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Ask the Experts

Invitation

Question: We We are planning a wedding on short notice. The wedding is 9/10 and the invitations have not yet been mailed. Can bridal shower invitations be mailed before the wedding invitation because of time constraints? Thanks.

Answer from Elli Bernacchi
in Print of Los Altos
Wedding showers are often given prior to wedding invitations being sent...just be sure that anyone invited to the shower is also invited to the wedding. Hopefully, your wedding invitations will be mailed soon, as they should be received six weeks before the wedding. Enjoy all your planning and the wonderful upcoming events.
Elli

Question:  I work with many people who I like a lot, but I cannot invite them all to my wedding. Since they have found out about my engagement they are constantly asking to be invited to my wedding. I don't want to hurt their feelings, but I cannot afford to have 500 people at the wedding!!
How can I graciously let people know that I cannot invite them?
Thank you,

Answer from Jubilee Lau
Reminisce
I understand how difficult it must be to narrow the guest list to a manageable number. When your coworkers hint to be invited to the wedding, you can let them know regretfully that you are not able to invite as many people as you would like to the wedding because there are some restrictions to the guest list. You can tell them how surprised you and your fiancé were after putting together the names of all the immediate and close families, which made you realize that you cannot invite many friends and coworkers. Your coworkers should understand, and you don't need to feel obligated to give a detailed explanation. They will note the regret in your voice and understand the difficult situation you are in.
Good luck! Jubilee Lau, JWIC


Question: 
I am getting married in June 05 and I have had my wedding invitations printed without out my fathers wife's name titled as Mr. and Mrs. My father left my mother for this women and my mother is now deceased and he has married her before my mother past. There was controversy within my family from his wife making a statement about my putting my deceased mothers name on the invitation, so chose not to put her name on it either, I just listed my father and my fiancé's mother's name (his father is deceased, she has not remarried) on the invitation and didn't include neither one, my mother or his wife's name. I do not consider her apart of my family she is just labeled as my fathers wife.

My entire family and friends would have been very upset with me and said they wouldn't come to my wedding if I put Mr. & Mrs. because they were very close to my mother. My concern is not the feeling of her, but that of my father.
Please advise! Thank you.

Answer from Jubilee Lau
Reminisce
I can see that you are indeed placed in a difficult position. It sounds like you printed the invitations with the decision that you did not want to or feel the need to include your father's wife on it. Not only have you made a decision that you feel strongly about, but you are also minimizing tension and controversy within your family and friends. I would suggest that you speak to your father to let him know your discomfort in including his wife's name on the invitation. He should understand and respect your decision. To make him feel better, you can offer to include her in perhaps the program, or the introductions at the reception. There are a lot of
compromises that need to be made for a wedding to show your respect and love for the parents, but don't do anything that you will make you resentful or upset.
Communication is key to keep a good relationship, and I encourage you to talk to your father to make him understand your decisions.
Good luck! Jubilee Lau, JWIC


Question:
Very dear friends of mine are going to be celebrating their 25th Wedding Anniversary. Their three children want to host this dinner party at a local restaurant. The children are not self-supporting (one is in college, one in high school and the other is doing an internship) which means the guests will have to pay for their own meal. Could you please provide me with some wording to this effect. Thank you.

Answer from Elysia Heller
Elysia Heller Events

I would suggest the following wording:
_______, _________, and ________, the children of ______________ request the honor of your attendance at a no-host dinner in celebration of their parent's 25th wedding anniversary, date, time and location.
The wording can be changed to reflect the formality of the event (this is fairly formal verbiage) but simply stating that it is a no-host dinner is sufficient to let guests no that they will be expected to pay for their own meal. Since this is the case, I would also suggest adding a no gift request.
I hope this is helpful.


Question: I am getting married on a Cruise in September 2005. I would like to send out Save the Date cards with as much information as possible but, I don't want it to be like a travel itinerary. How should I word the save the date cards to let people know that they are more than welcome to join us for the ceremony at port only or to go on the cruise with us as well? Also, what information about the cruise should I put on the card? Is it okay to just do a simple card and ask them to contact me with Cruise information? Thanks you!

Answer from Jubilee Lau
Reminisce
The Save the Date cards that you send to your guests can be both fun and informative. Your guests will be very excited to hear about your engagement, and they will want to start making plans for it, especially if they will be traveling from out of town. If you want to keep your Save the Dates simple and sparse, just
include the basic elements of What, Where, and When. However, many guests actually appreciate as much information as possible, so don't be afraid to include information on accommodations, formality, colors, and in your case, cruise information! Be as creative in the ways your present the information in your save the dates as you would with your invitations, programs, and menu cards.

