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Communicating to your guests

Communicating your love, thanks and details of your wedding day, you normally express this in printed format. This means you may need to organise wedding invitations, reception cards, gift registry or wishing well cards, table place cards, menu cards and thank you cards. These will need to be distributed before, during and after the wedding day.

The wedding invitation is most likely the first formal means of communication to your guest, and would contain all the information that your invitees will need to know in order to prepare for the event. Included in the invitation attach a gift registry or wishing well card if you feel this is appropriate as well as a reception card inviting the guests who are to attend the reception following the ceremony.

Place cards enable your reception guests to find their seats, and the menu cards are placed on the table to let your guests know what wonderful food that is to be presented to them. Then once the wedding day is over, and you’ve received your lovely gifts, you can send out thank you cards to your guests to express your thanks to those who contributed to your wedding memories.

Matching all your items of stationery with your theme of your wedding day can provide a wonderful way to set the scene for the day. This can be done through selecting papers, colours, lettering to match your wedding day’s theme and colours. Many printers, stationers, designers and paper and wedding specialists offer custom made stationery services, or have pre-designed stationery packages available for order. Or you can always make your own or source part of the materials from suppliers (such as all the papers etc) and you just put it all together.

The Invitation

This is your opportunity to ask your closest friends and family to share in your special day. The way to set the scene for the event is first provided in the form of a wedding invitation.

Wording: What you choose will be treasured, so it’s important to consider them carefully. They should be informative, accurate and heartfelt.

Invitations today are usually addressed from the bride and groom themselves with the mention of both parents. How you address your guests whether by title, full name or first names is determined by the formality of the event or by the personal relationship with the guest. For wording suggestions specialists and professionals can make suggestions, or you can always make up your own.

Here is an example:

Mr. and Mrs. John Mark French
request the honor of presence at the marriage of their daughter
Miss Stacie French
Mr. Chris Matthews
Saturday, the ninth of May


Two thousand and ___
at four o'clock in the afternoon
St. Thomas’ Church

You need to make sure you include the following information within an invitation to let invitees know when and where they’re expected, and what’s required of them. Here is a list of non-negotiables that need to be included in a wedding invitation:

  • Names(s) of who has sent the invitation
  • Name(s) of the guests invited
  • Names of the bride and groom
  • Date of the event
  • Time and location of the ceremony
  • Time and location of the reception (if they are invited)
  • Expected style of dress
  • Date and means of sending an rsvp (you may wish to include a reply card guests can fill out and return – but for today’s generation an email address is quite suitable)
  • Details of gift registry &/or wishing well (if appropriate)
  • Any other special requirements or information

Remember, when it comes to posting out your envelopes that you budget for both envelopes and stamps. It’s important that your guests receive their invitation no later than six to eight weeks prior to the date to give them appropriate time to arrange travel and to make sure they’re available. For guests that are out of town, you may want to let them know your intended wedding date earlier by informal communication (email or phone).        

Gift Registry

A gift registry is not compulsory, but it does allow you as the bride and groom, to let your guests know what you would like to receive, or what you need. If you are having a gift registry you would normally include a gift registry card with the invitation. These cards would list the details of the store where you have your list registered. You may need to create your own card, but many stores today provide these for you.

Should I have a gift registry?

To have a gift registry is a personal decision that the bride and groom need to make. A gift registry is a practical way to allow your guest to buy gifts that are to your taste and desire.

If you decide to have a gift registry you will need to make a list of what you need and what you would like to receive. Homewares are the most common gifts, but you can choose anything that is within a reasonable price range. Select more gifts than the actual number of guests so that the registry doesn’t run out, and also make sure you provide both lower and higher end products to suit all budgets.       

Name Cards

If your guests are to be seated at your reception, name cards let your guests know where you wish them to be seated. Place cards allow you to personalize each guests place and also be a part of your table decorations. They can be a basic card with their name, or it can be decorated to match the rest of your reception decorations.

Menu Cards

If your guests are being served a sit down meal a menu card will allow your guests to be informed of what is being served and will provide them with an exciting expectation of what’s to come.

Thank You Cards

Thank you cards are usually sent after the event. It is a thoughtful way where you can express your thanks to the many people that attended and contributed to your special day.

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