Now that my wedding day is drawing ever closer, I’m going to start sharing some of the planning with you! It feels like we’ve been planning away for this one day forever now, and suddenly we’re just under three months from the main event.
Today, I wanted to share my wedding invitations with you. Firstly because they are beautiful! And secondly because I really struggled with the wording of them.
I scoured the internet for what felt like hours to find wording inspiration that would not sound too formal or stuffy. And got increasingly annoyed when I just couldn’t seem to find exactly what I wanted. In the end, I ended up making parts up and hoping our guests would understand as we also had to broach difficult subjects like children not being invited and of course the dreaded giftlist…
We spoke in more depth about this on Get Wed Podcast too so if you fancy listening along click below!
So here is what we went for…
As I mentioned, all the examples I’d seen of invitation wording were really old fashioned (i.e – parents inviting on our behalf) or really stuffy (full names, and over the top language!). That really isn’t us, so informal was the way to go…
‘Kindly join us for the wedding of Russell & Kerrie. Saturday the 10th of June 2017 at (Venue Address) 2pm. Dinner, Drinks and Dancing to Follow’
I didn’t want our evening guests to feel any less special so they still got a nice full suite of invitations too! We worded the evening invitation like this…
‘Kindly join us for an evening celebration of the wedding of Russell & Kerrie. Saturday the 10th of June 2017 at (Venue Address) 7.30 pm’
The Gift List
The gift list was something I agonised over for days! I really hate the feeling of making people feel like they need to buy us a gift so for a while we weren’t going to ask for anything and weren’t going to make any mention of gifting. But everyone kept asking us what we wanted as a gift!
I scoured department store websites to find out about their gift list services, but it all felt really cheeky as we don’t need anything for our home. Plus I didn’t want to put expensive items on there incase it made us look really rude!
We thought about honeymoon vouchers, but are yet to decide on where or when we are going on our honeymoon so that stopped that idea!
It kept coming back to money… which made me really uncomfortable. There is nothing worse (in my opinion) than having to give money as a gift and then agonising how much to slide into your envelope so that you don’t look tight!
In the end we decided on money to go towards garden improvements. Its the next stage in our home improvements anyway and we have put off sorting out our driveway in order to pay for the wedding, so it seemed like this was the best option. But I didn’t was to ask for it via a poem, as it felt cheesy, and I didn’t want to make it seem like a monetary gift was required in order to attend. So here is what I came up with…
‘Please do not feel that you have to buy us a wedding gift, your presence will be more than we could have hoped for.
If you absolutely insist, a contribution towards helping us make some garden improvements would be much appreciated’
My theory behind this is that people can always donate vouchers, money or even time to help us this way!
Aren’t RSVP’s the bane of everyones wedding planning?! I knew I wanted to make this super simple for everyone. As a wedding guest in the past I hated having to hunt around card shops for an ‘acceptance’ or ‘decline’ card to respond to a wedding invitation, and doing so always took me ages resulting in me mostly being late in getting my response back (sorry to all those who have invited me!!).
I thought that a postcard style RSVP was the best option, so all it required was filling in, popping a stamp on and finding a postbox.
Wording for the day guests;
‘We/I would Love/Are Unable to join you on your wedding day.
Meal option, please initial your food choice: Lamb, Vegetarian
If you are entering our wedding bake off let us know what you are baking:
From: (I wrote the names in these spaces, so those receiving knew who was invited! And this avoided +1 issues and children)
Please RSVP by 1st of May
Kerrie + Russell
Wording for the evening guests;
‘We/I would Love/Are Unable to join you on your wedding day
Please RSVP by 1st of May
Russell + Kerrie
We also put together a information card which hopefully would answer any questions our guests may have. On this we covered the fact we were having an outdoor ceremony, a wedding bake off and that children weren’t invited (eek!).
I wanted to be sure all my guests were there before I arrived on the wedding day. So often as a photographer, I see guests arriving literally moments before the ceremony is due to begin and bumping into the bride in the carpark, so I thought I’d address this… I was also tempted to put a much earlier time on to avoid it, but decided against it!
Because we’re having a celebrant led wedding in the woods, I also wanted to be sure everyone knew it would be outdoors so they can be prepared should it be a cold or rainy day.
‘Ceremony: The wedding ceremony will commence at 2pm. We advise you arrive a little earlier to find a seat. This is an outdoor ceremony and will go ahead what ever the weather! Please bring umbrellas and wellies if necessary’
Being over cautious I also thought I should advise guests about the fact the whole day is outside and on a grassy lawn. There is nothing worse than your heels sinking ladies!! So I thought this should be mentioned. I am worried reading this back though that it seems a bit bossy or controlling, so I hope it was taken the right way?!
‘Reception: Drinks and games will take place outside on the grass at dedham Vale Vineyard, followed by dinner and dancing in the marquee. Ladies be mindful of your footwear! (Wedges, chunky heels or flats are advised)’
Being the untraditional types we loved the idea of a wedding bake off in place of a traditional wedding cake. I’ve seen this at many of my past couples wedding days and knew its something I’d always want to incorporate into mine.
It’s been taken two ways though… Some people are panicking that they have to bake something (which they don’t… we don’t need 100 cakes!!) And others are lavishing the challenge of it creating all kinds of weird and wonderful things to impress the judges (who we are yet to decide on!).
We’ve not worked out the actual logistics of how this will be judged and when the cakes can be eaten yet. Should they be judged on looks or taste? – let me know!
‘Wedding Bake Off: We’re not having a wedding cake! Instead we are setting you the challenge to enter our great wedding bake off! Enter your scrummy homemade cake for a chance to be crowned the winner. (No cheating!) If you’d like to take part, let us know what you’ll be baking on your RSVP card.’
Wording For Not Inviting Children
Our reason behind no children was purely because there are so many of them among our friends and family now, that it almost would have doubled our guest list to have included them all. (The reality of getting married in your 30’s!) Small people still need seats and feeding! And our budget just couldn’t stretch to fit all of them in, as we would have needed a much bigger marquee and even more chairs!!
We decided to limit the children invitations to just our immediate family which meant my nephew as he is the only one!
Here’s how we worded it…
‘As much as we would like to invite all of our friends’ children, it is only possible to accomodate children of our immediate families. Babes in arms welcome’
So many of my friends are pregnant and some due just before the wedding so I didn’t want them to feel like they couldn’t join us as they would be unable to leave their newborns at home. We decided babes in arms were welcome as they wouldn’t need a seat or feeding by us!
Lastly, we also listed some local hotels and the fact you can camp on site too (we’re still deciding if we’ll be camping!)
Wedding Invitation Design
After working out all of the wording, Russell’s brother Daniel took on the challenge of designing them for us. We couldn’t be more thrilled with the results as he’s taken exactly what we said and made them a million times better than I ever could have.
We had them printed by printed.com using their new copper foiling service on a variety of paper sizes. (invites, RSVP’s and information cards were A5, directions were postcard sized and the gift list was printed on a business card)
For packaging them up I bought some vellum paper sheets and cut them to size, wrapped them in bakers twine and sealed them with a copper wax seal – which was lots of fun, but did take FOREVER!!
I hope this post has helped you with your wording woes! Let me know if you had any of the same dilemmas or if you plan to use our wording too.