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Wedding Invitation Tips and Advice

You're well into planning your wedding and have finally decided on the design of your wedding invitation. The wording has been chosen and the guest list is well on its way to completion. Here are some additional wedding invitation tips and advice that you should also be aware of.

* If children will also be included as guests, you can choose to write out their individual names on the addressed envelopes or put "and family". For example:

Mr. and Mrs. Bob Simpson, Cathy and John
Mr. and Mrs. Bob Simpson and Family

* If the children are older teenagers (say 16 years of age or older), you may wish to send them an individual invitation, just like you would an adult.

* If you don't wish to include children at the ceremony, do not include their names or "and family" on the outside of the envelope. It's suggested you add "Sorry, but children are not invited", "adults only" or something similar somewhere on the invitation to make it clear. If you wish to include them at the reception, but not at the ceremony, you could note this information on the response card... or on the invitation itself at the bottom in some fashion.

* When issuing invitations to a guest who is single, it is polite to put "and Guest" on the outside of the envelope so that they have the option to bring along a companion. For example:

Mr. Ralph Jones and Guest
Miss Sarah Campbell and Guest

* Be forewarned. Usually 7% to 10% of the guests who respond with a yes will not actually attend the wedding. In addition, 20% to 30% won't make it to the reception. This can wreak havoc when budgeting for a sit down dinner. You may want to consider a buffet style dinner instead.

* In some cases, you'll want to invite people to the ceremony, but not the reception or vice versa. If so, then you will need two sets of invitations printed. One that includes reception information and one that doesn't.

* If you don't receive a reply from some guests by your reply date, do not hesitate to call them. It is important that you know how many are attending so you budget accordingly.

* If you decide to order invitations, be sure to do so at least 4 to 6 weeks before they are scheduled to be mailed. If you plan on mailing your invitations around the 15th of March, order them between February 1st and 15th.

* Double, even triple check everything before it gets printed. This includes invitations, response cards, envelopes, wedding programs, etc. whether you're doing them yourself or your having them professionally printed. Check for spelling errors especially.

* Always order extra invitation envelopes and response card envelopes. There will inevitably be a few mistakes when addressing these and you'll want to have a few extras on hand.

* You should mail your invitations at least 6 weeks before the wedding date and indicate that you would like a response at least 3 weeks before the wedding date. So if your wedding date is July 1st, mail your invitations by May 15th and ask that they respond by June 7th. This will give guests time to receive their invitations and reply by mail, which in turn, gives you time to firm up catering plans, seating arrangements, etc.

* If your wedding is going to actually be held on a beach or other outdoor area, be sure that you let your guests know this, so they can dress appropriately.

Rose Smith has been providing helpful information on wedding planning for many years. For wedding theme ideas, articles and resources, visit her website Wedding Themes and More at Visit Wedding Planning Guides for a full range of wedding planning books at

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