The wedding invitation is the first impression your guests get about your big day. It is not only a means of announcing your wedding but also informs them as to what to expect at the ceremony. Its design elements create the suspense about the wedding. This is how Kitso Hitchfield, director of Miracle Designs, puts it: “It is a small thing that shows the beginning of wedding preparations”.
He adds that this piece of paper represents the union between two people and their vision. He runs a designing agency. His understanding is that the wedding invitation card embodies the soon-to-be married couple’s love in colour and style. As such, it is upon them to decide on the design etiquette.
Kitso has observed that in most cases, women are expressionists while men minimalists. The former would go all out and want too much of colour, decorations, text and even their photos inserted while men would rather choose just a little bit of it all. But he is quick to note that colours used should be in line with the theme of the wedding.
“It is often left up to women because they know better,” he says, adding that men care a little because their role is to prepare the cheque. History informs that prior to the invention of the moveable-type printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in 1447, weddings in England were typically announced by means of a town crier – a man who would walk through the streets announcing in a loud voice the good news of the day.
It also reveals that traditionally, anyone within earshot became part of the celebration. Can you imagine the amount you’d likely spend if you were to hold your wedding then with the entire town in the banquet versus now when you can do a wedding card with an RSVP card enclosed?
A decade later, www.frugalbride.com educates that with the emergence of printing press, a wedding card started to flourish. However these were not the stylish type yet since ink would usually blot the wedding stationery and the result is of poor quality.
The modern day wedding invitation done through a card has made things easier. Although there are no rights or wrongs about the choice of wedding invitation cards, Merapelo Tlhaolo, who specialises in wedding catering, advises that writing it is not a simple task.
She states that it can prove to be quite a daunting job when one has to use unfamiliar formal language and rules of etiquette to ensure they give the right tone of the day. The basics, such as request, time, venue, date, RSVP or reply should form the centre of the invite.
“If you feel that your guests need more information than the standard wedding invite will allow, add it but be careful what it is,” she says, citing that there is nothing wrong with including the dress code as an example. A turn off would be information on gifts you would like. A critical element apart from the number of guests is the timing.
Merapelo says that the earlier the better and that ideally they should be sent out eight weeks before the wedding. Kenneth Tauetsile is getting married soon and wedding cards are still being designed. He deems these stylish papers as the invitees’ access to an intimate function between two people with God, family and close friends.
For him and his fiancé, this first step is a mark of a beautiful future. “The card adds to the joy of the occasion, a moment to be treasured and cherished for a lifetime,” chuckles Bofelo, the soon-to-wife.
All said and done, it is worth noting that whoever receives an invitation card should see themselves ‘honoured.’ Therefore, courtesy demands that they respond as promptly as reasonably possible to let the hosts know whether or not they will attend.