Wedding Invitations: Etiquette

Last week, I shared with you a few tips for choosing the design of your wedding invitations. While that is arguably the most difficult part of the invitation process, there are two more aspects that can be tricky: understanding invitation etiquette and cutting invitation costs. Lucky for you, I've got a few tips on etiquette to share today! And next week, I'm going to fill you in on how I cut my invitation costs down to $200 (seriously!). 

Invitation Etiquette

Send out your invitations at the appropriate time. If you mail them too early, you risk your invitation being lost on your someone's fridge before your wedding date ever rolls around. And if you send them too late, well, some folks may not have enough time to plan. Experts recommend that you send your invitations six to eight weeks before the wedding. If you're sending save-the-dates, send those anywhere from eight to three months prior to the big day. 

Make sure to include all important information on your invitation or in the invitation suite. Obviously, your invitation suite should include your names, the address of your ceremony and reception venue(s), the time and date, a directions card, an RSVP card and any other enclosures, but stating the dress code (if there is one) is also necessary. You can simply add "black-tie," "cocktail attire," or "casual attire" at the bottom of your invitation. You could also list this information on your wedding website or on a reception card. Also, make sure your invitation is legible! Don't get too crazy with your colors or fonts. And if you're not sure about how to word your invitations, this article is helpful. 

Don't include wedding registry information with your invitationsIf you do, some of your guests may think that you're insinuating that they have to bring a gift. To let your guests know where you're registered, add your registries to your wedding website and put a link to it on your save-the-dates. If you're not sending save-the-dates, it's totally fine to add a card with the link in your invitation suite. Or you could always ask your parents, wedding party and close friends to fill your guests in on where you're registered.

Be mindful of who you address the invitation to. Address your invitations only to those you're inviting. If you're having an adults-only wedding, don't include the children's names or "and guests" on your invitations. Your guests should understand that only those whose names are listed on the invitation are invited, but if additional names are listed on their RSVP, it's absolutely fine to call and explain that it's an adults-only affair. If you don't want a friend to bring a date and they RSVP for two, it's fine to (politely) explain yourself. (But really, unless you are having a small wedding, it's nice to allow your friends and family to bring a date!)

When you address your invitations, get a little fancy. You should always spell out all the words on the envelope (like Street instead of St., West instead of W., Apartment instead of Apt., Arkansas instead of AR). If you're getting married at The Barn, write our address like this: 10042 Bandy Lane, Dardanelle, Arkansas. Also, address married couples as Mr. and Mrs., with the husband's first and last name (Mr. and Mrs. John Smith). It's also fine to add both names (Mr. and Mrs. John and Kathy Smith). If your guests are unmarried but live together, write out both full names on separate lines. If you're sending an invite to a doctor, address them as such (Doctor and Mrs. John Smith, or Doctor Kathy and Mr. John Smith, or Drs. John and Kathy Smith). Yeah, all of this is a little OCD and crazy, but it sorta matters!

Ask your guests to return their RSVPs within a reasonable amount of time. Two to three weeks before the wedding is ideal, so your guests have plenty of time to make accommodations and you have plenty of time to get a final headcount. And what do you do if your guests don't RSVP? Call them up. Facebook message them. Text them. As many times as you have to. Seriously. Gotta get the job done, y'all. 

I hope you're less intimated by the whole invitation thing now! If you've got any other questions about invitations, please let me know, and I will try my best to answer them!

I'll see y'all back here tomorrow with a gorgeous Throwback Thursday wedding!