Guests Changing Outfits Between Ceremony And Reception?

guest wedding attire

guest attire at weddings

Is is appropriate for guests to change outfits between the ceremony & reception?

 

We’ve been invited to a Catholic Church wedding at 2pm followed by a reception at 6pm. The invitation says “black tie suggested.” Aside from the inconvenience of this protracted delay between the two events, I have no interest in sitting around in a formal for 3 hours waiting for the reception. Is it appropriate to change outfits? If so, what should we wear to the ceremony and reception?

Jodi R R Smith, The Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting
Author, The Etiquette Book, A Complete Guide To Modern Manners

Ah, the wedding wardrobe changes… Hence the major advantages to having a reception which immediately follows the ceremony. Alas, especially with church ceremonies, this is not always possible. Yes, it is perfectly acceptable for you to attend the ceremony dressed appropriately (and respectfully!) for church, then relax in the afternoon, and change into your formal attire for the evening’s celebration. While many guests will opt for the single outfit, you certainly do have the option to change.

For church, women may wear suits, daytime dresses or fancy pants with matching tops. Men may wear suits, slacks with button down shirts & tie, pressed khakis with a blazer. The evening’s event is easy for the men as the invitation suggests black tie. If the man does not own and does not wish to rent a tuxedo, then a formal suit and tie will do. For the women, you may want to speak with the hosts to see if women will be wearing ballgowns or tea-length formal dresses.

guest wedding attire

Jay Remer, The Etiquette Guy, International Protocol and Corporate & Social Etiquette

I agree with Jodi. To my way of thinking this is an example of a poorly thought out wedding. Not everyone will necessarily expect that a costume change is expected and will show up in black tie at the church. This is not appropriate for a 2 pm wedding. A long gap between the ceremony and the reception is unavoidable sometimes, but then the black tie request seems unfair in my book. I’m not one for putting undo responsibilities on one’s guests. In this case, I personally would do exactly as Jodi suggests; change if possible, if not be comfortable in a suit, etc. The main thing is have fun and look your best.

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

I feel so unneeded :) Great advice, as always. And, I do agree that it really is unfair to guests when host schedule these events hours apart.

Mannersmith’s attire examples are perfect.

guest wedding attire

all photos via Style Me Pretty

What To Wear For 25th Anniversary Vow Renewal Dress

Vow Renewal Attire

Vow Renewal Attire

Help! What do I wear to my 25th anniversary vow renewal celebration?

Advice please for my renewal dress. We are celebrating our 25th anniversary this summer with a renewal in our church at noon, then reception following at a restaurant. Just not sure what to wear. Our 3 daughters will attend with me. I was thinking a dressier sundress for me, and sundresses for our adult and teenage girls. Is this too casual being held in our church?

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites, Inc®, a wedding planning guide, and Recent Mother of the Groom -

Congratulations on your silver anniversary!
Although the vow renewal is usually not a formal event, a sundress may be a little too casual, especially for church. If you have a bolero jacket to go over the dress then perhaps. Here is a page about dresses for wedding vow renewal ceremonies that might help you choose.

More Vow Renewal Resources

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Congratulations! And, thank you for having the proper focus on what this ceremony is supposed to be–not a wedding, but a reaffirmation of a marriage. This is refreshing :)

I agree that the dresses might be a bit casual. But, you are going in the right direction. Great advice, by the way. Some sort of cover-up is perfect.

And, please remember that if you are inviting guests to a restaurant for your party, you are expected to pay for them. I imagine you know this, but I have to fold this in for those who don’t.

Vow Renewal Attire

photos via,via

How To Word Invitations For A Surprise Wedding

how to word wedding invitations

How to word wedding invitations

Everyone thinks we are getting married overseas, how do we word our invites so everyone is surprised?

We were planning to elope overseas and then host a reception when we returned, unfortunately, the venue we wanted was booked for any reasonable time afterward, so we booked it for the weekend before we leave to our destination. Here’s the thing though, everyone thinks we are getting married overseas, but we figured it would be a nice surprise to get married at the reception with everyone in attendance. I was planning to word the reception invitation saying something like “so and so are thrilled to announce their upcoming wedding, please join us for a pre-wedding celebration at venue…” and then after the cocktail hour we will make a thank you toast to all the guests and then surprise them with the actual wedding ceremony. I have found advice on eloping and reception wording but nothing quite fits this scenario. Any advice is welcome, thank you!

Darlene Taylor, PBC, TaylorMade Weddings

My first thought right out of the box is: Why change the wording at all? What were you doing before your plans changed? If everyone thinks you’re getting married overseas and then attending a reception in your honor, why not leave it that way? I mean – unless your “elopement” was to be WAY before the reception date. It will make everything more of a surprise for your guests when you actually break out with the wedding ceremony! I’m sure the etiquette experts may get me for this, but in order to pull off a surprise, you gotta fib a little….

Here’s an example invitation wording I like (and adapted for you) that you could use that won’t *really* be lying but would still follow your original “plan.” I love surprises!!!

We’ve been keeping it quiet
like little mice –
a private wedding
we thought would be nice.
We’re excited about marriage –
as happy as can be!
Please celebrate with us
at our big party!
DATE
TIME
LOCATION

BRIDE
and
GROOM

Thank you so much for the quick reply! So, are you saying we should just word it as a regular wedding reception? Would that possibly confuse/tip off people into thinking that there is a wedding? I’ve seen replies from others that don’t like the use of the term “wedding celebration” but that particular phrase seems to make sense to me. We’re not really the type of couple that would use a rhyming invitation, our invitation designs are a clean modern look so maybe clear simple wording is best? Thanks again so much!

More Invitation Guides:

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites, Inc®, a wedding planning guide, and Recent Mother of the Groom -

I’m not sure there is really any etiquette for how to word invitations to this event since it’s so nontraditional.

I’d send a wedding reception invitation, worded the typical way such as:

The pleasure of your company

is requested at the

wedding reception for

Anne Marie Smith
and
Mr. Frank E. Jones

Date

Time

Place

RSVP

The guests will think you’re getting married sometime before the reception though, since a reception is what is planned after a wedding. I’m not sure what to call a celebration of a wedding that hasn’t taken place yet., other than a bridal shower or engagement party. Would you be okay with allowing guests to think you will already be married when they arrive at the reception? That would mean that they’ll know (or think they know) they haven’t been invited to the wedding. Then, of course, you’d surprise them when they arrived.

