Wedding invitations are important for your big day because they’re a really great communicator between you and all of your guests. Invitations allow you to be very clear about who is invited, what guests can expect, and what you expect of them.
Use your invitations to include all of the information you want your guests to know, so that you aren’t bombarded with questions as soon your guests get them in the mail. It will be up to you how lenient you are with things like the timeframe, plus ones, and meal choices, but make sure that you make it clear if you want things a very specific way. With that in mind, here are 7 things you should know about wedding invitation etiquette to help:
Does Everyone Get a Plus One
Not everyone who is invited to your wedding needs to have a plus one. Even if it’s hard for some people to understand, every guest costs money, and you may not be looking to feed and celebrate with someone you’ve never met! Do not add numbers to your list if it is not possible due to your budget, or if you’re not comfortable handing out extra seats to strangers. Married couples and those in long-term relationships are certainly understandable, but you can stop there if that’s what works for you.
Can I Say No When Plus Ones Are Requested
Of course you can say no to a request for a plus one! Whose wedding is this, after all? While it’s understandable that you want to have everyone enjoy themselves, it’s not about making everyone else happy. If your wedding is more intimate and family-focused, then feel free to speak with those guests who have requested to bring a friend or new partner. Explain the situation to them, but do not stress about it.
When Do We Send Invitations Out
Wedding invitations should be sent out 6-8 weeks before the wedding date. For those who are planning their day on a holiday or long weekend, you may want to send them out even further in advance. Likewise, if you’re planning a destination wedding, you’ll want to send them out at least 3 months ahead for guests to book days off work, etc. Wedding “Save the Date” cards are also a great idea, and it is suggested that these are sent out six to eight months ahead of time.
When Should We Request RSVPs
The earlier, the better! Request that your guests send them back within 3 weeks of the wedding date so that you can finalize numbers, as well as your seating chart and party favors. Once the guest list numbers are in, everything else can fall into place, so make sure to be clear about your need for a response.
If you haven’t heard from some family members on time, then reach out to them and request that they mail their responses as soon as possible. If you receive any “no” RSVPs, there will be some wedding etiquette around this, as well. It is acceptable to send out new invites as others decline, but make sure you do it in a timely manner.
Should Our Wedding Registry be Included
Your wedding invitations are not the place to include your registry, as this is supposed to be something for your guests to enjoy and not a place to ask for gifts. If you want to include the registry somewhere, then you should include it on your personalized website or let your wedding party know.
Give your wedding attendants the job of telling others where to find the registry, and they can pass it along to guests of the wedding shower. It is sometimes considered impolite to include the registry in the wedding invite and, if you’re unsure about adding this kind of information, it is best to leave it out.
Can We Invite People to the Ceremony Only
It is not suggested that you only invite guests to the ceremony, as this will certainly be considered impolite. Anyone who has attended the shower, engagement party, etc. should be invited to both the wedding ceremony and the reception after it.
One circumstance that might be acceptable is having those extra plus ones be invited to the reception, but not to the ceremony. This way, if you’re having an intimate ceremony, then your single friends or family can invite their partners to the dancing/celebrating later on.
Can We Say ‘No Children’ On Our Invites
Yes. If you’re planning an adult-only wedding, then make this clear on the invitation by stating specific names and no plus ones. This way, parents will recognize that their children are not invited to the event. If they call and ask, simply make it clear that it is an adults-only event, and that you would appreciate them finding a baby-sitter for their kids.
Wedding invitation etiquette is all about being polite and straightforward. You know what you’ve envisioned for your day, so just be prepared to make your intentions clear if guests have any questions. At the end of the day, it is your wedding, so guests should respond in a positive manner so long as you keep the lines of communication open.