January 18, 2017

Kelly Strong Events: Wedding Invitation Etiquette

There are often any questions when it comes to Wedding Invitations. Wording used, what to include, when to mail. Wedding invitation etiquette is incredibly important but can sometimes be overlooked as we are gradually becoming more and more informal. There are still traditional rules that should be followed when you begin the invitation design process.

The top few lines of a formal wedding invitation can be tricky – they are based on who is hosting the Wedding and where.

Top line suggestions

  • If the bride’s parents are hosting, their names would be the top line – “Mr. and Mrs. Smith request the honour of your presence at the marriage of their daughter…”
  • If the couple and both sets of parents are hosting, the top lines would be: “Together, with their families, Couples Names request the honour of your presence at their marriage…”
  • If the couple is hosting the wedding, the top lines would be: “Couples Names request the honour of your presence at their marriage…”
  • If the ceremony is held in a house of worship, the top lines would read “Mr. & Mrs. Smith request the honour of your presence…” For other venues, the top lines would read, “Mr. and Mrs. Smith request the pleasure of your company…”

Additional notes on the actual invitation…

  • The date and year are to be spelled out
  • It is not necessary to address guests’ attire unless it is black tie. If so, place “Black Tie” in the lower right hand corner of the invitation.

It is important to use the proper wording for all wedding related events so your guests feel comfortable knowing who to thank for hosting. This goes for all wedding related events – Rehearsal Dinner, Welcome Dinner, Farewell Brunch, etc. A simple way to do this is to start your event invitation with “Mr. and Mrs. Smith (using hosts names) invite you to a rehearsal dinner for…” If the married couple is hosting a post-wedding event, start the invitation with “Couples Name invites you to join them for a catamaran cruise”.

Save the Dates

If you decide to send Save the Dates, they should be sent out at least 6 months in advance. Unless the wedding is a destination that will involve travel and/or limited hotel accommodations, they can be sent out anywhere from 6 months to a year. Invitations should be mailed at least 8 weeks prior to your wedding. While I do not personally love doing two rounds of invitations, I understand guest lists have to be controlled. If you are sending two rounds, be as discreet as possible. Send the first set 3 months (about 12 weeks) in advance and the second round should be mailed in time so guests will have at least 4 weeks to respond (mail around 6 weeks prior). You really want to avoid guests knowing they were not on the “A List” so be careful not to send invites too close to the wedding date.

There is so much that goes into invitation etiquette as well as day-of stationery which is why it is important to work with a seasoned stationery vendor who can guide you through the process of proper invitation etiquette. In addition, your Wedding Planner is there to make sure everything looks good and proper before before the invitation suite is printed and mailed to guests.

As a general rule of thumb, your wedding stationery should make up 2% of your overall wedding budget. This includes Save the Dates, Invitation Suites, and wedding day stationery (programs, place cards, signage, etc.) Don’t forget that postage will be an additional expense.

The invitation suite is one of my favorite components of the wedding as it is the first design element your guests see. It sets the tone and gives guests a glimpse into what they can expect from your big day. So enjoy the process and take your time selecting something perfect for your Wedding Day.

Kelly Strong Events: Toronto Based Wedding & Event Planning

Wedding Invitation Etiquette