I suppose you’d have to decide if the surprise factor is worth it. If it were me, I’d just plan the wedding and reception, invite the guests and then go away to your destination for the honeymoon. Seems less messy.

Jodi R R Smith, The Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting
Author, The Etiquette Book, A Complete Guide To Modern Manners

I like both of these suggestions. Another concept to consider is to just invite your guest to a regular cocktail party and then surprise them with the wedding. “Please join us for cocktails and conversation (or cocktails and dancing) on Saturday June 16th, 7:00 in the evening, 22 Broadway Lane…”

I wish you all the best no matter what you choose.

Darlene Taylor, PBC
TaylorMade Weddings

Well, you have to admit, this is going to be confusing no matter how you look at it because you are trying to pull off a surprise.

What you have is a couple of choices: Have a surprise wedding in a reception style atmosphere (all in one location) OR forego the surprise and have a traditional wedding in another location such as a church or private garden with the reception to follow. You could also use the same venue for your ceremony AND reception. Make sure the staff has experience to flip the room before you move ahead with that plan. Once you decide what you want to do, then you can figure out how to word your invitations because then you’ll know what you’re inviting them to. Bottom line, at this point, is that you’re inviting your guests to a *wedding*…surprise or not.

Some things to think about: If you go the surprise route, you may not get guests “dressed up” for the reception that you’re wanting to have. If you want the reception, you’re going to have to use that word somewhere in your invitation and that will tip of “wedding” which will compromise the surprise. Then you have to consider what Donna said, “Is the surprise factor really worth it?” In my experience, the phrases “wedding celebration” or “marriage celebration” suggests that a wedding has already taken place and guests are coming to a casual party rather than a wedding reception. It’s a less formal atmosphere than what you get at a wedding reception.

I’ve read about many couples surprising guests with a wedding at their supposed “engagement party.” This is an easier route since guests are thinking they are coming to an engagement party, which they are , and then they get the surprise. This is usually very informal and very intimate which makes it easier to pull off. Unless you have some huge event you can tie this “party” around, like a holiday or a milestone birthday, you are going to have one tough time trying to keep it a secret from your guests. You need a cover in order to pull off a surprise wedding.

how to word wedding invitations

all photos via Style Me Pretty

What Song Should I Walk Down the Aisle To At My Vow Renewal?

Vow Renewal

For our vow renewal, would it be “off” for us to walk down the aisle to “Here Comes the Bride?”

I am planning to have a small renewal of vows ceremony for our 10th wedding anniversary. There will be no entourage, but I was thinking of our family walking down the aisle: my 9-year old son, bringing our new rings, then my 6-year old daughter as a little flower girl, then me alongside my husband.

I am thinking of a short song for our march down the aisle. I loved the Here Comes the Bride Jonathan Cain version instrumental, but I am thinking, since it is not really a “wedding”, would it be “off” if we walk down the aisle to that song? Also, since it’s technically not “here comes the bride” but “here comes the family?”

More Vow Renewal Resources

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites, Inc®, a wedding planning guide, and Recent Mother of the Groom -

Congratulations on your anniversary.

I’d steer clear of that song because, as you’ve pointed out, you’re not a bride.

I’d suggest a song that is meaningful (perhaps your original wedding song, the one you danced to as new husband and wife). Here is a list of songs for a vow renewal that you might find helpful. We’ve also had a question and answer previous on this topic called Songs for Wedding Vow Renewals and 25th anniversary vow renewal songs over at I Do Take Two!

Please note that the 10th wedding anniversary isn’t viewed as a milestone so plan the renewal appropriately.

Enjoy!

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

What’s truly important for any wedding, second marriage or vow renewal is that it’s special to you. Go with your gut, be creative and don’t be afraid of what people will think whether it’s your walk down the aisle or your first dance! Explore different options and have fun planning!

Vow Renewal

photos via Style Me Pretty

Wedding Rehearsal And Rehearsal Dinner Attire: What’s Appropriate To Wear ?

Wedding Rehearsal Dinner

As a bridesmaid, what is appropriate for me to wear to the rehearsal dinner?

I will be a bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding this month and I want to make sure my outfit for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner is appropriate. The bride specifically said that it is a semi-formal dinner at a nice restaurant and that she is planning on wearing a little white dress. She asked that the bridesmaids dress up nicely as well but she did not have time to get into specifics. I bought a short-sleeve dress that is around knee length. It is white with small red flowers all over and a red tie at the waist. I have 2 inch red heels to match. I’ve never met any of the other bridesmaids so I can’t ask them what they plan on wearing. My question is: Is it okay to wear a red and white dress to the rehearsal? I have heard that you should never wear red or white to a wedding ceremony but I’m not sure what is acceptable for a rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. I bought the dress because it is comfortable, flattering and pretty but I don’t want to offend anyone. Please help!

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites, Inc®, a wedding planning guide, and Recent Mother of the Groom -

Hmmm, a semi-formal rehearsal dinner? These dinners are usually casual. From what you’ve described as the bride’s attire, this is not semi-formal. I’d go by what the bride is wearing plus you can visit the restaurant’s website to see what sort of attire is required. That should give you a good idea about what to wear.

The reason you’ve read to avoid red is to keep from distracting attention from the bride on her wedding day. This rule can also be attributed to the rehearsal dinner, but as long as you’re not dressing more formally or in a style that would detract from the bride (like wearing the same color or the same dress) then I think you’re fine. The outfit style and color combo you’ve described sounds really cute.

Gena Conti, Owner, Designer, Milliner at Gena Conti Millinery

I think your outfit is very cute, but my personal feeling is that the (mainly) white with small red flowers fabric is too close to the bride’s white dress for the rehearsal dinner. You are a wonderful BRIDESMAID to be so considerate of your friend, the BRIDE, to ask these style and etiquette questions— No wonder she chose you!

I’d go with something more subtle… and try to tie in the shoes… Black with white accents; trim with red belt, sash, ribbon, necklace … many shades of blue are also great with red (I LOVE teal & red, yellow & red …)

Hope this helps.
Have a good time!

