26 March, 2009

Not in My "Favour"

Today, I wish to discuss a wedding pet peeve of mine. This particular one has more to do with "putting on airs" than anything else.

I want to take the time to say this: If you are not from England, I'm guessing you were never taught to spell "honor" and "favor" with an "ou". Somewhere along the line, someone out there decided that in order to have formal, elegant wedding invitations for American weddings, you must use this largely British spelling. Not so, my friends.

Formality and elegance in my opinion have everything to do with presentation and absolutely nothing to do with alternate spellings of common words. There are literally thousands of ways to convey these attributes without resorting to......what's the word......."an inflated sense of spelling", if you will. Trust me, folks, if you present your guests with an exquisitely crafted, stylishly executed invitation suite-they'll get the picture.

Enough scolding. Your tip, you ask? Well, today there are two.

First, elegance and formality are not the same. They are not mutually exclusive. Elegant weddings are not always formal, in fact the more memorable ones never are. The same could be said for the reverse. Formality does not always lend itself to elegance. Often times, if executed incorrectly, formal weddings can seem stuffy and unwelcoming. When a couple learns the difference between the two ideas and is able to articulate their interpretation of them, a formal yet extremely elegant wedding is born.

Now back to the invitation.

In life, it's not always what you say that matters; it's often how you say it. This is a phrase most often used by Moms (and most frequently uttered, of course, during those surly teen years). And were they ever right. To convey a sense of formality without the use of pesky alternate spellings, try playing with the wording. Instead of , "Please join us" try "Mr. Groomie Smith and Ms. Bridey Jones cordially invite you to celebrate...etc". Or, for the tradition-obsessed, "Mr. and Mrs. Jones request your participation in the marriage celebration of their daughter...etc."

Too lofty? That was for us too. We longed for a middle ground. Andy and I decided to spell out the words for the values of number and time (i.e. Friday the twenty-seventh of February at six-thirty in the evening). We hoped to retain some formality while dialing down the haughtiness of the rest of the wording. Not at one with the words? There are several books and articles to help get you started. However, don't always copy. Find what you like and make it your own. Staying true to who you are as a couple is the most elegant thing you can do.

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