially:
Dr. Addison and Mr. David Thompson
If both parties are doctors, you can address the outer envelope:
The Drs. Thompson or Drs. Addison and David Thompson
The same format is followed for other distinguished titles, such as reverend and honorable.
To Children and Families
Younger guests can be included on the inner envelope of their parents’ invitation by their name(s) or “and Family” — although the latter is easier to misinterpret.
Mr. and Mrs. Tom Ford
Daniel, Jeffrey, Brittany, and Kelly
Mr. and Mrs. Tom Ford and Family
To Children 18 and Older
They should receive their own invitations, although siblings over 18 can be sent a joint invitation, in which case the outer envelope should include their names alphabetically on individual lines:
Miss Audrey Abraham
Miss Lily Abraham
Mr. Jack Abraham
If you don’t include “and Family” or each child’s name, you’re implying that children are not invited. That said, don’t be surprised if some guests still mistakenly assume their children are welcome. If you’re concerned this will happen with your guests, ask your immediate family and bridal party to help spread the word that the wedding will be adults-only. In the end, you may have to follow up with guests who don’t get the message via phone to gently explain the situation.
Engagement Announcement Ideas:
When it’s time to announce your engagement, you’ll want to start with those people closest to you — parents, siblings, and grandparents. If this is a second marriage for either party and there are children from the first marriage, they, and most often the former spouse, should be the first to know.
The most intimate and immediate way to tell your family and closest friends is by telephone, but it may not be practical to call everyone else. If you have out-of-town friends with whom you often share the details of your lives via e-mail, then it’s perfectly acceptable to announce your engagement to them this way. Be aware, though, that some people prefer to hear big news over the phone, so if there is even the slightest possibility that someone you know will be offended, put him or her on your “to-call” list.
Change your Facebook Status
Oh, Facebook — we love it and hate it. And I understand the impulse to announce your happy moment on Facebook — you want to celebrate and you also want to announce the news without making 765 phone calls. But for the record, please let me say: THERE’S A RIGHT WAY AND A WRONG WAY TO ANNOUNCE ON FACEBOOK THAT YOU’RE GETTING HITCHED. So please, simply change your relationship status to “engaged” and be done with it.
Publish an Announcement in Your Local Newspaper
Start off by calling to ask if they have any guidelines, deadlines, fees, or regulations about announcements. See if they accept pictures, if that’s something that interests you, and ask if pictures must be black & white or color. (Make sure you put your name on the back, and include a self-addressed stamped envelope so the photo can be returned to you.).
If they don’t give you strict guidelines, follow etiquette’s lead: Typically, announcements include information on the two of you, including career and education credentials, and your parent’s names. If your parents live in a different town, you should also include their hometowns. There’s no need to include the wedding date, and some purposefully omit it, as they don’t want to be targeted by burglars who will thus know when they’ll be out of the house. You might choose to say instead something like “A fall wedding is planned,” which helps diffuse the millions of “So, when’s the wedding” questions you inevitably get.
Yes, you’re on a high…they’re elated…but are they coming to the wedding? It’s way too soon to tell!
It’s extremely rude, but many people ask if they’re invited to the wedding when an engagement is announced. Simply say something along the lines of not being sure if you’re having a traditional wedding, eloping or what! Slough it off and go into the proposal story instead. Deflect! Deflect! Deflect!
Everything is cyclical right? And all fashions come back around again, don’t they? So it’s no surprise that every few years or so, the most popular dates for getting married change and those tried and true dates of the past become quite trendy once again. This year was no different. The most popular date for 2013? Drumroll please…10.12.13! And while October is certainly very popular, especially in most areas where the weather is pretty mild (not too hot, not too cold) the clever numbering definitely makes it desirable for couples seeking a memorable date…literally.
So what else is in a date? Well, the once prominent and most popular month of June is back! Big time! The second most popular date this year was June 1st. Thankfully, when a number like 1, or 31 lands on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, you can almost always be sure that it will take off in terms of popularity. Venues and churches alike tend to see major spikes when notable dates in the Spring through Fall land on a weekend. Typically in the case of couples with no real ties to a specific date or month go looking for availability they really just end up picking a date that sounds good. And from there, a lifetime love of that date will ensure. Kind of cool, right?
And so far the final numbers are in on popularity with June, the old favorite that was later passed up for Fall fetes, reigning in at number one. September, the favorite of the last few years came in a close second and October, the new fall preference was right on target in third place.
For destination areas in the U.S., experts followed the trends down to Florida concluding that the high times are November and December. The reason for the Holiday wedding spike? Most couples consider their guests desire to escape the colder temperatures and with most people getting more time off for Thanksgiving and the break between Christmas and New Year’s the idea of a beach wedding is music to their ears. Also, the temps in the South are scorching the Summer and even into early Fall, making winter a better time to say “ I Do.”
One thing is for sure when it comes to dates. According to MSN Weddings, if you really want to stand out, set the date for January!
Cream Bridesmaid Dresses. When we think of some of the oldest, most followed pieces of wedding advice, we can’t help but think of “Nobody but the bride wears white.” And we totally get that advice; a girl’s wedding day is important and she deserves to have a color all to herself. But once in a while, advice is meant to be ignored, and in this case, we love the outcome! This bride chose to have her nearest and dearest dress in varying shades and shapes of cream, and the look is nothing short of sweet and spectacular. (The boots don’t hurt either!) And even though this bride chose to share her special color, she is still a radiant standout!
