Last week we gave you etiquette tips for addressing your envelopes. Here we will share common etiquette for the invitation itself. These rules of etiquette are only suggestions. Please feel free to contact us for additional assistance or more etiquette resources.
- Be sure that you count one invitation per household address, not per guest; however, anyone over the age of 18 should receive his/her own invitation; plus you should always order about a 10% overage for any added guests
- Once you figure out your invitation count, be sure to add another 10% for the envelope count. You, or your calligrapher, will require extras for mistakes. Remember to order extra of both inner and outer envelopes.
- If your parents are hosting the wedding, their names should be on the first line of the invitation; for couples who are hosting their wedding together, their names can appear first, but remember to list the bride’s name first.
- Mr., Mrs. and Dr. may be abbreviated – but no other abbreviations should be included. Your names should be competely spelled out; titles should be used consistently among the hosts, or not at all. Initials should not be used in names on invitations. Middle names are either in or out.
- Always include the day of the week, date and year of your wedding.
- The street address of the wedding and reception location should not be printed on the invitation itself, but on a separate map/direction/accomodations card. However, be sure to list the city and state, unless the city is internationally recognizable, such as Los Angeles, New York or Paris.
- Never include gift registry information on your wedding invitation or enclosures – your family and members of your wedding party should pass on that information; one invitation where registry information is acceptable? The bridal shower invites.
- If your wedding is a formal event and you want your guests to be dressed most formally, include “Black Tie” in your invitation; if you say “optional” be prepared to have guests dressed much less formally than you are looking for.
- If your reception is at the same location as the ceremony, add “Reception immediately following” to your invitation wording. If you aren’t having a full dinner, you may want to adjust the wording to “Cocktails following.” It is proper to indicate that your wedding and reception are in different locations by using a separate card.
- Monograms are a beautiful tradition and are regaining popularity, but since you’re not married yet, don’t put your married monogram on your invitation. Your initials will make just as beautiful a design. If you must use a monogram, it is proper to use the bride’s. A married monogram shouldn’t make its appearance until the reception. Think about introducing your married monogram on the reception menus or place cards.
- Many couples choose to discretely number their reply cards so that they can identify their guests if they forget to include their name(s) on the reply card itself.
- Be sure to weigh your invitations at the post office for the proper amount of postage. The cost per invitation will depend on the size and shape of your invitation. Squares are automatically extra postage (this also applies to square reply cards); remember to affix first class postage to your reply envelopes. This will help to ensure your guests will respond in a timely manner.
- It is a good idea to have your envelopes hand-canceled at the post office to avoid the “tire tread” left behind by mechanical stamping machines.
These may seem like a lot of “rules,” but most are probably things you would do anyways. If you have any specific questions, feel free to contact us directly.