Wedding etiquette, especially the wording of wedding invitations, invitations verses announcements, and who is truly hosting the party, are the most common questions we are asked at The Manor at Eldredge Square. Most areas in Utah and even within the Intermountain West seem to follow different rules of etiquette when compared to the rest of the country. Here are The Manor’s answers for things to think about before composing and mailing your wedding invitations:
Who is the host and whose wedding party is it?
The host is whoever sends out the invitations. In other words, the people who are “requesting the honor of your presence” are generally viewed as the hosts of the event. Typically, these are the parents of the bride.
If the invitation is issued by the bride’s parents, it may contain language similar to this: “Mr. and Mrs. William Garrett request the honor of your presence at the wedding reception of their daughter…”
Guests can presume from this language that the bride’s parents are: a) Paying for the event; b) Have given their “blessing” to the event; and c) Want to honor their daughter by hosting a reception for her.
Some couples may choose to pay for their own wedding and reception. However, the invitations may still be issued by their parents as a way of honoring them.
If the invitations are issued by the bride and groom, they will contain language similar to this example: “James and Candice have chosen…” This wording indicates other possibilities; a) This is a second marriage where the bride is not being “given away” by her father; or b) This marriage does not have the “blessing” of the parents; or c) The bride and groom are hosting a reception at their own expense.
There are a number ways to word a wedding invitation for a more contemporary approach. It really all comes down to the personality of the couple, their parents, and the underlying message they want to portray.
Announcements vs. Invitations
Wedding announcements and wedding invitations are quite different and, just as their names imply, one announces an event while the other invites guests to be in attendance.
Wedding announcements are always sent out after the event, never before.
It is inappropriate to pre-announce an event to which you do not invite the person. In much of the Intermountain West, especially within the LDS culture, it may be OK to announce an event — for example a ceremony at an LDS Temple — and then include an invitation to the reception in the following paragraph. However if this document is sent outside of that community, it may come across to many as rude. It steps all over several rules of etiquette.
First, you announced the wedding ceremony yet you did not invite me to it. Next you sent the “announcement” of that ceremony prior to the day it is to take place, and third, you placed an invitation on the same document as the announcement instead of printing two separate cards. If you have individuals on your list that are not familiar with the culture, you should choose an “invitation” format and then simply place copy within or at the end of the text of invitation stating, “Marriage solemnized in the (local) LDS temple.”
Is it “to” or “and”?
The word “to” should appear between the bride and the groom’s name on an announcement; whereas, the word “and” is the connector on an invitation.
Hope this clears up that issue! Hey, later I may tackle: “Dates, time and places listings”, “When to use an Enclosure”, “How do I assemble all of this”, and “When should I mail.”