Invitation etiquette

Photo: Justine Weatherall Photography
Photo: Justine Weatherall Photography


An invitation is often the first opportunity you have to set the tone of your wedding.

The colour, style and text used will indicate to the guest what kind of affair they can expect.
Whether you intend to create your stationery staples yourself, purchase them ready-made, or visit a wedding stationery studio, there is a lot to think about. Don’t forget to include all the key information your guests will need, and try a few different wordings to make sure you are happy.



Host names: whoever is hosting the wedding celebration is mentioned first, whether that be one set or both sets of parents, or just the couple.

The couple: the bride’s name typically goes before the groom’s.
The details: be sure to include any necessary addresses; spelling out the date can help avoid confusion.

Post ceremony: set the tone for the reception activities; the time of the reception should be mentioned if there is a delay after the ceremony.

RSVP: if your invitation does not include an RSVP card, be sure to let guests know how they are to inform you of their intentions. Many couples opt to include an email address or website.



Depending on the style of wedding you are having, the following are stationery items which may need to be on your list:
• save-the-date cards
• invitations
• RSVP cards
• gift registry or wishing well cards
• order of service booklets
• pew cards (for formal church weddings)
• place cards for the reception
• guest seating charts
• table numbers
• menus for the reception
• bomboniere tags/labels
• guest book
• thankyou cards



• Save-the-dates are posted a few months or more before the official wedding invitations. If your weddingdate falls on a holiday, or if you are having a destination wedding, these are a good idea.
• Invitations should be sent about three months before the big day; gift registry cards may be enclosed.
• Thankyou cards should be handwritten and sent as soon as possible following the wedding or honeymoon.


TIP: Work out exactly how many invitations you will need, then add five to allow for mistakes − don’t be caught short!


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