what's in a word? or: how we're phrasing our wedding invites

Photo via Bella Figura

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I'm feeling rather loquacious today for two reasons:

One, I just read this article in The New Yorker about the made-up language ithkuil. If I were to create my own language, I would have many different words not just for cheese, but the way that cheese makes you feel. Take that, Eskimos.

Two, Mike and I spent this past Saturday brainstorming the language on our wedding invites. While I could have sat at Village Invites for probably five hours combing through samples and debating the difference between "honor" and "presence," Mike's patience was not as ... infinite. I thought he was going to go postal (get it?) when I started debating font sizes, but, to his credit, he made it all the way through the appointment without shredding any stationery.

Moving on!

The first decision any couple needs to make is who is doing the inviting to the wedding. Is it you and your fiance? Is it the bride's parents? Both sets? Mike and I decided that we'd rather be the ones doing the inviting, especially because it means we can keep the invite more streamlined if we have two names displayed rather than six.

Once we settled on that opening, there were a few options we were playing around with:

(Ed. note: You'll see we decided to go with "wedding" rather than "marriage." Our lovely friend at Village Invites pointed out that guests are not truly invited to the marriage, just the celebration of it. Unless you're a sister wife, in which case you may want to go a different route for your stationery.) 

You are cordially invited to attend the wedding of:

The honor of your presence is requested at the wedding of: 

Together with their families, Juliet and Michael request the pleasure of your company at their wedding: 

The pleasure of your company is requested at the wedding of: 

And so on and so forth. Insider tip: Apparently honor is reserved for weddings in houses of worship (church, synagogue) and pleasure is meant to be for wedding taking place in other venues, like a hotel or outside.

But guess what? I don't care! I like honor better and we're getting married in a hotel. Sorry, Emily Post. I do what I want. So, for the moment, we'll be doing a variation on the second option above.

The bottom half of the invite is entirely informational: the when, the where and the what. Since we are having a formal, black-tie event, I felt like I was justified in spelling out all numbers (i.e. two thousand and thirteen). Also because it looks nicer on the invite and I think Lady Mary would approve. We kept it pretty simple: date, year, time and place.

Finally, about half of the invites we looked at included a little note to inform guests that you weren't just being invited to the wedding, but a party as well. In my mind this is kind of obvious, but it did add a little more personality to an otherwise very formal invitation. Right now, we're thinking of adding "dinner and merriment," or "general merriment to follow." Only because I think The Plaza would rescind our contract if we said debauchery (or Mike's choice: shit show).

Finally, as has always been my heart's desire, "black tie" will be written in the bottom right corner. So many tuxes! So many pretty dresses! It is of continual disappointment to me that I wasn't born during an era where one "dresses" for dinner (see: Downton Abbey again), so my heart is already aflutter with the thought of all our guests in formal wear.

We get our first proofs back on Thursday, egads!

how we picked our florist

how we picked our band