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites, Inc®, a wedding planning guide, and Recent Mother of the Groom -

I respectfully disagree. I don’t think the white background will detract from the bride, but if you have something else to wear that isn’t white, go for it. The little black dress is always a great default. Feel free to upload other choices.

More Rehearsal Dinner Posts:

Ann Guise, Wedding Veil Designer at Silk Wedding Veils

These rehearsal dinners are very popular in the US. We don’t tend to have them over here in the UK, but I bet it won’t be long! I think your outfit is lovely – and you feel comfortable in it. Why not email the pictures to the bride so she can reassure you. I’m sure she’ll love it. I wore those colours to my God daughter’s wedding last October.

 ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

There are so many different venues and styles when it comes to weddings and the rehearsal dinners. Take a good look at the formality of the location and dress appropriate. From jean dresses and boots for an outdoor BBQ to a little black cocktail dress that doesn’t distract from the bride at her four-star restaurant choice. When worse comes to worse, ask the bride for her opinion and what would make her feel comfortable.

Wedding Rehearsal Dinner

photos via Style Me Pretty

The Golden Rules of Wedding Invitation Etiquette: Wording & Addressing Properly

Wedding Invitation Golden Rules

The Golden Rules of Wedding Invitation Etiquette

A wedding invitation is much like any other invitation–it invites guests to an event. Like all invitations, it conveys information about the event, such as the who, what, when, where, and why. However, it is a rather unique type of invitation. This piece of paper can actually create an impression of glamour, good taste, wealth, warmth, or even, “OMG! Really? I can’t believe they thought that was appropriate!”

Don’t want that last reaction? Then simply follow the “Golden Rules”.

# 1 Follow flawless form. Hey, you’ve got style!

Remember that invitations convey information with more than just words. Formal or informal? The weight of the paper is heavier; the font is more ornate with formal weddings.

Never use labels to address your envelopes! But you’ve got bad handwriting? No problem. It’s okay to print envelopes with a high quality laser printer, using a handwriting font. For more formal weddings consider hiring a calligrapher.

What else makes an invitation formal? Wording. Use of the phrase, “request the honour of your presence” is common, even though this is typically reserved for religious ceremonies. Request the pleasure of your company is used for civil ceremonies, those not being held in a place of worship and for an invitation to the reception only.

With formal invitations, use the most formal format: listing parents as hosts. This doesn’t mean that the couple couldn’t use their names as hosts, especially if this is an encore wedding. And, if parents are divorced and remarried, the spouse should be listed. Steps are parents too.

# 2 Online is fine.

Invitations can be sent using any method, with the formality setting the method:

Formal = hand addressed and snail mail
Informal = fewer rules.

For the very informal wedding with few guests, it is perfectly appropriate to use the internet, i.e. “e-vites” (E-mail) or Facebook. But, be very careful to inform your guests of exactly who is and is not invited. Be specific.

# 3 Mention the players.

Traditionally, parents, especially the bride’s parents, invited (hosted) guests and were mentioned at the top of the wedding invitation. As mentioned before, this form is still used, especially for the most formal wedding. However, anyone can “invite” and appear as host. Anyone, except those who cannot host, like young children and those who are deceased (listed under the bride’s and groom’s names as: also the daughter/son of…, and on the wedding program.

# 4 No kiddie zone? Let them know.

Even on informal invitations, where there are fewer restrictions, never write “adult only” or “child free event”. It’s offensive to parents and sounds negative. So, how do you let these parents know this is a kid free event? Simple -just don’t include the children’s names on the inner envelope. What if there is no inner envelope? List those invited on the outer envelope. (If you ARE inviting children and there’s no inner envelope, only list the adults on the outer envelope and include an insert informing the couple that their children are also invited.) This is a clever way of also including a “plus-one”. But, be sure to get the full name of the guest/child and spell it out.

Mrs. Jane Jones and Guest = NO
Mrs. Jane Jones and Michael Gold = YES

This is especially important if you don’t want strangers attending. Use this same format for reception place cards too.

# 5 Invitations all around.

Anyone over the age of 16 to 18 (some differing opinions on age) receive their own invitation even if living in the same home. However, couples, even same gender, receive only one invitation. They are “invited” as a couple.

# 6 No B-listers please!

It’s a common problem. The couple wants everyone they know and love to come to their wedding, but their venue or budget won’t allow. Using an A and B list to solve the problem is tricky. No one wants to be a B-Lister. Ouch! If this must be done, timing is everything.

# 7 Don’t fish for gifts.

Some still believe and advise that all who receive a wedding invitation are obligated to send a gift. This belief tends to lead to invitations for everyone the parents and/or couple has ever known; especially those they know won’t attend. Honestly, those who receive these know they are being asked to send a gift but aren’t expected to attend. However, do send invitations to those you really want to attend. If you don’t think they can or will attend, send them any way. Sometimes people surprise us. And, those we love will know we aren’t just fishing for gifts.

# 8 Use enclosures.

Enclosures and response cards can be included with our invitations. Use enclosures to advise guests of attire (more on that later), inclusion of an escort or children, maps/directions, local activities, and an easy way to respond (response card). On the response card, there should be a clear RSVP date with address and/or phone number for replying, and include a stamp addressed envelope for ease of return. It’s fine to use an email address for the reply for an informal wedding.

Tip: take a completed invitation to the Post Office to be weighed. You will need to know how much postage costs per invitation AND how much postage your response cards require. It’s difficult enough to get these cards back on time, so make the process simple for the guest. Although, if not using response cards, guests would write formal replies and mail these on their dime…ah, dollar.

# 9 Dress for success!

Deciphering dress codes is getting more and more difficult as people create their own–Texas Formal?? So, when we advise our guests what to wear, it is best to stick to the tried and true dress codes, such as “formal” or ‘black tie’ and only for a formal, combination wedding/reception invitation.

So, what can we do to help our guests know what would be appropriate attire? After all, even if the wedding is informal, you probably don’t want guests arriving in swim suits. Including this information on an insert or enclosure should do the trick.

