When it comes to wedding invitation etiquette bridal experts, Valerie and Stephanie Chin, the designers of Moonlight Bridal and Val Stefani have the answers. Wedding invitations are guests’ first impression of the wedding day. The invites should not only be a representation of the bride and groom, but also include important details. Since wedding invitation etiquette can be hard to decipher, Valerie and Stephanie have broken down the top 10 questions on how to word them, when to send them, and all the in-between!
1.What Do You Include on Your Invitation?
It’s all in the details! The invitation should include the hosts’ first and last names along with the bride and groom’s full names. The hosts are usually the parents of the bride or groom. Other important details to include are when and where the wedding will take place. Time, date, month, and year should all be included along with the full address of the wedding ceremony and reception. The wedding invitation is also where you can include the dress code. Which leads us to the next tip.
2. Where Should You Include the Dress Code?
You can include it on your wedding invitation. This information is normally inserted on the lower right-hand corner of the invite or on the reception card if you have included one. Another way your guests can gauge how formal or casual your big day will be, is the style and language of the invitation itself. An invitation with calligraphy and formal language will convey a formal style. While a colorful, more relaxed language invitation hints at a more casual style. You can also include the dress code on your wedding website which you can also include with the invitation!
3.How Should You Let Your Guests Know About Your Wedding Website?
Wedding websites are a very popular trend among newly engaged couples. It can include all the information on your invitation and then some! The URL can be included on your save-the-date but if you didn’t send out any you can include a small insert in the formal invitation.
4.How Do You Address Your Guests on the Invitation and Envelope?
The way you address the invitation is important because it indicates who you are really inviting. The proper way to address a married couple is with “Mr. and Mrs.” followed by the husband’s full name. If the wife kept her maiden name, you would address it in alphabetical order by last name. Addressing the invitation to “Mr. and Mrs. X and family” will include your guests’ child(ren). When addressing your single girlfriends, you would use “Ms.” for those over 21 and “Miss” for those under 21. For your guy friends, it would simply be “Mr.”
5. Where Should the Return Address Be?
The return address should be placed on the back flap of the envelope and the address included should be the hosts’ address. The RVSP envelope should already have the return address and postage on them.
6. Should You Include Your Registry Information in the Invitation?
You should never include your registry information in the wedding invitation. Instead, let your bridal party, family and close friends relay the information to guests in conversation. That way your guests will be aware of your registry without feeling like you’re inviting them just for the gifts. A good place to include your registry information is on your website, but make sure it’s not on the first page.
7. When Should Your Invitations Be Sent Out?
Invitations should be sent out at least six to eight weeks before your wedding day. The earlier you send out your invitations, the more time your guests have to plan their attendance. Another perk of sending out your invitations earlier is that you will start getting RSVP back earlier and that will relieve some stress in your planning process. For destination weddings, it is not uncommon to send them out at least three months in advance. This will give your guests ample time to request time off from work or find a babysitter. No one will ever get mad at you for sending out your invitations too early.
8. Are All Guests Allowed a Plus One?
The simple answer is, no. You decide who gets invited to your wedding. It is perfectly okay to invite your single friends without their plus one’s if you want to keep it small and intimate. If you have a big group of single friends, let them know that there will be plenty of people for them to mingle with. When possible, introduce them to one another and seat them together.
9. Do You Have to Send Out a Save-the-Date?
No, you don’t have to send out a save-the-date. This is a fairly new and totally optional step. They are just to give your guests a heads up when your wedding date will be. If you do choose to send them, they should be sent out six to eight months before the wedding. Make sure those who receive a save-the-date also receive an invitation to the wedding. You don’t want to be in a situation where you have to explain why someone received a save-the-date but not an invitation to the wedding. Yikes!
10. Can You Invite Your Guests to Just the Ceremony?
If you invite guests to the wedding ceremony, you are also inviting them to the reception afterwards. It would be rude to only invite them to the ceremony since it gives the impression of, “I want you at the ceremony, but don’t want to pay for your dinner plate.” You definitely don’t want to give off that impression on your big day! If you have always envisioned a big wedding ceremony with numerous guests, expect to also have a large reception as well.