HOW TO ADDRESS WEDDING INVITATIONS + A FREE TEMPLATE
wedding guest addressing

We're continuing our stationery etiquette series, giving you all of the details you'll need to conquer your wedding invitations without confusion. This post is covering the etiquette behind addressing your guests correctly, without offending anyone.

 

Married Couple

Mr. and Mrs. Jack and Anna Walton
or
Mr. and Mrs. Jack Walton

 

married couple with different last names

Mr. Jack Walton and Mrs. Anna Hamilton

 

unmarried couple living together

Mr. Jack Walton
Ms. Anna Hamilton
On separate lines

 

SAME-SEX COUPLE

Ms. Penelope Green and Ms. Amanda Holt
or
Penelope Green and Amanda Holt
Alphabetical order, or whomever is the closest acquaintance.

 

FAMILIES

Include parents' names and "and Family" afterwards
Mr. and Mrs. Jack Walton and Family
If there is only one child, include "and Miss Claire," or "and Maxwell" after the parents' names.
Mr. and Mrs. Jack Walton and Miss Claire
Girls under 18, use Miss, boys under 18, do not use a title.

 

CHILDREN 18 & older

If children 18 and older do not live with their parents, they should receive their own invitations.
Ms. Claire Walton
or
Mr. Maxwell Walton

 

Married doctors

Doctors Anna and Jack Walton
or
Dr. Anna and Mr. Jack Walton
or
Dr. Jack and Mrs. Anna Walton

 

DISTINGUISHED MILITARY TITLES

Both captains in the military: Captains Anna and Jack Walton, US Navy
or
Different titles: Captain Jack Walton and Lieutenant Anna Walton, US Navy

 

We hope this information will help you navigate the task of addressing your guests. We have tried to include the most common circumstances that we're faced with, but please be sure to reach out if you have any additional questions. To help you even a little bit more, we've created an Excel document that will assist you in organizing your guest addresses. Download the free template here!

Xo,
C+A

p.s. For other tips or insight into wedding stationery & planning, click here and be sure to subscribe to our journal to receive updates straight to your inbox!

WEDDING INVITATION WORDING ETIQUETTE
wedding_invitation_wording_etiquette

As we talked about in our previous etiquette post, invitations should be kept simple and to the point. They should only include the host names, bride & groom's names, date, time, and ceremony location. We're sharing our knowledge below about the etiquette behind wedding invitation wording.

Host wording

We recommend always checking with the host before making your final decision on how to word your host line of the invitation. You want to make sure to be gracious to your host/s.

You have the option to list out each of the host's names, (for example: Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Adler), or if there are multiple parties hosting, such as both sets of parents and the bride & groom, it's okay to just say "Together with our families," as long as you have permission from your hosts.

Some examples of wording for your host line:
"request the pleasure of your company"
"would love for you to join them"
"invite you to celebrate with them"
"request the honor of your presence"

Bride & Groom's Names

Traditionally, the bride's name precedes the groom's, due to the tradition that the bride's parents host the event.

If the bride's parents are, in fact hosting and the bride shares their parents' name that is listed in the host line, her last name does not need to be included. However, it is customary to include the groom's last name.

The reasoning behind including full names within your invitation is for the guests who do not know you personally, maybe they're acquaintances to your parents or they know more than one John and Abigail. An exception to this rule is when you're having an intimate wedding where everyone knows the bride and groom personally and does not need that extra reminder of what their full names are.

Date and Time

Formal wedding invitations generally have everything spelled out, including the date, year, time, etc. (for example: "Saturday, the fifteenth of May," "five o'clock," "two thousand and eighteen")

The Location

Unless the name of your ceremony location will confuse your guests, the full address is not necessary. However, you should always include the city and state. A few examples of when you should include full addresses are: if the location is a home, doesn't easily come up on a search engine map, or if there are multiple locations with the same name.


While this information is helpful, we always recommend discussing your wording options with your stationer. Usually they will be able to offer you a couple of wording options that fit your circumstances. However, we wholeheartedly support new ways of wording things to fit your style. As always, we're an open book, so don't hesitate to reach out about your wedding stationery questions!

Xo,
C+A

p.s. For other tips or insight into wedding stationery & planning, click here and be sure to subscribe to our journal to receive updates straight to your inbox!

 

 

WEDDING STATIONERY ETIQUETTE

Are you planning your wedding with the recurring thought in your mind, "I have no idea how this is done, I've never been married before?" We know how you feel, in fact, we were in that exact place recently. It doesn't matter how many weddings you've been to, you'll never understand the details that go into a wedding until you're planning one yourself. I (Cassie) stood at the cake table on my wedding day, while everyone waited for us to cut the cake, whispering to my new husband, "how is this supposed to go?"

