M and I wanted to have bilingual invitations for our family and friends. We were thinking to have one invitation in both Chinese and English. If you are also thinking of having a bilingual invitation for your wedding or invitation, I’ll share some good points and some not-so-good points about having a bilingual invitation.
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The benefits of having a bilingual invitation (in no particular order):
- You are being inclusive. Whether the older family members or your friends receive your invitation, they’ll know exactly when your wedding is and what time they need to be there.
- It is a good way to get the parents involved. They can help with the translation of the first language text into the second language. It also avoids embarrassment if you translate in an inaccurate way and your invitation will be on your aunt’s fridge forever.
- The invitation will set the tone for the wedding. People can come expecting that you will have both languages at the wedding, whether there will be a translator at the front, or some parts of the wedding will be in one language, and other parts the second language.
- You get to be creative in how you want to design your bilingual wedding invitations. You can either DIY or work with a professional designer. It’s totally up to you and your budget.
- It showcases a part of your culture and heritage. I know this is quite obvious, but sometimes friends might not know this part of you or your fiancé. It’ll be a good conversation piece if people ask.
The downside of having a bilingual invitation (in no particular order):
- Your design choices online are limited. Many online stationery print shops are one-sided with only English available.
- The stamp to send each invitation might cost more because of a thicker invitation.
- It might take up more of your time to think about it and consult with others about the details, the wording, the spacing of words or characters, and prototype.
- The budget for the extra paper or having a booklet invitation might be more than you intend to spend. You might want to save on invitations and splurge on hiring a photographer.
- RSVP: If you are doing bilingual invitations, you can also make the opportunity for people to be able to RSVP in either language.
Some tips when designing your bilingual invitations:
- Paper: When designing your bilingual invitations, decide if you want your invitation to be double-sided (one side for English and the other the language of your choice), or you want two separate one-sided invitations. if you are doing the two separate one-sided invitations, you can put them together in a booklet invitation.
- Wording: Be sure to check the wording of both languages with family and friends, if you are not totally sure, before printing them. Also, you want to make sure that all the information, including names, address, and time of the wedding is accurate for both languages.
- Colour: When designing your bilingual invitations, you want to match your colour theme and also find out if there are any colours that are not suitable for your culture. In the Chinese culture, if you put a name in red, it means that they have passed. It’s better to check than to be sorry.
Additional Tip: Hand Deliver your invitations, if possible. to save on postage.
If you do design your own bilingual invitations, I would love to see them. Please tag me on Instagram @makingdayscount (please blur the names and dates for privacy reasons). Thanks!