# 10 Resist to list… the registry.

Never ever include gift registry information with wedding invitations! Doing so makes the gift seem more important than the invitation. In fact, never print gift expectations on invitations, even if you don’t want any. And, requesting cash, in any manner, is viewed extremely negatively and greedy. Convey gift preference through word of mouth or on a wedding website, but never on the first page.

Do

  • Begin to gather names and addresses of guests early in the wedding planning process.
  • Include groom when creating and addressing invitations. And, allow plenty of time for this. It can be a very time consuming activity.
  • For ease of assembly, lay all enclosures, envelopes, and tissue out for all invitations so you don’t forget anything.
  • Mail invitations eight weeks before the wedding. Save the dates may be sent up to a year in advance. These are not invitations, but all who receive them also receive invitations.
  • If not using an inner envelope, write all names of those invited on the outer envelope or list children and escorts on enclosures.

Do not

  • Mention gift preferences, registry, gift table/card box/wishing well (gasp!) info on invitations–not even on enclosures.
  • Invite guests you don’t want to attend just for a gift.
  • List deceased parents or young children as hosts.
  • Don’t use labels on envelopes.
  • Use an A and B list if at all possible. If you do, do not send your B list out any later than 6 weeks before your event.

Wedding Invitation Golden Rules

More Tips & Trips

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites, Inc®, a wedding planning guide, and Recent Mother of the Groom

Formal Invitation Wording

Traditional style used when the bride’s parents are hosting:

*Dr. and Mrs. Richard I Kerr

request the honour of your presence (religious) or request thepleasure of your company (civil)

at the marriage of their daughter Susan Lynn Kerr to Mr. James Walker Crandall Saturday, the ninth of July

two thousand and twelve (optional)

at half past five in the evening

*Father of the bride is a doctor, so his title is used.

When the bride’s parents are hosting and the groom’s parents are included:


Mr. Richard Kerr and *The Honorable Jane Kerr

request the honour of your presence (religious)
or request the
pleasure of your company (civil)

at the marriage of their daughter Susan Lynn Kerr

to Mr. James Walker Crandall

son of Mr. and Mrs. James Crandall

etc.

*Mother of the bride is a judge so she is listed on a separate line.

When both parents are hosting:


Mr. James Earle

and

*Captain Jane Earle

United States Navy

and

Mr. and Mrs. Michael Crandon

request the honour of your presence (religious)

or request thepleasure of your company (civil)

at the marriage of (their children)

Cheryl Lynn Earle

to

Mr. James Walker Crandon

etc. *Mother and father are listed on separate lines when one is an officer in the military. Branch of service is included

The bride or groom wish to honor a deceased parent:

*Mrs. Jane (or James) Earle

request the honour of your presence (religious)

or request thepleasure of your company (civil)

at the marriage of her daughter

Shannon Lynn Earle

also daughter of the late Mr. James Earle

to

Mr. James Walker Crandon

son of the late Mrs. Michelle (or Michael) Crandon

(or son of Mr. Michael Crandon and the late Mrs. Michelle Crandon)

etc. *It is becoming more common for women to use their first names rather than their husband’s.

When the bride’s stepfather is hosting along with the mother:

Mr. and Mrs. James Earle

request the honour of your presence (religious)

or

request thepleasure of your company (civil)

*at the marriage of her daughter Shannon Lynn Maurice to Mr. James Walker Crandon etc.

*If stepmother were hosting with father, “her” would be replaced with “his” daughter.

The couple is issuing the invitation, but honoring their parents:

Dr. Shannon Lynn Maurice

daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Maurice

and

Mr. James Walker Crandon

son of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Crandon

request the honour of your presence (religious)
or request thepleasure of your company (civil)

etc.

Children hosting

Mr. and Mrs. James Louis Markum (the bride’s oldest son and spouse)

Ms. Shannon Lynn Markum (the bride’s younger daughter)

Mr. Samuel Graham Earle (the groom’s son)

request the honour of your presence (religious)

or request thepleasure of your company (civil) at the marriage of their parents Ms. Simone Clair Markum to Mr. Charles Sean Earle etc.

An invitation issued by the couple to the wedding and reception:

The pleasure of your company is requested

at the marriage of

Susan Lynn Kerr

and

Mr. James Walker Crandall Saturday, the tenth of May

at five o’clock

Happy Valley Resort

San Francisco And afterward at the reception

RSVP

Reception held in a different location than the wedding. The honour of your presence is requested at the marriage of

Susan Lynn Kerr

and

Mr. James Walker Crandall Saturday, the fifth of May

at five o’clock

Church of the Blessed Saints Sacramento
Please join us immediately afterwards for the reception

Granite Bay Country Club

4433 Granite Bay Drive

Granite Bay

RSVP

Informal Invitations

Options are limitless! Be creative and personal.

Parents Hosting

Jane and John Coates

along with Michelle and James Crandon

*invite you to the wedding of their children

Shannon Coates to James Crandon

Saturday, June 19, 2011 (year is optional)

at 6:00 in the evening (6 pm may be used)

LocationOptions: *invite you to share and celebrate (or share in the joy) at the marriage of their children; wish to share their joy in the wedding of their children…etc.

Most any phase can be used here as long as it “invites”.

The bride or groom wish to honor a deceased parent:

Maria Giordano

daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Giordano

(or daughter of Mrs. Sharon Giordano and the late Mr. Frank Giordano)

and

James Smith

son of Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

(or son of Mr. John Smith and the late Mrs. Michelle Smith)

request the honour of your presence (religious)

or request thepleasure of your company (civil)

etc.

Couple Invites

Maria Giordano

and

James Smith

invite you to share their joy (most any phrase can used)

at their wedding

Etc.

This can also be a handwritten letter if your wedding is a small intimate event. Email is fine as well.

Children Hosting

Mary Ennis

with her daughter Lindsay Ennis

and Charles Earle

with his son Samuel Earle

wish to invite you to the celebration

of uniting these two families (most any phrase may be used here) etc.

Handwritten (or Email) Invitation

Dear John and Susan,

Michael and I will be married on July 9, at 2 pm at our home, with a cake and champagne reception following the ceremony. Please come and celebrate with us.

Warm regards,

Wedding Invitation Golden Rules

***Be sure to spell out words like states, time and dates. For example; the fifteenth of June (not June 15th) and half after five o’clock in the evening, (not 5:30 pm).

