Some people love attending weddings—free food, dancing, friends, and family all coming together. Others, not so much. Regardless of how you feel about them, you’re bound to get invited to a wedding every now and then. … read more
The invitation just came in the mail. Your roommate from college is marrying her girlfriend after so many years! Being invited to a wedding is always an exciting experience, but many people worry about proper etiquette—what could perceived as offensive at weddings between queer couples? … read more
I nominate Mrs. Filly’s post on how to write a thank you note because I always get writer’s block when it comes to thank yous. Her step-by-step breakdown made it so easy.
~ Mrs. Squid
If you read nothing else in this post, read this: GET YOUR THANK YOU NOTES DONE IN A TIMELY MANNER. Considering the time and money your guests put into attending your wedding/pre-wedding events, it’s the least you can do.
For the past month or so, wedding gifts have been showing up at my door almost every day. It’s like grown-up Christmas! Of course, to paraphrase Spiderman, with great gifts comes great responsibility…in the form of thank you notes.
I’m lucky in that my parents drilled the art of thank you notes into my head from a very early age. Christmas, birthdays, graduations, whatever—if I received a gift, I was expected to turn around a thank you note in short order. I’ve had a lot of practice over the years, so fortunately, it comes pretty easily to me.
For all the stressing people do over thank you notes, they are actually really simple. The anatomy of a good thank you note is as follows:
Before I completely drop the invitation coverage—seriously, too many posts!—I wanted to address the issue of addressing.
Addressing our invited guests on the envelopes, that is.
But first, a disclaimer: Invitation etiquette rules exist for a reason, and I do not want to minimize them. But I do believe every couple must decide how strictly to follow those rules. We went with our own approach, but I understand why others might decide to stick with tradition. It’s your wedding; do what you feel is best based on your personal beliefs and regional traditions.
Now back to the Puffer wedding. I am a feminist, and proud of it. While I’m taking Mr. Puffer’s name, I never assume other women made the same choice. In fact, a number of my friends have kept their maiden names. I also don’t feel comfortable with using the “Mrs.” title after the wedding ends, and I never refer to a married woman of my generation as anything other than “Ms.”
Everyone’s heard the story of someone who brought their entire extended family to a wedding. Or the guest who assumed their five children were invited, or the one who brought some guy she met the night before.
We had no such extras, but I did find the case of the plus-ones to be so interesting. For everyone’s wedding.
I know there are those who think you really should know the bride & groom to be invited (or even that you must be living together, engaged, or married) and others who can’t imagine not allowing people to bring a guest. That has nothing to do with this post (and brings out a lot of strong feelings, so I’ll stay away!).
Our policy was pretty simple: you can bring a plus one.
I’m certain that our invitations violate this or that etiquette rule, and I’m certain there’s probably a few mistakes in the translation. My fiancé only knows “home” Spanish, so crafting an industry specific, 100% etiquette-conscious invitation was just never in the cards for us. Still, we can only hope that Mr. B-Cat’s family will appreciate the effort we took.
In a way, accepting our invitations (and whatever their flaws are) is kind of like getting married. There are some things that will not be perfect, but as long as the essentials are in place, we’re gonna end up hitched.
Read our finalized invitation language below, and read on to see exactly why we made some particular decisions about wording it this way.
Ingrid and Juan
Invite you to their wedding for
a whimsical, intimate celebration of love
“’Til death do us part”
Saturday October 31st
Two thousand and fifteen
at five in the afternoon
Villa Marianna, Jekyll Island, GA
Formal attire requested, whimsy optional
A friend recently asked me how in the world I’ve managed to keep our guest list so small. And while I can’t say that our invite list hasn’t grown from what we originally imagined, I am proud of the fact that I’ve been able to keep our intimate wedding from spiraling out of control. Not that I’m saying our wedding is somehow this incredible event with folks clamoring to come—I’m just sending our invites out in the next few weeks so now’s probably a great time to explain how we managed to “keep it tight” as my friends would say.
Image: Knocked Up (2007)
There are a million and one good reasons to have a small wedding if you want one. Having a wedding at all and not some crazy elopement overseas was a compromise for us to begin with—so there was no sense in losing all touch with our desires by allowing ourselves to feel forced to throw a giant wedding. As a couple of introverts with few but very personally meaningful social connections, a small wedding just made sense.
We have been so lucky throughout the planning process to have several celebrations given in our honor: an engagement party thrown by Mr. Tractor’s parents, a mini shower given by my friends, and most recently, a bridal shower hosted by my parents. We are so thankful to our generous hosts for all the time and effort that has gone into planning these celebrations, as well as to all of our friends and family who have gone out of their way to attend and bring thoughtful gifts. As I mentioned many posts ago, the outpouring of love we have felt from our friends and family during our engagement was unexpected but so, so special to us.
Shortly after we had our engagement photos taken, we designed and ordered thank you cards in several designs. We have kept these on hand throughout our engagement to write and send out whenever a generous gift arrives or someone does something extra special for us.
Like our save the dates, we had these cards printed through Vistaprint (using a coupon, of course!). We chose three different designs for several reasons: if someone was extra generous and attended more than one event, we didn’t want to send them the same card twice. Also, we love all of our engagement photos so much, we couldn’t choose just one!
We’re getting ready to order our invitations, so it’s time to finalize our guest list! I thought we were done after sending out save the dates, but I was wrong—in the past few months, we’ve heard that some people will definitely be coming, a handful will not be able to make it, and my parents have added some new guests to the list. Thankfully, the changes don’t bring us anywhere near the size of Miss Filly’s magically expanding guest list, but they have sparked a new conversation topic: should we have a B list?
I know, I know—B lists are awful, terrible things that should never be mentioned and definitely never be used. When you start ranking your guests, you run the risk of people feeling like they’re just a placeholder or they’re not as important as other guests. I wouldn’t want to make anyone feel that way, especially someone who I truly wanted with me on my wedding day! But B lists can be tempting. They make it possible to invite all the family and friends you couldn’t originally squeeze into your venue and budget. If you’re a bride who feels bad excluding others, B lists are a great way for you to work those people back in.
If that circle had a B list, this kid would totally be on it. / Image via Breadwinning Mama
My mom, on the other hand, would probably be fine with a last-minute invitation from a friend, especially if it was her friend’s child getting married. She’s happy to go and support the couple when she can, even if that means just going to the ceremony. (Basically, she takes things a lot less personally than I do!) I think most of her friends feel similarly, so when my mom asked if she could invite other people once the original guest list said no, I wasn’t sure what to do.
I spent a lot of time thinking about our options. Is a B list really that bad if no one ever finds out about it and you’re genuinely inviting people you want to have there (instead of inviting them to meet a minimum or to get a gift)? I honestly think that a B list can be done well and can sometimes be useful. Of course, you can always choose a larger venue or have a less expensive wedding and use that money to invite more guests the first time around.