Saturday, March 20, 2010

Invitation Etiquette with the Lovely Emily Ley

Today we turned to owner of Emily Ley Paper and talented stationer, Emily Ley, for some honest invitation etiquette answers to those sometimes unclear etiquette questions.

1. What is the key piece of advice you'd like to lend to brides and grooms when starting to design their wedding suites?
Look for designs that fit your personal style - designs that when you look back at them with your children and grandchildren one day, you see a "love story" unfolding, instead of "whatever was trendy" for the time being. Look for colors and layouts that are functional first - and convey the information you're sharing. Remember that your invitation is your guests' first glimpse at the biggest day of your lives thus far.

2. Do you prefer traditional wedding invitation wording or something a bit more modern?
These two styles can be mixed together in beautiful ways - I once worked with a bride who was very traditional but FULL of personality. Her invitation and response card were very traditional - but at the bottom of the response card we inserted "DJ play my song __________________" to add a fun element and bring her personality into the pieces. The guests LOVED this and the bride passed the song requests on to their musicians at the reception.

3. We were brought up to write a thank you note for most anything and know how important they can be. What might you recommend for those who aren't akin to writing thank you notes? What is the proper timing etiquette for writing thank you notes for wedding gifts?
Always, always, ALWAYS write thank you notes. Always. For your wedding and shower gifts, its customary to have your thank you notes mailed no later than one month after the wedding. I was once told (and never forgot this...) to never underestimate the power of a thank you note. Your thank you notes don't have to be long and verbose, just sincere messages of thanks to someone who took time to do something special for you. Write thank you notes not just for gifts, but to the vendors and special helpers who played a roll in your big day as well.

4. How do you propose a couple deals with an uninvited guest whose name shows up on the response card (i.e. a cousin's girlfriend when it was only the cousin's name on the actual invitation)?
This is why all my wedding suites come with double envelopes. This is hard to avoid without an inner envelopes. The outer envelope is used for the mailing address and the inner envelope bears the name of the person (or people) to whom the invitation is directly addressed. But generally, when these things happen, my advice is to "roll with it." If this only happens with a few guests, it wont put you too far over your guest count. If you do happen to push past your limit of attendees, politely and informally discuss the situation with the guest. Perhaps the "plus one" can join you at the reception if the ceremony venue is past capacity?

5. Can you please explain what's appropriate to include and not to include in wedding invitations?
In your suite, you want to include
- the hosts' names
- the bride and groom's names
- date and time
- venue address

I start to itch when wedding websites and registry information find their way onto the invitation. Enclosure cards are perfect for bearing website information. Registry information is not appropriate anywhere in the suite. Look at your suite as if you were a guest attending another wedding. What kind of questions might they have? Do they know where to be and when? How to RSVP?

Wedding invitations should introduce the biggest day of your life thus far - remember to keep your verbiage minimal and special. Additional information can be tucked in welcome bags, included in the ceremony program or listed on the wedding website. Choose a design that is timeless and special. Add personality with special touches like calligraphy, vintage postage stamps or envelope liners. Above all - choose something that will be representative of your love story. And work with a stationer who will take those things to heart when designing your suite.


Thank you so much, Emily! We appreciate your expert advice! *Be sure to visit Emily's sweet website and her informative blog!

Aleah + Nick

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