Wedding Invitation Etiquette Guides to Avoid Mistakes with Your Dear Guests

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Making sure your wedding invitations are perfect is crucial since they will provide your guests with one of their first looks on your wedding day. Wedding invitation etiquette can be tricky, from selecting the “information to include” to “knowing when to send them.” Hence, we have developed a comprehensive guide to assist you in understanding the guidelines and ensure your wedding invitation are ideal. Let’s check with Viva Wedding Photography!

Do Don’t
Send your RSVP two to three weeks before your weddingInclude information about your registry on your wedding invites
Send wedding invitations out six to eight weeks before the wedding dateUsing the wrong start time
Include your preferred dress code at the bottom of the wedding invitationWrite important information on the back of your wedding invitation
Include a return address on wedding invitationsFormal wedding invitation wording does not include all the necessary information
Writing your website address on your save-the-datesLeaving the RSVP envelope unstamped
Consider allowing a plus-one for each guestNot making explicit who is invited

The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Invitation Etiquette for the Perfect Invite

Deadline For RSVPs

RSVP is an abbreviation for “Répondez s’il vous plaît,” which translates to “Please respond” in English. It is commonly used to elicit a response from an invited visitor stating whether or not they would attend an event such as a wedding, party, or business meeting.

The time limit for RSVPs to your wedding is yet another often-requested question. You want to send your RSVP two to three weeks before your wedding. This should give you enough time to complete your seating plan and provide the caterer with a final head count (one week prior). But, according to the 2023 Couples Communication Study, 55% of couples prefer to give themselves leeway and ask for RSVPs three to six weeks before the wedding ceremony.

Wedding Invitation Etiquette About RSVPs
Wedding Invitation Etiquette About RSVPs – Photo by: Weddings And Brides

Besides, give them a short call and ask for their RSVPs (still through the mail) if some guests haven’t answered by the deadline so that you have all their information.

When To Send Wedding Invitations

The second proper etiquette query that couples have about their formal invitations is frequently when to send wedding invitations. Invitations are often sent out six to eight weeks before the wedding date so that guests from out of town have plenty of time to clear their schedules and make travel arrangements.

Besides, give guests more time and send them on their way three months before the wedding if it’s a destination wedding. Most couples also send out save-the-date cards to their guests so they can mark the wedding day on their calendars before discussing the specifics. Save-the-date cards are a type of announcement often given out before a wedding to inform possible guests of the event’s date and venue and are normally distributed six to eight months before the formal wedding. Still, if you have your details worked out, you can mail them out up to a year beforehand.

>>> Maybe you love this rehearsal dinner etiquette!

Write Specify The Dress Code

Questions concerning wording and proper wedding invitation etiquette are frequent. Include your preferred dress code at the bottom of the wedding invitation or on a separate details card for the simplest method to make your point. Perhaps you prefer cocktail attire or a more casual-chic approach? All three suitable templates are “black tie,” “cocktail attire,” and “dress casual.” And believe us; your visitors will value the heads-up.

Wedding Etiquette Invitations With Dress Code
Wedding Etiquette Invitations With Dress Code – Photo by: ANITIF

On the other hand, it’s acceptable if you choose not to make the dress code clear. Instead, your formal invitation layout can inform visitors. For instance, a wedding invitation with letterpress and calligraphy suggests a formal event, but one with a whimsical script and vibrant colors matches a casual theme.

Another choice is to direct guests to your wedding website, where you may provide more specific information about the weekend’s activities and appropriate attire in a more relaxed setting.

Inclusion of a Return Address on Wedding Invitations

A wedding invitation’s return address is normally placed on the rear flap of the outer envelope. Any undeliverable or returned invitations will be returned to this address. It is critical to include a return address so that any invites that cannot be delivered can be returned to you.

The full name(s) of the person(s) who will receive the responses and the full mailing address, including city, state, and zip code, should be included in the return address. Some couples will use the return address of their parents or other close family members, while others will use their own address or a different address set up, particularly for their wedding. Ensure your chosen address is complete and precise to avoid delays or confusion.

Where To Put Your Wedding Website Information?

Wedding Invitation Etiquette With Wedding Website Information
Wedding Invitation Etiquette With Wedding Website Information – Photo by: Emmaline Bride

There are a few places where you can mention your wedding website without going against proper etiquette. This straightforward approach to letting guests know you have a wedding website is simply writing your website address on your save-the-dates. You may also add your wedding URL on an insert card in your wedding invitation suite, provided you don’t print it on the wedding invitations.

