Wedding Invitation Dos and Don’ts
Your wedding is a monumental day in your life, and it’s a milestone that you’ll never forget. No matter if you plan a simple or an extravagant wedding, there’s one thing that you’ll need for your big day–an invitation. Your wedding invitations are a crucial element in your planning, and there is etiquette surrounding invitations that you’ll need to follow.
Dos and Don’ts
We compiled a list of dos and don’ts so you can focus on planning your elegant big day instead of worrying about invitation etiquette.
- Do be consistent with wording. If you plan to use formal wording in your invitation, then use that same style in your RSVP card, informational card, etc. The same goes if you plan to use more casual wording–keep it consistent throughout. You can look at wedding invite templates for example wording. Regardless of the wording style, make sure you pay attention to grammar, punctuation, and spelling, and communicate clearly.
- Do list the bride’s name first. If you’re using traditional wording, the bride’s name is listed first in opposite-sex weddings. If it’s a same-sex wedding, then you can decide the order.
- Do include an RSVP Card. If you accept online RSVPs, it’s stil important to include response cards with your invitation. Sometimes it’s easier for people to mail a card than hop online. Remember to include postage on the RSVP envelopes. Plus, it’s fun to get RSVP mail!
- Do proofread your addresses. Double check any addresses to ceremony and reception sites before getting your invitations printed. Review guests' addresses as well to make sure they’re complete. You don’t want invitations returned if you can avoid it.
- Do stay organized. Create a shared spreadsheet to tally responses including name, meal choices, etc. You’ll use this information for seating charts and to provide the vendor with a final headcount.
Do order extra invites and envelopes. You’ll want to keep a couple invitations as a memento. Plus, you’ll likely have to send out some additional invites because you forgot someone or made some mistakes. It’s good to have a few extra!
- Do be specific about who is invited. On the inner envelopes, specifically list who is invited. If children are invited, include their names as well on the inner envelopes.
- Don’t include any gift registry details with your invitation. Instead, you can include a link to a wedding website with info (including registry info) on a separate card with the invite. This information can spread via word of mouth as well.
- Don’t say “No Children” or “Adults-Only Wedding” on your invites. Instead, address the inner envelopes of the invitation to the adults of the household (for example, Carolyn and Jeff). Your RSVP cards can be worded to show that only two guests are invited.
Don’t forget to proofread before ordering. Enlist help from loved ones to proofread your invitations. It helps to have a fresh set of eyes because you’ve likely read over the wording many times. Ask that they carefully proofread so that typos and grammar mistakes can be fixed.
Don’t mention additional wedding-related events in your invite. Include an information card for other functions like rehearsal dinner, brunches, gift opening, etc. Your wedding website can also include these types of details.
- Don’t forget to weigh your entire invitation. After you get your invites from the printer, package it up (including postage on the response card) so that you can weigh it. This ensures that you’ll use appropriate postage on your wedding invitations.
- Don’t ask for RSVPs too close to your wedding date. Set your RSVP date two to four weeks before the wedding date so you can give the vendor a final count that includes the folks who miss the deadline.
- Don’t forget to include meal choices on your RSVP Card for plated meals. Your vendor needs this information. If you plan to have a buffet, you don’t need to include meal choices.
- Don’t send wedding invitations too late or too early: Send out wedding invitations six to eight weeks before the wedding. If you’re sending out save the dates, send three to four months ahead of the wedding unless you’re planning a destination wedding or plan to have mostly out-of-town guests.
Hopefully this list helps you see what you should do and shouldn’t do with your wedding invitations!
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- Who is listed first on a wedding invitation?
For traditional invitations, the name of the bride precedes the groom's name. If the formal invitations are issued by the bride's parents, they refer to her by her first and middle names, the groom by his full name and title.
- Should you invite your ex to your wedding?
This is a personal decision because everyone is different. Some people remain friends with their exes so it’s perfectly fine to invite him or her if the wedding couple both agree. If the ex is invited for malicious reasons, like making her jealous, then it’s best to not invite them.
- What percentage of guests actually attends a wedding?
In general, between 75 and 85 percent of invited guests attend the wedding. This could help you to decide how many people to invite to your wedding.
- Is it rude to ask for a plus one to a wedding?
It is considered rude to ask for a plus one if you weren’t given one on your invitation.