Icing icing sweet chupa chups soufflé. Pie jelly oat cake jelly beans toffee sugar plum fruitcake danish. Candy canes biscuit brownie donut chocolate marshmallow dragée cake chocolate bar. Cupcake pie bear claw. Candy cake cotton candy chocolate cake toffee. Powder chupa chups cake.
Today, I am going over the do’s and don’t’s to wedding invitations–etiquette! This is a super important topic that couples don’t think about (why would you?!), but that’s okay because it’s the designer’s job to know all these details to make your experience easier. You hired us as the expert, am I right?
So, let’s dive in!
This is a fairly traditional piece of etiquette that doesn’t always apply these days, but if typically, if one of the set of parent’s is “hosting” aka paying for the majority of the wedding, their names would be the opening lines of the main invitation. If it’s a whole group effort, the wording can be adjusted to fit that situation.
2. DO include accommodations/RSVP information
If you have either a local or non-local wedding in relation to where majority of your guests are traveling from, this is helpful. It isn’t required (again, depending on your personal situation), but it is still nice to block off a set of rooms at nearby hotels in case even the local people don’t want to drive home. This information doesn’t have to be in depth if you mostly have local guests, but adding it to your wedding website in the least is good!
As far as RSVP information goes, I am very old school traditional with this. I will always tell my clients to go with paper RSVPs over website ones because websites are not always reliable (trust me, I have had this situation before with a wedding I was attending). Also, it completes your overall suite, makes it easier for your guests, AND you will still need some type of card to tell them to RSVP so you aren’t saving money there. The only money you would save is postage, which yes can be pricey, but in the grand scheme of the budget, a pretty minor cost.
3. DO ask your guests about restrictions
Whether you are having a buffet style or plated dinner, it is always best to include a statement on the RSVP if there are any dietary restrictions, to please note on the card so you can make your caterer aware. This is also a very thoughtful gesture from the couple because is shows that you care about your guests’ needs.
4. DON’T talk about gifts/registries/money
True story time!
When I designed one of my friend’s wedding invitations several years back, she mentioned that she wanted to include gift information on your details card. I nearly cringed at the thought and refused to allow her to do this (in a nice way, of course!). I am always looking out for my clients and including information about money/registries/gifts is a sure way to turn your guests off. This is not proper etiquette because you don’t want your guests to think you are just in it for the gifts. You want them to feel like they are being invited to celebrate your marriage–your love.
A way to politely inform your guests about these details–which, it will come up because your guests are going to want to give you something–is to direct them to your wedding website. So if you don’t have one, get one! My go-to verbiage is “For more wedding information, please visit our website: xxxx”, or I use a QR code, which is becoming more popular.
So, I told my friend just that. And in the end, she was THRILLED and grateful of me talking her out of it because she received a wedding invitation in the mail shortly after and it literally had a statement that the couple only wanted envelopes as gifts, and to make matters even more cringey, an envelope ICON. The wording was tacky and blunt, and it didn’t make the couple look good. I do not want my couples to ever look bad in front of their guests.
5. DON’T add who’s invited on the invitation
Other stationery designers may disagree with this, but I don’t believe it’s proper etiquette to include specifically who is invited to your wedding on any invitation card, or how many spots are reserved for that guest. If children are not included in your guest list, envelope addressing is a tasteful way to make it known who is invited. I always encourage my clients to have outer and inner envelopes. For example, the outer would be “Mr. and Mrs. xxx” and on the inside, depending on who is invited, you can put “Steven, Cheryl, and family (or specific names if not all are invited)” or just “Steven and Cheryl” if no other family members are invited. You want to make them as clear as possible, so you don’t have to add statements on your invitations.
One thing I believe is okay if a couple really wants to make it even more known, is adding a statement “Adults Only Reception” at the bottom of the main invitation. I have put tasteful statements about children on insert cards before, but I try to encourage the envelope addressing route first.
What are your thoughts on invitation etiquette? Let me know below with questions or comments!