Shopping for wedding invitation cards can be tricky. Not so much for the image, which after all should simply display the people and the place – but for all the other stuff. A wedding invite, at base level, has a set of information it must display: but anyone who has actually organised a wedding will tell you that the basics aren’t enough when it comes to covering every angle.
Before we proceed, it is best to take a moment to consider the purpose of a wedding invitation card; and to look at the common irritations that occur for the bride and groom (or indeed the bride and bride, or groom and groom) during the run-up to the big day.
One of these is the simple fact of having to arrange so much in such a short space of time – but we will come to that later. For now, let’s have a look at the sort of information a card has to contain, and develop our theme from there.
The wedding invitation card must tell its recipient who is getting married; where they are getting married; what date they are getting married on; and at what time. So far so good. But then what about the rest of the day? Where is the reception? Are gifts expected? Is there a wedding list? Is there a wedding gift fund, a pot into which people can give money for a honeymoon or a house deposit?
These questions illustrate the basics of wedding invitation cards. We have yet to examine the more complex possibilities inherent in inviting people from all over the country, potentially all over the world, to a place they have possibly never visited.
One of the core questions couples-to-be get asked in the run up to their wedding is about where to stay. Now, while a lot of weddings these days take place at single locations, with the marriage and the reception and everything catered for by a hotel or similar; plenty don’t. This writer, for one, got married in a theatre and then drove to a pub for a wedding reception, before having a party at a different bar in the evening.
The point is, people who come from a long way away to help you celebrate your marriage need to know where to go and what to do when they’re there. If the venue provides accommodation, that’s all well and good – and the information should go on the card. But then what if that venue can only accommodate a certain number of guests, and you have more? Or what if some of your guests can’t afford the price of staying in a posh hotel for a night?
The key element to getting all the right information on your wedding invitation cards is knowing your guests. If you’ve got people from all different age ranges and walks of life coming, it might be advisable to include some alternative accommodation information on the invite so everyone can find the right level and enjoy the day to its fullest. The last thing someone just out of University, suffering from a thirty grand debt and not yet in work, wants is to have to shell out a hundred pounds for a hotel when he or she could – had he or she been told about it – have stayed down the road in a bed and breakfast for a third of that price.
Herman Vane is a freelance writer. He has recently written a series of blogs advising young couples on everything wedding, from wedding invitation cards to honeymoons.