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Important Wedding Invitation Etiquette You Need To Know

Guide to Wedding Invitation Etiquette

FAQs: Wedding Invitation Etiquette  |  Wedding Invitation Example Wording  |  Wedding Invitations You'll Love

Everything to Know About Wedding Invitation Etiquette

Writing wedding invitations is simple once you find the right words and understand the typical etiquette. To help you out, we collected info about what you should include on your invites, some wedding invitation wording samples, when you should send them out, and even some links to a few options!

What Should Be Included In a Wedding Invitation?

Your wedding invitations should include all the most important information about the wedding. This includes the address, date, start time, RSVP info, and dress code. Try to be succinct: you’ll need to include a lot on a few small cards. Look at some examples or templates online to make sure everything looks neat and organized! Below is a little more detail on what to include in the invite.

Light Blue Wedding Invitation

1) Wedding Date & Start Time

Of course you need to let everyone know the date and time of the wedding. Writing out the time “five o’clock in the afternoon” will make your invitations look more formal and also more specific. Whether you choose numbers or written words, remember to note AM vs PM! 

You may also want to consider writing the date out instead of abbreviating in case anyone is used to foreign date structures where the date and month are switched (11/10 is November 10th in America but October 11th in Europe).

2) Address of Ceremony and/or Reception

Make sure the correct address is written clearly on the wedding invitations. If your reception is at a different location you’ll want to include a separate reception card with the start time and address. If not, you can write “reception to follow” on the ceremony invitation.

3) RSVP Information or RSVP Insert

Include an RSVP card for guests to fill out and return to you or with the information on how to RSVP online. Write all of the invitees' names on the card. Be clear on who’s invited - mention whether or not there are plus ones, kids, etc. included. Check with your caterer to see if you should include the entree options on the RSVP card. They may need to know which dish each person is eating.

Wedding Guest Food

4) Wedding Dress Code (Formal, Semi-Formal, etc.)

You can include your specific dress code on your wedding invitations. Simply write Semi-formal Attire, Black Tie Optional, Casual Attire, or whatever your chosen dress code is. If you really want to save space on your wedding invites, you can include the dress code on your wedding website.

Wedding Guest Dress Code

When to Send Wedding Invitations: Stay On Schedule

Send out your wedding invitations 2-3 months before your wedding. This will give people plenty of time to send back RSVPs to you. This also gives guests plenty of time to request off from work, clear their schedule, and make travel plans. Your save-the-date cards should have been sent out 6-8 months before your wedding so your guests already have a heads up about what to expect. 

Your invitations are one of the most important items on your wedding planning timeline so make sure you get them out on time!

When Should RSVPs Be Due For the Wedding?

RSVPs should be due 2-3 weeks before the wedding. Include clear instructions on the RSVP card about when they’re due and how to complete them. You can include a url, phone number, or email to RSVP digitally or pre-addressed and stamped envelopes for your guests to mail back. You’ll need to get the official headcount to your caterer by a week out so make sure your RSVPs are all accounted for by then.

Wedding Invitations and Stationery

Be Clear Who Is (& Is Not) Invited to the Wedding

One of the most important parts of your wedding invitation is who to invite. Make sure you’re very clear on the invitation exactly who is on the guest list. Address all of the invitees by name so there’s no confusion. If the wedding is adults only, make sure you mention that so no one assumes they can bring their children. For added clarity, include the number of seats that are reserved for the family on the RSVP card.

Wedding Registry: Do You Include It On Your Invitation?

You don’t need to include your registry info on your wedding invitation. Some people think it’s impolite to ask for gifts directly. Let people know about the registry by adding your wedding website to the invite, letting them find out by word of mouth, or by mentioning the registry in the wedding shower invitations.

Pink Wedding Invitation

Wedding Invitation Wording Examples

Look to some examples for inspiration for your wedding invitation wording. The wording on your invites should be fairly simple so feel free to copy the wording from an invite template. Just don’t forget to change all the details to your own information. Below are some examples of wedding wording to help you get started.

1) Formal Wedding Invitation Wording for An Elegant Affair

If you’re having a formal wedding, you’ll want to write a formal wedding invitation. Make sure you write out the date and times to create a more elegant look. You may also want to include a note about your parents or family since that’s included in the traditional format for wedding invitations.

Together with their families
Hannah Jane Weaver
Jacob Steven Palmer
Request the honor of your presence
on their wedding day
Saturday, the twenty-first of October
Two thousand twenty two
at half past four in the afternoon
The Langham Huntington
Pasadena, CA

Reception to follow

Couple's First Wedding Dance

2) Creative Wedding Invitation Wording for A Unique Twist

You can get a little creative with your wedding invitation. Use some modern wedding invitation wording to make it feel more lighthearted and cute. You can say “tie the knot” instead of “marriage ceremony” if you’re going for a more fun invite. You could even include a pun, joke, or pop culture reference.

