As a DC wedding planner, I have organized many Weddings and Events tailored specifically to our couples’ personalities, styles, and aesthetics, however, certain wedding-related items call for following certain guidelines, also known as etiquette. One of the most important is your Wedding Invitation Etiquette.
Below are 6 simple guidelines you should take into consideration when creating your wedding invitations.
Wedding Invitation Etiquette #1 – Who’s hosting
This is the first and most important element of your invitation. It identifies the person or group hosting the wedding. This is typically the person or group financially responsible for the wedding and may or may not be actively involved in the planning process. If parent(s) from the bride or groom’s side are hosting, add their name(s) at the top of the invitation. If parents from both sides are hosting, include the names of both sets of parents as hosts. On the other hand, if the bride and groom are hosting along with the parents, you should use wording, such as “Together with their parents…”. If the parents of the bride or groom are divorced, then use separate lines for their names, and put the mother’s name first.
Etiquette #2 – Request line
Once you place the hosts at the top of the invitation, next up is to add a lovely line to ask for the pleasure of your guests’ company. In my years of experience, I have seen a lot of combinations, and adaptations, and you can freely experiment with the words as long as you state clearly what you want to convey. Some good examples are:
“request the pleasure of your company”
“would love for you to join them”
“invite you to celebrate with them”
“request the honor of your presence”
“invite you to share in their joy”
Then, you can make combinations with specific phrases that will follow the request line:
“at the marriage of their children” or “at the marriage of their daughter…to …”
“at the celebration of their marriage”
“in witnessing the union between”
“to celebrate the marriage of their children”
“as they tie the knot”
Etiquette #3 – The couple’s names
The bride and groom’s names should take the invitation’s center spot. However, if they have been mentioned as part of the hosts, then don’t repeat them. Traditionally the name of the bride always precedes the groom’s name
Etiquette #4 – Date, time, and location
For formal weddings, it is customary to write the date out in full (i.e. The First Day of July) rather than in numerals (July 1st). The year is optional (the assumption being your wedding is on the nearest year of the date listed) and if added, it should also be spelled out rather than numerals (i.e. Two Thousand Twenty-Three). The time is indicated with “o’clock” rather than “a.m.” and “p.m.” If you are planning a casual wedding, you can be more creative – numerals would work just fine.
The name of the venue(s) (ceremony and reception) should be included. The street address of the venue is not usually needed unless omitting it would lead to confusion, or your wedding is taking place at the host’s home. The city and state should be written out in full in either case
Etiquette #5 – Reception information and dress code
Most Formal wedding invitations include reception information on a separate card if the reception location is different from the ceremony location. If both ceremony and reception will take place at the same location, it is customary to add “reception immediately following’ at the bottom of the invitation card. You can also specify if it will be an adults-only event on the same line (i.e. adults-only reception to follow).
For dress codes, this is completely optional. Some couples choose to select a specific dress code, while others do not point it out. This can be added directly after the reception information. If you don’t include a note on attire, the invitation style and quality will indicate the dress code
Wedding Invitation Etiquette #6 – RSVP Card
Many couples opt for a separate response card for guests to fill out and return in the mail. It is the most traditional way, so if you are having a formal wedding, you should consider this option. However, you can also opt for an electronic RSVP process and have guests respond via your wedding website even with a formal invitation. Not only is it more convenient, but it’s also environmentally friendly! If that’s the case, include the website address on a separate card in lieu of an RSVP card
I hope this Wedding Invitation Etiquette guide is helpful and provides you with enough information to get started on your own invitation. If you need a professional Wedding Planning team to guide you through wedding activities like this one, do not hesitate to contact us!