The Dos and Don'ts of Wedding Invitations

Discover what is acceptable to include in your invitation suite.

Wedding invitations can be one of the most confusing parts of planning. Not only do you have to find a design that represents the event you are hosting, but there is also a lot of etiquette to keep in mind.

Invitations & More
Photo: Anya Kernes Photography

Wedding invitations can be one of the most confusing parts of planning your nuptials. Not only do you have to find a design that perfectly represents the event you are putting together, but there is also a lot of etiquette to keep in mind, and it seems like the rules are always changing. Many guidelines are often based on old-fashioned customs, while other tips overcompensate with modernity and leave behind any semblance of decorum. That’s why we’ve put together a list of tips and tricks for having invitations that are contemporary enough for your friends to understand, but follow etiquette well enough to avoid shocking your older relatives. These simple dos and don’ts will spell out the rules so that there will be no confusion – after all, you have enough to do while planning a wedding!

grey-hued invitation with watercolor invitation liner with blueish foliage
Photo by Brett Hickman Photographers; Floral Design by Flowers by Cina

Do choose an RSVP deadline that both gives your guests time to reply, as well as buffer time for your caterer and venue head counts.
Don’t have a “B” list in case enough people decline. Someone is either invited or they are not, and there’s a good chance someone will notice their invitation arrived weeks after their friend received one.
Do get the name of your guest’s “plus one” for established relationships. The personal touch will be appreciated, and your loved one’s significant other might be hurt by merely seeing “and guest” instead of their name.
Don’t include your registry on the invitation. It’s considered tacky in most social circles.
Do share your wedding website, which is where people can learn about your registry.
Don’t say “no children” or “adults only” on the invitation. Instead, address the inner envelope or use the RSVP card to make it clear who is included.
Do use correct titles (Dr., etc.) and spell all names correctly. These are supposed to be addressed to people you care about, after all.
Don’t use address labels, as it is too impersonal. Handwrite each address, or hire a professional calligrapher. Note: this does not apply for the return address, although it's certainly a classy touch!
Do stamp the miniature envelope for the response card. It may add up for you, but your guests should not have to pay even a nominal fee to respond to your invitation.
Don’t say “no gifts” on the invitation. That information should be on your wedding website, possibly with a suggestion for a charitable contribution.
- Do list the offered meal choices for your reception if there will be a sit-down dinner.

Find out who you do and do not need to invite to your wedding herelearn the dos and don'ts of your registry, and get expert answers to frequently asked invitation-related questions.

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