Top 10 Wedding Invitation Etiquette
From selecting an RSVP date to choosing which guests receive a plus one, understanding wedding invitation etiquette can be overwhelming and exhausting. If you’re a bride-to-be with no clue where to start, we’ve got you covered! Although there aren’t any hard-and-fast rules when it comes to your big day, our wedding invitation etiquette tips can be used as a guideline to make your planning process even easier. Whether you’re unsure of the proper titles to use or when to mail your invitations, we’ve got the answers to your most pressing etiquette-related questions below.
1. When should we mail our save the dates?
Although it’s tempting to want to send your save-the-dates the moment you get engaged, there is a sweet spot for getting these announcements in the mail. Typically, the time frame is between 6 and 8 months to give guests ample time to plan ahead, but not too much time where it can fall off their radar. If you know you have several friends or family members who will be traveling from out of town for your big day, we recommend sending your save-the-dates closer to the 8-month mark to give them enough time to book flights and hotels.
2. When should we mail our wedding invitations?
We recommend sending your wedding invitations out 2 to 3 months before your wedding day, so it gives your guests 4-6 weeks to respond.
3. What should our RSVP date be?
There’s nothing worse than giving a final head count to your venue and subsequently watching the RSVP’s trickle in days before your wedding. To avoid any stressful situations, we recommend making your RSVP date at least 4 to 6 weeks prior to your big day to give you some breathing room. This will give you ample time to do a final head count, finalize your seating chart, and nail down your day-of-details (ceremony programs, escort cards, dinner menus etc.)
4. How formal should we be when addressing our wedding invitations?
Invitations should be addressed to guests using the proper titles (Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms. etc.)
Here are some quick tips:
Ms. - unmarried women or women that kept their names
Mrs. - married women who changed their last name
Dr. or Drs. - doctor(s)
Mr. - men
Girls under 18 - Miss
Boys under 18 - No title needed
Boys 18+ - Mr.
5. Should we include registry information on our wedding invitation?
Generally, it’s not proper etiquette to include registry information on your wedding invitation. Guests are invited to share in your special day of love and you don’t want them to feel obligated to purchase anything even though most people will want to. A more appropriate place for this information to be shared would be on your wedding website. (see below for more information)
6. Where should we share our wedding website?
Your wedding website can be included on your save-the-date, especially if you have family or friends traveling from afar. When you send out your formal wedding invitation, it is helpful to include it again on an insert card within your invitation suite so guests can learn more about the event details, accommodations, or travel information (if needed).
7. How do we let our guests know children are invited or not invited to our wedding?Although this can be tricky, it’s extremely important that you’re upfront about who you are and are not inviting to your wedding to avoid any uncomfortable situations. Traditionally, the rule of thumb is as follows:
If children are invited, you can let your guests know by listing their names on the outer envelope
If children are not invited, their names are not listed on the outer envelope.
8. Can we invite guests to just our ceremony?
If you invite guests to your wedding ceremony, you are also inviting them to the reception.
9. How do we let our guests know our dress code?
Although sharing a dress code on your invitation is not required, the easiest way to do so is by including “Black Tie”, “Casual Attire”, or “Cocktail Attire” on the lower right-hand corner of your invite or on your reception card. If you choose to include the dress code on your invitation, it is also a good idea to include this on your wedding website.
10. Do we have to include “plus ones” for single guests?
When it comes to “plus one” etiquette, it can be tricky to decide who gets one and who doesn’t. You should always invite spouses and partners of those in serious relationships. For single friends and family, it is entirely up to you if you decide to include “and guest” on their invite. For those who you’re unsure about, you can always wait until you finalize your headcount to see if you have any extra wiggle room.
Your wedding invitations are one of the most important wedding details – they not only inform your guests about your special day, but they are the very first thing your guests see. Understanding wedding invitation etiquette can make the process less stressful – even if you decide to break a few rules! Cheers to creating the wedding of your dreams!