Photographer: Brian Aulick
Picnic Save the Date Session. We love to see how couples’ personalities come out in their save the dates, and this shoot is the perfect example. This couple manages to balance out all the right things, leaving guests with a warm reminder of the love they are about to see united. From the plaid blanket to the suspended pom poms, we love the relaxed and playful vibe of this shoot. And ok, let’s be honest, the leaves in the first photo are getting us pretty amped for fall weddings!
Chevron + Sparkles. Sometimes we see a pin that makes us say, “Yes, yes, YES!” This was one of those pins. Chevrons and sparkles. We’re not sure there is a more amazing combination. Enough said.
Nowadays, many couples are getting engagement photos. What exactly should you do with all those great shoots you paid for? Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
Save the Dates
If you are sending save the dates, you can use the photos to personalize this classic wedding stationary. One of the most popular options is a magnet featuring a great photo and the wedding date. Magnets are awesome because people are less likely to lose them.
Instead of a traditional guestbook, you can frame an engagement photo and have guests sign the border. Instead of storing a guestbook in the attic or basement, you can display the signatures on a wall in your home. You could choose your favorite picture to frame or create a collage of photos.
The internet has changed the face of wedding planning. Now, you create a wedding website to share with friends and family. Engagement photos are great way to showcase your personalities and love for each other on the site.
While taking your engagement photos, include props that feature numbers. You can then frame the photos to use as table numbers.
Parents, and other relatives or close friends, love pictures. Most people give a wedding photo as a gift, but you could also frame and wrap one of those gorgeous engagement photos.
DIY Crepe Paper Flowers: We know, as well as any bride, that floral can often take up a big part of the wedding budget. Floral can definitely have a big impact on a space, with its ability to infuse color, texture, and height into a space. And while many couples decide to pursue DIY floral, it can be tricky, because it often means spending the days and hours before the big day surrounded by flowers, floral tape, and everything else you need to floral elements come together. But what if DIY floral could be done weeks and even months before the big day? Perhaps couples everywhere would rethink it. With these DIY crepe flowers, DIY has never been easier, especially because you don’t have to wait until the day before to prep; there isn’t the living plant element to deal with. We love these flowers for centerpieces, bouquets, and even boutonnières for the guys.
Save the Date Postcards: We love how creative couples get with their save the dates, and this adorable postcard is no different! The photo and short caption on the front keeps things simple, and the details on the back are organized and easy for guests to read. Another bonus to these cute save the dates is the savings you can have with postage. Postcard stamps are significantly less expensive than regular stamps, which means you can send adorable save the dates and score a win for the budget. What’s not to love about that?
Kate Ketzal Clutch: We are always on the lookout for fabulous bridal accessories, and this sparkly clutch had us swooning at first glance. Small enough for a bride to tuck in her hand during a receiving line or cake cutting, yet large enough to stash lipgloss, bobby pins, and a mini perfume, this pint-sized purse is a match made in heaven. The intricate detail and overwhelming bling factor make it extra special. And though we’ve seen celebrities toting similar jeweled clutches on the runway, this one comes without the A-list price tag.
We love save the dates that include a photo of the happy couple, but we’ve all seen the ones with the bride and groom-to-be holding a sign with their wedding date on it. If you want to do something a little more fun and unique, check out these ideas.
Include Your Favorite Team
If you love sports, get jerseys with the numbers of your date on it. For instance, if you’re getting married on April 20th, get a jersey with the number 4 and one with the number 20. Pick a cute setting, like a baseball field if you’re wearing baseball jerseys, and show off those backs.
Re-enact Your Favorite Movie
If you and your hubby-to-be have a favorite movie, bring it to life in during your photo shoot. For instance, check out the adorable shoot re-enacting the love story The Notebook on the BridalGuide.com.
Use a scrabble board to spell out your wedding date. This is a super cute idea for word nerds.
Have Fun with Paint
Use paint to create a cute background showcasing your wedding date. Be sure to capture the painting on film to remember all the fun.
We’d love to know your creative save the date ideas. Feel free to share by commenting below.
Some of our favorite save the date ideas include a photo of the happy couple, but who wants to spend money on an extra photo shoot? If you love save the dates with photos but can’t afford a fancy photographer, check out these ideas.
Ask a Friend
With all the great digital cameras and editing software available today, you probably have a friend who is photo savvy. (Just look on Facebook to see who is always taking awesome photos.) Instead of paying for an expensive photographer, ask a friend to snap the pictures and repay her with dinner, a few drinks, or a small gift.
Look in Your Photo Album
Who says you have to use a photo after your engagement on the save the dates? Instead, get creative with the pictures you already have, and they don’t have to be professional photos. Consider using your favorite picture of the two of you or pick a shot from when you first started dating.
If you try to have a friend take pictures with extravagant props and fancy techniques, you might not be happy with the results. Instead, stick to simple props, outdoor settings, and sincere poses. Also, don’t go crazy with the outfits and make-up. If the pictures look natural, no one will know they weren’t taken by a professional.
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