Wedding invitation wording during covid-19 *

Wedding invitation wording during covid-19 *

“Love is patient but we aren’t” email invitation from Greenvelope

Hi Offbeat Bride! I’m getting married to my partner at the end of May 2021. We are hopeful that we will be able to have some sort of reception in may, but we’re also realistic about a possible “3rd wave” of covid-19. It’s just pretty impossible to predict. Will we be able to invite 4 people, 20, 50 ? If any?!

I would love to hear some ideas on wording a “you may or may not, possibly, be invited to our wedding, but we would like you to save the date, for now”-invitation.

Dear Pandemic Planners,

Navigating this new terrain of pandemic wedding planning is certainly no easy feat, raising plenty of new questions around age-old etiquette. Historically, sending a save-the-date card guaranteed that the recipient would also receive the formal invitation.

However, as 2020 weddings showed us, flexibility is paramount, and making sure that you have an open line of communication with your partner, your family, your vendors, and of course, your guests, is imperative to reducing your stress and making sure everyone is in-the-know.

With all that said, how can you make sure you are openly communicating with guests about your potential celebration, while centering respect and empathy? How the heck are you supposed to handle wedding invitation wording during covid-19?

Pandemic or no-pandemic, no one wants to feel like they are on the D-list and the first to get cut from your guest list, nor that they got invited as a backup once you received your first round of RSVPs. To navigate this tricky situation, we offer a few pieces of advice and some examples:

Invitation design courtesy of Greenvelope
  1. Avoid phrases that will confuse guests
    Regardless of what the subtext is or what you really mean, anything that says “save the date” or “you’re invited” or “please join us” is going to get an immediate reaction from guests of “I’m being invited to a wedding.” But in this instance, you don’t know the details of the day. So, to avoid putting your guests through a rollercoaster of emotions or confusion, lead with more subtlety and clarity than the common “big statement” wedding invitations.
  2. Set Expectations for Communication
    Understandably, you want people to know about your wedding date, yet the specifics are undetermined. Say that clearly and right away, and let them know when they should expect to know more. Using online invitations that offer built-in messaging will make it easy to send follow-ups or subsequent mailings to guests. While you of course want to celebrate this momentous occasion with all of your loved ones (and they want to be there with you!) it’s important to realize we all have hectic lives (particularly right now). With that in mind, you don’t want to ask people to save the date indefinitely or start planning travel if at the end of the day they won’t be able to attend. This brings us to our third and final point:
  3. Be Understanding and Empathetic
    While you want to be clear and honest, you also need to approach this with empathy and love. You can even give people the option with your initial message to opt into a virtual livestream or to let you know up front they’ll be unable to attend. With digital services like Greenvelope, you can easily include a survey asking such preferences, that may help shape your future communications and plans. And keep in mind that in addition to local health and safety restrictions, every person has their own willingness to socialize right now, and we all deserve to have those boundaries respected. Remember that you’re all in this together and offer the love and support that you hope to receive in return.
These online invitation designs are from Greenvelope

Now that we’ve set a few simple tips to help you navigate, here are some examples of wedding invitation wording during covid-19 that you can use and edit to fit your situation!

We’re getting hitched!

Carlos and Ijeoma are getting married on May 20th, 2021.

With unknown health and safety precautions, we are tentative but hopeful that we will be able to celebrate our marriage in-person. We will continue to update you as the date is closer.

Email wedding invitation design from Greenvelope

Marlee and Tim are getting married

September 2nd, 2021

While we are uncertain what our wedding day will look like, we are hopeful that we will find a way to celebrate with our loved ones, whether in-person or online. Please keep up-to-date at our wedding website here.

If you know you will be unable to attend, please feel free to let us know at your earliest convenience.

Love is Patient

We’ve set the date to say “I do,” but our plans are still uncertain. We will be getting married on May 22, 2021, but what the celebration will entail will be determined by local guidelines. We hope you can join us either in-person or virtually, so please save the date and we will follow-up as we have more information.

