Weddings demand attention to detail more than almost any other family or social endeavour. One of the details that often gets less attention is the wedding invitation.
Too many people meticulously plan a near-perfect event. After all of that effort, they neglect the messaging that will bring friends, family, and other guests to their big day.
So this detail does not get left behind, we have provided an etiquette guide with six tips and other examples to consider when putting together your wedding invites.
The invitation serves as one of the best clues to guests as to the theme and tone of the wedding.
Elaborately written invitations with classic floral designs and calligraphy usually indicate a formal wedding.
One written in pirate language and featuring a non-traditional Jolly Roger will, however, definitely show guests that the service may lack some formality.
Consider space on a wedding invitation to be a highly limited resource. Only place essential and needed information on it.
Do include this information:
● Who is hosting
● A request of their attendance
● The names of the happy couple
● Date, time, and location and address of the venue
● Reception information
● Dress code
● Separate RSVP card or instructions on how to RSVP
● Other details necessary to ensure guests know where to go
Do not include the following:
● Menu items
● Poetry, quotes, or other literary items
● Detailed schedule or agenda
● Inside jokes, coarse, off colour, or offensive language, or easily misinterpreted material (unless you know all guests very well)
Important information not needed on the invitation can go on a social media group page, a website, or a separate announcement.
Modern wedding announcement etiquette usually starts with a simple save the date notice that comes as much as six or eight months ahead of time. Experts advise that you send one of these as a convenience to guests. This is especially true for a destination wedding that guests may need more time to plan.
The official invitation should come between six and eight months before the wedding. This allows time for RSVPs to get back, which helps to facilitate planning.
Many couples prefer to have a small gathering of family and close friends for the service, whilst having a more expansive reception. Some may prefer a more intimate ceremony. Others will see this as a way to exclude potentially unwanted attendees, such as ex significant others, small children, or others.
Send specific invitations to those invited to specific events. Most will respect (and perhaps appreciate) a reception only invitation.
The opposite, however, serves as a serious breach of etiquette. Never invite the more expanded party to the service while excluding most from the reception. You will not escape hard feelings when you do that. If you must exclude from post-service festivities, call it a family meal, but not a reception.
Couples have every right to exclude certain individuals or others from their ceremony. Two of the most sticky situations involve children and the “plus one.”
If the wedding is “adults only,” this should be clearly marked on the invitation and mentioned prominently on any social media or website dedicated to the event. This will ruffle feathers, but not as badly as when they overlook the no kids allowed rules.
Plus ones can overwhelm in terms of cost and logistics. Couples have the prerogative to restrict plus ones to spouses or long term relationships.
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Weddings serve as one of those occasions where etiquette is important. Follow these guidelines, but also conduct your own research if needed. Following proper etiquette will help to ensure that you run into fewer people problems.