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Invitations: You only have one chance to make a first impression.

> Written by Jessica Latimer
Photography: Paul Warner

Let the invitation serve as an amusebouche to the celebrations to come. If your wedding concept lies around a central theme, color, location or holiday, the invitation can provide your guests with insight—creating excitement—without marring the surprises that will be unveiled on your special day.

Supply your guests with more than the typical "who, what, when, where and why." Take this as your opportunity to express specific dress code requests, accommodation options and local attractions.

Perhaps you are having an all-white wedding on the beach in Cabo or a black tie affair in the grand ballroom of a five-star hotel; a masquerade ball with medieval costumes or a formal countdown to the New Year.

Bestow a trio of unique places to stay over the course of the weekend: a bed and breakfast that will afford a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of a booming metropolis;a luxurious resort with well-appointed suites and an equally enticing spa; or a mid-size boutique hotel with a decadent restaurant.

Don't stop there. Include maps and a "must see" list for your tourist friends that include places that both locals treasure and non-natives flock to—a Frommer's enthusiast's dream.

If your invitation is not chosen and executed in a way that is just so, your are robbing yourself of the customary six to eight weeks to entice your guests' senses. And up to a year for those jetsetters, which require a rather copious save the date.

Carry the concept right through to the ceremonial program, reception menu, table numbers and place cards. Ensuring that every piece is cohesive with one another, as well as the wedding-day décor, is a direct reflection of you and your fiancé's involvement in the planning process.

 



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