Not even a pandemic can stop the wedding of Jen and Alex

Jen and Alex are getting married June 15th, 2021, and COVID-restrictions allowing, hope that you’ll be able to join them. While our plans are currently tentative, we will be in touch with details as they arise.

Shania Malone and Jackson Carter are getting married.

While we cannot wait until the moment where we can have the large celebration we dreamed of, we simply did not want to wait to begin our lives together and thus have formally set our date for September 17th, 2021.

However, due to ever-changing COVID restrictions and wanting to ensure the health and safety of all of our guests, vendors, and community members, we are uncertain what this year’s celebration will look like.

Whether from near or far we cannot wait to share this special moment with our loved ones. Please respond to the attached survey if you know whether you will or will not be able to attend to help us plan accordingly. We love you all so much, and we so appreciate your understanding during this time.

As always, you’ll need to adapt these wedding invitation samples to fit the specifics of your situation. Heck, even if you’re not looking for wedding invitation wording during covid-19, it can be helpful to have examples of wording to use when your date is unclear… whatever the reason may be! For some of us that could be military deployment, for others it might be health issues. The idea is just to be articulate and clear with your guests.

Wedding invitation wording during covid-19 *

Covid turned my hallowedding into an elopement *

All photos by Manda Marie Photo

If you’re into wands, Deathly Hallows, thestrals, ghosting, invisible antics, magic potions… you’ll definitely want to check out these photos from Shannon and Andrew’s Hallowedding elopement.

As Shannon explains:

Being a 2020 bride was NO JOKE! After painstakingly planning my dream Hallowedding to take place on my favorite day of the year with all our friends and family, Covid had other plans.

But, luckily, with some quick planning, the best photographer, and finding a perfect location, my now-husband and I were able to realize our vision… we had an absolutely magical elopement at the Magnolia Plantation B&B in Gainesville, FL.

Wait until you see how this hallowedding elopement turned out…


Shannon and Andrew’s small ceremony was surrounded by magic… which could in no way have been accomplished so thoroughly on a normal wedding day’s schedule.

The Addams-Family-like Magnolia Plantation Bed and Breakfast in Gainesville, FL was the perfect haunting ground for their ceremony and magic elopement with so much variety between fountains, gardens and hedgerows, to bridges and historic buildings.

Shannon’s tulle bridal cape is an Imágemária original designed according to her Maleficent / Deathly Hallows inspired style (now available and customizable on Etsy).

And here’s a first! They got to read spells from their Spellbook Album, which was a prop for this occasion, but will soon become their actual wedding album. Very much looking forward to storing all their Horcruxes.

As Shannon said, “As much as the stress of the year was rough, I am so glad things turned out the way they did… and I am now a WIFE!”

For more magic with these two, check out their magic engagement session at the Wizarding World!

Wedding invitation wording during covid-19 *

Planning a wedding during plague time *

Aww, nothing says I love you like these matching plague doctor masks from Etsy seller Higgins Creek

When I first started planning my wedding in 2019, I never imagined I’d be asking vendors about their policy regarding plagues and the end of known civilization; I didn’t think I’d have to put on a facemask or gloves just to conduct a simple interview. Someone forgot to mention those possibilities in my trusty wedding planner.

Now as I go through my checklists, I have to wonder if I’m planning a wedding or preparing for the zombie apocalypse.

Not wanting to compound my stress (too late), I realized we needed a plan if anyone wanted a chance of coming through this sane (especially me). I rolled up my sleeves, chucked the now-useless planner, and my fiance’ and I got to work on wedding planning: plague-style.

First, we realized we needed a Plan B…and a Plan C, D, E, F, all the way through Z, just in case

No way were we taking any chances on a microscopic bug without a brain. We spoke with our parents, looked over the signed contracts we already had (lucky for us we read the fine print in the first place), and we realized we were on the hook for our venue, regardless.

That meant SOMETHING was happening — with or without guests — and we decided it’d be the wedding. We were okay if only family attended the ceremony, and the beach house was big enough to meet social distancing standards. By now, everyone has collections of masks, and if the pictures featured them, so be it.

