When I was planning my own wedding, I had so many people who wanted to help me out but almost no one to tell me the “do’s” and “don’ts” of wedding etiquette. Whenever someone would “nicely critique” a decision made, I would -rather naturally- defend myself with “It’s not like I have been married before!”
So y’all, I am totally here to help you out. Keep these tips in mind when planning your wedding invitation suite!
Top ten Wedding Invitation Etiquette Mistakes to avoid
1. Ladies first, gentlemen! On the invitation, often times the first component that people see will be your full names. It has been custom for the bride’s name to go first, followed by her groom.
2. Money Talks! On the wedding invitation you want to make sure that a few VIP’s are visible. Aside from the obvious bride and groom, traditionally anyone who is making monetary contributions to the wedding would also be named. Guests need to know who to thank for the complimentary dinner, after all.
3. Ditch the Zip. That’s right; lose the zip code on the wedding invitation.
4. Delegate the registry. Leave it up to your bridesmaids – or your website, if you have one – to communicate all registry information. This information should never go in your wedding invitations. Additionally, if it is available, place your wedding website on your Save the Date cards rather than the invitation.
5. 6 to 8: The numbers to remember! Save the dates should be sent out 6 to 8 months in advance, while invitations should be mailed 6 to 8 weeks prior to the wedding. (However, check with your caterer to get the RSVP deadline!)
6. No Kids Allowed! This is a frequent one. Of course, there are always obstacles with family and friends when considering who to include on the wedding day, however if you are not inviting children, simply avoid specifying them on the mailing address or inner envelopes. The choice of excluding children should not be blatantly stated on an invitation.
7. The Return Address. Sometimes, keeping track of who responds to the wedding is delegated to someone other than the bride and groom. If this is the case, the mailing address on the outside of the envelope should match the one on the inside as well and be printed on the back flap.
8. An overlooked expense: Postage. Guests should not be expected to stamp the RSVP envelopes, so make sure that you provide this for them prior to mailing. Keep in mind that square responses will be more expensive than traditional ones!
9. Give as much as you can with as little as possible. The invitation suite is the gateway, or visual to your wedding. So when you incorporate fine printing and custom details, your guests will generally pick up that they should get a hot shower and slip into their finest attire. Additionally, mention your reception. If it is at the same location, a simple “Reception to follow” will do, but if it is at another venue, you may consider including an additional enclosure card with those extra details.
and of course...
10. Addressing Addresses. So complicated, right? Here is the general rule of thumb: The words “street”, “post office box”, and “apartment”, along with any numbers less than 20, should be spelled out. Same is true for the city and state names.
Want to top it off sweetly for your guests? Keep those thank you notes in mind as well! Treat them with urgency rather than an afterthought. Try to send them within two weeks or so of your wedding date. Several brides that I work with order them with invitations so that they can pre-address them and write them on the plane while heading to their honeymoon. Others opt to wait so they can use their professional pictures, which is always a good idea as well!
When you hire a professional to make a part of your wedding dream team, they should be your guidance and planner for what you are hiring them for. If you feel you are not having questions answered, or given the appropriate attention from the beginning, ask questions and evaluate what hiring them may be like. I truly believe that you should not expect any less!