Today's Bride

Invitation Etiquette

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Engagement party announcements, save-the-dates, bridal shower and bachelorette party invites, the wedding suite you send out more mail when planning a wedding than you probably have in your entire lifetime! How can you possibly keep track of what’s appropriate for each type? By consulting your wedding expert friends at Today’s Bride, of course!

What details should you put on each mailing? Which invite gets your registry information? How do you address that you don’t want children at your reception? Can you save some trees and post it all online? We’ve got all the answers you need when it comes to invitation etiquette!

Invitation Etiquette | Genevieve Nisly Photography | As seen on TodaysBride.com

Genevieve Nisly Photography

When it comes to sending out your save-the-dates, the simpler, the better. Not much detail or time should go into this; pick one (or a few) of your favorite engagement photos, and say both the bride-to-be and the groom-to-be’s names, the date of your wedding, the city and state it’ll take place in, and end with “Invitation to Follow.” It’s as simple as that! Just be sure to send them to your A-list guest list only. You don’t want to accidentally send a save-the-date to someone you end up cutting out of the guest list later.

Bridal Shower

Bridal shower invitations can get a little more complicated. As it’s not the bride who plans her bridal shower, really it’s not your responsibility to send out invites. It IS your responsibility, though, to give your guest list to the host! Though we don’t recommend only having e-vites, it is acceptable to create a group or an event on Facebook where guests can RSVP, ask questions about your registry, or suggest fun games.

The bridal shower invitation should detail who it’s for, who is hosting (and their relationship with the bride if they prefer. such as: Hosted by Michelle Smith, Maid-of-Honor), the date and time, and the address. If it’s being held in a hall or public space, make sure to state the name along with the address. It’s also considerate to include directions if some guests are coming from out-of-town or it’s a particularly hard place to get to. Registry info IS permitted to be involved in bridal shower invitations, and don’t forget to add contact information for who to RSVP to and when to do it by.

Bachelorette Party

 

When the Maid-of-Honor and Bridesmaids are planning the Bachelorette Party, they should be considerate of who the bride would want there. She may not feel comfortable letting loose in front of her boss but is close with her coworkers. If the host(s) is ever unsure of whether someone should get an invite or not, the best idea is to ask the bride. If they plan on it being a surprise party or getaway trip, then we suggest leaving any uncertain parties off the list, just in case. (The bride can enjoy their presence on her wedding day.)

Though we do recommend creating custom invites, these invites can go out via word-of-mouth, social media, or by phone. Just be sure that others don’t extend the invitation to someone outside of the guest list. Registry info is not to be included on this send out, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t gifts! Usually, the bachelorette party is the gift-giving occasion for lingerie or bachelorette party attire (such as a party sash, tiara, or “bride” t-shirt). Simply state who it’s honoring, where the group is meeting, any hotel accommodations they may need, and how much they’re expected to chip in (if anything!)

Invitation Etiquette | Genevieve Nisly Photography | As seen on TodaysBride.com

Genevieve Nisly Photography

Wedding

Assembling your wedding invitations is quite a task. You’ll be stuffing an inner envelope into your outer envelope. The inner envelope includes your wedding announcement, reception card, response card and response envelope, an accommodations card, and a directions or maps card. If you’re having a plated dinner with options, include a separate response card where your guests can check which option they would like to be served.

We also suggest including your wedding website information where you can reiterate any guest accommodations, directions, and indicate proper attire, as that is NOT to be addressed on the official invitation. You should also never include registry info on the wedding invitation, as it implies that a gift is more important to you than the guest’s presence. The way you address the outside envelope indicates who is invited to your wedding (and, therefore, who is not invited). If you prefer not to have children at your ceremony and reception, you should address the invite to “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith,” not “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith and Family.” It is unnecessary to say “no children allowed,” but if you feel it necessary, simply state “Adults Only.”

 

When scripting the invites, always write numbers out fully (except for street addresses). The year should be Two Thousand and Sixteen and the time of the ceremony should be Half after Four (or whenever your festivities start). The Bride and Groom’s middle names should be included, but the parents’ middle names should not be.

When addressing the invites, always write out the full name. Instead of Miss Johnson, write Miss Rachel Johnson. If you want to indicate that someone gets a plus one, you can include “and Guest.” By not including this, your guest should know that only their presence is welcome. For a full outline of how to address invites (to married couples, divorcees, unmarried couples, a single person, widows, gay/lesbian couples) check out our Wedding Planner!

Because invitations can be so tricky and so much work, we suggest using an outside source! Lucky for you, we’ve comprised a list of some of Ohio’s top vendors for Invitations and Stationery! We do suggest bringing in some ideas or samples of invites you like when you meet with a vendor, so you’re not starting from a blank slate. If you aren’t particularly creative or don’t have a lot of stationery ideas, refer to our Pinterest Board to help!

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