In the wake of November’s historic Yes vote on gay marriage, the sound of wedding bells is in the air for LGBT couples across Australia. Once you and your partner are finished sorting out the guest list, it will soon be time to let all your friends and family know about your forthcoming nuptials. While phone calls and social media announcements might serve that purpose, the best way to set the tone, and create anticipation for your big occasion is with a thoughtful, well-designed wedding invitation.
That’s easier said than done however; even though invitations are ultimately only a minor part of your wedding; they serve as a guest’s first impression of the upcoming event. So you have to ensure everything from content, to aesthetics and packaging reflects the kind of wedding, guests should expect.
What to Write?
To start off with you need to figure out who’s hosting the event. Is it one or both sets of parents, or is it just you and your partner doing the planning and budgeting?
Traditionally these hosts are named first at the very top of the invitation; think “Mr and Mrs Xxxy cordially invite you to the wedding of...” If you feel like taking things in a more modern direction you might opt to go with just the first names of the couple, e.g. “Carol and Elizabeth invite you to their wedding”. If you’re planning for a smaller, less formal ceremony, you might even signify this by using commonly used nicknames for you and your partner instead.
Although gay marriage is only becoming legal in Australia now, many LGBT couples in the country have been together for years beforehand. You might want to acknowledge your history and the greater context surrounding the wedding with a few short sentences detailing the strength of the relationship that got you to this point.
Once you’ve got the messaging out of the way; there are a few key details you need to make sure to include, such as:
The time the actual ceremony begins (guests will start to arrive about 10 minutes before this, so be sure to account for any delays); as well as the time of the reception.
The full street address and city. If you’re inviting a lot of out-of-towners or you’re planning a destination wedding, then you’ll want to include precise destinations and perhaps even a basic map on a separate card.
The dress code (make sure you warn guests in advance about the likely weather conditions).
Any necessary information about accommodation and transportation that you’ve arranged.
How Should It Look?
Remember that the style of your invitation will give guests their first hint of what to expect at your wedding. If you’re aiming for a black-tie affair then your invitation needs to be similarly elegant, a beachside affair probably calls for a more laid-back design, while an invitation to a small, backyard ceremony can be more quirky and personal. In addition the theme of your invitation should ideally match any other wedding stationery provided; including the menu, RSVP card, and wedding program.
While we’re sure there will be no shortage of rainbows and glitter on LGBT invites that go out this year; your particular design should also show off your personality as a couple. For artsy types, bold colours and illustrations are very fitting while traditionalists should opt for minimal designs with pastel colours and flowery accents.