Planning a gay wedding is a study in dealing with details. From the outfits you’ll wear and the gay wedding rings you’ll exchange to the food you’ll serve at the reception and the music your Uncle Ed will get funky to, every detail requires time, thought and energy which is why so many couples find the process exhausting.
While many choices come down to a couple’s personal taste other issues can require some outside help. The creation of invitations and related wedding stationery such as programs and RSVP cards is one such issue.
The Evolution of Wedding Invitations
Traditional templates for invitations are still used but have fallen by the wayside due to a number of reasons beyond the landmark Supreme Court decision. Historically, wedding invitations were sent by the Bride’s parents and their verbiage began with “Mr. & Mrs. Smith invite you to the wedding of their daughter …”
Although this style is still in use today, many couples have moved away from traditional invitations since so many now finance and plan their own weddings. As a result, there are plenty of templates for couples of every combination. There are also new takes on fonts and even mediums that have elevated the wedding invitation into an art form.
Options for Gay Wedding Invitations
Since modern day invitations have already moved beyond the traditional, LGBT couples settling in to compose their own gay wedding invitations have a wealth of pre-made options from which to choose. The wording for invitations can be simple and straight-forward (Ryan and Paul invite you to their wedding, etc.) or which can be more casual and fun (Come watch us get hitched!)
An issue many LGBT couples wish to address in their wedding invitations is that the couples have actually been together for a long time, something they wish to acknowledge in their invitation without taking away from the celebration. In these cases, verbiage such as “Together for 15 years and finally able to tie the knot!” gets the message across simply and without sounding as if you’re turning your special day into a soapbox.
Creating Wedding Stationery That Fits
Invitations, reply cards, reception information, menu cards and thank you cards should all be coordinated to match your overall theme. This means tackling the issue of wedding stationery months in advance and placing your order for these items with plenty of time for them to be sent out.
The easiest way to accomplish this without going insane is to look for artists and companies that offer a selection of these items already matched for you. Wedding planners, consultants and professional stationers often offer complete sets or coordinating options that couples can choose from, making the decision much easier.
(This and other great ideas can be found here)
Gay Wedding Invitations – The Ultimate Checklist
So what do you need in terms of wedding stationery? It depends partly on the type of wedding you plan to have but this is a comprehensive overview of what you need, when to send them and how you can add a twist of your own.
Invitations act as a cornerstone for all your wedding stationery and they should reflect your wedding colors and style.
When to Send Them Out – Send out invitations 8 – 10 weeks ahead of the Big Day. If you’re planning a destination send them out at least 6 months in advance or send out a Save the Date card to give people time to budget or request time off work in order to be there.
Make Your Mark – Wedding invitations have come a long way so don’t be afraid to step outside the norm and create or choose a design that really says YOU. You can choose from eclectic designs, ticket formats and even keepsake styles that guests can hold onto long after the Big Day.
These cards give guests the ability to RSVP for your special day quickly and easily.
When to Send Them Out – These are included, along with a self-addressed stamped envelope, in your wedding invitation.
Make Your Mark – Reply Cards should be an extension of the invitation itself so ensure they are in line with your invitation design. Add a bit of personality to them by using wording that fits your personality. Instead of the traditional Attending / Respectfully Decline opt for We’ll Be There! / Damnit, We Can’t Make It or Game On! / Have to Pass. You can find other ways to make your wording stand out here.
These cards provide information on when and where the reception will be held.
When to Send Them Out – These are also usually included with the invitation. If you’re inviting more people to the reception than the wedding, send them separately (even to people also receiving an invite to the ceremony) and send them a week or two after your initial invitation.
Make Your Mark – Include a treasure-hunt style map, GPS coordinates or other clever – but easily decipherable – way to let guests know where and when.
The give your guests an idea of how your ceremony will proceed.
When To send Them Out – You won’t. These are provided as guests arrive either on the chairs or passed out by ushers.
Make Your Mark – In addition to proving an order of service, many couples choose to include information on themselves (how you met, how long you’ve been together, random trivia, etc) as a way for guests to get to know each person and to provide some conversation starters before the service.
These are included at each table so guests know what to expect from their meal. If last minute changes can be made at this time, also include how guests can make those requests.
When to Send Them Out – If you need to know who wants chicken, fish or vegetarian and kosher options, include a menu card as part of your RSVP reply card. Separate cards should be included at the table as well.
Make Your Mark – Cards at the table can include special reasons or stories behind the dishes you chose (You shared a plate of spinach dip on your first date, spaghetti options for your mutual love of Lady and the Tramp, etc.)
Thank You Cards
Email is nice, but a traditional paper thank you card extends the feeling of inclusion for guests and is just a nice touch. Everyone likes getting mail that isn’t a bill!
When to Send Them Out – Thank you cards should be sent no more than a month after your honeymoon.
Make Your Mark – Write a truly personal message for each card. This can be time consuming (and will require one f you to take notes as you open gifts after your reception) but it goes a long way in showing how truly glad you were for the gift and for the person’s attendance.
Stationery needs for an LGBT wedding go well beyond simply needing gay wedding invitations. Couples also need to consider the other stationery items they’ll need so that all their wedding correspondence ties in with their colors and style. Dealing with the issue as a set can help streamline your planning and makes it easy to stay in touch with guests before, during and after your celebration.