Make sure to put return postage on all RSVP envelopes.

Always try to find out the names of a guest to avoid the impersonal “and guest” on invitations and place cards.

No punctuation is necessary when wording the invitation except abbreviations and a comma between city and state.

A folded formal wedding invitation is slid into the inner envelope, fold first and printed side facing up (in other words facing the opening of the envelope). Inserts go on to of the printed side.

Wedding Invitation Golden Rules

@sealdwithappeal asked on Twitter:

What do you think about using “honor” vs. “honour” on wedding invitations ie: hono(u)r of your presence…

Answer: The words honour or favour, written in the British style, are traditional wording but honor and favor, in the American style, is appropriate too if the couple prefers.

In conclusion,

Send a wedding invitation to everyone you want to attend the wedding. Don’t try to guess whether or not they can travel. Go ahead and send the invite and let your guest decide. Often people will get their feelings hurt if they don’t receive an invitation – even if they know they can’t come. It’s nice to feel wanted. That said, never send an invitation to someone you haven’t had a relationship (and I don’t mean commenting on facebook photos!) with in years (Ex. college roommates, long lost cousins). That will appear as though you’re just looking to pad the guest list – either because you want more gifts or you have to fil a seating quota. If you are thinking about getting back in touch, the wedding isn’t the place to start.

 

photos via Style Me Pretty

Popping the Question: How to Get a ‘Yes’

how to get my girlfriend to say yes

Whether you are male or female, no matter if you have already discussed getting married with your partner or not, popping the question ‘officially’ is still a daunting task. Ever heard of the phrase ‘start as you mean to go on’?

You want the occasion to be a special and intimate moment to remember and you definitely want a ‘yes’ as an answer, so you need a good plan in place to make sure that the proposal is a success. Read our guide below on how to get a yes when you are popping the question…

Choosing the Location

Where you decide to pop the question to your partner is very important. Will this be a public display of affection or a low key event, maybe even just the two of you? Always think about what your partner likes, and, more importantly, doesn’t like – it is surprising how often this is overlooked. This moment is a very personal choice but consider the best option for you. For example, only opt to go public if you are already sure that she or he will say yes, you do not want them to say yes out of embarrassment or say no and cause you humiliation.

Surprise your partner as all proposals should be a surprise, it is part and parcel of the romance and excitement – so be picky about who you confide in before you pop the big question. Take them on their surprise dream holiday, back to the first place you met, a surprise picnic or hot air balloon ride. If you want to avoid clichés then go for more a more personalised approach, perhaps something that holds special meaning to the both of you.

choose a location for proposing

Choosing the Ring

Having a ring is imperative to seal the deal of any marriage proposal. If you are buying for your girlfriend choose a style that is unique and beautiful. Antique jewellery is a wonderful option for an engagement ring because of its rarity and the story it tells. Alternatively, blow her away with a platinum diamond ring, brilliantly crafted from the likes of a luxury reputable brand such as George Pragnell.

choosing an engagement ring

Choosing a Plan B

Not a plan B partner of course, but you will need a backup proposal plan in case unforeseen circumstances do prevent you from getting down one knee. So, if bad weather or unavoidable traffic gets in your way and you want nothing more than to propose to your partner, then you need to have a backup plan, something simple and romantic that can be easily arranged.

What’s Your Engagement Ring Style?

diamond solitaire engagement ring

Choosing an engagement ring can be an overwhelming task. With so many styles, cuts, metals and makers and with the added pressure of owning one that you’ll love for a lifetime, it takes a little thought to get the ring just right! But not to fear, we’ve broken down the different styles for you to help you on your search. Which one suits you best?

1.  Classic

You believe in the timeless value of things. Your taste doesn’t go in and out of season but you prefer to own things that will hold memories and last a lifetime. Spending a little more is often justified for you by investing in items that are of the highest quality and design. Pick a diamond solitaire engagement ring that’s princess-cut or round with a platinum metal and you can’t go wrong.

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2.  Bold

Celebrity styles have brought bold engagement ring looks into fashion. If you love to make a statement and stand out from the crowd then you’ll definitely want a large diamond ring to grab people’s attention. Go for a halo ring setting with small diamonds inserted along the ring band for a bold effect that will be sure to sparkle.

3. Vintage

Do you prefer the boho look and love to treasure memories and history? Then a vintage-style engagement ring will definitely suit you. Some brides are intrigued by precious rings passed-down through as heirlooms or you can even find second-hand rings and diamonds that you can alter to make your own.

small diamonds

4. Sweet

Many companies like Chisholm Hunter specialise in presenting more minimalist looks. If you prefer things petite and pay attention to detail then a square, princess or round cut diamond in a prong setting will be perfect for you.

5. Unique

You might prefer to carve your own path in life and do things your own way. Then why not custom-design your engagement ring for a truly unique style? There are plenty of other precious gems to choose from other than diamonds or you could pick a beautiful coloured diamond instead. The possibilities are endless when you dive-in to design your own. So go ahead and get creative to match your engagement ring to your unique personality.

unique diamond engagement ring

What Should Be Included In a Wedding Program?

wedding program example

 

Wedding programs are a great way to greet your guests at the ceremony.  The program helps guests feel included by making sure that they can follow along with the processional as well as it gives them a keepsake they can then take home with them after the ceremony.

What Is Included On a Wedding Program

  • Introduction
  • Order of the events
  • Names of Participants
  • Wedding Party Names


wedding program layout

Optional Inclusions

  • Memorials – It is not good etiquette to put the name of a deceased parent on the wedding invitation because someone that has passed on is not able to extend an invitation to the wedding.  However, that does not mean that that person is not important.  The wedding program is a great place to express your love for a loved one that has passed on.
  • Brief Biographies – It is always fun to learn a little more about each member of the wedding party as well as the bride and groom.  This helps guests find things in common and be more involved.
  • Readings/quotations – Feel free to include the words of your readings so guests can follow along.
  • Song lyrics – Adding the lyrics to your favorite song that will be sung in the program can help your guests fall in love with the song as much as you.
  • Explanation of Traditions – If your guests are not familiar with some of your wedding customs, adding an explanation of each ritual can help guests to feel included.
  • Gratitude: It is always appropriate to thank your family and friends for the help and love throughout the years as well as with the wedding.
  • Fun Facts: Adding a little fun to the program is not prohibited.  Keep your guests entertained why they wait for the processional by adding some fun facts about the bride and groom.