Briefly, I considered switching up the theme to zombies, but since we’d already purchased snowflakes, comic book Pop! figurines, and unicorns, I decided the original theme would have to stand. Somehow, trying to pull off a happily ever after zombie just didn’t fly.

Second, we needed to have firm discussions with everyone from here on out regarding the possibility of additional quarantines

Could we still get our cake? (Cake would be eaten — we knew that wasn’t a problem) When was the last possible moment to cancel our rentals? What measures would be taken by staff to sanitize everything? Would our officiant still attend? (Six feet apart wasn’t a problem)

We made a list of plague questions, and people laughed with us, but they also provided answers.

This possibility was a new consideration, and while contracts weren’t ready to include the apocalypse as part of the boilerplate, wheels were turning.

Third, we turned to small businesses as much as humanly possible

This was just to help them out, but from a practical standpoint. Origami flowers from Etsy made more sense than trying to hassle florists that might not be able to get in stock. My shoes were handmade (Etsy again) versus trying to wait out stores opening.

My dress was already being handmade by a friend, and the internet abounded with fabric options and sellers only too happy to send swatches for us to examine before purchase. I didn’t need to hit a bridal store or stand in line with other brides waiting for their gowns and fittings.

Fourth, we adjusted our invitations

While my sister had declared she was getting on a plane even if she was the only one aboard, we knew not everyone would feel comfortable, especially if predictions came to pass. We didn’t want anyone pressured or to feel bad for opting to sit things out in favor of their health.

We offered the alternative of watching the ceremony via Zoom. It wasn’t going to be a problem to orchestrate – after all, my brother and his family were already going to attend via Zoom since they were stationed in Japan.

We wouldn’t alienate anyone on the guest list, and we’d still allow them to participate — just without the cake (we had to draw the line somewhere, and I wasn’t shipping cupcakes across the country).

Fifth, I told myself to laugh

Of course, OF COURSE, this was happening. If I hadn’t decided to get married this year, everything would have been fine. Just like Los Angeles wouldn’t have seen record rainfall ten years ago, except my sister decided to get married. Laughing was way better than crying, and it eased the stress. Besides, we’d already agreed the wedding was going to happen, and my fiance’ was still marrying me – COVID-19 quarantine, crazy wedding planning, and all.

Maybe it isn’t a “normal” wedding planning process, but the wedding itself was never going to be normal, anyway. With the rest of the world changing its definition of normal, I decided I was okay accepting this adjustment with the rest.

Besides, it is a lot of fun to prop up my chin, look a vendor in the eyes over our masks, and ask, “So, what’s your policy for plagues?”

Wedding invitation wording during covid-19 *

Can I call it a “wedding” if we’re already legally married? *

Be blown away by this amazing DIY urban flavor and vintage frills wedding
Photo by Gaby Esensten Photography from this amazing DIY urban flavor and vintage frills wedding

Thanks to Covid, there are lots of us this year who got legally married without having weddings. Next year, lots of us want to have “weddings,” but some etiquette tells us we’re not allowed to call them that.

I wonder where the hesitation to call a wedding ceremony a wedding ceremony comes from. Because, generally, a celebration of marriage is called a wedding. Yet, etiquette everywhere tells couples that if they legally wed first that it’s a huge faux pas to have a “wedding” after they’ve legally wed.

Etiquette they can be called “vow renewals” but those shouldn’t occur until closer to ten years or after someone breaches the vows. Etiquette says that those “brides” are not “brides” and should not wear white. Etiquette says it’s tacky and all about a gift grab. Most of us know Offbeat Bride’s stance on the idea of anything being tacky

…But still. Do we perpetuate this attitude when we hesitate to call our wedding celebrations “weddings”?

My husband and I eloped to reduce the chances of exposing our families and friends to COVID-19. Next summer, we are planning a wedding celebration with family and friends. Some folks call this “getting weddinged,” but can’t we just call it a wedding?

