Before ordering you wedding invitations, Montreal Weddings recommends to decide on the maximum number of guests you will be able to invite after setting the wedding budget with your spouse-to-be. It’s preferable to have the bride, the groom, the bride’s parents and the groom’s parents each make a list, and then combine them to create a master wedding list. Check your address book, consider your friends, work and business relations, relatives that live far away (even if you know they won’t be able to attend), the officiant and your spouse-to-be. Don't forget to note couples with children (if you plan to invite them), and singles with escorts. Be sure to have the full name and address of each guest.
From the master list you can determine the number of wedding invitations needed. It is wise to order fifty or more extra invitations in case you decide to add some guests.
Make two copies of your wedding guest list, one for each set of parents, adding notes beside names to help them to relate with guests they don't know well (such as business partners, college roommates, etc.).
The words ‘honour’ and ‘favour’ are spelled with a u (request the honour of..., The favour of a reply is requested..., etc.). The numbers in the date and time are usually spelled out (the eighth of May, at nine o'clock). The invitations are usually sent in the name of the bride's parents, since they pay most of the expenses and are the hosts, but if the groom's parents are assuming a full share of the costs, the invitations should be in their name also. If you and your fiancé are paying, the bride's parents may still be listed at the top of the invitations.
The reception invitations can be sent with the ceremony invitations or separately, depending on your wedding plans. The invitation to the wedding ceremony alone does not include an R.S.V.P. If you request a reply on the reception invitation, add the mention ‘R.S.V.P.’ or ‘The favour of a reply is requested.’ after your text. Common titles can be abbreviated (Mr. Mrs. Ms.). No other punctuation, except after abbreviations, is used in the text. Formal titles should be written out (Doctor, Captain, Reverend). Use two different lines if the second person has a title. If the bride has a title, she should use it only if the invitations are issued by herself and the groom. Otherwise, she "is the daughter of..."
If the groom is an active member of the armed forces, he should use his military title. If the father of the bride is a member of the armed forces, either on active duty or retired, he should also use his title.
There are many combinations and creative possibilities for the invitation wording and presentation. Your wedding coordinator or stationery supplier can help you with the right text for your situation.
The following information can serve as guidelines:
When all the guests invited to the ceremony are also invited to the reception, the invitation combines both. If some are not invited to the reception, you can include the reception invitation with the ceremony invitation for the guests invited to the reception. The reception invitation, which includes the date, time and location of the reception, is otherwise mailed separately in its own envelope.
You may indicate that a guest is welcome to bring someone by including a personal note in the invitation such as "we would be delighted to have you bring a date if you wish."
These small cards with a number may be enclosed with invitations to family members who are to be seated in the reserved pews during the ceremony. The people receiving them take them to the church and show them to the ushers, who escort them to their place at large formal ceremonies. Such cards sometimes state "within the ribbon," meaning that a certain number of pews are reserved for special guests but that no specific pew is assigned.
These small cards are printed to avoid having uninvited people at the ceremony or reception when the wedding is held in a public place. Guests present the cards to the ushers for admission.
Name and home cards
If you wish, you can send cards to inform colleagues and friends of your new name and address. These can be sent with the invitations or separately after the honeymoon.
For convenience, these cards are almost always enclosed with reception invitations along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Your reply-by date should be at least one month before the wedding date.
These are used to let guests know where they should be seated. Plan to seat groups (relatives, teenagers, college friends) together, as they will all feel more comfortable and you will solve any seating problems. Place cards are also very helpful for the caterer if you place a number on each table.
If an outdoor wedding is planned, this card will specify an alternative location in case of bad weather.
Transportation or parking cards
These are used to inform guests of special transportation or parking arrangements.
These cards let guests know that they have rooms reserved at the hotel mentioned on the card.
These provide directions for guests coming in from various directions. Make sure your directions are complete and correct.
All these cards can be included in the invitation. They should all match in style and paper quality.
The invitation is placed in the inner envelope (if there is one), folded edge first and facing the back of the envelope.
The guests’ names should be written in by hand (with no address). If you invite children or a single person along with the principal couple, their names should be written on a second line.
If you add any insertions, they should be placed inside the invitation.
A smaller pre-addressed, stamped envelope contains the response card, face up with the fold of the envelope over it. You can place this insertion inside or on top of the invitation, printed side up. Then you include both in the inner envelope (unsealed).
The first envelope is usually inserted in an outer envelope, with the guests’ names facing the back of the envelope, and the outer envelope is then sealed.
Everyone should be addressed by hand using black or blue ink.
As for the invitation itself, common titles (Mr., Mrs. and Ms.) can be abbreviated on the envelope, but formal titles (Doctor, Captain, Reverend, etc.) should be written out. Teenagers should also have a title (Miss, Misses, Mr. or Messrs.) before their names. Wedding invitations are always addressed to both members of a married couple. Children's names should not appear on the outer envelope. For an unmarried couple, the invitations are addressed to Mr. and Ms.