Needless to say, weddings are one big, overly detailed event that sometimes makes a bride want to pull her hair out. These posts are our way of serving you our knowledge so that you don't have to feel like an amateur anymore.

Our desire for this journal entry is to inform you of the details you need to think about when you begin your wedding stationery process.


When to send out Save The Dates

6-8 months. Make sure to only send out save the dates to people who will be invited, without a doubt.

When to send out invitations

6-8 weeks. This gives out of town guests plenty of time to make travel arrangements. If it's a destination wedding, give your guests more time by sending them out 3 months ahead of time. We recommend beginning the design process 4-6 weeks prior to the date you'd like to send them out.

How to choose a deadline for RSVPs

2-4 weeks in order to allow enough time to give your head count to the caterer and organize the seating arrangements. 

Invitation Information

Keep it simple. The invitation should only include the host names, the full names of the couple marrying, and the date, time, and location of the ceremony. Do not print extra information on the back of the invitation.

Spell it Out

You should always spell out words, such as, "street", "apartment", or state names. Numerals under 20 should also always be spelled out.

Registry info

You don't want to come off as asking for gifts, therefore we don't advise including your registry information on any stationery you send out. We do however encourage you to have close family and friends spread the word, as well as include these details on your wedding website.

Dress Code

You may include your dress code either in the lower corner of the invitation, on a details card, or on your website. Wording options include: Black Tie, Cocktail Attire, Casual Attire, etc. Whether you include dress code information or not, your invitation suite should reflect the formality of the event through the design and presentation.

Details

Make sure to give your guests all of the information they will need to plan for your wedding. We suggest creating a wedding website as the mobile hub for all of these nitty gritty details, and printing the URL on your small detail card. If you choose to print the URL, make sure to include a list of information they will find on your website to encourage them to visit it. This is an easy way to save money on extra suite pieces, and also make it easy on your guests so that they have access to this information wherever they are. However, if you have a lot of elderly guests, you may want to consider printing all of this additional info on a larger detail card, or multiple cards since they are probably not as technologically savvy.

Plus Ones

It is not required to include a plus one for every single guest you invite. Most guests should know if "and guest" is not after their name, they are not invited to bring a plus one. If you're having an intimate wedding, most guests should understand your reasoning.

Return Addresses

It is customary to include a return address on the back flap of the envelope. This address should be whomever's is designated to receive the response cards. This address should be printed on your response cards as well.

RSVP Postage

You should always include postage on your response cards. If not, you'll risk your guests not sending in their RSVP's due to the inconvenience of having to buy postage.

Thank you notes

Thank you's should be treated with a sense of urgency. Express your true appreciation in a timely manner by sending your gratitude within two weeks of receiving the gift.


We hope this has covered most of your looming questions about the basics of wedding stationery, and as always, feel free to reach out with any additional questions you may have!

Xo,
C+A

p.s. For other tips or insight into wedding stationery & planning, click here and be sure to subscribe to our journal to receive updates straight to your inbox!

 

HOW TO DECIDE YOUR WEDDING STATIONERY STYLE

Hey darling! After our last post, we've decided to continue to give ourselves to you through regular posts that will hopefully inform and inspire you throughout the wedding planning or business building process (we will try to keep it even). We know that both of those stages in life can be stressful and overwhelming, and we only hope that by sharing our advice, we will be able to serve you as a friend and fellow woman.

Today we were thinking about how difficult it can be to decide what you'd like your wedding stationery to look like. It's easy to get caught up in a sea of beautiful invitations on Pinterest and just choose something that looks pretty, but we believe there's more to an invitation than beauty. Our focus is on intentionality when it comes to wedding invitations. We want your stationery to give your guests a preview of your wedding day in subtle and original ways.

First, think of every invitation you've ever gotten in the mail. Did you throw it away? Hang it on your fridge? Did you tear it open, or treat it like a piece of art? Our goal is for each of your guests to fall so in love with your invitation suite that they want to call you immediately with their excitement over it. Once you're on board with creating something beautiful, we find the little things that make you who you are and gracefully weave that into our designs.

Some ways to include personality and the wedding "preview" into your stationery is by choosing an accent color, possibly reflecting your wedding colors. If your wedding is going to be very cozy and intimate, maybe include a heartfelt note to each of your guests. If you're hosting your wedding in an art gallery and you and your future hubby are art fanatics, maybe choose a vellum overlay on top of a beautiful, abstract painting or drawing.

