Ask any comedian about weddings, and he or she will probably respond, "There's nothing funny about getting married." In fact, there's plenty of humor in everyone's wedding, and there's no reason why the lighthearted spirit that carries you and your fiancé into a bright future together can't be articulated on an invitation. Counselors and therapists agree that couples sharing both passion and humor stand a much better chance of enjoying a long, healthy relationship, so whether you're planning for a post-destination wedding reception or a bash following your walk down the aisle, sending a less-than-formally worded invite isn't just unique -- it's a great way to show your guests that they can anticipate a really fun time at your reception.
Employ a standard "turn of phrase" technique that encourages laughter by taking a serious stand then revealing an unexpected twist. Mark Twain used this type of humor often. So can you. Here's an example:
Mr. and Mrs. John Jones and Mrs. Roberta Clark Invite you to a wedding reception in honor of their children Stacey Jones and Steve Clark. We will officially turn them loose to make their own beds on: Saturday, June 20, 2012 Bartlett Banquet Hall Tucson, Arizona Guests found passed out will be charged rent, so keep that in mind. Please RSVP by June 10.
Choose "exaggeration" as a way to infuse your invitation with attention-getting humor. Always get your family's buy-in if you choose to compose this type of message so your folks don't stroke out when they see it:
The Jordan family and the Sullivan family Celebrate the marriage of their children Brenda and Bob At a post-wedding reception to which you are invited Friday, July 19, 2011 Immediately following the 3 p.m. ceremony ... ... but before both sets of parents report to bankruptcy court. Haven House Reception Hall Wichita, Kansas Please RSVP by July 9th if you plan to eat or drink with us.
Employ an "understatement" to put a spin on the traditional, stuffy and formal wedding reception announcement. Consider these words:
Jessica Stevens and Josh Gregory -- plus around 400 of our closest friends and relatives -- Have saved the last seat at our wedding reception for you.
Show up on May 14, 2012 at 4 p.m. The Stiletto Club Manhattan, New York Arrive on time or your hors d'oeuvres will be distributed to the masses. RSVP by May 7th.
Be cautious if you decide to use a sarcastic tone for your wedding reception message. "Sarcasm" walks a thin line between comedic and offensive. This cutting edge type of humor requires readers to abandon all feelings of sympathy for a short period of time in order to be able to enjoy the joke. To wit:
Jeff and Joanna Blake Already married as of June 19, 2014 Are still eager to get wedding gifts -- especially yours. Oh, and it would be nice if you could also join us For our wedding reception party. Grant State Park Pavilion Chicago, Illinois July 12, 2014 Please RSVP by July 1 If you can't make the party, do send the gift.
Pair humor with "irony" to make your invitation unique. Creating a contradiction by using formal paper stock and typefaces sets up the reader to expect formal nomenclature, but when they look past the handmade paper stock and flowery script letters and read the message, you will have grabbed their attention the moment they open the envelope:
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Cathart Are delighted to finally give away their daughter, Jenny Beth To Roger Jessup, who has no idea what he's gotten himself into. Come celebrate at the reception we've waited a lifetime to throw: Crystal Palace Clarksville, Tennessee August 15, 2011 Please respond no later than August 7th. Don't look for us after the party -- we're interviewing renters for Jenny's room.
Choose an "offbeat photo" of the bride and groom to take your reception invitation one step further. Think beyond the obvious. Stage a shot (the bride, groom and their dog all in wedding veils; the betrothed in Halloween costumes or photos of the pair from their toddler days) or find a picture you both love and make the message simple and loving:
Message beneath the photo: Can you believe these people are considering marriage?
Message inside the card: Truth is, we're made for each other. Who else would have us? Join us on Saturday, September 9, 2011 To celebrate at our wedding reception. Hotel Autumn Tree Riverside, Connecticut Please respond by September 1, 2011. We promise not to make you look goofy in our reception photo album.
If there is any chance that you could alienate an important relative -- especially one who is bequeathing a tidy sum of money to you after they die -- think seriously about whether a funny invitation is worth the risk.