Invites<br><a href=http://www.emilieink.com target=_blank>Alina McGinty</a>

When Nick and I started planning our wedding, we knew that asking 75 people to join us in celebration would involve some work. What we didn’t anticipate was the time and effort we’d put into figuring out how to ask them.

Invitations should be pretty straightforward, right? Include the who (us!), what (we’re getting married!), where (Portland) and when (October 6, 4:30 p.m.), and you’re done.

Not so fast. Things got complicated right off the bat, with the “who” part of the invitation equation. Sure, it’s Nick and I getting married, but etiquette dictates that whomever is hosting the wedding (in other words, footing the bill), issues the invite. In our case, my parents made a significant contribution towards the big day. They gave us a choice: a check or… a 2007 Subaru Forester (with heated seats!). Nick and I were car shopping at the time, and my clever mother guessed that we might prefer to take her old ride and avoid car payments for the next five years. She was right — we got a new-to-us vehicle with no interest and decided to pay for the wedding out of our savings.

We’re also thankful that Nick’s family has offered to pitch in for some of the food and costs of accommodations.

So while Nick and I are planning the wedding and writing the checks, our big day, like with so many couples, is a group effort, with our families and friends all helping to pull it off. That’s why we weren’t sure about the whole “who’s hosting” bit of the invitation process.

It felt most natural to us to have the invitation come from Nick and I. We agonized over this decision, worried we’d give the impression that we weren’t grateful for the contributions we’ve received. I called my mom and she reassured me that she and my dad were perfectly comfortable with our choice. Phew.

With the “who” taken care of, we switched gears to wording and style. Our wedding will have a fairly casual vibe, and we wanted our invites to reflect that. We chose brown Kraft paper instead of white and (I can just see the etiquette experts wincing) opted for informal wording as well. Instead of “four thirty in the afternoon” and “October sixth, two thousand twelve” we went for “4:30 in the afternoon” and “October 6, 2012.” We capped things off with “Ceremony to be followed by eating, drinking responsibly and dancing irresponsibly.” Sorry Emily Post! Can’t wait to see how guests interpret that.

The last piece of the puzzle was the RSVP cards. We originally thought we’d ask most guests to RSVP online through our wedding website and only send self-addressed envelopes to our less tech-savvy loved ones. But we realized it would complicate our paper order since we’re DIYing the invites and ordering through an online printer.

Then I read a sweet blog post from a bride who loved reading the hand-written notes people had added to their RSVP cards, like “Can’t wait to see you” and “We’re so happy for you!” We’re still allowing guests to RSVP online and post to our website guestbook, but I secretly hope a few pick up a pen to jot down well wishes to us instead.

Read the previous posts in Jackie’s wedding planning series:

The proposal

Will you be my maid?

Dress shopping

Engagement portraits

Torn between virtual planning tools

The food

Planning snags

Getting dressed

Accommodations

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