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Invitation Wording For Smart Cookies Part 4 | Manolo for the Brides

Invitation Wording For Smart Cookies Part 4


So far this week, we’ve talked a lot about how to word wedding invitations. Not surprising, since this is a wedding blog and we talk a lot about weddings here.

But every once in a while, the actual wedding is held quietly and privately, or is held very far away from many friends and family members, or the happy couple wants to honor some form of milestone by reaffirming their commitment to one another publicly, or the relationship may not be recognized legally where the couple lives, but they wish to make a public commitment anyway. No matter which case is the one that fits your situation, you still need to understand how to word your invitation so that it is both polite and understandable.

First off, no matter how little publicity it received, if you are already married, do not invite people to a wedding. No matter how bare bones or secret it was, you already had your wedding. A wedding is the ceremony that binds you as a married couple, whether or not it involves a formal gown, cake, champagne, or flowers. Those are trimmings.

So, if you have already exchanged vows and signed papers, the celebration you are holding now is not your wedding. Depending on the activities involved, what you are now holding is either a religious blessing, a reaffirmation of your vows, or a reception. Have all the trimmings you like for this, and enjoy the heck out of what you are doing. Just don’t call it a wedding.

If you are having your religious leader celebrate your marriage, then you are having a blessing. Call it that on the invitation:

Mr. and Mrs. Drew Howland Gibb
request the honor of your presence
at the blessing of their marriage

Or, if the couple are not sharing a last name:

Ms. Honora Violet Howe
and
Mr. Drew Howland Gibb
request the honor of your presence
at the blessing of their marriage

If you are choosing to reaffirm your vows, whether because you’ve reached a major anniversary, overcome a significant test of your commitment to one another, or simply enjoy celebrating your marriage, here’s how to pass on the good news:

Mr. and Mrs. Drew Howland Gibb
request the pleasure of your company
as they reaffirm their marriage vows

If you are not having any sort of a ceremony, then what you’re doing is holding a reception. Whether you got married quietly because that was your plan all along, eloped on a sudden impulse, or have family and friends in multiple large pockets around the country and want to celebrate with all of them in turn, a reception is completely appropriate and a lot of fun, to boot. It’s the party part of the wedding.

So how do you word it? That’s the simplest thing of all! You just call it what it is.

Mr. and Mrs. Drew Howland Gibb
request the pleasure of your company
at their wedding reception

Note that the form ‘honor of your presence’ is never used in this form, because there is no religious ceremony involved. Even if you hold your reception in the church hall and have your pastor give a prayer during the party, this is a secular event.

And then there is one final form to cover, even though it isn’t strictly speaking an invitation: the announcement.

Some couples just plain want a very small, intimate wedding with only a handful of people in actual attendance. They will often, however, want to let others know about the marriage. In this case, announcements are a great way to let people know what’s happened without having to plan for a larger celebration than you originally intended. Announcements are also good for cases where the couple have friends and family spread out all over the world and unlikely to be able to come join the celebration up close. Of course it is also absolutely correct to send invitations to people you wish could be with you but likely won’t… you just have to make sure you plan as though these invitations might be accepted. They might be.

One good friend of mine was shocked when her uncle from New Zealand actually accepted the invitation to her wedding. He was more than welcome, of course, but she never really expected anyone from that branch of the family to fly all the way to California for the wedding of a relative they barely remembered as a little girl!

So, once you’ve decided to send out announcements, how do you word them? Well, obviously, you don’t invite them to anything, and you don’t send them out until after the wedding is over. Here’s how they should be worded:

Mr. and Mrs. Xavier Quincey Vann
are pleased to announce
the wedding of their daughter
Clara Marie Eleanore
to
Mr. Alvin Gregory Wheeler

Or, if the couple wishes to make the announcement themselves:

Clara Marie Eleanore Vann
and
Alvin Gregory Wheeler
are pleased to announce
their marriage

And now you can invite and announce with confidence.

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