Now you know what is suppose to be on your wedding invitations here is how the correct format for the your information on the actual wedding program.

Should You Print Your Own Bridal Shower Invitations?

Source

Everyone likes saving money when possible and printing your own bridal shower invitations can help save some money if your are up to the challenge but before you jump into the deep end with no life jacket here are a few things you should know.

3 Things To Know About Printing Your Own Invitations

  1. Paper and Ink Are Not Free – Unlike regular printer paper that is $5 for 500 sheets of paper, a higher quality cardstock will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 8-$10 for 25 sheets. 25 sheets are cardstock will produce 50 invitations.  Also in order to print 50 invitations you may use up to half your ink cartages, which is going to cost you around $15.
  1. Home Printers Have Limits – Most home printers will only be able to print on a 60-80lb cardstock.  Any heavier weight cardstock will not be able to be processed by a home printer.  Most professional invitation companies will print on 100-120lb cardstock which will be noticeable thicker and more durable.
  1. Paper Cutter is a Must –You will be able to fit 2 invitations per sheet of paper so don’t even think about breaking out your scissors to cut out the invitations.  If you use scissors your cards will be an uneven disaster.  Either use a paper cutter or take them to Kinkos to have them cut out.

Cost Difference Between Printing Invitations And Making At Home

Here is the cost difference between printing your invitations at home vs. having them professionally printed.

At Home Printing – 50 Invitations

  • Paper Cost – $10
  • Ink – $15
  • Envelopes – $3.50
  • Total Cost – $28.50

Professional Printing – 50 Invitations

  • Invitation – $48
  • Envelopes – Free
  • Total Cost – $48

If you have decided that printing your own bridal shower invitations is not for you.   I would recommend checking out Basic Invite.  They are have hundreds of different designs that can be fully customized with over 150 different colors as well as a 100 different font styles.

However, with all of that being said if you are still interested in printing your won invitations here are 5 super cute bridal shower printables that are free to download.

The Bubbly Bridal Shower Invitation

 

The Beautiful Bride Bridal Shower Invitation

The Around The Clock Bridal Shower Invitation

The Floral Bridal Shower Invitation

The Bride Bouquet Bridal Shower Invitation

 

More Invitation Guides:

Engagement Rings Or Wedding Bands

gorgeous diamond ring

 

Engagement Ring & Wedding Band Questions Answered

Question: What are the difference between Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands? Are Engagement Rings for the lady only or can it comes as a set and both partners to wear? Are Engagement Rings to be worn on the right hand 3rd finger during engagement? Would they still stay at that finger even after the wedding? (Wedding bands are to be worn on the 3rd left hand finger, so there would be a ring on both hand’s 3rd fingers?). Can the Engagement Rings be used as Wedding Bands? This means that the engagement ring will be removed from the right finger and shifted to the left finger. And that the engagement and wedding rings are the exact same pair, nothing more. Is this possible? Some jewelers can’t explain the exact difference between Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands. (They often call their range the “Engagement/Wedding Rings/Bands” and claim them to be “for both occasions”.) Are there a real difference?

Donna, Wedding Queen: The engagement ring is traditionally a diamond ring given to the woman which she wears on the third finger of her left hand. They don’t usually come as a set (as wedding bands do) however your girlfriend could choose to give you a ring or other symbol of her comittment to you; her choice. It really depends on who does the asking.

Wedding bands are the rings that are typically a band of gold or other precious metal which the bride and groom exchnage during the wedding vows. Each of you will have a wedding band.

I think where you are becoming confused is that some jewelers will sell the engagement rign and wedding band as a set for the woman. Tell the jeweler you want only the engagement ring.

Don’t worry about the amount of time that passes between the engagement and the wedding date. Many couples choose to have very long engagements for varying reasons. Personally, I have been engaged for 2 years now and no actual date has been set.

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Wedding Expert Answer: I, too, had a long distant relationship due to similar reasons. Although we never had trust issues, I wanted to promise him that I would be his one day and live together. I found a pair of sterling silver rings with green enamal and a vine-like design both for a man and a lady. I decided to purchase these and when I visited him next, I showed him my ring and asked if he liked it (I knew he would) and later on, I pulled his out and told him of my promise. We weren’t really engaged because it’s hard to plan a wedding when there’s so much distance between you and your fiancee; these were merely promise rings, which we wore on the 3rd finger of our right hands.

Now, I’ve fulfilled my promise, we’ve been living together for a year, and he decided to propose marriage to me. He did so with a diamond ring and I accepted. Now that I have this engagement ring, we have now begun to actually plan our wedding. I wear the diamond ring on the third finger of my left hand.

On the day of the ceremony, I will be moving my engagement ring to the 3rd finger of my right hand and place the original promise ring on a chain on my neck. After the ceremony, the Wedding Band and the Engagement ring will be worn on my left hand, and the promise ring on my right.

Since the engagement ring is usually a green light to start planning your wedding, which will be difficult for some time given your situation, maybe the promise rings are a good idea. And these don’t need to be expensive, I paid a little over $100 for both of our rings.

Reader Response:  Thank you both for your advices. I think I’m getting a clearer picture of where should the engagement ring and wedding band should go to: they should both be worn on the 3rd left finger. However as it seems, the gap between my engagement and wedding will be quite far apart (2 years). My concern is what if I’m not able to find a wedding band to match the engagement ring? Wouldn’t it then look weird and not matching for them to be worn on the same finger on top of one another?

Could the engagement ring be shifted to the right hand 3rd finger while the wedding band stays on the left hand 3rd finger permanently? At the least, it would make my wife-to-be feel more comfortable than having to wear 2 rings on one? [:)]

Donna, Wedding Queen: You really shouldn’t have a problem finding matching wedding bands but if this worries you the two of you could make the purchase of the bands now and save them for the wedding.

All of your other decisions are personal ones; there are no rules about moving the rings. Tradition indicates that the wedding band is worn on the left hand but really, as long as you and your bride are in agreement, the rings can be wrn on whatever finger you like.

