Wedding Invitation Etiquette: A Line By Line Guide


The Groom’s Name
Joining Word
Request Line
Location
Street Address
Time
Year
City & State
Personalized Invitations

THE INVITATIONAL LINE

letterpress wedding invitationThe tradition of the bride’s parents sending out the wedding invitations (along with the tradition of the bride’s father giving away the bride) have their origins in the days when the bride’s father made the marriage arrangements for his daughter by negotiating the size of her dowry.

Today, the traditions continue with the bride’s family customarily hosting the wedding. But it’s not as easy as “Mr. and Mrs.”

How to present who is issuing the wedding invitations can be complex, which is why we have an entire section dedicated to the Invitational Line.

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Wedding Invitation Etiquette: Religious & Cultural Customs

catholic wedding invitationLove. Amore. Amore. Amour. There are oh so many ways to say love. So it isn’t surprising that there are oh so many ways to get married.

Below, we cover the invitation etiquette for several different cultures, religions and customs. Because while the end result is the same, how the bride and groom get there is a unique and special experience as individual as a snowflake. Except so much more romantic.

Roman Catholic Weddings
Jewish Weddings
Mormon Weddings
Hispanic Weddings
Military Weddings
Double Weddings
Second Marriages

Roman Catholic Weddings

The Roman Catholic Church requires the posting of banns, the public announcement of a couple’s intentions to marry. The banns must be announced from the pulpit or in the church bulletin three times before the wedding. The traditional posting of the banns was the forerunner of today’s wedding announcements.

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Wedding Etiquette: The Invitational Line

catholic wedding invitationThe tradition of the bride’s parents sending out the wedding invitations (along with the tradition of the bride’s father giving away the bride) have their origins in the days when the bride’s father made the marriage arrangements for his daughter by negotiating the size of her dowry.

Today, the traditions continue with the bride’s family customarily hosting the wedding. But it’s not as easy as “Mr. and Mrs.”

Below we answer some of the most common questions brides have about how her parents’ names should appear on the wedding invitations. Of course, a bride’s parents will not always be present, which we cover below, too.

And now, some Q&A’s:
Where on the invitation should my parents’ names appear?
My father is a medical doctor. Does he use his title?
My mother is a medical doctor, but my father is not. How is that worded?
Both of my parents are medical doctors. How do their names read?
My mother kept her maiden name. How should my parents’ names read?
My father/mother has a Ph.D. Does he/she use “Doctor” on my wedding invitations?
My father is a minister. How should my parents’ names read?
My mother is a minister but my father is not. How do their names read?
My father is a judge. Does he use “The Honorable”?
My mother is a judge but my father is not. How is that indicated?
My parents are separated. Should they send my invitations together?
My fiancé and I are paying for the wedding. How is that indicated?
My father dislikes his middle name. Is it proper to use his middle initial?
My father’s middle name is just an initial. Is it proper to use his initial?
One of my parents is a widow, can I still include my deceased parent on the invitation?
When is it appropriate to use “senior”?
My mother is a widow who has not remarried. She prefers the use of her first name. Can her name read “Mrs. Mary Chance Forrester”?
My father passed away last year, and I’d like to include his name on my wedding invitations. How is that done?
Both my parents are deceased, who should issue my invitations?
What if I’m not close with any of my relatives?
Can my groom’s parents issue the invitations?

Where on the invitation should my parents’ names appear?
The first line of the wedding invitations.

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My father is a medical doctor. Does he use his title?
Medical doctors do use their professional titles. “Doctor” should be written out, but may be abbreviated to “Dr.” if your father’s name is exceptionally long.

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Wedding Etiquette: How to Address Your Envelopes

Crane & Co. envelopeOnce upon a time, wedding invitations were delivered by hand. If you were a bride, your footman delivered your invitations to your guests’ homes. Their servant received the invitation and removed it from its mailing envelope (an envelope much too pedestrian for your guests to handle themselves).

The servant then presented the invitation to your guests in its pristine inside envelope. Because the invitation was already at its destination, the inside envelope had only the names of your guests written on it. The address was no longer needed. It just had to be directed to the appropriate members of the household.

Though footmen have since been replaced by postmen, the inside envelope is still de rigueur. It gives something as important as your wedding invitation a certain je ne sais quoi. As for how you should address both the inside and outside envelopes, here is a perfectly proper guide for how to do so.

Single Woman & Date
Single Man
Single Man & Date
Unmarried Couple Living Together
Diplomatic Leaders
Married Couples
With Children Under 18 Living at Home
With Two Daughters Over 18 Living at Home
With Two Sons Over 18 Living at Home
With a Son & Daughter Over 18 Living at Home
In Which Wife Kept Maiden Name
In Which Wife is a Doctor
In Which Husband is a Doctor
In Which Both are Doctors
In Which Husband is a Judge
In Which Wife is a Judge
In Which One or Both are Lawyers
Divorced or Widowed Woman
Military Titles
In Which a Man is a Junior

SINGLE WOMAN 

Outside Envelope

Miss Page Beacham or Ms. Page Beacham

Inside Envelope

Miss Beacham or Ms. Beacham

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The Creation of a Letterpress Wedding Invitation: Photo Essay

We wish we could invite every future bride and groom to watch their wedding invitations be made at our factory in Dalton, Massachusetts. But that would be a lot of brides and grooms. On top of that, we’re guessing they’re pretty busy.

