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FAQ's: Wedding Invitations Etiquette

I don't want my guests to bring their children to the wedding. How do I make this clear?
Simply do not include the names of the children on the wedding invitation (neither the inner nor the outer envelope). If you're worried that your guests won't take the hint or adhere to etiquette, a good bet is to let your closest family and friends know that you don't want children at the event. Ask them to spread the word in a polite and casual way.

If you feel you must be more stern and straight to the point in this request, here are a few options for addressing the issue on the invitation itself:

  • Include a line reading "Adult Reception to immediately follow the ceremony"
  • Fill in the number 2 on the reply card where it asks for number of guests.

  • Do I have to pay the return postage on my reply cards?
    Yes. You need to make it as simple as possible for your guests to respond right away. Pre-addressing and pre-stamping the response envelope means your guests need only write their responses and drop them in the mail. It's also common courtesy and traditional etiquette to pay for postage. If you are concerned about this cost, consider sending reply postcards, which require less postage.

    What do I do if guest(s) do not respond by the "reply date"?
    This is truly a personal decision and will depend on your own level of comfort. Traditionally, if a guest has not replied within one week of the reply date, it is perfectly appropriate to call and confirm with him or her over the phone. A nice way to approach to the subject is to simply ask if they have received the invitation yet. Chances are, they have, and it's simply sitting under a pile of mail. If the guest has not received the invitation, you can confirm the mailing address and send a new invitation right away.

    If you are not comfortable making this call, it's always best to assume the guest is coming. You would rather have an extra plate of food than a guest with no place to sit.