Invitation Wording 101 – Non-Traditional Invitations

So now you know. It makes no sense to send out invitaitons which do not reflect your relationship, or the event that you’re planning.

Rules of thumb: If they’re going to be mailed, there are some physical constraints that must be taken into consideration. Well, yes, you could mail an engraved stone, but it’s going to cost significantly more, for starters.

When it comes to the wording of a non-traditional wedding invitaiton, many of the old rules still apply. You still need to let your guests know where, when, how, and who, along with RSVP info, dress code and so on.

Non-tratitional invites more commonly come from the couple themselves, rather than their parents, and dropping that formality of language gives a lot more freedom, right from the very start.That doesnt mean you CAN’T still include your parents’ names on the invite, if you want to, though.

In cases where couples may have parents who are divorced, remarried, or any combination of family structure,  , one solution I often suggest is a simply

Together with our families, we invite you to join us as we celebrate our wedding…

Unless you’re paying by the word, there’s no reason why you can’t include all of the names of the various parts of your family of origin, if you wish.

Tradition dictates that the bride’s details go first – but for same-sex couples, that formula won’t work. Tradition hasn’t evolved a formula for that yet – I think you’re safe using whichever combination of names feels more natural, or if that doesn’t solve it, list them in alphabetical order.

And then…

Why settle for ‘cordially requests’ and ‘respectfully invites’ -there’s no reason why you shouldn’t just go ahead and say what you mean! Here’s a couple of my non-traditional favourites:

You are totally invited to our wedding
at six in the evening of Saturday, the twenty-seventh of September
ceremony followed by dinner, drinks, and awkward but enthusiastic dancing
please dress creatively and comfortably, high heels and uncomfortable formal wear are not recommended.

Or for a casual event:

no church, no aisle, no chairs…
just two crazy-in-love people in a field
vowing to each other a lifetime
of dirty jokes and random misadventures
please join us as we commit ourselves!

If you’re not ready to totally throw off tradition, [and fair enough, those traditions have been seeing people right for generations] you can pair your formal, traditional invitation with more naturally worded enclosures, and rsvp cards:

[on a separate card:]

About Gifts:
We recognize that especially for those of you coming from far away, simply attending our wedding will already mean spending money on travel and accommodation. The very best present we can receive is your presence at our wedding and your love and support as we embark on this adventure together. Many of you are contributing your time and energy to this event, and for the gift of your participation we thank you. To make it easier for the more traditional gift givers among you, we have a wish list, please ask! Homemade, handmade, and second-hand gifts are welcomed and appreciated.

[enclosure card:]
Need more info?
Are you wondering…
where to stay?
what to do in town?
whats on the menu?
where the wedding is?
who are these people?
Please visit
wedding website
[rsvp card:]
we will be attending your awesome wedding
[ ] True
[ ] False
{___} guests will be attending

or, more subtly subversive…

Please choose one:
__ accept with pleasure
__ decline with regret
__ accept with regret
__ decline with pleasure

I’m always happy to toss around ideas, so don’t hesitate to bring your scribbled scraps of paper and we can work together on creating an invitation that works for your guests and for you!





1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Jehan Olweean
    Jul 22, 2012 @ 20:15:38

    Your site is so funny! I really enjoyed this refreshing take on wedding invitations. I love that you have given me permission to put our personalities into our wedding. 🙂


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