Wedding Invitation Etiquette Ideas & Advice Wedding Invitation Etiquette

eleGALA tip

“Hosting” the wedding can mean anything from a set of parents helping to plan the event, inviting the guests, or covering the costs:

  • If there is one set of hosts, list their names at the beginning.
  • If both sets are hosting, list on separate lines with bride’s parents first.
  • If one set is hosting but you want to include the other set as well, note their names under their son’s/daughter’s name.
  • If you are hosting your own wedding, begin with the request line and state parents’ relationship under your name.
  • If you and both sets of parents are hosting, list your names first followed by “together with their parents” before the request line.

Wedding Invitation Etiquette

This list of wedding invitation etiquette dos and don’ts will help you avoid etiquette blunders and get it right.

They provide the first glimpse into your wedding, but ordering, wording, and addressing invitations can be confusing without a little guidance. This list of wedding invitation etiquette dos and don’ts will help steer you through this common wedding etiquette dilemma.

Wedding Invitation Dos and Don’ts

The Dos

  • Do invite the partners of guests who are married, engaged, or living with a significant other. Try to find the name of your guest’s intended date (if you don’t already know it), and include that person’s name on the invitation.
  • Do send unmarried couples living together one invitation, where their names are listed in alphabetical order and on their own lines. (Guests living together as roommates, not couples, should each receive their own invitation.)
  • Do spell out all dates, times, and states (half after four o’clock in the evening, not 4:30 pm; and the twenty-second of April, not April 22)
  • Do put return postage on your response cards.
  • Do send wedding invitations at least six weeks before the big day. Try to order invitations three to four months in advance to ensure they go out on time.
  • Do abbreviate Mr. and Mrs., but spell out the title Doctor.
  • Do send a separate invitation to children over the age of 18 still living with their parents.
  • Do publicize your wedding registry information by word of mouth only.

The Don’ts

  • Don’t use punctuation on the invitation, except after abbreviations and between the city and state.
  • Don’t print “and Guest” on the outer envelope to indicate to a single friend that he/she may bring a date, as this looks awkward. Print it on inner envelope instead.
  • Don’t print “no children” on the invite if you’re planning an adults-only reception. Simply address each invitation explicitly to your intended guests (i.e. Mr. and Mrs. John Smith, not “The Smiths”).
  • Don’t print wedding registry information on the invitation.
  • Don’t forget to invite your officiant and his/her spouse to the reception.
  • Don’t include an R.S.V.P. for invitations to a ceremony only. (By the way, it’s only proper to send invites to only the ceremony if there will NOT be a reception.)

This complete guide to wedding invitations has even more tips and advice to help you plan your invites.  Get a complete list of wording samples in our Wedding Invitation Wording guide.


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