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Archive for the ‘Etiquette’ Category

Is A.M. or P.M. Capitalized on an Invitation?

Saturday, March 12th, 2016

Spring Buds Floral Party InvitationsWhen it comes to invitations, it seems anything goes, but there are still some rules that should be followed.

To write the time of day, it is recommended to write the time followed by a.m. or p.m. in lower case with a period after each letter, such as 12:30 p.m. There should always be a space between a.m. or p.m. and the time.

The “a.m.” means Ante Meridiem – before noon – and “p.m.” means Post Meridiem – after noon.

Although you will find some books that tell you to capitalize the A.M. or P.M., doing so on an invitation is usually too overpowering to the rest of your text.

When it comes to writing “noon” – 12:00 p.m., or “midnight” – 12:00 a.m., you can use “twelve noon” or “twelve midnight.”

On formal invitations, dates and times are always spelled out:

Saturday, the first of April

   – using “on” before the date is optional, but do not capitalize the “o”

   – do not capitalize the date when spelled out, “first,” “second,”

at six o’clock

   – using “at” before the date is optional, do not capitalize the “a” or any other letters

   – adding phrases for time of day is optional, but no letters are capitalized

      “in the evening” applies to 6:00 p.m. and after

      “in the afternoon” applies to after noon and before 6:00 p.m.

      “in the morning” applies to after midnight and before noon

Two thousand and twenty-five

   – the listing of the year is optional but is usually included on wedding invitations

   – only the first letter of the first word is capitalized as in the “Two” of the year


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Can you Have a Bridal Shower if you Plan to Elope?

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

Wedding ElopementA customer recently asked us if it was proper to have a bridal shower if they were planning to elope. The definition of “elope” is “to run off secretly to be married, usually without the consent or knowledge of one’s parents.”

So, in the true sense of the word, if you are running off to secretly get married, it would not be proper to have any type of shower before doing so.

As far as bridal showers go, etiquette states  you should not invite people to wedding showers who are not also invited to the wedding itself. (You don’t have to invite every wedding guest to a shower.)

For clarification, we’re only discussing secret elopements here — not destination weddings — they have their own set of “etiquette rules” to follow.

If you elope, a better choice would be to mail friends and family a printed elopement announcement stating you have eloped and include some fun details such as the date and where you were married. It’s nice to add any change of address of where you are now both residing since your marriage.

Along with this information, you could invite guests to a reception or party to celebrate your marriage that would be scheduled for some time after you’ve returned. This can be a simple cake and punch affair, a backyard barbecue or a full blown wedding reception, but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. The idea is to celebrate and mingle with people you care about.

But back to the real question — gifts. Will people send you gifts after they receive your announcement or attend a celebration reception after the fact? Honestly, some will and some won’t.

If you choose to register for gifts, do NOT put any registry information on your elopement announcement or reception invitation. It implies you are more interested in getting gifts than celebrating the occasion with your guests (even if that’s true, it’s tacky, so leave it off.)

So how will people know what to give you or what you need or where you’re registered? Make sure your immediate family or best friend that might be asked, know where you are registered. If people call and ask where you’re registered, they can be told at that time. If you mail reception invitations, you can tell people when they reply by phone or by email if they ask. Just as it is not acceptable to include registry information on a printed announcement or invitation, it is also not okay to automatically tell everyone who calls where you’re registered UNLESS they specifically ask you for the information. If you’ve created a wedding website, it is okay to list your registry information there.

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13 Things to NEVER Put on an Invitation

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

13 Things that should never be on a Party Invitation by

With today’s “anything goes” attitudes, there are still some traditional rules that should be followed.  This is especially true when creating party invitations for any occasion.

Here are 13 things that should NEVER be on party invitations:

1.  Tense:  Invitations are always versed in third person.  Use “Anderson Marketing invites you to their annual barbecue…”, “at their house…” Never use “our,” “mine” or first person.

2.  Punctuation:  Invitations use line breaks or blank space between paragraphs to act as punctuation and periods are never used.  Exception is when using a poem, quote or saying. Be sure to go lightly with the commas, exclamation points and when in doubt, leave it out.

3. Capitalization:  Never use capital letters for the first letter of each and every word on an invitation.  Save the capitals for the beginning of a section or the first word of each line, proper names and other words that are normally capitalized. Use a bold or a larger font for emphasis, not all caps.

4. Abbreviations: Always spell out Street, Road, Apartment and names of States. The state is not required if all your guests are local or the state is  obvious with cities like Chicago, Atlanta, New York. Numbers 1-9 should always be spelled out such as “Two Park Place.”