 

Using Airbrush Makeup For Wedding

airbrush wedding makeup

 

Airbrush Makeup For Wedding

Question: I recently had a make up trial. The people who did it used airbrush make up and say that its much better for all these reasons like, it won’t feel caked on, it will last the whole day, tear proof etc, etc. At the trial, she did my make up first and then my hair. By 4:00 in the afternoon I noticed my blush (which was airbrushed on) was coming off – not just fading off but almost peeling off. I told the lady who did it and told her that maybe conventional make up would suit my skin better.

She assured me that it must have happened when the hairspary was sprayed on my hair. That it must have gone onto my make up and therefore, over time has made the blush come off. And she assured me that it would be ok on the day if we did my hair first and then the make up. What are your experiences with airbrush make up and what would you recommend?

Michelle Larner, Professional NYC Makeup Artist: There are two types of foundation that are used in the airbrush machine. One is water based ,the other is silicone. Sounds like she used silicone. I have only worked with water based myself, and I only used it for the foundation, not for any other area (such as blush or eyeshadow) for the reason that I dont like to layer wet on top of wet.

Maybe if you are happy with your airbush foundation, still use it, but switch to a non airbrush blush, powder or cream. I like the Bobbi Brown Cream blushes. Powder Pink is a great shade for everyone. Again, I dont know if this is compatible with silicone makeup, if thats what she used. Or it was a case of not letting the foundation set, before she sprayed on the blush and they dried together in a thick layer. Kind of like putting on too much nail polish and its too thick.

Also, if you havent exfoliated recently, might be an issue of dry skin buildup, especially if you are using acne treatment products or Retin-A. Try using the St. Ives apricot scrub, gentle formula. Available in drugstores, about $4.

Irina Feygin, IMpeccable iMage, Inc. Image and Beauty and For Princess Bride: Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Your last sentence summarizes it all, and you are absolutely right here! While airbrush makeup can help in some instances (see below), as a makeup expert, I prefer to use traditional makeup exclusively, as opposed to airbrush. Here is why: traditional makeup will allow your skin to breathe. It will feel and look natural. There will be no breakouts the next day. It will stay on for up to 12 hours: all you have to do is spray your face with Model in a Bottle makeup setting spray and your makeup will stay put until you take it off.

Peeling of the foundation or blush in this situation is totally unheard of, even if some hair spray gets on the skin accidentally. However, there are instances when airbrush makeup is necessary: when there is a severe skin defects, severe discolorations or scars. While it can all be camouflaged with traditional makeup, there is no doubts that airbrush makeup will provide 100% coverage.

What to do in your particular case?

  • Hair should be absolutely done first, then makeup. It’s a golden rule of bridal beauty
  • Go ahead and demand traditional makeup application the day of the wedding. You cannot risk your makeup peeling off on your big day. Reasons: we don’t know exactly WHAT caused the blush to peel off. It MIGHT BE caused by the hair spray, but it is JUST AN ASSUMPTION. You cannot be sure of that. Maybe it’s the chemical balance of your skin that rejects the product (each person has her individual chemical balance).
  • Since you were overall happy with the style of makeup application and obviously your makeup artist can do the job, she will be able to do it with traditional foundation and blush as well. This way, you can be assured that your makeup will stay put and won’t go off
  • If you are still concerned about how it is going to look without a trial, you can purchase your own foundation, translucent powder and blush. Have a sales person at the department store counter apply these products. See how they will hold over the course of the day. If one particular brand doesn’t hold, return the products and check out the other brand. Have your makeup artist use YOUR OWN products the day of the wedding to ensure “longevity” of your makeup.

More Bridal Beauty Posts: 

 

 

Airbrush Wedding Makeup: What You Need to Know

Not sure if airbrush makeup is the way to go for your wedding day? Here are some common questions on the subject that may help you decide:

  • Why is airbrush makeup so popular with brides? The airbrush makeup trend started in Hollywood mainly because it lasted most of hte day and had an amazing finish. Brides need makeup that can handle a long wedding day, with photos, ceremony, dancing and more, so it isn’t surprising that this trend made its way down to brides.
  • What are the benefits of airbrush makeupvs traditional approach? It stays awesome way longer. Airbrush makeup lasts 9-12 hours in any weather condition and under more stresses of a wedding day. It’s also water-resistant and won’t rub off.
  • What skin type does airbrushing work best for? The beauty of airbrush is that it works for everyone, even people with sensitive skin. Clients with allergies will benefit from the water-based makeup formulas, and the air compressor is one of the most hygenic ways to distribute foundation.
  • How long does it take to apply airbrush makeup? The application process is quick! Only about 45 seconds to a minute. That is way quicker than any traditional application approach.
  • Should a bride schedule a trial-run? Absolutely. Not only is a trial the best way to get to know your artist it is essential in determining your personal look for the day.
  • Which season would you recommend airbrush makeup for? It’s beautiful for any season, but summer brides will benefit the most.

Time Between Ceremony And Reception?

wedding ceremony church

How Much Time Is Too Much Time Between The Ceremony And Reception?

Question: We are thinking of having our wedding at 12 pm and our cocktail hour stars at 4:30. The majority of our guests are local, but we do have some out-of-towners, of course. We live in an area where there is plenty to do and plenty of places to see and shop. Nonetheless I need to get invitations ordered and am not sure what amount of time is too much time and if it may seem rude if we have it too far apart – such as 12 pm for the ceremony and 4:30 for the cocktail hour. Our ceremony should last an hour. By the time we exit the church it should be about 1:30 or so.

Emmanuela Stanislaus, Precious Occasions, Wedding and Event Planner: An hour and a half is probably the max amount of time that you should have between your ceremony reception. Usually your cocktail hour is held during the gap between the ceremony and reception so that your guests are entertained during the time that you are taking photos with your new husband, wedding party, and family. You don’t want to give your guests too much time in between so that you ensure proper flow between the two events. If possible, I would suggest that you adjust your times so that you only have between an hour or hour and a half for photos. Is there a reason why you’re thinking of having a long gap between your ceremony and cocktail hour?

