Wedding Invitation Etiquette: What to Send and When | Saphire Event Group

Wedding planning requires you to take care of a lot of details – some big, some small, and all very important. A wedding planning timeline can help reduce stress while ensuring that every detail is taken care of on time, resulting in a memorable event. Your wedding invitation is one particularly important detail. It not only announces your upcoming “I do’s”, but also sets the tone for the entire event!

Wedding Invitation Etiquette

Traditionally, all wedding invitations were as formal as the events they were announcing. Today, invitations can be designed to reflect more casual events and don’t automatically require the same formality as they did in the past. However, one thing that hasn’t changed is basic wedding invitation etiquette. This includes what information should be listed on the invitation, what information should be left off, how the envelopes should be addressed, and when they should be sent.

Neutral Colored Wedding Flat Lay and Invitation with Pink Ribbon and Greenery
Bold As Love Studios

Formal or casual… What to include:

First, decide what’ll be written on your invitation and how you’d like it to be worded. You and your fiancé may feel that since committing to one another is a very significant event, you would prefer to use formal phrasing on your wedding invitations.

This formal phrasing can work for any style of wedding. It’s particularly appropriate if you’re having a more traditional wedding ceremony followed by a formal reception. It can give your guests a friendly heads-up that your wedding will be upscale and elegant.

However, if you and your fiancé are hosting a more casual wedding, the phrasing on your wedding invitations can likewise be more casual.

Regardless of how formal or casual the phrasing on your wedding invitation is, there are some basics that you’ll definitely want to include: who, when, and where. This means the invitation should give the full names of  you and your fiancé, and the full names of the hosts if you’re using formal phrasing. It should clearly list the time, date, month, and year of the wedding. Don’t forget the full address of where it is being held! If you are requesting an RSVP, this should be written in the lower left corner of the invitation.

Wedding Invitation Flat Lay with Emerald Ribbon and Gold Shoes
Stapleton Photography

Include more details in your invitation suite

The design opportunities for your wedding invitation are truly infinite, though professional wedding planners often recommend that you tie it into your wedding theme through colors or design embellishments.

Wedding etiquette demands that the invitation-only contains the above key details of the event. However, the invitation suite can include other important details such as:

  • the appropriate attire for guests at the event
  • a map to the event location
  • accommodation details
  • information about any wedding-related activities.

Your invitation suite can also include an RSVP card, with a “please respond by date” that is roughly four weeks prior to your event. Don’t forget a self-addressed, stamped envelope!

If following traditional wedding etiquette, it’s recommended to leave your gift or registry information out of your wedding suite. Instead, add the address to your wedding website, where people can find additional information in regards to your big day such as a link to your wedding registry, a virtual RSVP option, and a summary of your love story. Websites such as The Knot, Joy, or Zola all offer free wedding website templates that are easy to use and beautiful to look through!

Wildflower Wedding Invitation
Iryna’s Photography

Another important detail is the wedding invitation envelope, which we encourage to be hand addressed for a personal touch. Your guests’ names should be written out in full, preceded by social titles like Mr. and Ms.

All the words in the address should be written out in full, with house numbers under twenty spelled out. The return address should be written on the back flap.

An added touch is to choose a wedding envelope color that compliments your wedding theme.

When to send your wedding invitations

Now you know what your wedding invitations should say and how they should say it. So when should you mail your wedding invitations? Here are basic wedding invite timeline recommendations:

  • Save the date cards can be sent out as early as a year from your wedding date
  • Invitations should be sent to your guests six to eight weeks in advance of your wedding.
  • Invitations for destination weddings should be sent to your guests three months in advance of your wedding.

Designing your wedding invitations and sending them out can be an exciting part of wedding planning. Using these recommendations along with adding personal flare will leave you with beautiful wedding invitations that’ll get your guests just as excited as you are to celebrate your love story.

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