There are so many ways to infuse yourself and your wedding style into your invitations, you sometimes just have to get off of Pinterest, ask yourself a few simple questions, and leave the creating up to the professionals.

See our list of 7 questions to ask yourself to decide your invitation style below, and please don't be afraid to reach out for any suggestions or advice!


7 QUESTIONS TO TO DECIDE YOUR STATIONERY STYLE

1/ Do you like calligraphy or simple typefaces?

2/ Do you like color or subtle neutrals?

3/ Illustrations or keep it simple? (i.e. venue, crest, nature)

4/ Extremely detailed & informative or pare it down & put the rest on the website?

5/ Clean & modern or vintage & organic?

6/ List 3 hobbies, personality traits, or unique things about you as a couple.

7/ Use 3 words to describe your wedding style.


Xo,
C+A

p.s. For other tips or insight into wedding stationery & planning, click here and be sure to subscribe to our journal to receive updates straight to your inbox!

12 PIECES OF ADVICE FROM A RECENT BRIDE

As a recent bride I've had the opportunity to experience first hand what to do and what not to do to create the best wedding experience for yourself as well as your guests! If you are a bride, you know a bride, or you're just collecting information for that day that your knight in shining armor gets down on one knee, see my list of wedding advice below!


1. Make it personal

Andrew & I had our Maid of Honor individually ask us questions about each other and our relationship and videotape our answers. We compiled this, as well as some images of us growing up and growing together throughout our relationship, into a video that played right at the beginning of our ceremony. Since all of our guests were from all over the United States and weren't able to be around us on a regular basis, this was a fun way to let our guests get to know us on a more personal level before they witnessed one of the most personal things in a relationship, marriage. We definitely recommend adding in personal touches like this!

2. Write your own vows

First off, neither of us are writers. You don't have to be, all you have to be is in love with that other person in order to be able to say something meaningful. This is something I will strive to encourage everyone to do! We'll be calligraphing them and hanging them above our bed in the near future.

3. Create a website

Our guests thoroughly enjoyed our "Explore" page on our website! Many of them actually came a day or two early to specifically visit some of the places we recommended! Plus, as I mentioned before in a recent post, there's no better place to put the nitty gritty details that don't fit on your invitation suite or detail card.

4. choose Reusable decor

Buy decor that you can reuse! We decided instead of decorating with flowers, we were going to create vintage looking pots full of plants paired with vintage brass candlesticks as our decor, with plans to use them throughout our new home! We also used a glass keepsake box as our card holder, and it now contains many small wedding items as memories from our wedding (i.e. invites, vow books, dried florals, bridal accessories, etc). Instead of a guest book, we had our guests engrave their names in a silver platter that now adorns our walls. A linen banner that I calligraphed our first dance lyrics onto was made into a canvas and is now a show-stopper piece in our living room. Needless to say, these items are now a constant reminder of our special day, as well as a great investment that lasts longer than a day! (see this post for a look into my wedding/home decor)

5. have an Unplugged Ceremony

Kindly ask your guests to power off their devices during your ceremony. There's something special about walking down the aisle and seeing everyones smiling faces instead of a camera or cell phone. In addition to that, I hired a professional to photograph our wedding and I knew I didn't want to see the distraction of cell phones or cameras in those images.

6. Your Guests Won't Notice

There are so many details that go into a wedding and each detail means so much to you, but if something goes wrong, your guests won't know. To keep your sanity, take a moment and say, "they won't know." Your guests have no idea if you didn't complete that extra project you were hoping to get done or if your grooms tie wasn't the right shade of blue. Don't focus on the details, just focus on the end result, you'll be married to your best friend at the end of the day and that's all that matters!

7. Make Memories Together

On your wedding day, you're going to get pulled in so many different directions. Everybody wants to say "congratulations" or take a picture with you, which is not a bad thing — if you do it together! Make a promise to stick by each others side throughout the night. There is nothing you will regret more than having memories on your wedding day without your other half.

8. The Big Three vendors

Choose wisely when deciding on your caterer, DJ, and photographer/videographer. You want your guests to love the food and dance a lot. But even more importantly, at the end of the day all you have left is the memories (and of course your husband), so be sure to choose a photographer that shares your style so that you will want to hang those photos up on your wall for years. And if you have the budget, spend the extra money on a videographer, you will not regret it! 

