A Few Etiquette Tips For Any Wedding Invitation — Gay or Straight (Part I)

By Kathryn
My favorite line of invitations we offer on our site is courtesy of Checkerboard. They are the only larger stationery dealer I’ve encountered that has proudly offered (for several years now!) a line of stationery customized for same sex couples (it’s called OutVite).
Besides that great benefit for the GLBT community, is the fact the quality of their invitations and personalized stationery is absolutely top-of-the-line. (You stationery junkies out there know what I mean: colors & style a la mode, cardstock you can feel in your hands, great selection, and so on.)
They also offer users a quick overview of invitation etiquette (let’s face it: all wedding beginners can use this quick review!) and sample invitation expressions for same sex couples.
You may find that tips 8 annd 9 below may be relevant to you; I address questions about these details with almost every couple whom I assist with invitations.
Because so many of you are now planning for your 2006 ceremonies and have been asking me questions about invitation planning, here’s quick user’s guide, courtesy of OutVite.
Invitation Etiquette
1. All phrasing is in the third person.
2. Punctuation is not used at the ends of lines (commas, periods, colons, etc.); however, commas are used within lines to separate the day from the date, the city from the state and a man’s surname from “Jr./junior/II/III”, etc.
3. No abbreviations are used. Either spell out a name or leave it out: “Mark Claude Manet” not “Mark C. Manet.” Also, “Road”, “Street”, “Avenue”, “Reverend”, “Doctor”, and all military titles should be spelled out. Exceptions are: “Mr.” and “Mrs.” Many etiquette specialists prefer that “junior” be spelled out. When it is spelled out, the “j” is not capitalized.
4. If both Mr. and Mrs. Smith are doctors, they can be referred to as “The Doctors Smith.”
5. Days, dates, and times are always spelled out.
6. Only proper nouns are capitalized (names of people and places, cities, states, name of the day of the week, month name, etc.) Exceptions are the year line(“Two thousand”) or where the noun is the beginning of a new sentence or thought (“T” in “The favour of a reply is requested” or “Reception to follow”)
7. Be consistent with your usage of “honour/favour” or “honor/favor.” Traditionally the formal, British spelling with the “u” is preferred in proper wedding etiquette but whichever form you choose, use it in both words.
8. It is considered socially incorrect to write, “no children please” on the invitation or any part of the wedding ensemble. “Black tie” does not traditionally appear on the invitation. If the event takes place after six o’clock, your guests should assume that it is a formal event. If you are concerned, however, you may write “Black tie” as a right footnote on your reception card. Note: the “B” in “Black tie” is capitalized, but not the “t.”
9. It is considered extremely socially incorrect to make any mention of gifts on invitations on the theory that we should expect nothing from our friends except their presence, therefore never list where you are registered, the name of a charity for donations or your desire for money rather than presents. The only slight exception to this strict rule is for shower invitations where it is permitted to list the theme of the gifts (“Linens”, etc.) but never where one is registered or any mention whatsoever of money.
Want to review the full line of invitations Checkerboard has to offer and take advantage of a 10% discount? Or perhaps you’d like some help ordering and layout out your invitations? Just let me know how I can help you!

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