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Once you and your fiance have compiled the guest lists, you should start thinking about your invitations. You will need to decide on the type of invitation (traditional/formal, contemporary, and informal) and the printing style (engraved, thermography, and offset printing). The invitations, along with any other stationery used, should be ordered approximately four months in advance, and mailed 6-8 weeks before the wedding. An invitation should be sent to each married or cohabiting couple on your guest list, the efficient and spouse, attendants, siblings, and parents. The R.S.V.P. date should be set at about three weeks before the wedding. As you receive denials, you can send out invitations to those you might have had to remove from the guest list. When you order your invitations, add 20% to your actual head count.

 

Invitation wording can be tricky when you have parents that are deceased, divorced, or remarried. The following are samples of different invitations:

 

Bride's Parents Sponsor:
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Smith
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Janet Smith to Mr. David Jones
on Saturday, the first of May at two o'clock
 
Groom's Parents Sponsor:
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Jones
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of Miss Janet Louise Smith
to their son
Mr. David Brian Jones
 
Bride and Groom's Parents
Sponsor:
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Smith
and
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Jones
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their children
Miss Janet Louise Smith
and
Mr. David Brian Jones
-or-
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Smith
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Miss Janet Louise Smith
to
Mr. David Brian Jones
son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Jones
 
Bride and Groom Sponsor:
The honor of your presence is
requested
at the marriage of
Miss Janet Louise Smith
and
Mr. David Brian Jones
-or-
Miss Janet Louise Smith
and
Mr. David Brian Jones
request the honor of your presence
at their marriage
 
Bride's Mother Sponsors (not
remarried):
Mrs. Mary Ann Smith
requests the honor of your presence
at the marriage of her daughter
Janet Louise
 
Bride's Mother Sponsors
(remarried):
Mrs. Mary Ann Clark
requests the honor of your presence
at the marriage of her daughter
Janet Louise Smith
-or-
Mr. and Mrs. James Walter Clark
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of Mrs. Clark's daughter
Janet Louise Smith
 
If the father is sponsoring the wedding, the invitation would read the same as above with his name inserted.
Bride's Divorced Parents Sponsor
Together:
Mrs. Mary Ann Clark
Mr. Joseph Smith
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Janet Louise Smith

 

Invitation wording for a military wedding:

 

The rank determines the placement of names
-Any title lower than sergeant should be omitted, but the branch of
service should be included under that person's name.
-Junior officers' titles are placed below their names, followed by their
branch of service.
-Rank higher than lieutenant, titles are placed before name with the
branch of service on the following line.
 

The following is a guide on putting the invitation together with
enclosures:

Place the response card, along with any other enclosures, face up inside the invitation. Then place the invitation with enclosures, facing the back flap inside the inner envelope. The inner envelope should already have the guests names written on it. The inner envelope is placed unsealed inside the outer envelope with the names facing the back flap. When you address the envelopes for your invitations, the address should be hand written or calligraphy can be used.