Wedding Invitation Etiquette
How to get it Right

Wedding invitation etiquette is something many brides don't fully understand (I know I didn't). It covers many aspects of the invitation process, so below I'll try to break it down into easy to follow steps.

But before I get down to addressing wedding invitation etiquette, I think it's worth reminding you that when preparing the invitations you must consider the following:

  • Allow enough time to make all the cards (if going down the DIY route), something will usually go wrong and delay you.

  • Allow sufficient time to print or write the addresses (don't underestimate how long this can take).

  • Allow a contingency stock of invitations (you'll invariably make the occasional mistake when writing them).

  • Allow for postage and don't forget if your card is large and/or has embellishments it will make the envelope larger or thicker and may increase the cost of your postage.

Anyway back to the question of etiquette:

  1. When should I send out the invitations? - Traditionally invitations would be sent out six to eight weeks before the wedding. That way you are allowing your guests enough time to arrange time off work (if the wedding is during the week).

    You should put a date by which they should RSVP by; this will in turn allow you enough time to arrange table plans, place settings etc. Always check with the venue to see when they need confirmation of the final number of guests before setting your RSVP date.

  2. Who is it from? - This depends on the ceremony and who's paying for the wedding. Traditionally, wedding invitation etiquette dictates the invites would be from the bride’s parents, inviting the guests to the marriage of their daughter.

    Nowadays it's more common for the bride and groom to pay for the wedding and in this instance it's perfectly normal to have the invites from the bride and groom. Alternatively if both sets of parents have contributed to the cost (or you may just feel like it), you can have the invites worded, from the bride and groom and their families.

  3. What details to include:
    - Who it's from.
    - Who exactly is invited.
    - Venue of the wedding ceremony.
    - Venue of the wedding reception.
    - Times and date.
    - How to RSVP and by what date (remember to include food choices if appropriate).

  4. How many invites need to be sent? - you only need to send one invite per couple or family.

  5. Do I send invites to the bridal party? - yes it is accepted that every one should receive and invite even is they are in the bridal party.

  6. What about children? - you should never assume people won't bring their kids, just because you only have the parents’ names on the invite. If you're having a “no children” policy or numbers are tight, why not enclose a small note saying like;

    "we regret that due to number restrictions we only have room for children from our immediate family, we do hope you understand".

  7. Invitations are usually written in the third person.

  8. Invitation wording etiquette - for religious ceremonies you should use the phrase "....request the honour of your presence." but for civil ceremonies use "... request the pleasure of your company."

  9. Whose name comes first - the bride’s name always comes first and you should take a new line for each item of information i.e. names, times and places etc.

  10. Wedding invitation addressing etiquette - there's no hard and fast rule as this comes down to your individual style. You can either handwrite the addresses (mistakes are inevitable, so get extra envelopes) or you can print them from your home PC directly onto the envelope. The beauty of this is that you can check the wording on the PC before pressing print, plus they'll all look the same.

So put it all together and you'll end up with something like the following:

Please note this is only one of the many different ways you could end up wording your invite and is given as an example only.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Together with their parents, Mary Bubble and Joe Soap would like to invite

.................................................................

To join them at the celebration of their marriage

Thursday 12th June 2020

At 2 o'clock

In the Usher Suite, Big Hotel and Spa

and at the party afterwards in Big Hotel's Great Hall

RSVP to Mary (0777 123456 or mary@myemail.com)

or Joe (0777 654321 or joe@myemail.com)

by 12 May 2020, stating you meal preference.

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So there you have it, wedding invitation etiquette doesn't have to be that complicated, as long as you break it down into easily manageable sections and don't forget to give yourself enough time to sort it all out.

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