4 Tips to Nailing Wedding Invitation Etiquette

All of those little pieces of paper can be tricky to navigate!

Updated 02/23/17

Photo by Alison Dunn Photography

Invitations are a key part of planning a wedding. After all, what’s the point of planning one if you don’t invite your guests to join you? Those little pieces of paper can be pretty tricky to navigate, and all the details tend to bring up lots of questions! So we’ve rounded up the basics of wedding invitation etiquette to get you started, stress-free.

Timing Is Everything
For a wedding that isn’t a destination event, send the save-the-dates six months before the wedding, and the invitations eight weeks in advance. For a destination wedding, save the dates should go out around eight months ahead of time, and invitations should be mailed 12 weeks before your wedding date.

Grant Plus-Ones Consistently
When deciding whether to invite your guests with guests of their own, make a rule and stick to it. That could mean everyone gets a date, or you might limit it to those in a serious relationship. Don’t make any exceptions—beyond your wedding party, that is! Bridesmaids and groomsmen should be invited with a plus-one, no matter their relationship status.

Share Key Information
There are a few details you MUST include on your invitation: The names of the couple getting married, the date and time of the wedding, the location and the dress code. But of course, there’s a lot more your guests will need to know. Include an invitation insert with the URL of your wedding website, any rehearsal dinner details, and the contact information of the hotel where you’ve booked a room block. And don’t forget the RSVP card!

Address Envelopes Clearly
This goes for the names of those invited as well as where you send the invitations. Be sure to specify exactly who is invited, whether it’s “Sarah Michaels and Guest,” “Dr. Elizabeth and Mr. Andrew Smith,” or any guests invited with children—which you can either include as “The Smith Family” or by putting the parents on the first line and mentioning the children by name on the line below. When it comes to where you’re mailing the invitations, be sure to spell out things like “Post Office Box,” “Avenue,” and “Apartment.”

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