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Wedding Invitation Etiquette

Your wedding invitations will be the first taste of your wedding that your guests will have. This is a wonderful opportunity to give your friends and family a hint at your theme and wedding style. However, there’s a lot more to consider when it comes to wedding invitation etiquette. When to send them, who to send them to and what to say. Today, we’re going to cover it all!

When should wedding invitations be sent?

The pros say that six weeks before your wedding, you should send out invitations. Wedding invitation etiquette states that overseas guests should receive notice sooner. This will give them time to book flights and arrange accommodation.

How should I gather RSVPs?

There are a number of ways to do so, and we recommend selecting the one that is easiest for you. Less hassle is always a WIN!

  • Provide an email address or phone number on your wedding invitation.
  • Use a wedding website with an RSVP page. Put your website address on the invitation.
  • Send an RSVP card (and an envelope with a stamp) along with your invitation.

Note: Your RSVP date should be no sooner than three weeks prior to your wedding day. This will give you a week to follow up with people who haven’t RSVPed (it happens!) and give your final headcount to your caterer and venue two weeks before the Big Day.

Who gets an invitation?

Spend time compiling your guest list to ensure that you have not overlooked anyone. It is courtesy to include those you know cannot attend the wedding on your invitation list.

Should I invite children to my wedding?

This is a very personal decision that should be made by you and your Other Half. Our recommendation is to have one rule and stick to it. For example, you could invite any children that are in the bridal party (flower girls and page boys) or any children that are related to you (nephews, nieces and your own children), but nobody else’s. If you begin to make additional exceptions, guests could be offended.

Expert advice: How do I politely say “No children” on my wedding invitations?

What about plus ones?

This is another personal decision that should come with one rule. Etiquette says that widows and widowers should have the option of bringing a guest. Another rule might be that siblings and anybody on the bridal party can bring a plus one. A grey area may include a guest who has a partner that you haven’t met. The decision as to who you invite should be made by you and your Other Half, but be consistent so as not to offend anyone.

Wedding invitation wording

The changing dynamics of Irish families along with moving trends away from the ‘traditional’ wedding has brought a new freedom to the ‘wording’ required in your wedding stationery. It is now not so unusual to find an invitation addressed to guests using their first names only. (but do be aware of your older quest who may find that inappropriate) It is also becoming more common to see invitations sent from; Mr and Mrs …… invite you to…; or the Parents of ……… invite you to….

It is important to match the wording you use to the style of the invitation and indeed the wedding itself: i.e. a very formal invitation to a formal wedding, would perhaps not look so well with wording like: Carol and Neill invite Jo and Sharon to ….. and yet I personally received a similarly worded invitation to a wedding earlier this year, printed on a lovely but informal card and enjoyed an informal and intimate day with good friends and family.

The key to how appropriate your invitations look and the wording used will be in matching it to the type of wedding you plan, your stationery supplier should be only too happy to discuss all of your concerns in this matter and help you to create a suitable option.

Check out some incredible Irish wedding invitation designers on the weddingsonline supplier directory.

Main image credit: Finer Details

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Kelly Jane Hartmann

Kelly is a former wedding planner and a lover of anything pink. She believes that any bride can plan her own wedding, with a few tips and helpful tools.

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