Traditional Customs vs Modern Ideas.

Submitted by: Myrtle Liew, of Heart to Heart Designs,
Professionally written by Craig Sebastiano for Heart to Heart Designs

Wedding customs and traditions go back centuries and they almost never change while the symbolic meaning does. For example, some Western wedding traditions symbolize the bride leaving her father’s control and becoming part of a new family with her husband. However, the symbolism is lost today because both the bride and groom are considered equal.

Besides the bride and groom, a traditional Western wedding includes a best man, maid of honour, groomsmen, bridesmaids, a flower girl, a ringbearer (usually a young boy), and male ushers. These people are usually close friends or family of the bride and groom.

As for wedding invitations, there is also tradition involved. The third-person is usually used and the wording is also important. Here are some specific rules:

  • An invitation for a ceremony in a house of worship says “Mr. and Mrs. John A. Macdonald request the honour of your presence…”
  • An invitation for a reception says “Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Mackenzie request the pleasure of your company…”
  • Punctuation is never used except after abbreviations, such as “Mr.” and “Mrs.”
  • For half hours, they are written as “half after two o’clock,” not “two-thirty” or “half past two”
  • Numbers are spelled out when dates are used, such as “the twenty-second of October,” although numbers in a street address may use numerals, such as “92 King Street East”
  • “Mr.” is abbreviated, “Junior” can be should you choose to, while “Doctor” is more appropriate when spelled out
  • An invitation to just the ceremony does not need an RSVP
  • On the invitation to the reception, “RSVP” and “The favour of a reply is requested” are both correct
  • Including the year on the invitation was not a tradition, but has become common today. It is correct to spell it out: “Two thousand and six”Should you choose to be less stuffy and formal, there is no need to use the third-person. An invitation can begin with “Please join us and our families as we celebrate our wedding” or “We invite you to join us in celebrating our love.”

    This can be a complicated process, but it’s not as hard as you think. For more wonderful ideas and great samples of custom invitations, be sure to check out

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