Traditional, Formal Wedding Invitations
Traditional wedding invitations make a statement of elegance and class. If you are having a traditional wedding, the following information can help you to be sure your invitation is impeccable.
The invitation itself should be an oversized soft cream (also called "traditional white") card. A sheet of tissue is laid over the invitation to protect the ink and to lend an air of formality to the wedding invitation. A separate reception card is not required but can be added. An outer and inner envelope are also required.
Wording follows very specific rules, as well. The ink is always black in a formal wedding invitation. The names of the people who are paying for the wedding are on the invitation. If the parents of the bride are paying, their names should appear. If both sets of parents are sponsoring the wedding, all of their names should appear. If the couple is paying for their own wedding, their parents' names should never appear on the invitation.
When the parents are sponsoring, the last name of the child of the parents sponsoring the event is not listed.
Other than the names and places on the invitation, the only line that is capitalized is the year. The location and its city and state appear, however the physical address and zip code never do.
Never include instructions for gift registries in your invitation. The only polite way to let people know is to have your friends and attendants spread the word.