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Musings on Royal Wedding Invitations
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Today’s announcement of the impending wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton has us all wondering about what their royal wedding invitation will look like.

Will it be traditional, following in the footsteps of William’s parents, Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer? Or something more twenty-first century, reflecting the new generation of royals they are destined to be a part of?

It should come as no surprise that William offered Kate the stunning sapphire and diamond engagement ring that his mother wore as her own sign of betrothal to HRH The Prince of Wales. William is quoted as saying it is "my way of making sure my mother didn’t miss out on today". This, of course, reflects a nod to sentimentality and tradition, suggesting they may choose to utilize a simple, but elegant, cream card with traditional engraved wording and a gold embossed monogram at the top as William’s own parents did.

But on the other hand, Diana was very clearly one to usher in that breath of fresh air when she entered the royal Windsors and worked hard to pass along that embracing of modernity to her sons. Perhaps Kate and William will choose to utilize a heavy letterpress invitation which is traditional in it’s use of a vintage printing technique, yet stylish and modern in that letterpress is currently experiencing a resurgence in popularity.

We found an image of the invitation printed for Diana and Charles and were struck by the difference in protocol in issuing wedding invitations between the wording used on their invitation and what we consider standard and traditional wedding invitation etiquette.

A few differences of note: We always recommend that the bride’s name precedes the groom’s, even if the invitation is issued by the groom’s family. We suppose, however, that when you’re the Prince of Wales, you always come first.

In addition, it was interesting that the date and time were not spelled out as would be recommended for a highly formal wedding invitation and that the invitation states acceptable dress for the event when the etiquette pacesetters of our time have always stated that guests should take their cues from the formality of the invitation and time of day to choose their wardrobe for the event.

One feature of the original Charles and Diana wedding invitation remains timeless, however, and that is the very personalized nature of the invitation. In the case of Charles and Diana's invitation, each guest's name was hand-calligraphed on their invitation. Although, to be certain this is another opportunity to update a tradition in that the technology of our day allows for a much more efficient use of printing and the possibility that each invitation may be run with the guests' names printed in the same elegant typestyle used for the invitation wording.

Well, times have changed, we’re sure. After all, it has been 30 years since Diana and Charles wed and we look forward to seeing all the details of the next generation royal wedding unfold.

By Joyce Buczek
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Joyce Buczek was the founder and original owner of Invitations4Less.com in 1999. She continues working with Invitations4Less.com as a consultant and guest blogger. In her spare time, Joyce enjoys traveling, cooking and spending time with her family, including 2 spoiled cats.


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