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Invitation Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts

Something as simple as your invites sets the tone for your whole wedding day, so ensuring that you follow proper invitation etiquette is a must! You may not realize how important these guidelines are, but no one wants to receive that tacky invitation with misspellings, a return address label, and nine different stamps. So once your wedding guest list is determined and your save the dates are sent, creating your invitations is the next thing on the list! Whether you’re doing them online, with a vendor, or by yourself, make sure to follow these simple guidelines to ensure a perfect invite!


The basic guidelines of invitation etiquette.

  • DO send out invites 6-8 weeks before the big day! As fun as it is to procrastinate, your wedding invites are not something to slack on. This time frame gives your guests enough of a heads up to block out the date, and plan for any travel accommodations.
  • DO include all important information.  The date, time, address, and dress code (if necessary) should all be straightforward so your guests aren’t left with any questions.
  • DO double check your invites for errors. It’s easy to read over that one missing letter, so read it aloud to yourself and have other people look it over as well. The most important part to proof read? The date!
  • DO include an RSVP with a stamped envelope. Sending a stamped and pre-addressed envelope makes it hassle-free for your guests. Give them a deadline of 2-3 weeks prior to the wedding date, and if some aren’t received back by the deadline, don’t be afraid to make some calls. It’s very likely that they could have been misplaced or lost in the mail.
  • DO check your postage costs. Take a fully assembled invite and have it weighed at the post office. Never assume that just one stamp is enough!
  • DO address the invites to only those who are invited. This includes children’s names, too. The envelope should only be addressed to the people you actually want to be there.
  • DO include a ‘plus one’ for significant others. This includes anyone married, engaged, couples living together, or guests with a very steady partner. Unless you have an unlimited wedding budget, it’s definitely okay to politely decline anyone else who requests to bring a date.

  • DON’T send out save the dates to people you aren’t actually inviting. Let’s be honest—that’s just plain rude. Determine your wedding guest list early in the planning stages and, unless you have a huge falling out with someone, stick with your original list.
  • DON’T include your gift registry. As fun as gifts can be, your registry shouldn’t be thrown in people’s faces. List that information on the save the dates, your wedding website, or on bridal shower invites.
  • DON’T use abbreviations. City names, state names, and house numbers smaller than 20 should all be fully spelled out. You also should write out abbreviations for words such as “street”, “post office box”, and “apartment.” Mr. and Mrs. are okay to keep abbreviated.
  • DON’T use address labels. Those rectangular stickers can look a bit tacky. Everything should be hand-written either by yourself, a friend or family member, or a hired calligrapher. The return address should be written on the back flap of the envelope.

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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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