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Invitation Etiquette for your Gay & Lesbian Wedding by Hilary Markoe, contributing writer Every couple who considers marriage has certain challenges to overcome but there are many insights and professional planning tips that are available to help make the process a little easier. First, Plan Ahead. When you’re selecting a location, caterer, florist, attire, and of course invitations, decide what the tone of the ceremony will be: Formal, informal, outdoor, family-only, etc. Keep in mind that the first contact your family and friends may have about the Big Day is the invitation. With a multitude of invitation selections to pick from, it can be a daunting task to narrow your choices. However, there are many ways to incorporate your event theme into the design. Remember that color, style and paper should match the overall theme for your wedding plans. Your guests will take their cue not only from the design, but also from the wording of your invitations, for decorum and attire. Gay and lesbian weddings, civil unions and commitment ceremonies are becoming more commonplace; however, the semantics of the invitation can be a point of uncertainty for many couples. As a general rule, following standard wedding etiquette will suffice. An example of the traditional wedding invitation is as follows:

Elizabeth Marie Corbett and Melissa Shannon Wright request the honor of your company at their marriage Saturday, the tenth of July Two Thousand and Eleven half after four in the afternoon North Chapel, Kansas City, Missouri

Numbers, such as the time, street address and year, are traditionally spelled out on the invitation. The “half after four” can be substituted with “four-thirty” or for whole hours, the number should be followed by

the word “o’clock” as in “four o’clock.” No punctuation should be present on the invitation, nor should there be any capitalization with the exception of proper nouns and the first “t” in the line denoting the year of the event. For others, who decide not to hold their ceremony in a place of worship, the wording will vary:

Elizabeth Marie Corbett and Melissa Shannon Wright request the pleasure of your company as they join in loving union Saturday, the tenth of July Two Thousand and Eleven half after four in the afternoon at their home, thirty-six Waldorf Drive Kansas City, Missouri Note the change in the line from “request the honor of your company” to “request the pleasure of your company.” The “honor of your company” is usually reserved for houses of worship, whereas the “pleasure of your company” can be used for any location. The above wording samples are typical formal invitations. Many couples today prefer to write their own verse to make their invitation even more personal. Others choose to use more lighthearted and informal wording to reflect their own personalities. Enjoy this opportunity to set the tone for Your Day!

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Vol. 6 Issue 1 2011 LGBT Planning Resource Guide 11

The 2011 LGBT Wedding Planning Guide (Vol. 6, Is. 1)  

An expanded issue of the nation's first Gay and Lesbian Wedding Magazine. This issue features the latest tips and trends for 2011 along wit...

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