Let me begin by describing our wedding invitations, which in my opinion, (the only one that matters around here) were Done Correctly.
- They were engraved on 100 percent cotton paper from Crane's.
- The wording was traditional. Only the bride's mother "requested the honour of your presence," (even though the bride's father was paying) because no hint of divorce is proper on a wedding invitation. The bride was referred to as Poppy Middlename Buxom, groom was referred to as Mr. Stud Middlename Muffin.
- The envelopes were addressed by the future bride herself, not a laser printer or a professional calligrapher.
- The invitations were mailed in two envelopes, the outer with the addressee's full name and address,
- The inner with just the full name.
- The tissues that protected the envelopes from possible ink smears were removed before mailing.
- There was no reply card.
- There was, however, a small card inviting the recipient to the reception.
- How boring! you're thinking. Not at all. I totally bucked tradition, man. The invitations were purchased at Neiman Marcus, not Tiffany's, because the Tiffany's sales associates treated me like a shoplifter until they realized the badly dressed young woman with the shabby raincoat and the big huge tote bag was there on wedding-related business and started kissing my ass a la the Julia Roberts shopping scene in Pretty Woman. But did they fool me? Not at all. And for years I boycotted Tiffanizzle's. Although it was OK if my husband shopped there.
OK, in the invitation I just received:
- The invitations and envelopes were neither thermoprinted nor engraved, but laser printed.
- The envelopes were pre-printed.
- Our address contained not one, but two typos.
- The bride and groom issued the invitation in their own names and added "and their parents," but didn't mention them by name.
- That Stud Muffin I Married and I were referred to my our first names in the body of the invitation, i.e., "Mr. Clueless Clunk and Miss Ima Tackyone cordially invite Stud and Poppy," etc.
- The wording was ... creative.
- There was a reply card.
- The reply card offered a choice of entrées.
- The envelope also contained an invitation to the rehearsal dinner.
- There were two little square notices included to the effect that the bride and groom had registered for gifts at Crate and Barrel and Pottery Barn.
Now, really. When did that nonsense start? My usual reaction to receiving a wedding invitation is to nose around and find out where--if anywhere--the bride registered for gifts. Then I always buy something from the list. I've been a bride who has received a lot of random stuff, even though I registered at three stores, and I remember what it was like to be really, really poor and surrounded by casserole dishes in six different patterns, none of which I picked.
That memory still sears, even 17 years later. So I always get what I know the bride wants. Sometimes, for the right bride, I also get something else. For example, I bought one bride the Wedgwood platter she wanted, but I also got an old leather traveling bar at a rummage sale, cleaned it up, and stocked it with the stuff you need to make Old Fashioneds. Which turned out to be perfect for them, because they took a road trip and went to Nashville for their honeymoon.
See? I admit I'm almost morbidly traditional, but I have no objection to buying people what they want. Lord knows I didn't want the six casserole dishes or the lucite tray, ice bucket, and collins glasses with the cute pattern of shells that some old lady friend of my mother's bought at Ye Olde Gifte Shoppe in Wellesley, Massachusetts, or the lamp shaped like a covered wagon.
But including notices from the stores in your wedding invitation? Why not just fucking take my ATM card and help yourself to the funds?