The Do’s and Don’ts of Invitation Etiquette

The ring is on and the day is set. Before the wedding-planning frenzy begins, you’ve got to send save-the-dates and invitations. Depending on your stress levels and time, you may get them professionally printed, or you might want to flex your DIY muscles (and not your wallet) and use digital printers to make your own invitations. Some may say that you should only order professionally printed invitations. If you shop around right for either option, making sure to look at portfolios or buy affordable ink, you can certainly create stunning invitations. But before you go ahead and do that, you should consider the do’s and don’ts of invitation etiquette to abide by, so you can keep those nervous breakdowns at bay.

Wedding Etiquette

  • Do send out the invitations on time. Invitations should be sent out six to eight weeks before the wedding. This gives guests plenty of time to make the necessary travel and work arrangements. In case of destination weddings, aim for at least three months.
  • Don’t forget save-the-date cards. For destination weddings save-the-date cards should be sent out six to eight months before the wedding date.
  • Do give a sensible RSVP deadline. Controlling the entrance to your event is one the most important things you can do to ensure your event goes well, and invitations with RSVP deadlines are a sure way to do this. A month should suffice for you to get a final head count for catered meals and other wedding activities such as creating the seating chart.
  • Don’t make RSVPing a hassle. Guests should be able to this via email or through your wedding website rather than snail mail.
  • Do include the wedding website . Adding it to the bottom of the invitation will be enough to keep guests informed about everything wedding related, such as hotels and fun activities around town should they arrive a couple of days early.
  • Don’t include the wedding registry on the invitation. Save it for the wedding website. Otherwise you risk looking as though you’re asking for gifts.
  • Do be sure to specify the dress code in the invitation. Traditionally this goes on the lower right-hand corner of the invite and can range from “casual attire” to “black tie”.
  • Don’t forget the little ones. If it’s an adult-only wedding make sure to specify that in the invite and if there are lots of children in the family, consider making babysitting arrangements.
  • Do address invitations correctly. This not only refers to titles such as “Miss” or “Ms.”, but also addressing them (by name) only to the people you actually want at the wedding.
  • Don’t feel obligated to hand out “plus ones”. If you are having an intimate wedding in which it’s not possible to give an account for an extra guest for everyone you invite, don’t feel like you have to. If a guest is not in a serious relationship, engaged or married, let them fly solo!
  • Do mention if children are or are not invited. Parents would rather find someone to babysit than show up with their kids to find that they will be bored or not welcome at the reception. Certain wedding themes also intuitively include children, such as carnival themes where there can be bounce houses or water slides, but regardless you should still indicate whether children are going to be invited

Be sure to follow these do’s and don’ts to make the wedding-planning process a lot easier on both, the hosts and the guests.