Wedding Invitation Etiquette: What to Send & When

A wedding invitation in an envelope

One of the most important things to do when planning a wedding is to send out your invites, whether it’s online, or through the post.

You don’t want to plan a beautiful wedding and have no one turn up because you forgot to send the invites out after all!

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1. Who is hosting the wedding?

Traditionally it was the bride’s family who paid for the wedding, which meant that they would be the ones who were hosting.

Today, it is still the family who is paying who will be hosts of the wedding and should be set out on the invitations like so:

Mr. and Mrs. James Cook
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Amelia
To
Frederick Stewart

If both sets of parents are paying for the wedding you should set out the invitation as shown below:

 Mr. and Mrs. James Cook

and
Mr. and Mrs. George Stewart
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their children
Amelia Cook
and
Frederick Stewart

It is becoming increasingly more common for couples to pay for their own weddings, in which case the invitations should be set out like this:

Together with their families

Amelia Cook
and
Frederick Stewart
request the honour of your presence
at their marriage

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2. When to send out wedding invitations

When sending out the invitations you should have already sent out the save-the-date cards.

These are usually sent six to eight months before the wedding to give guests plenty of time to keep the date free. You do not have to send out the actual invitations until six to eight weeks before the wedding as this will still give your guests enough time to make the necessary arrangements they need to make in order to attend the wedding.

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3. What should you include in the invitations?

Of course, it is crucial that you put the date of the wedding on the invitation. It is common for the ceremony and reception to take place at different locations so you should ensure you have included both addresses on the invite. You should also provide a map to travel between each location, (especially if they are far apart).

If you are expecting your guests to RSVP by mail you should include an RSVP card for them to fill out, along with a stamped and pre-addressed envelope.

It is also a good idea to include a menu with the invitation so that your guests can choose what they will have to eat before filling out the RSVP’s.

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4. What should go on the RSVP card?

Firstly and most importantly you should make room for the name of your guest, as your guest probably won’t think about writing their name down when filling out the card. It may even pay off to put a number on the back of the card to track whose cars is whose.

You should also ask whether or not your guests will be attending the both the wedding and the reception, and if so which meal choice they will have at the reception.

A reply-by date is also crucial to put on the RSVP card. This is because the venue will need you to sort out the logistics of the seating arrangements and meals well ahead of time. Plus you don’t want your guests to reply the day before the wedding!

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5. Wedding Registry Information

It is still considered ill-mannered to include your wedding registry on your invitations so this should be avoided. Instead tell the people whom your guests might ask where you are registered, (the bridal party, your parents) so that they can spread the word instead.

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6. Should I include “plus-ones?”

This is completely up to you, but you have every right to say no if your guest asks to bring a friend. You will be paying for an extra meal after all.

If your guest is married or in a serious relationship then usually you would allow them to have a “plus-one”, but if you don’t know their partner then it is perfectly fine to ask them to come solo.

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If you are planning on getting married and are searching for that perfect wedding ring visit our stunning collection here.

Read tips for what to write in a wedding card here.

Credit: Minted, WeddingPaperDivas, Etsy, Bridal Guide, LetterPress

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