Invitations III: Making Them Personal
Of the wedding invitations I have received, they all seemed to follow suit with the couple they were for. For example, my refined friends had simple and elegant invitations. My “heart-led” friends included emotive poetry stanzas. My nature-loving friends had earthy, uncluttered visual aspects, letting the emphasis of the invitation fall on the intentional wording.
Of course, their invitations represented them so much more than the stereotype I just gave. One couple, for example, had a heart and cross on their invitations that they had had someone design as an original graphic, specifically for their wedding. It was a visual representation of what their marriage meant to them. Behind every detail is the opportunity for a story.
What adjectives would you use to describe you and your fiancé? Classy, traditional, goofy, spontaneous, light-hearted, serious, simple, complex, gregarious, shy, rebellious, witty, passionate, athletic…?
Do you relate your adjectives with any colors, graphics, design, or concept? If so, use those ideas as the starting point for your invitations. They will inherently be representative of you and your fiancé.
If nothing comes to mind, start browsing for invitations online and take note of your visceral reactions. You will quickly see patterns in what you react positively to versus what you react negatively to.
Why is it so important to show your personality in your invitations? I believe that the best weddings are always in the personality of the bride and groom. Every detail of the wedding invites the guests further into the bride and groom’s relationship, deepening the significance of the occasion for all parties involved.
But beyond that, as Christians, you have the most beautiful opportunity to invite your guests into worship at your wedding. One of the most natural ways to do that is to show your guests who God made you to be. You and your fiancé are unique and stunning creations of the Lord! When your guests see you, they see reflections of the Lord.
In addition to the visual concept of your invitation, you have the freedom to make the text representative of you and your fiancé. You can include Scripture passages, hymn lyrics, poetry stanzas, or quotations on your invitations. Many people do this as a separate element from the logistical text, but Invitation Consultants offers some examples of how you can weave that into the main text.
Another prime opportunity to make the text your own is with the wording of the event. Let people know what marriage means to you. My friend used the wording “invite you to a joyful celebration of unity under Christ.” She wanted it clear that the event was a Christian wedding with the purpose of bringing glory to Christ.
As you consider your invitation design and as you write the invitation text, pray for opportunities to show your guests the love of Christ.
Here’s a cool truth: Most people consider weddings a holy act even if they don’t know or like God. Your guests will expect your wedding to be in your image. If you go to a Jewish wedding, don’t you expect the ceremony to be traditionally Jewish (etc.)? When your guests say yes to your wedding, they are also saying yes to the wedding that you choose to host.
Certainly as someone in the hosting position, you want to serve with your guests in mind. But don’t forget that if you have a Christian ceremony because that is who you are, then your guests will accept that as the party they have come to. This is not a manipulative trick to deceive people into accepting the Gospel, but rather an authentic display of who Christ is from you and your fiancé who are Christ’s ambassadors.
If God is putting on your heart overt Christian phrasing, songs, texts, or traditions, embrace them with confidence that your guests will at best receive them and at worst tolerate them. For some, this might be the only time they will ever see Christ’s love in action or hear the Good News!
Lord, thank You that we have a wedding to announce! You are the God of love, the God of celebration, and the God of joy. Show us how we can offer a spirit of love, celebration, and joy through our invitations so that our guests would be deeply touched by the love of Christ that is in our relationship. Help us to think of an idea that represents who we are, that is affordable, that is memorable, and that is logistically feasible. We want our wedding to be a worship ceremony for You and a celebration of Who You are in our lives, so please help us choose invitations that would make You proud. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Article was originally published on February 23, 2011.