A wedding is a joyous and sacred occasion in the lives of Latter-day Saints (LDS). When it comes to planning an LDS wedding, there are certain customs and etiquette that should be followed, especially when it comes to wedding invitations. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the essential aspects of LDS wedding invitation etiquette, from the wording and design to addressing and mailing. Whether you’re a bride and groom or a guest, understanding these etiquette guidelines will help ensure a smooth and respectful LDS wedding experience.
The Basics of LDS Wedding Invitations
Before diving into the specifics of LDS wedding invitation etiquette, let’s start with the fundamentals:
Send out your wedding invitations at least six to eight weeks before the wedding date to give guests ample time to plan and RSVP.
2. Invitation Components
A typical LDS wedding invitation includes:
– The invitation itself
– An RSVP card with a self-addressed, stamped envelope
– Additional inserts, such as reception details or accommodations
LDS wedding invitations are generally formal in style. They reflect the importance of the occasion and the reverence of the LDS faith.
Wording Your LDS Wedding Invitation
The wording of your LDS wedding invitation should be clear, concise, and respectful. Here’s a traditional format to follow:
1. Host Line
Traditionally, the invitation begins with a host line, which states who is hosting or inviting guests to the wedding. For example:
– “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their daughter…”
2. Request Line
Next, include a request line that formally invites the guests to the wedding. For instance:
– “…invite you to join them in the sealing of their marriage…”
3. Bride and Groom’s Names
List the full names of the bride and groom, with the bride’s name traditionally appearing first:
– “Sarah Jane Smith and James Michael Doe”
4. Date and Time
Specify the date and time of the wedding, including the day of the week:
– “Saturday, the fifth of October, Two Thousand Twenty-Three at two o’clock in the afternoon”
5. Ceremony Location
Clearly state the location of the ceremony, including the name of the LDS temple:
– “Salt Lake City Utah Temple”
6. Reception Information (Optional)
If a reception is planned, include a separate card with details on the reception venue, time, and any other relevant information.
Addressing LDS Wedding Invitations
Properly addressing your LDS wedding invitations is a crucial aspect of etiquette. Here are some guidelines:
1. Full Names
Address the envelope using the full names of the recipients, including titles such as Mr., Mrs., or Dr.
2. Include Titles
Include any titles or religious honorifics as appropriate, such as Bishop, Elder, or Sister.
3. Use Last Names
Use the last names of married couples, even if you know them well. For unmarried individuals, use their full names.
4. Addressing Married Couples
For married couples, you can address the invitation as follows:
– “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith”
5. Addressing Families
If inviting an entire family, you can address the invitation to the parents with “and family” or list each family member individually.
6. Envelope Appearance
Maintain a formal appearance for the envelope, using traditional fonts and proper formatting.
Mailing LDS Wedding Invitations
When it comes to mailing your LDS wedding invitations, it’s essential to follow postage and etiquette guidelines:
Ensure that your invitation envelopes have the correct postage. Square or oversized invitations may require additional postage.
2. Handwritten Addresses
Handwrite the addresses on the envelopes, as this adds a personal touch and is considered more respectful.
3. Send Invitations Together
If you’re sending invitations to different members of the same family or household, it’s proper etiquette to send them together in one envelope.
4. International Guests
If you have international guests, send invitations well in advance to allow for longer delivery times and potential delays.
Special Considerations for LDS Weddings
LDS weddings often have unique customs and considerations. Here are some additional guidelines:
1. Temple Recommend Holders
Since LDS temple weddings are restricted to temple recommend holders, be sure to send invitations only to those who have a valid recommend.
If you want to share your joy with friends and family who cannot attend the temple ceremony, consider sending announcements after the wedding.
3. Informal Gatherings
It’s common for LDS couples to host informal gatherings or receptions for friends and family who were not able to attend the temple sealing.
4. Dress Code
Specify the dress code if your reception has one. For example, you might request that guests wear Sunday best or modest attire.
RSVPs and Guest Responses
When guests receive your invitation, they should promptly respond with an RSVP to help with your planning. Here are some RSVP etiquette guidelines:
1. Include a Self-Addressed, Stamped Envelope
Make it easy for guests to reply by including a self-addressed, stamped envelope with the RSVP card.
2. Respond Timely
Guests should respond as soon as possible, indicating whether they will attend or not. This helps you finalize your plans.
3. Clarify Unavailability
If guests are unable to attend, they can respond with a polite note to express their regrets.
LDS wedding invitation etiquette is rooted in respect, reverence, and tradition. Following these guidelines ensures that your wedding invitations convey the sacredness of the occasion while providing guests with clear information about the event.
By carefully wording, addressing, and mailing your invitations, you set the tone for a beautiful and meaningful LDS wedding. Remember that etiquette serves as a guide to help you navigate this important milestone with grace and consideration for all involved.