It can be tricky to write and decode invitation etiquette. Here is everything you need to know about how to invite people to your wedding.
Whom to invite?
It can be tempting to invite everyone you have ever met to your wedding. Keep your budget, your space constraints, and your true wishes in mind when drawing up the wedding guest list. If you want to invite someone to your bridal shower, you must also invite them to the wedding itself. If you are worried about tension between wedding guests, for example between a current wife and a former one, go ahead and invite both, as long as you would like both to be at your wedding. This will allow them to make their own decisions about whether to attend the wedding or not. It is better to be invited and turn it down than to not be invited at all.
Send an invitation to the master of the house and his wife for married guests and send individual invitations to single invitees, plus guest.
Send invitations out six to eight weeks in advance of the wedding. They should be received no later than four weeks before the wedding. For a destination wedding, send out invitations up to six months in advance to allow guests to make airfare and lodging reservations. You may choose to send out “save the date” announcements at any time, one to two years in advance is not unheard of.
What and where?
The wedding invitation is traditionally worded this way:
Mr. and Mrs. John C. Doe
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Mr. John Hancock
on Saturday the fourth of June
two thousand and seven
at four o’clock in the afternoon
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church
123 First Lane
Wording for divorced parents would read: Mr. and Mrs. John Doe, Ms. Julianna McMaster. Wording for both bride and groom’s parents hosting the wedding would read: Mr. and Mrs. Greer and Mr. and Mrs. Callan invite you to share in the ceremony uniting their children Anna and Jack.
If the reception is being held in the same place as the wedding, you may write: reception to follow. If it is being held in a separate location, you may list it on the invitation or on a separate insert.
Hand address all envelopes using Mr. and Mrs. John Doe for married invitees and Mr. or Miss for single invitees. Include an inner envelope and card for the invitee to send their notice of RSVP.
For clarity on the number of guests invited, write the name of each invitee in a household and leave a space to check “will attend” or “will not attend”. You may write Miss Jane Doe and Guest; Mr. John Doe, Jane Doe, and children; or Mr. John Doe. This wording shows exactly who is invited and lets guests know in a polite way if they are allowed to bring a guest or children.
Do not include information about where you are registered for gifts in the wedding invitation. You may include an informational insert with maps, directions, notes about formality and attire, information about nearby hotels, and links to your bridal website or blog. The registry information may be in the linked website.
Wedding invitations can be confusing and not much fun. There are many websites on the internet that show exact wording for any wedding circumstance. A wedding professional dealing with invitations will be able to answer any specific questions or even design an invitation to your specifications. This is your wedding and you can decide to make your invitation as formal and precise as you desire. Let it set the tone for your wedding and your guests will know what to expect from the wedding itself.
Related articles you may find interesting: