If you don’t already know, there are plenty of etiquette rules related to wedding planning. And wedding invitations are no exception. Below is a list of ten etiquette rules you need to keep in mind as you are dealing with your invitations.
1. All Wedding Invitations Should be Addressed by Hand
Of course, addressing 50 to 100 envelopes by hand may seem like a horrible chore, especially when you are trying to be careful not to make a mistake and to practice your best penmanship. Your hand will probably be aching for days, but doing anything less seems too impersonal. For example, you don’t want envelopes addressed in multiple handwriting styles and you absolutely don’t want to use pre-printed labels.
Remember to address the response cards, too.
2. Mail All of Your Invitations at the Same Time
Even though you may be tempted to divide your envelopes up into smaller batches and mail them as you finish them, you shouldn’t. Mailing them all at the same time makes it less likely that someone is going to receive their invitation before someone else you’ve invited. You don’t want to receive that hurt phone call from your friend or relative asking why they weren’t invited to the wedding.
3. List “And Guest” If They Can Bring a Guest
When you are inviting your single guests, you should specify that they can bring a guest to the wedding. To do this, you simply write your guest’s name and the words “And Guest” on the invitation. If you prefer that they don’t bring guests, you should just leave off the “And Guest” part. You can also address the invitation to both your guest and his or her significant other if they are in a current relationship.
4. Send Wedding Announcements to People Who Did Not Receive Invitations
Don’t send apologize or explanations to people who did not make it on the guest list. Most of those people either won’t realize they’ve been passed over or will understand why, so there’s no reason to make a big deal about it. However, you should send them a wedding announcement to let them know you are now married.
5. Invite Everyone Who Goes to the Ceremony to the Reception
Anyone who attends the ceremony is going to assume they are invited to the reception, so you shouldn’t try to plan it any other way. If you have some people you want to include in part of the wedding but not in the other, then have a larger reception and a smaller ceremony.
Make sure to include reception cards if the reception is not located at the ceremony location.
6. Avoid Saying “No Children, Please” on the Invitation
Some couples don’t mind having children at their ceremony and reception; others do. The question is how to handle the latter situation. The easiest way is to address the invitation only to the adults. If they R. S. V. P. and include their children, contact them immediately and explain the situation. Also, be fair when it comes to children. Either all children are invited or none (except for those in the wedding party) are. It isn’t fair to your guests to pick and choose which children are allowed to attend.
7. Do Not Mention Your Wedding Registry in Your Invitation
The invitation is not the appropriate place to bring up the topic of gifts. That gives the impression that your guests are only invited so they can give you a present. Instead, allow word of mouth to spread your registry information. Make sure to tell most of your relatives where you are registered so they can pass on the information to family members or friends who call them. Of course, if a guest contacts you and asks where you are registered, you are free to answer them.
8. Do Not Ask for Responses by Email or by Phone
Guests should RSVP by sending the pre-addressed, pre-stamped response card. You should not encourage them to respond by email or by phone – both of which are inappropriate. Although you may want to save money on stamps, you’ll find it easier to keep track of who has responded when you’re dealing with the printed response cards, not trying to remember who called you last week while you were on your way out the door.
9. Mail Invitations and Announcements At Appropriate Times
Invitations should be mailed six to eight weeks before your wedding day. This time frame gives your guests plenty of time to receive and respond to the invitations. If you are having a destination wedding, however, you may want to send the invitations earlier since your guests will have to make travel plans. Announcements should be mailed either the day of or the day after the wedding so individuals will not receive the news after they’ve already heard about the wedding.
10. Word Your Invitations Appropriately
Depending on who is covering the wedding costs and on your own marital situation, the wording of your invitations is going to vary. You can find examples of appropriate wording for almost any situation by browsing the Internet.