So, we thought we’d snap a few photos of the process. In this particular photo essay, we showcase how a letterpress wedding invitation is made. We hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it.

Wedding Invitation Etiquette 101

engraved wedding invitationFirst impressions are everything, and the introduction to your big day is no exception. That’s why your wedding invitation sets are oh so important (besides giving guests the Who/What/Where, of course): they set the tone. For example, you wouldn’t send an invitation with ornate gold edging and intricate engraving for a backyard barbeque, and you wouldn’t send out an invitation playful polka dots for a black tie affair.

Let’s get started, shall we?


When should I order my wedding invitations?
When should my wedding invitations be mailed?
Where should I purchase my wedding invitations?
What kind of paper should I use?
What color should my invitations be?
What size should my invitation be?
How do I go about choosing a lettering style?
What color ink should I use?
What printing process should I use?
How much postage will my wedding invitations require?
How much money should I expect to spend?

When should I order my wedding invitations?
At least three months before your wedding. This should leave you enough time for printing, addressing and mailing.

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When should my wedding invitations be mailed?
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Crane & Co. A Love Story Contest

Update: Congratulations to the winners of our A Love Story Contest… Brandy & Tim! Enjoy your $500 toward Crane stationery at The Pleasure of Your Company, and most of all, enjoy your Big Day!

Last weekend, we had the pleasure of participating in a wedding invitation trunk show at one of our favorite stationery boutiques, The Pleasure of Your Company in Baltimore. Brides flipped through Crane & Co. wedding invitation albums, had their names written by calligrapher extraordinaire Karen, sipped on mimosas and nibbled on cupcakes by The Velvet Chocolatier.

Brides were also gracious enough to share the story we never get tired of hearing: The proposal. Ski trips gone awry, picturesque vistas and surprise guests are just a few of the delightful details we heard over the course of the day.

To sweeten the experience (and just in time for Valentine’s Day) each bride’s story was entered in our A Love Story contest. Each video story will be posted on our Facebook page, and the story that receives the most ‘Likes’ by February 10th will win $500 toward their next Crane & Co. stationery purchase at Pleasure of Your Company. Wedding invitations, personal stationery, moving announcements — the possibilities are endless.

So without further ado, here are the entries (remember, to vote, head to our Facebook page and ‘Like’ your favorite story):

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Perfectly Personalized Gifts for the Bride & Groom

Wedding CoupleNot surprisingly, January is considered the beginning of “Wedding Season.” The reason: Many a love-sick beau decides to pop the question during the holidays. While the newly engaged couple is busy planning their upcoming nuptials, we suggest getting a head start on choosing the perfect gift. Engagement party, bridal shower, wedding — you’ve got a lot of wrapping ahead of you. Here are a handful of gift ideas that are perfectly personalized:

Stationery for Him & Her
They’ll be married, but they’ll still be individuals. Personalized stationery with monograms that express their individual style are the perfect gift for the couple who are totally into each other but totally independent, too.

personalized stationery wedding gift

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Crane & Co. In Action: Best Of 2011

We love the fact that our invitations, stationery and business cards are completely customizable. From the monogram to the typeset to the ink color to the printing method, chances are, if you have a vision, we can put it on 100% cotton paper.

That said, we equally love when we see others use our paper in stunningly creative ways. So, without further ado, here are five of our favorite designs from 2011.

Happy Envelope Birthday Invitation

Best Birthday Party Invitation: Featured on Oh So Beautiful Paper, these invitations by The Happy Envelope were for a 4-year-old’s coun­try carnival-inspired birth­day party — mailed with a lollipop to sweeten the deal

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How To Create a Crane & Co.-Inspired Wedding Reception Table

Silver Bevel Calligraphy Wedding InvitationLast week, we had the pleasure of being invited to be part of the Lenox Wedding Planner Tour.

Our mission, should we have chosen to accept it (which we did, of course): Provide the invitations that would serve as the inspiration for the Design Challenge.

The challenge: Choose one of our wedding invitations and design a dinner table around it.

The planners were spread out among several properties (the Appletree Inn, Winthrop Estate, Seven Hills Inn, Gateways Inn, Rookwood Inn and Garden Gables Inn) around Lenox, Massachusetts, which is nestled in the heart of the Berkshires.

We were asked to hold court over the Winthrop Estate designers: Annie Lee from Daughter of Design, Krista Njapa of C&G Weddings and Ariella Chezar of Ariella Flowers. Below are a few photos that show off the Crane & Co. invitations they chose on the tables they beautifully designed.
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