Wedding Invitation Etiquette Q & A

Your wedding invitations are such an important part of your wedding day since they contain essential information for your guests. Be sure to read through these wedding invitation etiquette question and answers to learn about some basic rules to follow when sending out your invitations.


Q. What should I include in with my Wedding Invitations?

A. The invitation does more than let guests know that they are invited to your wedding. Invitations set the tone and style for the whole event. Plus, they need to provide the guests with all the pertinent information they need. According to wedding invitation etiquette, make sure to include:

  1. The actual invitation that states the who, what, when and where of the ceremony

  2. An RSVP/reply card and a stamped, preaddressed envelope to the host

  3. Directions to the ceremony and reception

  4. A reception card, if your reception is in a different location than the ceremony, listing all the pertinent information such as hours, location, attire (if different) and any other pertinent information

  5. A list of nearby hotels, with rates and directions. Don’t forget to set up “block rooms” if you have a lot of out-of-town guests to get additional savings off the rooms

  6. An itinerary if your event spans more than one day

Q. Should I handwrite my wedding invitation addresses or have them printed?

A. Traditionalists will say you should always handwrite because it personalizes the wedding invitation. But what if you a) don’t have the time b) have lousy handwriting or c) just don’t want to? Don’t worry about it, say the experts on wedding invitation etiquette. Turns out, either way is perfectly acceptable. If you have the time to do it yourself or the money to have someone write or do calligraphy, that’s great. But if you don’t, don’t add it to your stress. Most people don’t even look at the envelope and are much more interested in the actual invitation.

But if you are doing it yourself, don’t plan on doing it all at once. Instead set aside time to address a few at a time in order to protect the integrity of your penmanship and your mindset! Of course, you can always enlist someone in your family with good penmanship or hire someone who can help.

Q. Should I order extra wedding invitations?

A. When ordering your invitations and thank-you cards, don’t forget to order extra! You’ll always need more than you think. Not only do you need enough to cover your guests, but you’ll also need extras to send to those you want to invite, but who can’t attend, or a last-minute guest. Plus, you always receive gifts from those not invited, but who want to share in your happiness. Ordering more after your initial order will always end up costing more, because most printers require a minimum number to place the order. So always order extra and be prepared! It’s always better to have a few extra than to come up short.

Q. Should I include a dress code on my wedding invitations?

A. No matter how much you think guests will instinctively know, ALWAYS state the desired attire on your invitation. By doing so, you alleviate some stress for your guests plus you help guarantee a cohesive look for your wedding. When you state the attire, make sure that you are very clear. After all, what do Festive Attire and Downtown Chic really mean?

Use the terms that most guests will readily know, and save yourself the calls and headaches that will inevitably follow if you don’t:

Black or White Tie
Black Tie Optional or Formal
Semi Formal or Dressy Casual
Beach Wedding Attire or Beach Formal
Casual Dress

Q. How do I word “no children” on my wedding invitations?

A. Not allowing children can be a sticky subject, but it doesn’t have to be. Technically, wedding invitation etiquette says if they aren’t listed on the invitation, they aren’t invited. But not everyone will follow that rule. If you want to make it very clear on the invitation, simply add “Adult reception”, which looks more polite than writing “No Children”.

Learn about Wedding Gift Registry Etiquette with more Q&A!

About the Author:
Lauren LaBelle – Wedding Planning Expert

Over the past 10 years, Lauren has successfully planned hundreds of beautiful weddings from small and intimate to large and grand at a variety of venues..private homes, hotels, wineries and more. She is thrilled to be able to share her expertise and passion for planning with helpful articles for brides.

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