9. enjoy Bridal Bliss

You don't need to be bothered while getting ready for your wedding day. Print out schedules & details anyone might need ahead of time, make sure to include everything your guests may need to know on your website (i.e. addresses & times), give your personal attendant or Maid of Honor your phone, and enjoy your bridal bliss!

10. Thank your parents

Whether your parents helped with the expenses or not, more than likely they were the people you complained to, took your stress out on and maybe even yelled at a few times. More importantly though, they raised you and took care of you up until this moment when they hand you off to your new husband. Don't let all of their hard work go unnoticed. 

11. you can't have your cake & eat it too

For me this was a big challenge because we all want that special day with everything included. However, I figured out that you have to pick & choose. If you spend that extra money on the photographer, you may have to cut back on your decorations or something else. It is possible to have your perfect wedding day within your budget, just be strategic, and don't get caught up in having a "Pinterest perfect" wedding. There's nothing worse than being broke newlyweds or causing your parents to take out a second mortgage for one day of festivities. 

12. take a honeymoon

Just do it. After all of your wedding planning and then your special day there is nothing you don't deserve more than to go on that honeymoon you dreamed of with your hubby to relax and enjoy newly married life. If you budget for it ahead of time and start a small bank account where all your gift money goes to, your dream honeymoon can be achievable. Your honeymoon is the best excuse to splurge and go on a big adventure because who knows when the next chance will be. I went on a dream honeymoon to the Amalfi Coast in Italy and it was worth every penny!


I hope you find this advice helpful in your planning process and that you're enjoying this season of life with your fiancé. Don't hesitate to reach out for any bridal advice!

Xo,
C

p.s. For other tips or insight into wedding stationery & planning, click here and be sure to subscribe to the journal to receive updates straight to your inbox!

MY WEDDING DAY

My dream wedding looked like something straight out of the book, The Secret Garden. I always knew I wanted to have a small outdoor ceremony with a greenhouse reception (because I'm realistic about the temperamental Iowa weather). That being said, I've yet to find that perfect venue here in central Iowa. Instead I made due with a local Des Moines art and furniture warehouse space that features an expansive wall of windows looking out to a beautiful wooded ceremony space that overlooks downtown Des Moines. I'll admit that I didn't quite get my dream wedding... but I still got my dream wedding, if you know what I mean! Being surrounded by 150 people that we love was such a blessing and something I'll never forget.

THE CEREMONY SPACE

The day was unreasonably hot for June at 95 degrees with a 90% chance of thunderstorms scheduled to arrive in the middle of our outdoor ceremony and despite that, we took our chances! Ohh I'm so glad we did though, because nearly 30 minutes before walking down the aisle the sun came out and trickled through the trees creating those little dancing light beams that never cease to stop me in my tracks. The minimalist alter was lovingly made by Andrew and sat beneath the ceiling of trees. On a tree nearby was a linen banner calligraphed with the names of our wedding party and the aisle was lined with English garden-like pots of ferns and other greenery. Meanwhile, our friends and families filtered in and filled the chairs as we prepared to walk down the aisle.

OUR LOVE STORY TOLD

We knew we wanted to tell our love story at some point during the day, and what better time than right before the ceremony! The last minute decision to create a love story video, turned out to be a great way to give our guests a glimpse into our everyday lives as Cassie & Andrew and the love we have for each other. Photos of us growing up, going on dates, and traveling together preceded a video of my maid of honor interviewing each of us about our relationship and upcoming marriage that proved to be equal parts hilarious and sentimental. (read: Cassie & Andrew's Love Story)

THE CEREMONY

Our bridal party, made up of our closest friends and family members, started the ceremony off and lined the alter. My ladies wore french blue tulle skirts & ivory lace tops and the guys wore khaki suits with french blue ties. The flower girl and ring bearers were nothing short of adorable as they took their jobs mighty seriously! Finally, I made my way down the aisle with my mom on one arm and my dad on the other with tears in my eyes (I told the make up artist I didn't need waterproof mascara because I'm not a cryer. She insisted and I'm so glad she did!)

The ceremony was straight out of a storybook. Our pastor shared a very relatable message about marriage and love as butterflies danced around us (I promise I'm not making this up!). Andrew and I each shared our vows we wrote for each other, exchanged the rings, and recessed back down the aisle as husband and wife as the DJ played one of our favorite songs. Meanwhile, one of our ring bearer's who carried a baseball holding the first ring Andrew ever gave me, was bound and determined to deliver that ring by the end of the ceremony. All of a sudden we hear "Andrew, catch!" and a baseball is flying at us. Thankfully Andrew has more hand-eye coordination than I do!

