Wedding Invitation Etiquette

We all have questions about proper etiquette when it comes to wedding planning. Here are a few of the most common questions and how to address them.

1. When should we send out our wedding invitations?
There is no set rule for this, but it depends a lot on your event, where it’s being held and how far away your guest may need to travel. The most common time is 6-8 weeks in advance. Early enough so your guests can clear their schedules but not to early that the invitation gets lost or forgotten.  If you want to get your date out there to your guests sooner then it’s always suggested to send out a Save The Date card.

2. Can we include our registry information with our invitations?
Is this proper etiquette? no.  Including gift registry information with your invitations or save the dates is considered impolite. If people are wondering where you are registered they can ask your family or visit the local businesses that offer gift registry to see if you are in their system.

3. We don’t want children at our wedding, how do we make that clear to our guest without offending them?
I’ve had this question asked me a few times now and I always give brides a few suggestions on how to address this without upsetting the parents on why Jr. can’t come to the wedding.  The most common way is to address your invitation envelopes correctly – to each guest name, not “and guest” or “and family”.  Guests should understand that the invite is only meant for those who it is addressed to. You can also carefully label your RSVP cards in a way that your guests can not include the children on the list. An example is “two seats have been reserved in your honor” or by putting Mr. ______ & Mrs. ______ will be / will not be attending…etc. If your guests still don’t understand or have a problem with this then sometimes it does require a phone call.

4. How do we let guests know there is a dress code?
The easiest way is to include a dress code on the lower part of your invitation or response card put “black-tie”, “cocktail attire” or “casual attire”. Your invitation style and design will also help guests know how formal your ceremony will be and also the location of your wedding. If you’re having a very traditional Catholic wedding or a fun outdoor garden theme, it all sets the tone for the big day.

5. Where do we put the return address on the invitation?
The return address usually goes on the back flap of the envelope. Also, the return address used should be that of the person(s) whom you’ve designated to receive response cards – your parents or you.  Don’t forget that the RSVP envelope should also be printed with this address (and should include postage).
If you don’t like the idea of using address labels you can have a custom stamp made with your names and address…and it can always be used again and again long as you’re not planning to move.

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