Most couples want their wedding to be perfect, down the very last detail. They spend hours agonizing over cake flavors, floral arrangements, and a whole lot more. But stationery is one wedding element that some couples seem to rush—and it happens to be very important.
It can be very easy for couples to simply write up their wedding day info and send it to the printer without a second look. However, proper spelling and grammar are essential for all your wedding stationery! It’s always best to look again for typos, incorrect information, and common grammar mistakes—like the ones below!
Most people spend a lot of time in school learning the different meanings of various homophones. By the time we reach adulthood, we should know the difference between “there,” “their,” and “they’re” or “your” and “you’re.” However, our lightning-fast fingers on the keyboard (and the fact that Microsoft Word reads all those words as correct) can often lead to an embarrassing mistake.
When you’re designing your wedding invitation (see what I did there?), it’s important that you double- and triple-check your use of the commonly-swapped words. Also, pay attention to words that are less common in everyday language, but very common on wedding invites; requesting the honor of your guests’ “presence” and “presents” are two very different things!
The phrase RSVP is such a common part of our vernacular that most people don’t actually know what it stands for anymore (the way the LOL will just be a word in our grandchildren’s day—count on it). RSVP is actually an acronym that stands for “répondez, s’il vous plaît,” or “please reply” in French.
What does this lesson in French phraseology have to do with your wedding invitations? Well, when you write “Please RSVP by [insert date here],” you’re actually being a bit redundant, saying “Please please reply.” Technically, this mistake won’t bother anyone except the nitpicky grammar nerds like me, but if using correct grammar is important to you, leave out the “please.”
Wanna know a secret? I have been writing blogs for wedding industry professionals for nearly five years now, and I still cannot spell “boutonnière.” It’s my kryptonite—sometimes I get the spelling so wrong that neither spell check nor Grammarly can figure out what I’m saying!
There are some words that just don’t click in our brains, no matter how many times we write them or say them aloud. Maybe yours is “vinaigrette,” or maybe it’s “hors d’oeuvres.” If any word trips you up (even the tiniest bit), I advise you to take to the internet and double-check your spelling (like I did with “boutonnière” a second ago). Trust me, spending a few minutes to Google a word is much better than presenting a menu with a mistake.
The Wedding Date
An invitation is one of the only places you will ever see the wedding date written out in words instead of numbers. I understand why people do this: it looks fancy and it doesn’t break up the uniformity of your invite font with numbers. If you’re going to spell out the year, however, it’s important to do so correctly.
People typically make one or two common mistakes (sometimes both) when writing a date. The first mistake is adding the word “and” in the middle of the year. While this might be how some people say the year aloud, it’s technically incorrect. Instead of writing “two thousand and nineteen,” stick with “two thousand nineteen.” The second mistake is adding hyphens, commas, or any other kind of punctuation in the midst of this phrase. It’s “two thousand,” not “two-thousand,” and there’s no need for any additional punctuation.
Your Married Name
OK, here is another grammar mistake that really gets my hackles up, but may not bother anyone else. When it’s time to send out your thank you cards, you’ll probably want to sign them with your new married name, like you will in Christmas cards for years to come. However, it is essential (at least to me) that you write out your pluralized last name correctly (please, I beg you).
What is a “correct” pluralized surname? Well, that depends on what your name is to start. For example, let’s say your last name is “Johnson.” You simply add an “s”—Johnsons—easy peasy. But if your last name ends with an s, like Jones (or my married name, which is Simmons), things get tricky. Some people add an apostrophe (wrong) or just write “Jones” (not quite); in actuality, a pluralized last name that ends in s needs an additional “es”: Joneses. However, if you can’t stand that (for example, my husband hates the look of “Simmonses”), bypass the whole issue by writing “The [last name here] Family.”
Keep these tips in mind as you create your wedding stationery, and you’ll have invitations, programs, menus, and thank you cards that even the toughest English teacher would adore. Just remember to proofread!