Invitation Etiquette

Posted by Pom Paperie on

Here are some Do's & Don'ts of Wedding Invitation Etiquette. We hope these tips help give your guests enough time to plan for attending the wedding. And your caterers will love you for giving them a final headcount weeks in advance!

Save the Dates

When to send: 5-8 months prior
What to include:
  • Names: Save the Dates tend to be informal, first names or even nicknames will suffice
  • Date: Be sure to have your wedding date bold and clear
  • Location: If you don't have a venue selected just include the general city and state 
  • Website: Including a wedding website and/or #WeddingHashtag is a great way to keep your more tech-savvy guests in the loop
  • Extras: Consider adding the traditional line, "Formal Invitation to Follow"

Formal Invitation Suite

When to send: 2-3 months prior
What to include:
  • Invitation Card
  • RSVP/Response Card
  • Return Envelope
  • Reception Card
  • Small Enclosure

Invitation Card

What to include: Keep the invitation itself simple
  • Names/Titles: Use your full names--First, Last, and Middle (Initials). And remember, official titles are important, you've earned the extra "Dr." in front of your name! Parents' names are typically incorporated into Mr. & Mrs. So-and-So
  • Date: If for any reason this has changed from your Save the Dates, make it very clear that an adjustment's been made
  • Location: Write out the full venue address. Unless space is a serious issue, try not to abbreviate street suffixes such as "Drive" or "Avenue"

      RSVP/Response Cards

      What to include: Checkboxes or write-in lines for the following info

      • Accept or Decline option
      • Number of Guests 
      • Reception Food Menu selection
      • RESPONSE DATE: Require guests to respond by a specific date, between 3-4 weeks prior to your wedding
      • Extras: If you desire a child-free event, this is the appropriate place to note such a request. Avoid putting this information on the actual invitation

      Return Envelope

      What to include:

      • Postage: Proper etiquette does not demand prepaid postage, but stamped envelopes helps prevent guests from procrastinating in sending their response
      • Self-address the envelopes

        Reception Card

        What to include:

        • Address/Directions: If the reception will be held at a different address than the ceremony, be sure to include detailed directions
        • Menu: Include Appetizers, Entrees, and Desserts. Ensure clear differentiation between "This" OR "That" options. List out ingredients, if possible, to avoid allergy issues.
        • Extras: Indicate if you're hosting a dry reception (alcohol free), this information is sometimes great for parents to learn

        Small Enclosure

        What to include: Long gone are the days of Registry Cards, as they are now considered improper etiquette. Instead, add your Wedding Website information on a small enclosure card

        • Website URL:
        • Blurb: Write a short description of what guests can hope to find on your website: "For more details on lodging and travel, or the ceremony and reception please visit our wedding website:"
        • If you currently do not have a wedding website, consider hiring a designer or purchasing a subscription to sites like Riley & Grey or Squarespace. Creating a Tumblr or Facebook page is also a great alternative...and it's free!

        All ready to get started on your Save the Dates or Invitation suite? Set up an appointment for design consultation today! Give us a call at (661) 257.8816 or email us at

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