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Wedding Invitations: What To Include & How To Design Them

Wedding Invitations

Invitations should normally be sent to your guests 4-6 months before your wedding. This should then allow enough time for guests to arrange travel and accommodation if they need it, especially if you haven’t previously sent out Save the Dates.

It also allows you time to collect your replies and invite evening guests to be part of the whole day, if you have guests that cannot make it. This is especially important if you have arranged a deal with your venue that is based on a minimum number of day guests.

The Style

Wedding invitations can come in a variety of formats, and the style you go for will probably be influenced by your colour scheme, the theme of your wedding, the location of your wedding, whether you’re having a formal or informal affair, as well as much more.

If you’re not sending out Save the Dates then your wedding invitation is the first glimpse into your day for your guests. A traditional idea is that your invitations will reflect the personalities of the bride and groom and give an insight as to what to expect on your big day.

If you’re having a formal occasion then you may wish to go for traditional colours of white or ivory. You could then incorporate your colour scheme either by design or by a ribbon to finish the card off or to seal the invite. If your theme is funkier, then incorporate this into your invitation.

If you want something a little different for your invitations, then try thinking outside the box, your invitations don’t have to be the traditional card that you would normally receive.

Why not record a video? Or, if you’re getting married somewhere hot, then you could have your invitation printed onto a fan, which could double up as gift to keep your guests cool. There are many options available, so don’t limit your imagination!

If you want to be green, or have a smaller budget, then you could move away from printing or posting anything. With the internet and technology as it is these days, you can easily invite most of your guests via an e-invite, sent by email, or through a social media platform.

You could also set up a wedding website to direct your guests to, giving them full information on the day. It could then be used to put up pictures of your special day afterwards.

If budget is a concern, but you’d still like to send out a traditional invitation, then you should consider making your own. This can be a great way to save costs. If you speak to a local stationery maker, you may find that they have DIY packs, or that they will help you design your card. If not, then craft shops should sell card blanks to give you a basis to work from.

As well as thinking about the style of invitation you would like, you will also need to think about all the information you need to include, and whether it will fit in your design, or if you will also need to include inserts.

The Content 

You will need to include:

–          The names of the Bride and Groom

–          The Date and Time of the Wedding

–          The Location

–          The Date to Reply By 

You may also wish to include additional information, such as:

–          Accommodation

–          Directions

–          Menus

–          An RSVP Card

–          Dress Code Information

–          Gift Lists / Gift Requests

For guests coming from out of town, local information, such as accommodation and recommendations on where to eat may be useful to them. You will find that most hotels will block book rooms for you, and offer a discount for this, so it might be worth you contacting hotels local to your venue to secure a deal, and then passing this information on.

Directions may be useful for those out of town guests, or even those who are local to the venue. If there is more than 1 main route to your venue, then make sure you detail from both directions. For example, from the North and from the South.

If you are having a choice of menu then you will need to include a Menu Card in with your invitation to allow your guests to select their menu choices. Don’t forget that you will need to find out about any dietary requirements – even if you are not including a Menu card.

You may decide that you would like to include an RSVP card for guests to confirm whether they are attending or not. This often ensures a quicker response. If your budget is tight, then don’t worry, just make sure you include the date that you need to hear back by within the invitation. Guests can then use their own stationery to respond with.

When deciding upon a date that you need replies by, make sure that you take into account when you need to let your venue know of final numbers and allow yourself a few days to chase anyone who hasn’t responded.

If you’re having a dress code then this will also need to be stated within your invitation. Etiquette states that when attending a wedding, smart dress is required. If you are going for something a bit different, such as a black and white theme, or you are having a black tie and cocktail dress reception, then this should be specified.

Gift lists can often be a controversial subject. Traditionally, a bride and groom used to start living together once they were married, so wedding gifts would consist of items to get them started in their new home.

Now, more often than not, couples are living together before tying the knot and therefore have most of the things that they need. But whether you have a gift list or not, your guests are still likely to want to give you a gift to celebrate your day.

Many companies offer gift list services, from the traditional where you list items such as homeware, to the more unusual, such as contributions towards a honeymoon, or adventures whilst you are away.

If you would rather be less restricted, then you've probably thought about asking for money, but maybe you’re not quite sure how to.

Many brides and grooms like to include a poem in their invitations that politely suggests a gift of cash! We’ve listed a few of our favourites below.

More than just kisses so far we’ve shared, 
Our home has been made with love and care,
Most things we need we’ve already got,
And in our home we can’t fit a lot!
A wishing well we thought would be great,
(But only if you wish to participate),
A gift of money is placed in the well,
Then make a wish but shhh don’t tell!
Once we’ve replaced the old with the new,
We can look back and say it was thanks to you!
And in return for your kindness, we’re sure,
That one day soon you will get what you wished for.
Please don’t be offended at this type of request,
As our day is complete having you as our guest.

We are sending out this invitation 
In hope you will join a celebration
But if a gift is your intention
May we take this opportunity to mention
We have already got a kettle and toaster
crockery, dinner mats and matching coaster’s.
So rather than something we’ve already got
We would appreciate money for our honeymoon pot
But most importantly we request
That you come to our wedding as our guest.

If you were thinking of giving a gift, to help us on our way. 
A gift of cash, towards our house, would really make our day.
However, if you prefer to purchase a gift, feel free to surprise us in your own way.


You’re invited to our wedding, when we both say ‘I Do’ 
And as you know we’ve been ‘I do-ing’ for at least a year or two!
We’ve been together many years, and have a lovely home,
There’s not that many items we don’t already own.
So if your thoughts were on a gift, your presence will suffice;
But if you really feel the need, donations to a honeymoon, would be really nice!
The choice is really up to you and we’d just like to say;
That most of all, we hope you come, enjoy yourselves, and have a lovely day!


Now we are to be Mr & Mrs, 
We don’t need a wedding list of dishes,
We have two kettles, two toasters, two microwaves,
We require a house for which we have to save.
If you would like to give us a gift,
A cheque or vouchers would give us a lift
We like to think of it as our 'wishing well',
Which will be filled with your love, we can tell.


We made a commitment, some time ago,
Together through life, we were destined to go.
To save you looking, shopping and buying,
Here is an idea, we hope you’ll like trying!
Come to our wedding, to wish us both well,
And please make a donation to our wishing well. 

If a poem is not your style then you could instead write a short message within your invitations on a separate insert. If you are struggling for words, you could take ideas from the above poems and write them in your own words.

Who should send the invites?

Traditionally, invitations are sent out by the bride’s parents, but with many brides and grooms now paying for the wedding themselves, quite often an invitation is sent from them instead.

You can find below suggested wordings, depending on who is paying for the wedding, or on how traditional you’d like to be.

If the Bride’s Parents are inviting the Guests:

Mr and Mrs John Smith

Request the pleasure of your company

To the marriage of their daughter

Sarah Jayne


Mr James Singleton

St Mary’s Church, Ardleigh

On Saturday 25th July 2015

At 1:30pm

 Followed by a wedding breakfast and evening reception

 At Ardleigh House

If the Bride and Groom are inviting their Guests: 

 Sarah Jayne Smith and James Singleton

Request the pleasure of your company

at their wedding to be held at

St Mary’s Church, Ardleigh

On Saturday 25th July 2015

At 1:30pm

Followed by a wedding breakfast and evening reception

At Ardleigh House

Of course, when it comes to sending your invitations, you can be as imaginative and creative as you like, so don’t feel that you have to keep it completely traditional. Wedding styles are about showing your personality, not always about sticking to tradition. So, if you wanted something completely different, there are lots of ways you could invite your nearest and dearest to share your special day.