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Invitation Etiquette

Wedding Tips

April 11, 2018

It’s time to send those invitations! Confused on the wording? Don’t know when to send them? Keep reading!

 

Traditional Wording

Mr. and Mrs. John L. Smith

request the pleasure of your presence

at the marriage of their daughter

Heather Marie

to

Michael Francis Jacobson

Saturday, the seventeenth of May

two thousand and nineteen

At six o’clock in the evening

Plaza Hotel

New York, New York

Reception to follow

 

One Set of Parents Hosting

Mr. and Mrs. John L. Smith

request the pleasure of your company

at the marriage of their daughter

Heather Marie

to

Michael Francis Jacobson

Saturday, the seventeenth of May

two thousand and nineteen

at half past four in the afternoon

 

Both Sets of Parents Hosting Jointly

Mr. and Mrs. John L. Smith &

Mr. and Mrs. Mark Franklin Jacobson

request the honor of your presence

at the marriage of their children

Heather Marie

and

Michael Francis

Saturday, the seventeenth of May

two thousand and nineteen

at half past four in the afternoon

 

Couple Hosting

The honor of your presence

is requested at the marriage of

Heather Marie Smith

to Michael Francis Jacobson

Saturday, the seventeenth of May

two thousand and nineteen

at half past four in the afternoon

 

Everyone Hosting

Ms. Heather Marie Smith

and

Mr. Michael Francis Jacobson

together with their parents

Mr. and Mrs. John L. Smith &

Mr. and Mrs. Mark Franklin Jacobson

request the honor of your presence

at their wedding

Saturday, the seventeenth of May

two thousand and nineteen

at half past four in the afternoon

It’s all in the details

Keep in mind the three Ws:

  • Who. Include the full names of the bride and groom. For a formal invitation, include the full names of the hosts, too.
  • When. Clearly list the time, date, month and year of the event (spell these out!)
  • Where. Include where the event is taking place, with a full address (zip code not required).

As a general rule of thumb, the main invitation should only include the key details of your event. However, guests will appreciate additional information to be included in your invitation suite. A few details you may consider:

  • Attire. Should guests wear black-tie, garden party attire or will the wedding be themed? Don’t leave them guessing—tell them what to wear to a wedding!
  • Map. Whether you’re getting married in your hometown or you’re heading to a destination, out-of-town guests will appreciate a map and clear directions to any venues.
  • Accommodation Details. If you’ve reserved a block of rooms at a local hotel, give your guests plenty of time to reserve in advance.
  • Activities. Will there be dancing? A casual rehearsal dinner? A rollicking after-party? Let your guests know so they can plan appropriately.

Perfect timing. You want to ensure that your guests have plenty of time to clear their schedules in order to attend your event, so it’s important to send your invitations well in advance. Here are the general timing guidelines:

  • Save the Dates: Six to eight months in advance
  • Invitations: Six to eight weeks in advance

In addition, you’ll want to request RSVPs within three weeks of the event so you can get an accurate head count.

 

Some things are better left unsaid

While certain rules have loosened up over the years, there’s one that still applies: don’t include gift or registry information on your invitation. This little detail is considered quite a faux pas. Instead, recruit family members and your wedding party to fill guests in on the detail if they ask, and include a link on your wedding website as well.

Speaking of your website, that link is better shared on your save the dates or invitation insert than on your actual invitation.

 

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Here’s what to keep in mind when addressing envelopes:

  • Guests’ names should be written in full, with appropriate social titles included (i.e. Mr. and Ms.).
  • Spell out all words in an address and spell out house numbers less than 20.
  • The return address traditionally goes on the back flap and in many cases they’re still handwritten.
  • Keep in mind that responses and gifts will likely be sent to the return address on the invitation. If you’d rather have them sent to a different address, list it below the RSVP line.

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