Wedding Invitation Etiquette

Hello lovely readers!

As you move forward in your planning process, you will have tons of questions, whether about a contract you are signing, how many people will fit in your venue space, or what your design plan will look like. Each and every facet of planning your wedding will inevitably bring a list of questions, which is what we are here for – to help you plan and answer those questions! Today, I am going to answer many of the questions you may have about your wedding invitations, and possibly even a few you didn’t know you had just yet! ;)

How early can I mail my invitations and save the dates?

Traditionally, save the date cards go out 6-8 months before the wedding. That way, your guests have plenty of time to make their travel arrangements and clear their calendars! Save the date cards are also the first glimpse into your wedding that guests have, and can be as fun and playful, or as simple and traditional as you want them to be… (More to come on save the dates soon!) As for your invitations, these typically go in the mail 6-8 weeks before the wedding. In our office, we like to plan for 8 weeks for invitations and 8 months for save the dates.

Where can we list our wedding website?

We absolutely LOVE wedding websites! They are the perfect place for your guests to go explore, read about you two, your families, and friends, as well as gather all of the information they may need for travel accommodations and wedding registries! Wedding websites should typically be listed on your save the date card. If you are choosing to not mail a save the date card, then you can always include an accommodations card in your invitation suite, that can direct guests to your website for more details. Because wedding websites are a fairly new normal for couples to create, traditional etiquette hasn't quite caught up and it is still considered awkward to list a wedding website directly on the wedding invitation card itself.

Nancy Ray Photography

Nancy Ray Photography

How do we pick the RSVP deadline?

If you have ever Googled this question, you will typically see the answer of 2 weeks before the wedding. We always advise our clients to list the RSVP date 3 weeks before the wedding, as that extra week allows some cushion time to reach out to the guests that you haven’t heard back from quite yet! Then, once you have all of the responses back, you have a final head count that is so helpful for all of your vendors to finalize orders and make any last minute changes that need to be adjusted! The extra week is always appreciated from a vendor’s perspective.

Can we list our registry on the wedding invitation?

This is a very common question, with a very straight answer. No. Adding your registry information on your invitation card is considered taboo in invitation etiquette. It will make you both seem as if you are just inviting guests to ask them for gifts. Instead of listing your registry on your invitation card, add all of the details to your wedding website, and then share your website with your guests! (Refer back to the question above). This way, your guests know where to go to find your registry, without you having to directly tell them!

How can I politely let my guests know that children are not invited? 

The best way to do this, without saying “no children”, (and to follow the Emily Post Rules of etiquette!), is in the way you address your invitations. Have you ever received an invitation in the mail that had two envelopes, one with a mailing address and one with just your names on it? This is the most traditional way of helping your guests know if their children are invited or not. The outer envelope would be addressed to the couple, with the inner envelope listing the names of each person invited. If you were to invite children to the wedding, their names would be listed out here (in age order!). If you have opted to just have one envelope and still want to make sure children know if they are invited, or not invited, then they would be listed (in age order!) below their parents names on the mailing address!   

Do I have to list a dress code?

The best way to let your guests know about the dress code, or formality of your wedding, would be to state the dress code on the bottom of your invitation card. To take it a step further, you can even list some details about the dress code in a less formal way via your wedding website! (See how handy these sites are?!)

Perry Vaile Photography

Perry Vaile Photography

How can I consolidate my guest list?

When this question arises in our creative sessions and planning appointments, Becca always jumps in with the perfect guidance. She'll ask our clients, “Do you see yourself calling them to go out to dinner on a Friday night? How about 5 or 10 years from now?” If the answer to that question is yes, then those are very special people in your lives and you should include them in your wedding. If the answer to that question is no... well, then why would they be invited to be a part of something so special and intimate as your wedding? Once you can answer that question, the task of editing your guest list just gets easier as you go! 

How do we choose the words that are used on our invitation?

This is a great question! There are many factors that can come into play when choosing invitation wording… Who is hosting the wedding, where is the wedding taking place, is it a really formal wedding or a more casual wedding, etc. We can start with the hosts of the wedding. Whoever is hosting should be stated on your invitation. This goes back to Emily Post rulesof etiquette. You can then base the next part of the wording off of where the wedding is taking place. If you are getting married in a church, then you should state, “request the honor - or honour - of your presence”. However, if you are not getting married in a church, then you can state, “request the pleasure of your company”. Ultimately, a wedding invitation should communicate the main details: who is getting married, who is hosting the wedding, the date, the time, and the location. Simple as that!

Whew! There truly is a reason behind each and every detail that goes into your wedding invitations, usually tracing back to etiquette rules. I am constantly brushing up on my invitation etiquette as well as making sure I not only follow the trends, but also try and stay ahead of the trends. That way, I can always help you with any and every question you may have!

Feel free to leave me a note if I didn’t answer your question, I am happy to help out some more.

Happy Thursday readers, until next week!