Amy Rubins, Fete Perfection, Professional Bridal Consultant: This is one of those situations where I think you should put yourself in your guests shoes. What would you do for all these hours? Leave and not return – sit at a bar or restaurant and eat or drink? Some churches are very strict with their schedules and a long delay between the ceremony and reception is unavoidable, but if you have the option to schedule a later ceremony which moves almost directly into the cocktail reception, I think your guests will appreciate it. If you are scheduling a noon ceremony and a 4:30 cocktail hour so you have plenty of time for photos, I wouldn’t recommend it. Great photographer’s can usually get everything wrapped in an hour or less and you will still have time to enjoy your guests. I’d love to know more about your reasons for splitting up your day like this.

Jodi R R Smith, The Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting: Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. And thank you for taking the time to consider the timing. Even with mostly local guests, your celebration should follow the ceremony. If there is a lag in time, you should provide some sort of hosted waiting time (such as the previously mentioned cocktail hour). As a guest who has spent time in formal attire waiting around in Starbucks for a wedding reception to begin, it is a drain on your guests’ energy and excitement to have such a long pause in the festivities. All the best ~

Brandi Hamerstone, Owner/Senior Wedding Planner All Events Planned: It really is great that you are thinking through what your guests will be doing on your wedding day but I do have to agree with the previous post, too much time in between isn’t fair. If you absolutely can’t adjust your church schedule then you should host an event in between the time of your ceremony and cocktail hour. You can have guided tours of the city (via a trolley or bus) a suite available for everyone to meet with some simple snacks and drinks or have tickets available to area attractions (museums) so that they have something to fill their time. There really is not much a guests dislikes more than having to find things to do in between a ceremony and reception. When planning with my clients I absolutely always have them plan everything back to back so there are no issues and no guests wandering around wondering what in the world they can do.

Jules Hirst, Etiquette Expert Etiquette Consulting Inc Los Angeles, CA: Glad to hear you are taking you guests into consideration when planning your timeline for your big day. I would have to echo all of the wonderful experts advice. If at all possible you should try to avoid too much time in between the ceremony and the cocktail hour, however if you must, have entertainment planned for your guests as Brand mentioned.

 

When Is Bride’s Veil lifted?

wedding veils

When Is Bride’s Veil lifted?

I am wearing a long Belgian lace veil, drop style. We are having a full Catholic wedding mass – so there will be the liturgy, then the rite of marriage, then communion. When would be the most traditional time to lift the veil? I am also worried I might get a little stage fright with all the guests watching me, so I would like to keep it down as long as possible. When is the latest I can lift the veil? Would it seem strange if I keep it down until we are pronounced man and wife? Thank you for the advise.

Amy Rubins, Fete Perfection, Professional Bridal Consultant certified by the Association of Bridal Consultants, Certified Destination Wedding Specialist

Traditionally your father would lift your veil when presenting you to your groom. If you’re worried about stage fright, your back will be to your guests during the ceremony, so they will not be viewing your face, nor will you see them. Besides, I think your groom would feel more comfortable and connected to you if the veil is up and not forming a barrier between you.

Irina Feygin,
IMpeccable iMage, Inc. Image and Beauty and For Princess Bride

There are two schools on the subject. Depending on what you feel most comfortable with, your veil is either lifted when you meet the groom at the altar, or it is lifted for the kiss after the ceremony. However, if you keep the veil down during the entire ceremony, it might look strange to the guests, because it is not very common. Either way you won’t break a rule, so it’s up to you to decide!

Joyce C Smith, MBC, President and owner of Weddings Unlimited, Inc. and Ohio State Coordinator for Association of Bridal Consultants

Love that you are wearing the veil to cover your face during the processional!

In early times, the bride wore the veil to hide or protect herself from evil spirits or to conceal her face from the groom because of an arranged marriage. What a surprise that must have been.

In today’s tradition, these are ideas of how you can do this:
…Father lifts the veil when you reach the altar and are handed off to your groom.
…When you are pronounced husband and wife. The groom lifts the veil and kisses his bride.
…When the exchange of vows begin. You hand off your bouquet to maid of honor and then lift your veil.

bridal veil

Darlene Taylor, PBC,TaylorMade Weddings

Excellent advice from everyone! Spot on.

I would like to add a thought about wearing your veil throughout the entire ceremony…just something for you to ponder: You will be seeing your entire ceremony through the eyes of Belgian lace. Is this how you want to remember your wedding, through lace? Or would you rather look on the face of your groom clearly without anything getting in your way? Brides I have talked to have mentioned this as their reason for choosing to not wear the veil for the entire ceremony – they wanted to SEE everything. They wanted to be able to dab their eyes without messing with their veil. For a full mass with communion, you wouldn’t have to mess with the veil while taking communion and your groom can look on your beautiful face for the entire ceremony instead of through the veil. However, if wearing your veil for the entire ceremony is something you’ve dreamed of doing for your wedding – then DO IT!! But not because you want to “hide.” K?

Just take a few moments and consider that. Put your veil on and practice taking communion and dabbing your eyes. Wear it for an hour and see how you feel. It probably sounds funny, but it will help in your decision. It’s the little things that catch us by surprise on our wedding day. Something we thought would be no problem became one during the wedding day. Some things we can change on the fly – others we can’t. If you decide that your veil is annoying you during your ceremony – you’ve got a long time to wait until it comes off.

Remember – your family and friends are there because they love you. Yes, they are looking at you but only because they’re celebrating with you. They are enjoying watching the two of you become one. They want to see your beautiful face. If you’re afraid of “messing up”, well practice laughing at yourself. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Maybe your officiant can “lighten” things up for you to ease your anxiety and make you feel comfortable.

Have fun! Best Wishes to you.

wedding veil

Ann Guise, Wedding Veil Designer at Silk Wedding Veils

Lots of great advice for you here.

Have a chat with your fiance and ask what he feels on the subject. He might find it strange if you wear the veil over your face, or he might find it very moving. Belgian lace is not a sheer fabric, have you tried the veil on to see how the world looks through the veil. If you wear the blusher over your face do it because you want to not to hide.

I think once you arrive at the alter and gaze into your fiance’s eyes you will forget that your friends and family are watching you. The main thing is to enjoy yourselves.

  • bridal veil

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