How I’m wording my invitations

I’ve struggled a lot with wedding invitation wording so as not to pretend to something that isn’t true. My save-the-date cards just say “Save the Date” and our names – including our shared last name. I agonized over invitation wording, I probably have a dozen different versions floating out there on the internet.

Then I found the perfect wedding invitation with wording that was just right. I’m inviting people to our “wedding celebration.”

That’s exactly what we’re having.

It’s a celebration of our marriage… and those are usually called weddings, so that’s what I decided to go with.

What I’ve learned

I realized through the process that I am not responsible for the way others feel about what I choose to call this day.

I’m not responsible if they feel it is a farce and they are welcome to not attend if that is how they do feel.

I am not responsible if they feel tricked because when we pledge our love in front of family and friends we don’t also sign a piece of paper.

I AM responsible for enjoying the day and celebration with my husband and our loved ones. It may be a year after we first said I do, but this is still our wedding celebration and we’re going to rock it.

It isn’t about rubbing it in people’s faces or pretending we aren’t married so they aren’t upset – it’s about celebrating our love and marriage with the people who love and support us.

This Candlelit Toronto Wedding at Airship 37 is Dreamy *

This Candlelit Toronto Wedding at Airship 37 is Dreamy *

Julianne and Sean’s candlelit Toronto wedding at Airship 37 is impossibly dreamy in every way! Since the couple got married in January, they knew the natural light would be gone by the time of our ceremony. Along with their expert planner, Shannon Bellisle, they got remarkably creative and imagined an intimate ceremony that was simple and made an impact. We think they totally pulled it off—and more! From Julianne, “Filling the space with candles brought a glow to the room that elevated the intimacy. This feeling was carried through with the room flip making our wedding reception feel like one big dinner party with our family and friends.” Babes, let this be your permission to think outside-the-box and do something totally unique for your day! If you’ve been dreaming of a totally romantic day, we can’t wait for you to see everything from the florals Hunt and Gather Floral created to the bride’s lovely BHLDN gown, all captured with beauty by Scarlet O’Neill.

The Couple:

Julianne & Sean

The Wedding:

Airship 37, Toronto, Canada

I wanted my look to be natural and simple and I really just wanted to look like me! I chose a dress that was simple and that I would feel comfortable wearing throughout the night. My makeup artist nailed the natural look, and I chose a lipstick that I wear often in real life to complement some of the other colors we used.

Our photographer was amazing. She kept the mood light and kept us laughing all afternoon and evening. She knew all of the best places for photos at the historic hotel we stayed at. My favorite photo is one of the first look photos that our photographer took. There is a picture of me holding my bouquet and looking at Sean laughing – a picture that coincidentally looks exactly like a picture from my parents wedding. My mother passed away when I was young so this is a really special photo for me.

The most memorable part of the day was being able to see the ceremony room together before any guests were allowed into the room. We saw everything we had planned come together perfectly and it felt like our own little secret for those few minutes before everything kicked off.

My biggest piece of advice would be to bring on a coordinator to help pull all of the pieces together for you. I don’t know what I would’ve done without Shannon – from our countless calls before the wedding to our detailed itinerary keeping all of our vendors organized so that we could just spent that time together with our family and friends. She was truly a life saver!

Airship 37 was perfect because we were looking for a venue that had a cozy winter wedding vibe and one that would allow us to have lots of candles to create that romantic atmosphere.

The Wedding Team:

Photography – Scarlet O’Neill
Event Planning, Invitation Design – Shannon Bellisle
Venue – Airship 37
Floral Design – Hunt and Gather Floral
Live Music – Ashbury Association
Makeup Artist – Eryn Shannon
Wedding Dress – BHLDN
Bridal Accessories – Anice Jewelry

 

Congratulations, Julianne and Sean, and many thanks to Junebug member Shannon Bellisle for sharing their day with us! For more of Shannon’s work, be sure to visit her page in our directory of the world’s best wedding planners.

 

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