On both your Save the Dates and your invitations, you can let your guests know that the ceremony will be held on the port, and warmly invite them to the cruise following the ceremony. You should provide them adequate information on what they need to do to join you in the cruise following the ceremony so that they
can make their own plans for it. Good luck Kelly, and best wishes.


Question:
Do you need to have the un-gummed envelope for the wedding invites? I have the wedding invitations done, but no extra un-gummed envelopes. any suggestions please.

Answer from Elli Bernacchi
in Print of Los Altos
The un-gummed envelope is the inner envelope...it is more traditional to use both an inner and an outer, but not necessary. If you want both, the company that made the invitations should be able to send you more inner envelopes.
Hope this helps, Elli
 

Question: I'm getting married in the next year and I'm finding it very difficult to word the invitation properly.
My fiancé's parents are both divorced and remarried. His father and stepmother will be helping with expenses. His mother is remarried to a man my fiancé doesn't care for and they will not be helping with the expenses, however, she would definitely feel slighted not to be included on the invitation.
My mother was married to my father who left us before I was born so I never met him. My mother remarried to my stepfather, then my mother passed away and now my stepfather does not speak to me...I want to include something to do with my mother, but is it inappropriate on the invite.
How do I word my invite??? - Thanks!

Answer from Elli Bernacchi
in Print of Los Altos
Together with their families ....this says they are all helping in some way and doesn't name or exclude anyone in particular. This is always soooo complicated, and can be the source of much conflict between parents, step parents and their children....good reason to get married and STAY married....
I offer the above wording and beyond that try to stay out of it as it is usually so emotionally charged and never pleasing to all parties, that any advise makes somebody mad....

Regarding reference to the bride's deceased mother....ther wedding ceremony and PROGRAM are the appropriate places to remember her mother.
Hope this is some help.


Question:
Is it appropriate to send the groom's Mother a formal wedding invitation?

Answer from Johanna
By Recommendation Only
Yes of course, it will be a nice keepsake for
her.
 

Question: My husband and I elope a year ago and our family don't know yet. We plan  to have a wedding party and invite our friends and family. How should we word this?

Answer from Elli Bernacchi
in Print of Los Altos

1.) You are cordially invited
to attend the wedding celebration of the
marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Smith
on .... at the ....

2.) You are cordially invited
to attend
the wedding reception,
celebrating the marriage
of Mr. and Mrs. on .... at the....
 

Question: My fiancé and I want to have a private ceremony for our closest friends and family, and then invite everyone to the reception, (which will be held in a different location) We are afraid that we may offend the people that will not be invited to the wedding. Is this okay to do? and if so, how do I word the invitation? Or do I send two invitations, wedding invitation and
reception invitation? Thanks

Answer from Dee Merz
Everlasting Memories

Dear Kristy, Your situation is very common; it is not always possible to invite everyone. And, many couples want a private ceremony that is very intimate.

The most important fact to remember is that it is your wedding and you should be very comfortable in the way you celebrate the ceremony and the reception. My advice to how to send the invitation is that you will send an invitation to those joining you to witness your intimate ceremony. I would then suggest sending out an announcement of your marriage ceremony and include a warm request for guests to join you in celebrating your marriage. Include the place, time and RSVP.

At the reception you can share the ceremony by showing some photos. I think that many people will wonder how you celebrated and the questions will be asked, so it will then become a wonderful memory to share. I'm sure the beauty that lights up your face will be enough for everyone.

For whatever reasons that you will have the private ceremony, hold them deep within your heart.

Wishes for the best,
Dee Merz
 

Question: My fiancé and I are eloping later this year, but returning to have a dinner for 40-50 guests. I am not sure how to word the invitation to this dinner.

Answer from Michelle Hodges
"I Do" Weddings and Events

I would say something like:
...Please join us in the celebration of our marriage...
The rest should be typical verbiage for a wedding invitation.
 

