wedding invitation etiquette

timing your invitations

When it comes to mailing out your wedding invitations, we suggest that your guests should receive their invitations approximately 6-8 weeks prior to the wedding date. For guests that have to travel quite a distance, they may need more time to make travel and accomodation arrangements. It is good to consider these types of things when considering the timing of your invitations.  We would recommend a Save-the-Date card if you are planning a destination wedding.

formal text

When considering your wedding invitations wording, for truly formal events, there are certain rules of etiquette that are observed when writing an invitation. For less formal situations you can be more creative. Here are some things to remember when you're composing a formal invitation:

  • Write out names in full, including middle names. Omit a middle name if necessary, rather than using an initial.
  • It's appropriate to use the British spelling for "honour" and "favour", unless you prefer to use the American spelling of these words.
  • Spell out all words, including the hour, the date and the year. Spell out all words in the address, including Street, Road and Avenue. The two exceptions to this rule in an address are Saint (St.) and Mount (Mt.)
  • Use Roman numerals in names, rather than "the third" or "3rd."
  • For ceremonies taking place in a house of worship, use "request the honour of your presence." Ceremonies taking place in a non-religious setting should say, "request the pleasure of your company."

insert options

Here are some other items you want to consider sending with your invitation:

  • Maps and directions for both the ceremony and the reception venue
  • Details regarding transportation (if there is any)
  • Hotel information; number to call to make reservations, also note if guests receive a discounted rate and to mention the name of the wedding party and the timeline for the discounted rate
  • It is a good idea to give people a chance to let you know about any food allergies they might have, on their RSVP card where they make their meal selection
  • If you are hosting a special dinner or breakfast for out of town guests, a separate invitation should be included for these guests

follow up

If the guests you invited to your wedding have not responded, or their response was not complete, by the time you noted in the invitation it is time to start hitting the phones and call them to gather their responses and details. Knowing your number of guests is important as it impacts quantities of food, chairs, table seating arrangements etc.