5.  Time:  The word “o’clock” is never capitalized. It is also never used after a time that is not a whole hour.  Use five o’clock, not 5:30 o’clock. When using anything but whole hours, use uncapitalized a.m. or p.m. (with periods). If you add “in the morning” that applies from 12:01 a.m. until noon; “in the afternoon” from noon until six p.m.; and six p.m. and after “in the evening.”

6. Registry/Gifts: Never indicate that money is preferred over gifts. Never include any gift registry information.  This information should be relayed when guests call to RSVP or by word of mouth from the family if asked. Never state anything about gifts – even “no gifts” as it makes the assumption that gifts are expected.

7.  Meal Choices:  If your party or event requires guests to make meal choices, include this information on a separate insert card, response card  or RSVP card.

8. Directions:  Never include driving directions or maps on the invitation. This information should always be included on a separate card. Do not use photocopied maps. Any maps or directions should be printed in the same style and on the same paper as your invitations when possible.

Red Golf Bag Party Invitations from

9. Zip Codes:  Zip codes are never printed on invitations. They are not necessary to get directions on website mapping services.

10.  Sizes/Measurements:  This information is personal and a bride or guest of honor may not want these stats printed for all to see.  Measurements or clothing sizes should be relayed by word of mouth when guests respond to the party invitations.

11. Children:  Do not use the phrase “no children” or “adults only.” How you address your envelope indicates who is invited and not invited to the party. If children are not listed on the envelope, they are not invited to the party.  When guests RSVP and add names or guests that are not invited, politely tell them or call them right away and explain who is invited.  If you think someone will automatically bring their children, consider calling them and state simply that as much as you would like to accommodate children, you simply don’t have the room to do so.

12. Attire:  Usually your invitations will be an indication of the attire for the party. The fancier the invitation, the fancier the dress. An invitation to a outdoor barbecue has it’s own implied dress code and a wedding invitation with multiple insert cards will obviously be a dressy, if not formal event. If your event is a costume party and costumes are required, this should be included, possibly in a small font on the bottom or as “You’re invited to a Halloween Costume Party…” Check out our Party Dress Codes for ideas on how to dress for all social occasions.

13. Labels:  If at all possible, never use address labels on invitation envelopes. Absolutely NEVER use labels on wedding invitation envelopes for guests or for your return address.  You’ve spent time, attention and money to create perfect invitations and they deserve hand-written addresses on the envelopes. This will make a HUGE impact on your guests when they receive your invitations in the mail.

There is nothing wrong with do-it-yourself invitations, but NEVER send anything that looks homemade.  A laundry list of facts and clip art on copy paper will not impress your guests and your turnout could suffer.  Generally, you will save money by letting the experts — invitation printers and hopefully us — do your invitations. This is our area of expertise and you won’t have to spend time and money experimenting until you get it right.

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Why do Formal Invitations often have a Second Envelope? We’ll Tell You!

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Footman with MailWhen invitations were hand written, the names of guests were written as part of the invitations themselves and hand delivered by a footman.  If the footman didn’t know the home he was to deliver the invitation, detailed directions to the guest’s home were written on the outside envelope. Or, if you didn’t have a footman, invitations were put into envelopes and the address of delivery was written on the front envelope and was delivered by the post.

Households typically contained extended families and when the invitation was delivered, the outer envelope was removed and the household members invited to the event was written on the front of an inner envelope. To prevent snooping, the inner envelope was often sealed by wax so only the invited guests would see the envelope contents.

So, the purpose of two envelopes is that the outer envelope detailed whose household the invitation was going to and directions for delivery and the inner envelope stated who in the household was actually invited to the event.

Party Invitation Dress Codes Explained

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010
Cocktail Party Attire

Cocktail Party Attire

Whether you’re the invitation sender or the invitation recipient, how to dress for a party is an age old question.

If you are sender, how do you visualize your guests as you circulate through your party? Use your imagination to determine the feel of your party, then inform all your guests on the invitation with the appropriate dress code.

Do you envision strict black-tie, black-tie optional, festive attire, casual holiday attire, dress to impress, or anything but blue jeans?  Sometimes the location of your holiday event will help determine dress code, but be specific so your guests will arrive appropriately attired.

If you are the invitation recipient, when in doubt, dress up.  Who doesn’t want to look better than the rest of the party competition? If you’re overdressed, you can always say you are on your way to another party.

It is also fine to ask the host or other guests what is appropriate and acceptable for the event.  Find something you’re comfortable in – are you going to be eating, drinking, dancing? Women, don’t wear something you can’t sit down in whether it’s a too tight ball gown or a too short mini, be comfortable!  If you’re comfortable, you’re going to feel great!

Read “How to Dress for any Party Invitation Occasion

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