Wedding Invitation Etiquette

The date is set, the venue is selected – now it’s time to send the invitations. When should you send them? Who should get a plus-one? What about RSVP cards? Here’s everything you need to know about wedding invitation etiquette.

Wedding Invitation Etiquette

When should you send invitations and save the date cards?

When it comes to wedding invites, timing is very important. Save the date cards should be sent 4 months before the big day. Invites should be sent 8 weeks before the big day. If it’s a destination wedding, you should send save the date cards 6 months before the wedding and invites 12-14 weeks before the wedding. This should give the guests enough time to organize their traveling schedules.

Who should get a plus-one?

Traditionally, only those who are engaged or married should get a plus-one, These days, a plus-one should be given to all of the guests who are in a long-term relationship. If someone is in a serious relationship – invite them both, as a couple. If someone just started dating, it’s your call – you don’t have to invite them both. Your close family and wedding party members are exception – it doesn’t matter what’s their relationship status, they should get a plus-one.

How long should you give the guests to RSVP?

RSVP date on your wedding response cards should be 4 weeks before the wedding date. This will give the guests enough time to receive the invitation and mail back the response. Depending on a type of wedding, the timing can change. If it’s a local wedding and only a couple of guests are coming from out-of-town, RSVP date should be 2 weeks before the wedding day. For destination wedding, RSVP date should be 7 weeks before the big day.

Should you include dress code on the invitation?

It’s perfectly fine to include dress code info on the invite. If you don’t include the dress code, the invite itself should indicate the dress code (for example, very ornamented invite is the indication of a formal dress code, casual invite is the indication of a casual dress code).

Should you include a wedding website on the invitation?

Yes. You can add the info on the invite or you can include the additional card to the wedding invitation suite with website address.

Should you include registry info on the invitation?

No. It’s considered rude to include the registry info on the wedding invite. You should include the registry info on the wedding website.

What if you don’t want to invite kids?

The guests shouldn’t assume their kids are invited to the wedding, unless the invite is addressed to the entire family (for example, The Johanson Family) or the kids’s names are listed on the invite.

What if you didn’t invite the guest’s kid, but the response card included the child?

It’s usually best to handle the situation by making a personal phone call. Let them know that your wedding is only for adults and you hope they will still be able to attend. If a lot of your friends have children, think about hiring a babysitter to take care of the kids while the parents are enjoying the wedding. If you’ll have a babysitter at the wedding, note it on the wedding website.

Should you invite guests you know can’t come?

Wedding invitation etiquette states that you shouldn’t send them the invitation. Sending the invite to someone you already know can’t come can be interpreted as a tacky solicitation for presents. However, if it is a guest who will appreciate your gesture, you should still invite them to celebrate your special day with you.

Can you send online (digital) invitations?

Digital invites are affordable and easy to send. It’s a good idea (and a money saver) to send online invitations for pre-wedding events like rehearsal dinner, bridal shower, engagement party, etc. It’s not very common, but you can also send online invitations for your wedding. Choose a design that goes with your wedding theme. However, if it’s a formal wedding, it’s not appropriate to send online invitations.

What are your thoughts on wedding invitation etiquette?

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