Please join
Elle Woods and
Emmett Richmond
as they tie the knot
April 19th 2023
four o'clock in the afternoon
Harry Parker Boathouse
Boston, MA

Couple Sitting Together at Wedding Reception

3) Casual Wedding Invitation Wording to Keep It Simple

Feel free to go casual with your wedding invitation wording, especially if you’re having a more casual style wedding. As long as all the important information is included in the invite, you’re good!

We're getting married!
Ben & Andie
Please join us
at 5:30 p.m.
Snug Harbor
Staten Island, NY

4) Traditional Wedding Invitation Wording

The most traditional way to write your wedding invitations is with your parents’ names as the hosts of the event. Traditionally the bride’s parents pay for and facilitate the wedding so they are listed at the top of the invitation. If you want to include the groom’s parents you can add them after. If one or more of your parents has passed, you could mention them as “the late Mrs. ______'' or include an “in memory of” note at the end of your invitation to honor them.

Mr. and Mrs. John Hamilton
Request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their daughter
Allie Hamilton
Noah Calhoun
son of Frank Calhoun
Saturday, 8th of July, 2022
Six thirty in the afternoon
Brookgreen Gardens
Murrells Inlet, SC
Reception to follow
Cocktail attire

Gorgeous Wedding Invitations You’ll Want to Send Out

Choosing wedding invitations is a super fun and low-pressure task. Just make sure you choose invitations that suit your sense of style and match your wedding aesthetic.  If you feel like going all out with funky or formal invitations, go for it. If the invites are low on your priority list, get some simple yet elegant cards. We chose a few different fun options for you to get inspired by!

1) Affordable Wedding Invitations (Check Out Etsy!)

Floral Boho Wedding Invitations

Floral Boho Wedding Invitation Set

How expensive your invitations are is on the long list of things your wedding guests don’t care about. Your wedding invitations can be cute without being pricey. Websites like Etsy make it especially easy to find inexpensive wedding invitations that look beautiful. Many of these options are digital templates that you can download, edit, and print on your own. 

2) Fun Newspaper Wedding Invitation Announcement

Newspaper Wedding Invitation

Newspaper-style Wedding Invitation

One cute way to get creative with your invitations is to do a newspaper style wedding invite! This gives you the opportunity to fit more text on your invitations if you love to get creative with writing. Your guests will love reading about your love story as they prepare for your big day.

3) Minimalist / Simple Wedding Invitations

Modern Wedding Invitations

Modern Wedding Invitation Set Template

There’s no reason to buy complicated wedding invitations if you don’t want them. A sleek invitation includes all the information your guests need. We love a minimalist design and it makes for an easy-to-read and modern wedding invitation. 

4) Custom Photo Wedding Invitations

Photo Wedding Invitations

Arch Shaped Photo Wedding Invitation

Including a photo on your wedding invitations is an adorable reminder of what the wedding is about. Photo wedding invitations will look great on your loved ones’ refrigerators as they count down till your wedding day!

5) Earth Tone Wedding Invitation Suite

Wedding Invitation Suite

Neutral Wedding Invite Suite

A wedding invitation suite includes a collection of cards with different information on them. Buying a suite means all your info cards will coordinate and look cute together. It also means you won’t have to fit all the wedding info on one single piece of paper. Your wedding invitation suite can include an RSVP card, a directions card, a weekend events card, and more.

Are You Ready to Send Out Wedding Invitations?

If you’re a few months out from your wedding, it’s time to start thinking about your wedding invitations! You’ll want to have them all mailed out by 2 months before your wedding. Get prepared by looking for the perfect invitations, making sure your guest list is complete, and searching for any missing addresses.

Wedding invitations are one of many things you can choose a budget option for if you need to save money in your wedding budget. Read more about the items your wedding guests won’t think twice about.

10 Things Wedding Guests Don't Care About Blog

Unnecessary Wedding Expenses: Save Money On Things Guests Won’t Miss

Clearance Bridesmaid Dress sale!

Ready to ship bridesmaid dresses from $19.95 to $69.99 — Available while supplies last.


Leave a comment

Libby M
June 29, 2020 19:53

This is a good list. However, I do agree that keeping the registry on the invite is more common now. Or links to the wedding website which may include the registry.

June 19, 2020 22:11

Helpful tips! Definitely wonder about the registry though.. so many people put theirs on both the save the dates and the invites.

June 14, 2020 08:44

I have had several people ask me for where we are registered and see many include it in the invitations. Wonder if this is changing or just bad etiquette.

May 25, 2020 09:12

Very helpful!

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