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The Language of Invitations

September 28, 2010

Why do we become British when we get married?

Generally, invitations, whether it’s a wedding or a bridal shower have a language of their own.  Instead of saying “We’d love if you could come,” we request “the honour of your presence.” To some degree, this makes sense. It’s sometimes a formal event, so there’s an attempt to use formal language. Cool, I get it – no problem.

But, what I don’t understand is why the “u”? Sometimes it’s in honour, a guest appearance in favour of a reply- that “u” just keeps dropping in words that we would normally spell just fine without it.

What makes us think that temporarily using the Queen’s English makes something more formal? Didn’t the Brits surrender at Yorktown? I can’t imagine that some of our families have Loyalists in the midst, and even if – why are they showing their Union Jacks only when writing invitations?

Emily Post decreed it so – she specifically mentions it proper to use the “old-fashioned way” with no explanation. And if it was old-fashioned and without reason in 1922, then why is Anna Post (granddaughter of Emily Post) advocating this?

Other weirdo things that baffle me about invitations: After my birth certificate, the next time my middle name appeared in print was my Bat Mitzvah party invitation. Why do we feel the need to put our middle names on invitations? Or is this a regional, New York thing?

And “Please RSVP” also drives me nuts. But that’s me being pedantic.

(Yes, obviously, this post is American-centric. My apologies to my thousands *snort* of readers across the pond.)

Photo Credit: Steve Gerrard Photography

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3 Comments
  1. September 29, 2010 12:08 pm

    No, our middle names were on our wedding invitations and we live in the South so it’s not regional. It’s just the “proper” thing to do. We didn’t use honour though because most people would have thought I was being stuck up for doing that.

  2. October 14, 2010 3:04 pm

    My Bat-Mitzvah invitation also lists my full name, as do the purple yarmulkes I gave out (and still have!). I love the idea of keeping things formal in a world that isn’t, but at the end of the day my wedding invitations will be less formal and will be a direct invite from me, rather than my parents.

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