Wedded Wednesday: Cordially Invited.

It's no surprise that it has been wedding workshop central around these parts.  If a visitor stopped by they would probably expect to see hundreds of elves dressed in white, slaving away at our D.I.Y. wedding, but would be shocked to find just me, covered head to toe in glitter. Just your typical Wednesday around here.

A few weeks ago invites hit the mail, and I couldn't have been happier with the results.  Originally inspired by Rifle Design's hand painted invites, the suite took on a life of it's own (as most of my ideas do) and morphed into a watercolor, silver and gold preamble to our wedding day, complete with "Ashley & Marshall with the pups in Charlotte" illustration and all.  As RSVPs start to trickle back in, I'll share a few tidbits I have learned while planning the guest list and printing out invites:

1.  Secure the guest list:  Make sure everyone from your side and his side are included on the guest list.  Checking with your soon-to-be in-laws is a safe way to confirm everyone who should be in attendance gets an invite.  With so many addresses to compile, it's easy to loose track.

2. Design the details: Formal or informal?  Late night ceremony or backyard BBQ?  Letterpress or HP home printer?  Regardless of designer, price, and number of guests, your invitations are typically your guests first peek into your wedding, so they should be reflective of your day's fabulous design.  You know, the one you have been slaving away on.

3.  Select your words: Lots of weddings these days are trading in tradition for a more modern approach, but there are still traditions (and traditionals) that you may not want to skip or offend.  For instance, both our families have contributed time, effort, and dinero to make our wedding dreams a reality, so it was most fitting for us to acknowledge their contribution in our invitations.  Your family may be casual or your parents separated, so looking into the correct wording (even in it's most casual form) could save a lot of potential mishaps.  And trust me, wedding mishaps can be abundant. But who's supposed to tell you these things if you've never been married?!?!  Exactly.

4. Be tactful: Early on, it helps to decide if you are going to invite children and extend friends to option of casual "plus ones".  Martha Stewart has some amazing and respectful tips on handling these situations, and it also helps to word your invitations according (minus writing "No one under five feet allowed".  But you wouldn't do that.)  Calling guests on the list with children to personally explain that children will not be in attendance is an appropriate way to handle the situation, and offering up some assistance in finding a sitter is thoughtful.  We love our little family members, so we will be swinging them on the dance floor!  Marshall and I decided that "if our friends have significant others whose name would be on the invitation anyway", then they would be invited, otherwise "plus-ones" would be extended to single friends after RSVPS were in and, given there was room, guests would be called ahead of time and informed they were more than welcome to bring a date.  Many brides handle situations like this in different ways, and it can even be included in your RSVPS (i.e. "We are reserved ___ number of seats for you").  Being specific yet tactful helps avoid any miscommunication between you and guests and you incurring any unexpected additional costs!

5.  Add your special touch: It could be a quote the two of you enjoy or an entertaining way to word the RSVPS (like ours!).  Personalizing your invitations sets your day apart and gives guests insight into who you are as a couple.  Since we have dated, I have always drawn Marshall and I as cartoon characters and he has always, always been in oakleys, thus I had to pay homage to my years worth of doodles.

6.  Keep extra invites on hand:  Incase you did forget to invite your fourth cousin or, heaven forbid, some invites get returned, it's always nice to have a good amount of backups, just in case.  & to take photos of, of course.


Hope my adventures in wedding planning help anyone else in the mix!