Wedding Invitation Etiquette

Guidelines on proper etiquette for wedding invitations and more …

Learning and getting all the details on Wedding Invitation Etiquette can be overwhelming. If you’ve ever helped in writing wedding invitations, you probably know that a host of questions will start popping inside your head out of nowhere.

wedding invitation etiquette

Questions like “So how do I word my invitations?” or “How do I address the invitations if the couple I’m inviting are not married but live together?” or “What’s the proper wording to use if you wanted to invite children as well?”

The list of questions and doubts about the proper wedding invitation etiquette are practically endless.

However, there’s no need to freak out.

In this section, we discuss clearly some of the most frequent questions that brides-to-be have on wedding invitation etiquette.

Before you start browsing for answers, please note that although proper wedding invitation etiquette is desired, it is wise to consider courtesy first and foremost.

So if by following proper etiquette, you know that you will probably hurt your family’s or friends’ feelings, simply don’t follow the rules. Because after all is said and done, what is more important? ... Following wedding etiquette by the book or building and nurturing your current relationship with your family and friends?

Wedding Invitation Etiquette: Ordering and mailing of invitations

As a general rule, you should order your invitations at least 2 months before the wedding. You should mail them from 4 to 6 weeks prior to your wedding.

If you’re getting married in summer or during a holiday weekend for example, it is wise to send out your invitations even earlier, because some of your guests may be planning to go away for a couple of days.

Etiquette for addressing wedding invitations

Perhaps the biggest headache with wedding invitations comes when you’re writing them. Below we address the most common questions that brides have at this stage of their wedding planning.

How do I address the envelope when I’m inviting a couple who live together but are not married?

In this case, you should write the name of the woman first.

What’s the proper etiquette when inviting couples with children and you want to include the children?

If you’re inviting a family with kids, do not write the kids’ names on the outer envelope. The proper way to do this is to write the kids’ names on the inner envelope under the parents’ names.

Children not invited

If you’re having a more formal wedding and you don’t want to invite children at your wedding, not including the children’s names on the invitations, is usually sufficient for the guests to realize that children are not invited.

Wedding Invitation Rules Etiquette: Other issues

Where do I write my bridal registry details?

It is considered very poor etiquette to send cards announcing where you have registered. The best way to let your guests know is by word of mouth.

Nowadays, a lot of couples set up a personal website (there are many free wedding websites out there). You can put the information on your bridal registry on your website.

When should the reply cards be returned?

It’s best to check with your caterer for the required time they need to know the amount of people coming to your wedding. However, as a general rule, your guests should return their reply cards 2 weeks before your big day.

Do I have to send directions and maps?

Detailed directions and map cards will be greatly appreciated by your guests, especially if they’re coming to your wedding from out of town. On the direction card, you need to give clear and precise directions to your wedding ceremony & reception.

A map card will feature major roads and landmarks to further help your guests in finding the way.

You can either include the direction and map card straight away with your invitations or send them out separately later to those who have replied that they’re coming to your wedding.

When to send out Thank You Notes

If you receive some gifts before the wedding, you should send out your Thank You Notes as soon as you receive the gift. This will let the guests know that you’ve appreciated their gift and of course also let them know that you’ve received their gift safely.

For the other gifts, you should send out the Thank You Notes as soon as possible after your wedding.

Proper Etiquette for Wedding Invitations: The Rehearsal Dinner

Who do I invite for the Rehearsal Dinner and when is this held?

The Rehearsal Dinner is held the night before the wedding after the rehearsal. This dinner is usually hosted by the groom’s family. His family will also take care of issuing the invitations. These invitations should be sent 2 weeks before the wedding. (The invitations should compliment the wedding invitations).

The dinner is usually reserved for the wedding party only. Some couples also invite out of town guests and also the wedding party’s spouses/partners.

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