Wedding invitation etiquette is all about making sure that the wording, addressing, sending, and replying to wedding invitations is done and done correctly.So, if you’re looking for advice on wedding invitation etiquette I have 8 of the most important tips to make sure you don’t make any etiquette mistakes with your invitations; just read on…
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Who to Send Wedding Invitations To
The decision of who to send invitations to is a very personal decision but here are some tips to help you with your decision.It may seem obvious but wedding invitations should be sent to people who you (and the families) want to attend the wedding.Send wedding announcements to your friends, family, and colleagues who aren’t invited to the wedding for some reason (budget constraints or whatever) so they will know you had a wedding.Even if you’re sure that a guest won’t be able to attend, it’s a nice gesture to invite them.People invited to the wedding shower should always be invited to your wedding.This is because the shower is essentially a gift-giving party and if you invite someone to the shower but not to the wedding what you’re saying that they were only invited to the shower (or to an engagement party) because you just wanted to get gifts.
Writing the Invitations
Here are some handy tips to help you write your wedding invitations.Don’t abbreviate. For addresses, dates, time and or other words like “and” it is bad etiquette to use abbreviations, if, for no other reason, than it implies a lack of consideration.If you are having a formal, “black tie” wedding then, in the lower right hand corner of the invitation, say that your wedding will be formal to make sure that your guests dress appropriately.If the couple and both parents are hosting the wedding then put something likE Barbara Ann Wilson and S. John BeeAlong with their parentsBryan and Denise Wilson
and Akeelah and Theo BeeRequest the honor of your presence Using wording like that lets people know that you and your partner are the hosts in conjunction with both sets of parentsAlso, the word “hosting” is ambiguous enough that it can mean parents can be official hosts or they may just be honorary hosts.Addressing the Envelope There are certain etiquette rules you should follow when addressing your wedding invitation envelopes. Here are some tips to help you do it right.Don’t address envelopes with “and Family” – like Mr. and Mrs. John Smith and Family.It may seem easier to do but if you want your invitations to stand out don’t take the simple and easy way.Also, the names of children under 18 should be included in the parent’s invitation but for children 18 or over should receive their own invitation if you want them to attend.If you are inviting someone alone and you want to make sure that it’s understood then do not add “and Guest” to the envelope. Conversely, if you want them to know they can (or should) bring a guest with them then be sure to put “and Guest” on the envelope.
If you know the person is in a relationship then you shouldn’t write “and Guest”, you should find out the name of the person and add it to the envelope.Proper etiquette dictates that you never address your envelopes with a computer, even if you use one of those fonts that looks like handwriting.You should always handwrite them because a wedding’s an intimate and extremely personal celebration and your wedding invitations need to be a reflection of that; it’s one of those personal things that aren’t obvious unless they’re missing and then they are very obvious.If time is the issue, then get you family and wedding party to help you, just make sure they have nice handwriting.It’s a good idea to put a return address on the envelope. Either have it printed on the outer envelope (although that will increase the cost of the invitations) or you can handwrite them on the back flap.Be sure to use the return of the person who’s responsible for the response cards, usually this is the bride’s mother and/or the groom’s mother. The response card envelope/postcard should be printed with the same address.Send unmarried couples who live together just one invitation because they are a couple.You should address the invitation in the same way you would address a married couple with different last names; that is, in alphabetic order by last name on the outer envelope, like Mr. Robert Allen Ms. Paula Peterson
And then you’d put address the inner envelope as: Mr. Allen and Ms. Peterson or Robert and Paula.For a couple who doesn’t live together you should send each their own invitation although you could send one invite to the person you’re closest to but be sure to list both names alphabetically on the outer envelope, separately on their own lines like above.If the couple are doctors then both the outer and inner envelopes should be addressed to: “The Doctors Brewster.”
If the couple is married and one is a doctor but has different last names then list both names alphabetically on different lines with the spouse with the professional title is listed first.On the outer envelope say “Dr. Mary Mathews” then “Mr. Daniel Mathews”The inner envelope would read: “Dr. Randolph and Mr. Randolph” or “Dr. and Mr. Randolph.”If the couple is gay, you have several options depending upon how formal you want to address the envelopes, because you won’t be saying “Mr. and Mrs.”.For a formal invite you’ll probably want to address it as: “Ms. Mitchell Robbie” and “Ms. Sheila Mitchell” or “Mr. Ray Short” and “Mr. William Short”; note the names are in alphabetical order by first name.Another option, if you don’t want to use salutations or put the name on different lines, you can use “Robbie and Sheila Mitchell” or “Ray Short” or “William Short”No matter what you choose for the outer envelope, the inner envelope should read: “The Mitchells” or “The Shorts”.If the guest is a widow, then address her invitation “Mrs. Ed Simmons” unless you know she’d prefer not to be addressed in that way (ask her if you need to).A divorced woman who’s kept her married name should be addressed as you suggested — “Ms. Gladys Church.”Don’t use nicknames on official invitations, always use people’s full name unless you know a person does not want their middle name included. If that’s the case, just completely leave the middle name out and don’t even use initials.Don’t use any abbreviations except for “Mr.”, “Mrs.”, “Ms.” or “Dr.”, all other titles, salutations and honoraria should be written out completely.However, in the inner envelope it’s okay to use casual names like “Uncle Bill” or “Grandma and Grandpa” to your family or the friends you are particularly close you doing that you’ll show them a level of intimacy.
If your ceremony and your reception are being held at different locations you must include a reception card with your invitation; put it in its own envelope and include all information about the reception.Also indicate the type of wedding it is both with words and the style of the invitation.For example, if the wedding’s formal get ultra-formal, traditional invitations using either white, ivory, or ecru paper, the words done in ebony black script and, maybe, even a gold or silver border.If you are having the ceremony at the same location as the reception then you don’t need to include a reception card, just add a single line to the bottom of your ceremony invitation as say something like “Reception to follow.”Also make sure your ushers know where to direct your guests to after the ceremony, so they’re all taking the best way to the reception area.
Include an R.S.V.P. card and a self-addressed stamped envelope so that it’s easy for people to respond. Make your cards unique and personal just like your wedding style and motif.When to MailBe sure to mail your wedding invitations at least 6-8 weeks before your wedding.However, if your wedding will be during a holiday or a holiday season you need to send your invitations out much sooner so your guests have time to make plans, arrange their schedules changes, and make reservations.You also need to send them earlier if there will be a lot of out-of-town guests.With these wedding invitation etiquette tips you’ll be sending out the perfect wedding invitations.