Tips for Writing Your Wedding Invitations

Wedding Invitation Etiquette
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Congratulations! You’ve been working hard with all your planning and now it’s time to write your wedding invitation cards! Sending out the details of your big day is very exciting, but it’s also new grounds, which can make it difficult to know exactly what to do. You might be asking yourself: what wedding stationary do I use? How much information do we provide in the invitation?

But the novelty shouldn’t take away from the excitement! First and foremost, it is important for you to consider the size you want your wedding to be, and who you really want there on your wedding day. Assuming you have those details sorted, it is time to address the wedding invitations. The following are tips on how to word your wedding invitation, the best timeline for sending it out, and answers to other frequently asked questions about wedding invitation etiquette.

Writing Wedding Invitations for Perfect DayPhoto Credit: Annie X Photography

The Right Time to Send Out Your Invitations

There isn’t one right time to send out your Save the Date cards or wedding invitations. Whether you’re deciding on a traditional wedding invitation or a more unique style, it’s up to you to decide how far in advance your guests need in order to keep their calendar free for your big day. For destination weddings, it is common to send out invitations at least six months in advance. For traditional weddings, most couples send out their invitations six to eight weeks prior to the wedding date. This allows your guests time to make arrangements and mark their calendar.

When to Send Wedding Invitations

Photo Credit: Tampa Bay Weddings

You Don’t Have to Invite a “Plus One”

If you are interested in keeping your wedding guest list short, you might not want your attendees to bring a “plus one”. So how do you word your wedding invitations to not include an additional guest? It’s pretty simple. If you don’t include the term “Plus One” or “and Guest” in the invitation, most guests will understand that you are inviting them only—this is especially true for those who are not married or in a long-term relationship. However, since it is very common for weddings to allow additional guests, some friends or family members may miss the point and RSVP for two. If this happens, feel free to explain to them your desire to keep the wedding small and intimate.

Small Wedding No Plus One

Photo Credit: Sarah Culver Photography

Setting the Deadline for RSVPs

One of the most important pieces of the wedding invitation is the deadline for RSVPs. You’ll need to use this list to create a seating chart, decide how much food to cater, and to get an overall understanding of the size of your wedding. The last thing you need to worry about during crunch time is how to deal with guests who have not sent their RSVP. That’s why it is a great idea to make your RSVP date approximately three weeks before the day of your wedding. This will allow for you to stay calm while the procrastinators and busy-bees get their responses back to you.

Wedding Invitation RSVP Deadline

Photo Credit: Wedding Invitations Ideas

Adult-Only Wedding Invitations

Wording wedding invitations can be tricky…especially when your wedding is tailored to certain people and not others. Some couples decide that the pressure of keeping children happy at the wedding is too much, and that they prefer an adult-only event. You may specify that the wedding is adult-only in the card, but since you want to be sure not to offend anyone, you may prefer to take a different approach. You can ask friends and family to spread the word, or you can address the wedding invitations to each guest’s name. Restricting the age of guests can complicate things for couples with young children, so you may consider hiring a group babysitter for the kids in your family.

Adult Only Wedding Invitations

Photo Credit: Elana Walker

Including Wedding Attire Dress Code

Some wedding dress codes are as formal as can be, while others are all about short sleeves and sandals. Whatever your perfect wedding guest attire is, you want it to be clear to your guests. The wedding invitation itself is generally an indicator of how formal or casual the event will be, but it is also a good idea to include a few words specifically about the attire. Phrases like “black-tie”, “semiformal” and “cocktail attire” are easy, straightforward ways of clearly wording your wedding dress code in the invitation.

Wedding Attire Dress Code Invitation

Photo Credit: Shaun & Skyla

Where to Put the Return Address

There is common etiquette for various parts of your wedding planning, and although you do not have to follow all traditions, some things stick because they make the most sense. When writing your wedding invitation, you will want to include a return address so that it is easy for guests to send their RSVP. Typically, the return address on your wedding invitation is printed on the back flap of the envelope. It is also customary to include an RSVP envelope with the return address printed and postage provided. Not only is it polite, but this will also make it easy for the guests to send responses sooner rather than later!

Addressing Wedding Invitations

Photo Credit: Oh So Beautiful Paper

You may be a couple who is into maintaining traditional wedding customs, or you may be seeking a completely unique experience… either way, you want your wedding invitations to be clear and to get across all necessary information. Once you have your guest list sorted, you can continue planning for your big day!

Wedding Invitation EtiquettePhoto Credit: Lance Elzie Photography



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