Question: My fiancé and I are getting married in August. I am in the progress of making our wedding program. I have decided to put the parents of the bride and the parents of the groom on the program too. My problem is, My parents are divorced and both remarried. My step mother has been in the family for over 15 years. My step father however has only been around a couple of
years. Also My fiancé's (the grooms) mother just recently passed away. How am I suppose to word everything and not hurt anyone's feelings? I have read and read but nothing matches all the problems I am having. I would appreciate any help. If it helps we are listing that a candle is being lit by the bride and groom in remembrance of the grooms mother.
Thanks, Jessica

Answer from Elli Bernacchi
in Print of Los Altos
Mother and Stepfather of the Bride Mary and John Smith
Father and Stepmother of the Bride Susan and Donald Cox

Late Mother and Father of the Groom Carol and David Brown
Hope this helps,
Elli
 

Question: We are getting married June/2003 in Las Vegas and we will be a big group. We will have cocktails in our room after the ceremony and dinner; then dancing with those who want to join us. We will have our reception in August/2003, two months later. Originally we had sent out "Save the date cards" stating the reception will be July/2003. Due to space, we had to reallocate the hall. Some people still think the reception is in July. Should I send an insert with informing everyone of the new date when I send my invitation out this week? Thank you!

Answer from Johanna
By Recommendation Only

You won't believe how many people will not realize that the date has changed, even when they read the invitation. An insert with the explanation would clarify the change of dates for everyone. Good luck!


Question:
I am a Roman Catholic but my fiancé is not. We are getting married in the Catholic Church and it will not be a full Nuptial Mass. How do I word my invitation?

Answer from Barbara Silverman
The Desk Set

The Roman Catholic Church requires a posting of banns, the public announcement of a couple's intention to marry. The banns must be announced from the pulpit or in the church bulletin three times before the wedding. Catholics can be married in a simple wedding service or in a Nuptial Mass. A Nuptial Mass is a wedding ceremony performed as part of a Catholic Mass. If this is the case the invitation should mention that a Nuptial Mass will be performed, so that the guests will know the ceremony will last longer. Unless special permission is granted by the bishop, Nuptial Masses may not be performed during Lent or Advent.
 

Question: I am getting married on a boat which will include a short cruise for the reception. My fiancé and I have agreed that children under the age of 14 will not be allowed to attend the ceremony. How do I tactfully say this on the wedding invitations?

Answer from Elli Bernacchi
in Print of Los Altos
If you are doing a separate reception card (and this may be reason enough to do one) you may title the card "Adult Dinner Reception" or you may put a note at the bottom "Regretfully, we cannot accommodate children."
If you do not wish to print a separate card, it is rather difficult as you probably don't wish to clutter the wedding invitation w/ any of these comments. Another approach is to ask for "number of persons attending" on your response card and if it's evident that children have been included in the count, you may simply call your guests and say that the children's name was not included on the invitation address and that you simply cannot accommodate them.
Good luck, Elli Bernacchi
 

Question: What is the proper way to retract an invitation already sent to someone. We sent an invitation to a couple because they were friends of our parents. My parents are no longer friends with the couple and were only invited because of the friendship with my parents. The other couple knows that they should not attend, but responded that they will be attending.

Answer from Carol Rothman
Glorious Weddings

Once an invitation has been sent there is no way it can be retracted. The couple involved should know that they should not attend. Unfortunately, proper etiquette dictates this. I hope this helps.
 

Question: We are getting married June next year. We both have family up north (we are in Florida) and want to give them all time to plan so that they will be able to make it to our wedding. I have heard of these "Save the Date" cards, but how are they supposed to be worded? Any Ideas? When is it a good idea to send save-the-date cards?

Answer from Marilyn Kline
Pleasant Thoughts
If you are planning your wedding for one of the busy holiday weekends or during the summer vacation months you may wish to send save-the-date cards. These cards, sent a minimum of three months before the wedding, advise family and friends of your wedding plans and allow them to take your wedding date into consideration when making their own plans. They are also essential when a number of overseas or out-of-town guests are invited or your wedding is held in a popular resort area such as Yosemite or Hawaii where reservations may need to be booked up to a year in advance, sometimes more.

Save-the-date cards are usually small, ecru or white cards that reflect the feel of your future invitations. While it is essential that out-of-town guests receive them, as they will need to make travel arrangements, it is best if they are sent to all guests so that no one will feel slighted, thinking that they may not be invited to your wedding.

The following wording may be appropriate, yet additional information may be added if necessary:

Please save the date of
Saturday, the tenth of August
for the wedding of
Miss Lisa Marie Morrison
to
Mr. Robert Allen Davidson

Mr. and Mrs. William Jason Morrison

Invitation to follow

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