Wedding Invitation Etiquette

February 23, 2016  •  Leave a Comment


Wedding Invitation Etiquette
It is always tricky to know the etiquette when doing wedding invitations. When do you send the invitations? Who do you invite? What information do you include? Do you allow kids? Are just some of the questions you need to consider.

Through talking to many people in the wedding industry over the years I have selected some ideas to help you. Remember it is your day so do what pleases you both and you won’t go too far wrong.

Should We Send Save-The-Dates? And When?

First up, save-the-dates are totally optional. It’s handy to provide significant advance notice to guests. In fact, giving notice six months or more in advance is great, and a year in advance for destination weddings is even better. But the notice you give can come in a number of forms. You can send a save-the-date email, or make save-the-date phone calls. Or, of course, you can send out cute note cards or magnets or whatever creative trinket you desire. But only spend money on save-the-dates if you really want to.

When Do We Send Wedding Invites?

The standard rule, which dates from back when weddings were mostly local affairs, is that wedding invitations should be sent out six to eight weeks in advance of the wedding. But the real truth is lots of folk won’t make travel arrangements until they get the invite. So if a lot of people are going to have to travel for your wedding, sending the invitations out three months in advance will be a greatly appreciated. And trust me, nobody will forget about the wedding because you sent them a little early.

How Do We Address Wedding Invites?

There is a myth floating around out there that if you’re having a formal wedding, and sending formal invitations, that you have to use traditional honorifics… even if they’re not the honorifics the person you are inviting uses on a daily basis.

So here is the hard and fast rule: you should address people by the names they actually use. But the short version is you can use honorifics or skip them. If you’re using them, children under twelve can be addressed by Miss or Master. Women can be addressed as Mrs, Miss or Ms and Doctors as Dr.

What Information Should We Include On Our Invitation?

While it can be fun to get visually creative with your wedding invitations, you don’t want to miscommunicate or confuse the information, because well, you want people to come! The real key is just to remember to communicate legibly who, what, where, and when.

What Should We Make The RSVP Deadline?

Remember that it is likely that people will pop their RSVP card in the mail only on the deadline you give them. So in short, I would suggest making the RSVP date at least a week earlier than the deadline for your caterer, since you may spend that week chasing replies and confirmation. Setting an RSVP deadline of three to four weeks from your wedding date will help keep you sane!

Do We Have To Allow Single Friends Plus Ones?

In short, no. However your single friend might want a plus one.
If you only have a few single friends, giving them a chance to bring a date or friend, may increase the odds of them attending. If you decide not to offer plus ones, ensure that you take good care of the single folk. Seat them together, introduce them at any welcome parties you might have. Tell each of them who they should look out for - and pray for hook-ups that end in storybook romances…..

If you have lots of single friends just consider how offering a plus one will add to your guest list and the cost!

We’re having a Wedding with No Kids, How Do We Make That Clear?

This is a tough one that will often cause an argument. The traditional way of letting people know exactly who is invited to the wedding is simply by listing the names of the invitees on the envelope. No children? Don’t list them.

However, in reality, this signal can sometimes get lost in all the noise. Flights can be booked before official invites arrive. New parents are not used to seeing their children’s names on envelopes in the first place. Envelopes go straight in the bin. So you’ll need to be a little clearer, while keeping it kind. Word this nicely, and stay away from things that read along the lines of “NO KIDS PLEASE.” You can also call loved ones with kids to talk about it in person.


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