When it comes time to place your wedding invitation order, be careful in determining the actual number of invitations you need. Don’t over-buy wedding invitations! While your headcount is probably bouncing around in your brain as a critical number for every vendor from the ceremony site to the caterer, remember that you don’t actually need an invitation for every single wedding guest. Many, if not most, of your guests are members of the same household, which means you can double (or triple, or quadruple!) up on how many individuals a particular invite is addressed to. This translates into major savings over buying an invitation for every guest!
Here are the guidelines for determining whether or not a guest should receive their own invitation:
1. Immediate family members, living in the same household, can all be included on a family invitation.
2. However, children over the age of 18 should receive their own invitation, even if still living at their childhood home.
3. You can send a single invitation to a non-married guest who is invited to bring a date if you don’t know the date well enough to send them their own invitation. Simply pen “and guest” following the person’s name on the inner envelope.
4. Inviting a set of roommates? Send them each their own invitation, even though they live in the same household.
Of course, you will want to order a few extra invitations to account for last minute guest list additions and several keepsakes for yourself and perhaps your parents. And most stationers will supply you with a few extra envelopes to account for addressing goofs, but it’s wise to double check this policy with your vendor. We recommend ordering 10-15 extra invitations as a standard cushion.
+Note: If you know the name of the guest-of-your-guest, as in a situation where you are inviting someone with a long-time boyfriend / girlfriend, it is nice to address the inner envelope to both people, even if they don’t live at the same residence. For example, you would address the outer envelope of the invitation to “Mr. Randolph Lathram” and the inner envelope “Randy and Caroline.” We prefer this practical, personal approach to wedding invitation etiquette over the somewhat impersonal choice of “and guest.”