Do you have to allow a plus-one for each guest?

Generally, guests are not required to bring a plus-one to a wedding. The decision to extend a plus-one invitation to guests is entirely up to the wedding couple. Nonetheless, in other cases, allowing attendees to bring a date or a plus-one may be suitable or expected. As an example:

  • If a guest is married or in a long-term committed relationship, it is customary to address their partner by name.
  • Allowing guests to bring a date to keep them company and share in the experience may be thoughtful if they come to a long distance to attend the wedding.
  • Allowing single attendees to bring a plus-one may be more inclusive and welcome if most wedding guests are couples or families.

It is ultimately up to the couple to decide how to handle plus-one invitations. Couples can limit plus-one invitations to specific individuals, such as those in committed relationships or those who won’t know many other people at the wedding, or they can extend plus-one invitations to all guests. To minimize misunderstandings or broken feelings, it’s critical to communicate clearly and respectfully with guests about the wedding invitation policy.

The Biggest “Don’t” Of Wedding Etiquette Invitations 

Include Information About Your Registry On Your Wedding Invites

People don’t like it when you put your wedding registration information on your wedding invitations because it looks like you ask your guests for gifts. So how do you tell your friends and family about your wedding list? You may immediately put your wedding registry information on your website if you want to.

Addressing Wedding Invitations About Registry - Photo by: Hitch Studio
Addressing Wedding Invitations About Registry

Don’t want to make your website? Spreading the word about where you are registered or putting that information on your Bridal Shower Invitations is fine. Besides, your parents, wedding party, and other close friends can tell guests without breaking the wedding invitation etiquette rules.

Using the Wrong Start Time

You may think again before suggesting a ceremony start time earlier than planned. If there is one thing that wedding guests are aware of, they should arrive early to the ceremony. 

Suppose your ceremony is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. In that case, expect guests should arrive between 5:30 and 5:45. They may begin making their way down the aisle no later than 6:15. If you inform visitors that the ceremony will start at 5:45, they’ll arrive about 5:00 p.m. and wait for an hour to observe your spectacular entrance.

Write Important Information On The Back Of Your Wedding Invitation

Most of the time, it’s better to put other important information that only fits on your wedding invitation on a separate card than on the back of the wedding invitation itself. The main reason is that guests might miss out on something important if they don’t turn over the wedding invitation. You also don’t want to put too many details on the front or back of your wedding invitations because that will take attention away from the main design of your wedding invitation. So, doing it on the other cards can make things look cleaner or more put together.

You may still use the space on your wedding invitations well. On the back, many couples add a monogram, a personalized wedding logo, or something else unique.

>>> Furthermore: Wedding Guest Etiquette: 16 Best Guides Manners And Customs

Formal Wedding Invitation Wording Does Not Including All Necessary Information

Ensure your inviting guests know what’s happening. So, on your wedding invitation, list the wedding date, time, and place of the ceremony, among other important details. 

If your wedding reception is at the same location as the ceremony, write “reception to follow” so guests know they don’t need to go anywhere else. If your reception is held elsewhere, you can either mention it on the other formal wedding invitation or print a separate reception card with the details for a more formal setting.

Leaving the RSVP envelope unstamped

Ensure the RSVP card envelope is pre-addressed and has a stamp if you want your guests to send back their cards via mail. Will you need to purchase a ton of more stamps due to this? Yes. However, it is impolite to charge your guests for the privilege of responding (even if it’s just a single stamp).

Not Making Explicit Who Is Invited

The names on the envelope’s front are everything. Don’t use “The Taylor Family” if you invite a couple but not their kids. Put “Mr. and Mrs. Taylor Patrick,” suggesting they are the only people invited instead. If you invite people someone along with a visitor, make sure to include “and Guest” on the envelope or, if you are aware of it, the name of the person’s significant other. 

Inviting your guest’s entire family? The children’s names should be written on the line beneath the names of their parents, such as “The Taylor Family” or “Mr. and Mrs. Taylor Patrick, Ellen, Louis, and Anna.”

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Any couple preparing for their wedding day must know the wedding invitation etiquette. By adhering to these rules, you may ensure that your wedding invitations capture the formality and tone of your wedding ceremony and prevent misunderstandings or broken emotions. Besides, you may read more articles on the Viva Wedding Photography Blog for additional suggestions and guidance on other wedding etiquette.

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2 thoughts on “Wedding Invitation Etiquette Guides to Avoid Mistakes with Your Dear Guests”

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