The Answers to All Your Wedding Invitation Etiquette Questions

bride and groom kissing

Getting your head around the rules and etiquette surrounding wedding invitations can be challenging – there are so many! Should you send out save-the-dates or not? How formal does your card have to be?

These wedding cards are a pivotal component of your marital ceremony as they give your guests essential information (like when and where it’s going to be held). So without further ado, here are the answers you’re dying to know.

How far in advance should you send out the wedding invitations?

Wedding invitations are traditionally sent out 6-8 weeks prior to the ceremony so that guests have plenty of time to make travel arrangements and clear their schedules. For destination affairs, send your cards out sooner – around 3 months before the big day.

Do you need save-the-date cards?

While it’s not a strict requirement, sending out save-the-date cards 6-8 months before your marriage ceremony is a good way to prevent your guests from booking a holiday on the date of your bash. It’s usually recommended for couples having a destination ceremony. Ensure that you send everyone that you’ve given a save-the-date card to a wedding invitation, too – it’s rude not to.

What date should you set the RSVP deadline to be?

Ideally 2-3 weeks before the day of your marriage ceremony. This gives you enough time to work out a final head count so that you can let your caterer know and work out the seating. If your guests haven’t responded by the deadline, call them up and ask if they’re coming.

Should you include registry details on the cards?

Putting your registry details in your wedding invitations is generally considered impolite as it makes it seem like you’re demanding gifts. Instead, email, text or simply tell any interested guests your registry details, and feel free to include the details on your marriage website (this can be added to your cards!) for anyone who is interested.

How do you communicate that you’re having an adults-only event?

Make sure you address your wedding invitations to each guest by their name, rather than simply “guest”. This makes it clear that it is only them who have been requested. If someone responds with the names of their children, call them up to explain that you’re holding an adults-only event. If a large proportion of your guest list has children, it may be a good idea to hire a babysitter. This isn’t a requirement but it definitely helps and will be appreciated.

How do you communicate the dress code?

Simply include your dress code details on the bottom right corner of your wedding invitations. “Cocktail attire,” “white tie,” “black tie,” “beach formal,” “casual” and “themed” are all acceptable. This will be highly appreciated by your guests as it allows them to easily prepare an outfit before the big day. The style and design of your cards will also help to clue guests in – a formal, foil-stamped card has a different feel to a bold, modern, colourful one.

Do you have to allow all guests to bring a plus-one?

No, this is not a requirement, especially if you’re hosting a small affair. If a guest is not in a serious relationship it is fine to request just them. The majority of people are aware that a card that doesn’t say “and guest” or someone else’s name implies that they aren’t to bring a plus-one. However, if the majority of your guests will be attending as a couple, it is polite to extend a plus-one request to your few single guests so that they don’t feel left out.