Wedding Invitation Etiquette: Everything You Need to KnowInvitations & Stationery Sachi
When it comes to weddings, obviously you want everything to be perfect, from start till end. So much thought and time go into deciding the main aspects of the wedding, such as outfits, venue, decor, food, etc. that certain elements of the wedding are overlooked and not given much attention to. One such aspect of any wedding is the invitations. Invitations are a crucial part of every wedding, and yet not much time and thought are put into it. A wedding invitation is so much more than a piece of paper, it is a first glimpse into your wedding for the guests. It is your chance to create a first impression of your wedding and the thought and effort that is going behind it. It is your opportunity to make your guests feel special, show them respect and express your appreciation for their presence.
Wedding Invitation Etiquette: Everything You Need to Know
When sending wedding invites, it is recommended to follow wedding invitation etiquette. Following the simple wedding invitation etiquette can help you steer in the right direction as you navigate through all the wedding planning. Wedding invite etiquettes are a set of guidelines that dictate the way a wedding invite should be sent, worded, formatted, and delivered. Incorporating the guidelines ensures all the information and details regarding the wedding are clear and organized, which eliminates any possibility of confusion and misunderstanding about the details of the event. It is also a great way to show how much time and thought has been put into planning the wedding, and how much the presence of your guests is appreciated.
1. Who to Invite
Deciding who to invite to your wedding can be a challenge. However, it is vital to consider your guest list carefully. A guest list is not as easy as just deciding who you want to invite. There will be people you will have to invite, others who are a big no, those you may want to skip, and then those who may or may not cut. The general rule of thumb is, if one aunt gets an invitation, then all the other uncles and aunts should be invited, and the same goes for the cousins. This works out easily with smaller families but can get tricky with big families. It is also a great idea to determine the number of guests your budget and venue allows, and then equally divide the number between you and your partner. When preparing the guest lists, it is always a great idea to consider the following:
- Have you met this person before?
- Were you invited to their wedding?
- When did you last see them?
- Are they a good influence?
- Do you spend holidays or birthdays with them?
People who invited you to their wedding should definitely make it to your guest list, provided you are on good terms with them. Also, if you have a friend who is invited and is dating, it is always nice to invite their partner too. Inviting children or not is a decision you need to make based on whether the theme, venue, vibe, etc. are child-friendly, and whether you want an adults-only celebration. When it comes to co-workers, it gets as tricky as it can get. Usually, it is advised to not invite co-workers keeping in mind professional and personal boundaries. However, it also depends upon the kind of equation you share with them. If you are very close to any of your co-workers, like they are your go-to friend then they totally deserve an invite.
While who to invite is tricky, who not to invite is easier. First on the list is your ex. Out of respect to your partner do not invite your ex even if you share a good friendly relationship with them. Inviting a friend with who your partner is not on good terms with but you are is also a big no. End of the day, at your wedding you want to be surrounded by people with positive energy, who wish well for you and your partner, who you share a good relationship with, and who are equally happy as you in the celebration of your wedding.
2. Timing of Invitations
Source: Invitationery Asia
When to send the invite is a question that many couples don’t have clear guidance to. Traditionally, the wedding invites are sent out 6-8 weeks before the wedding. This allows the guests to have sufficient time to make arrangements for their travel if they are not in the same town as the wedding venue. Moreover, the earlier you send the invites the likelihood of your guests being able to attend your wedding also increases as they get ample time to plan. If you are having your wedding in peak season or having a destination wedding it’s a good idea to send out the invites even earlier. This will give your guests adequate time to make the necessary arrangements for travel, accommodation, time off from work, etc.
Pro tip: Once you have a date make sure to send out the save the date straight away. This way your guests can block the date to attend your special day. Waiting to finalize the venue and then sending the invites can take some time, and your guests may commit to something else on the same date. So send out the save the date as soon as you have a date!
3. Addressing the Invitations
Now that you have your wedding invites ready, it is time to send them out. But wait! before you send them out, make sure you have addressed them correctly. Firstly, make sure you dedicate enough time to address the invites. There are simple guidelines that should be followed when it comes to addressing the invite. If you are going to be having an inner and an outer envelope, then the outer envelope should be formal whilst the inner envelope can be informal. By formal, we mean titles such as ‘Mr.’, ‘Mrs.’, ‘Dr.’ etc, should be used with full names. When addressing married couples, the traditional way is to address both partners on the same line, such as ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’. If the couple uses different last names then they can be addressed separately with their names, for example; ‘Mr. John Smith and Mrs. Kate Warren’. If you are inviting the children also, then you can either mention it as ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith and family’ or mention the children’s name by using the appropriate title such as ‘Miss Sara Smith’. Often when ‘and family’ or children’s names are not mentioned it is implied that the kids are not invited. However, that is not always the case, and the guests may mistakenly assume that the kids are also welcome. When sending an invite to a single person, the correct way to address a woman is using ‘Ms.’ and a man's ‘Mr.’. When allowing a plus one for your single guest you can address it as ‘Mr. John Smith and Guest’.
Addressing the invites correctly using the right etiquette is important to avoid any misunderstandings or confusion as to who is invited and who is not, to show respect to your guests, and make a good first impression of your wedding. You can also hire a calligrapher to do the writing on the envelopes or you can just simply print them. Either way, what is important is to address it correctly.
4. RSVP Etiquette
RSVP stands for "répondez s'il vous plaît," which is French for "please respond." It is a request to the guest to let the hosts know if they will be attending the event. An RSVP is usually included with the invite along with a deadline to respond. Responding to the RSVP on time is considered to be good etiquette and a way to show respect for the hosts’ time and effort. The responses give the hosts a headcount which helps them make the necessary arrangements such as food, seating, etc. accordingly. It is crucial to adhere to the deadline, as responding after the deadline has passed can disrupt the arrangements and is also disrespectful to the hosts. If you are unable to attend the wedding, make sure to reciprocate the same respect and love to the host with which they sent the invite by sending a heartfelt apology for being unable to attend the wedding perhaps with a gift.
5. What to Include in the Invitation
Source: Shot Life Studio
When creating wedding invites, several key elements should be included to ensure the guests have all the information needed to attend your big day. Your wedding invite may be gorgeous but that will be overlooked if it is riddled with wrong information. Ensuring the right information is provided is crucial as it can make or break your wedding celebrations. Also, providing the guests with all the information helps the guests to plan better, and avoid any confusions and misunderstandings that can arise as a result of a lack of information or misinformation.
The following information is mandatory on the wedding invite:
- Names of the groom and bride
- Dress code (if any)
- RSVP instructions
- Any additional information you may want to provide
Wedding invite etiquette is a set of simple guidelines that can be easily followed. Incorporating them into your wedding can ensure a smooth, hassle-free, and a memorable experience for you and your guests.
Edited & Photo Sourced: Neha Garg Ahuja