Wedding Invitation Etiquette

Being engaged is one of the most exciting times in your life, but it is also one of the most stressful times. There are a ton of decisions that you have to make in preparation for the wedding: the venue, caterers, floral arrangements, colors, dresses, and the guest list. With all those variables in play, it can be tempting to put some of the other decisions that you have to make on the back burner.

One of the decisions that you absolutely cannot afford to put on that back burner is your wedding invitations. With all the other decisions that you are faced with daily, your invitations can seem somewhat insignificant, but they are anything but. Your wedding invitations are one of the most essential parts of your preparation because they inform your guests about all the important information that they need to attend your wedding. While some parts of your wedding don’t have rules that you should follow, there are certain etiquette rules that you should keep in mind when creating your invitations.

When Should You Send Out Invitations?

When you send out your invitations is very important. You want to make sure that you send them out with plenty of time for people to make plans, but you also don’t want to send them out too early. Traditionally, wedding invitations go out to guests about six to eight weeks before the wedding. Any earlier than that, and people might put off planning to attend, and then end up forgetting about the wedding. Six to eight weeks gives your guests plenty of time to make arrangements and clear their schedules. One exception to this rule is that of destination weddings. If you are planning an out of town wedding, you need to give your guests a little more time so that they can plan to travel. Generally, about three months before the wedding is considered acceptable.

Deadlines for RSVP Cards

Most couples send RSVP cards with their invitations so they know exactly how many people they should be planning for. RSVPs can also help if you with food choices if you are having a plated dinner. When sending out RSVP cards, you want to make sure that get them back in time, whether it is to get the information to the caterer or for a seating chart. Two to three weeks before the date of the wedding should be enough time, unless there are special circumstances. This timeframe allows you to plan accordingly. If your deadline comes, and you still have guests that haven’t responded, then don’t hesitate to call them. Some guests might have just forgotten, and they won’t mind you calling to get the information.

Can You Include Your Registry?

Some brides consider putting their registry information on the invitation, but this is generally frowned upon. Putting your registry on either the invitation or the save the date is still considered impolite. This can come off to your guests that you are asking for gifts. Most people say that guests’ attendance is a gift enough and, if they want to bring you a gift, they will find your registry. Tell your wedding party, family, and close friends where you are registered so that your guests can get the information from them, or put it on your wedding website.

Dress Code

If the dress code is very important to you, then you need to make sure that you communicate that with your guests. If you don’t tell your guests what to wear, then they are going to make their own decision. That might be okay with some brides, but some weddings call for a more formal dress code. The easiest way to let your guests know what to wear is by including it on your invitation. Put on the bottom of the invitation what the dress code is: black tie, formal, cocktail, or casual. The invitations themselves will probably give your guests an indication of how formal the dress should be. An ultra-formal and traditional invite gives a more formal feel, rather than a more hip and unique invitation. If you don’t want to put the dress code on the invitation, you can also direct your guests to your wedding website, either by including that on the invitation or by including an insert in the invitation.

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