THE RECEPTION

We made our way across the lawn to the light-filled warehouse space that was carefully decorated with vintage-looking plants and gold candlesticks. Almost immediately the sky opened up and poured, and just minutes later there was a full rainbow. (We're told that is good luck!) Set up for a cocktail-style reception, our guests filled the reception space as they mingled with each other and enjoyed our appetizer stations and cocktails. I'm sure you all know what comes next. We enjoyed the dinner, cake cutting, toasts, bouquet & garter toss, and most of all the dancing that ended the night. 

Needless to say, our wedding was better than our wildest dreams. The mere fact that half of our crew (Andrew's half) traveled all the way from New England to celebrate with us, was more than we could have ever asked for. Having these people together in the city we love so much was something we will never forget. This day was the perfect starting line for the adventure to come.

Xo,
C

Read: 12 Pieces of Advice from a Recent Bride

 

VENDORS

Venue: Sticks
Photographer: Ivory+Bliss
Flowers: Artisan Floral & Events by Saley
Hair & Makeup: Vesta Salon & Spa
Catering: Taste To Go
Cake & Pies: Nancy Ertz
Event Planning: Out of Box Productions
Dress: Anais Anette from a&bé Bridal Shop
Bridesmaid Skirts: Revelry
Groomsmen Attire: Men's Wearhouse
DJ: SBC Event Services
Stationery: Gatherie Creative

WEDDING WEBSITES

While we're paper lovers ourselves, we've experienced first hand how difficult it is to include every little detail your guests should know within your invitation suite, while still maintaining an elegantly simple balance. We've found that the cure for this dilemma is to create an equally as elegant wedding website via Squarespace to include those not-so-adorable, but ever-so-important details, and avoid any day of calls and texts from your guests and insure pure bridal bliss on your big day. See below for a list of items to be sure to include!

Your Story

Your guests will LOVE getting to know you two as a couple prior to your big day! Give them the nitty-gritty details of how you met, your first date, and how he asked and your guests will arrive feeling even more emotionally connected than before!

Your Ceremony & Reception Venue Details

Addresses can be unnecessary and inconvenient to a bride & groom who likes the light and airy feel for their wedding invitations. Point them to your website for these unattractive details!

Accommodations

Include hotel information, as well as a link to make reservations for your guests convenience!

Attire

Make some clothing suggestions to your guests so that they don't have to wonder what the appropriate attire is for your shindig. It's also a good idea to point out if the ceremony will be on grass, and suggest ladies don't wear stilettos!

Registry

Something you should never include enclosed in your invitation is your registry information. Wedding etiquette says to only give out registry information on a bridal shower invitation, wedding website, or when asked directly from your guests. With the registry industry going more online nowadays, this is an easy way for your guests to shop and to avoid the awkward gift conversation.

Song Requests

This is a fun way to get your guests involved in the wedding planning process, as well as take some pressure off of picking the perfect playlist for the dance floor!

Explore Page

Invite your guests to explore your city by hand picking your favorite spots to grab coffee, drinks, or a bite to eat. Even include a little map, pointing out each of these spots in relation to your host hotel, venue, and local airport.

 

Overall, there are endless options on what you could include on your wedding website and we'd love to help you create this one of a kind paper & web experience for your guests prior to their arrival to your wedding.

Xo,
C+A

p.s. For other tips or insight into wedding stationery & planning, click here and be sure to subscribe to our journal to receive updates straight to your inbox!

SOFIA SUITE

This timeless suite stole our hearts with its letterpress impressions and delicate use of typography. Sometimes we like to take the simple route and let the paper shine through, and our Sofia suite did just that! Foggy grey envelopes paired with soft ivory and deckled paper gives our sweet Sofia a touch of vintage elegance.

Stay tuned for more images of this suite (taken by Ivory + Bliss) to be featured in Smitten Magazine for their Issue 17, Intrinsic Issue, coming out in August!

Xo,
C+A

photography and styling by Cassandra Monroe
letterpress by Iron Leaf Press

LAUREL SUITE

When dreaming up the Laurel Suite, we knew we wanted to use a transparent overlay somehow. The combination of minimal aesthetics with the delicate pencil floral illustrations made a dreamy wedding suite with plenty of character to go around. While the majority of the papers were neutral in color, including white, ivory, and grey, we introduced color into the suite with a soft blue save the date that incorporated the floral illustrations perfectly. Tied up with a delicate gold thread for just a touch of elegance, this suite will always have our hearts!

Xo,
C+A

photography by Cassandra Monroe