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Showing posts with label invitation etiquette. Show all posts
Showing posts with label invitation etiquette. Show all posts

Friday, October 7, 2016

Advice Tips for Wedding Invitations

One definition of etiquette is the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group. At it's most elemental form, etiquette is providing us a guideline to be courteous to each other.  Being raised in the south by a mother who was a true southerner belle, etiquette was just a part of life. The awareness of the basics is an important factor in wedding invitation etiquette. There are a lot of emotions while planning a wedding so the more you can use basic emotionless guidelines the better.

Addressing Invitations

Outer Envelopes:
  1. Outer envelopes should be addressed conventionally using titles and full names (first, middle and last).
  2. Middle initials aren't used, so either write out middle names (if known), or omit them.
  3. All other words should be written out (Street, Avenue, Post Office Box, North, Apartment, etc.)
  4. Proper etiquette indicates to write out the state name; however, the two-letter postal code abbreviation is also acceptable when dealing with limited space.

Inner Envelopes:
  1. Inner envelopes bear the title and last names of specific people invited.  It is acceptable to write familiar names for family and close friends. Examples: Mr. and Mrs. Jones, Aunt Mary and Uncle Phil, Tom and Susan
  2. The names of children who are 18 years old and younger should be written on separate lines below their parents' names. 
  3. The names of children who are 19 years old or older who still live at home with their parents should receive their own invitation.
  4. If inner envelopes are not being used, the children's names are written on the outer envelope below the names of their parents.

Invitation Wording
  1. The first line of the invitation is the name of who is hosting the wedding...whether the bride's parents (traditional), bride and groom's parents, or the wedding couple. The hosts' names should be written out and include middle names and titles. (With the exception of Mr. and Mrs., all titles should be written out, unless the name is too long to fit on one line. Examples:  Doctor and Mrs. Albert James Ness; Sergeant and Mrs. James Lee Ford.)
  2. The invitation line is where you directly invite your guests. When the wedding is being held in a place of worship, "the honour of your presence" phrase is used. When held at other locations, "the pleasure of your company" is traditionally used.
  3. The next lines list the names. Traditionally the bride's name is listed first. If the bride's last name is the same as her parents, only her first and middle name are included  The groom's name should be written out and preceded by his appropriate title. Examples:  Mr. Steven David Smith; Doctor Grant William Hall.
  4. The action line gives the information of the reason for the invitation.  If the hosts are the bride's parents some examples of wording may be "At the celebration of their marriage" or "At the marriage of our daughter".  You may have another phrase that you would prefer.
  5. The information line includes the time, date and location. Write out the date and year.  It is not necessary to use "and" in the year line. Example: two thousand seventeen. Capitalize the day of the week and the month, but not the year. The phrase "half after" should be used when indicating time, rather than "half past" or "-thirty". It is not necessary to use the phrases "in the afternoon" and "in the evening". The city and state should be written out. If all guests are local, the state may be omitted.
  6. Last line is to give the information on what is to follow the ceremony...such as "Reception Admittedly Following" or you can include a Reception Card. 
  7. You don’t want to mention anything about gifts on the wedding no information on your wedding registry.

Additional Tips

  •      Use the names of all guests whenever possible. Using "and guest" just isn't warm and friendly.
  •      Get names, titles and addresses correct when addressing. It's impressive and flattering! When in doubt, ask.
  •      Invitation envelopes should always be handwritten. Printed labels are not acceptable. Consider hiring a calligrapher or enlisting the help of others if you feel overwhelmed.
  •      Before sealing the outer envelope, make absolutely sure that the names on the inner and outer envelopes match.
  •      Take an assembled invitation to the post office and have it weighed to ensure proper postage. If invitations vary (e.g., one for local guests, another for out-of-town guests) have each variation weighed.
  •      Mail all invitations at the same time.  Don't wait to see how many will be attending from the first mailing before sending another. Simply estimate that 10 to 20 percent of invited guests will send regrets; doing this is so much better than using a standby guest list.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Wedding Invitations...

There are many decisions that go into planning a wedding to make it YOUR day special! One of the decisions you will have to make is the type and style of wedding invitations to use.

One of the tougher jobs of planning your wedding is tackling your guest list. There are several things you need to consider before starting your guest list.  Your budget, your venue and the size of your wedding will all come into play.  The person paying for your wedding should also be a big part of this part of the wedding planning process.

A good way to begin the process is assigning 50% of the number of guests to the bride and groom and 25% to each set of parents.  Some of the names will probably overlap on each groups' list.  If it turns out that one person doesn't need the total number allotted to them, you can redistribute the number to whoever has requested more.

Steps to help create a wedding guest list!

  1. Determine the size of your wedding.
  2. Each of you draw up a list of must have guests.
  3. Know your budget.  At this point, the number of guests you invite will have a great affect on the cost of other aspects of your wedding; catering, reception, venue, etc.
  4. Secure the location of both the wedding and reception sites.  This will determine the number of guests who will be able to fit in both locations.  Knowing the location will also give you an idea of the style of invitation you would like to use.

Once you have written out a draft of your list, place each guest into a relationship category.  The first tier consists of essential family members (grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, first cousins); the second tier is close friends and extended family (great aunts and uncles, second cousins); the third tier is colleagues and other friends.  When you know how many guests you can afford, start cutting the list from your bottom tier up if necessary.  You will save hurt feelings if you eliminate entire groups of your list (such as co-workers or social club), rather than inviting just a few.  That being said, if there is someone particularly important to you, of course you should invite 

After deciding on the guest list, your next decision is what type and style of invitations to use.  Nothing sets the tone of your wedding like your wedding invitations.  There are 3 main types of wedding invitations:  formal, semi-formal and informal. So when deciding on your invitations chose that one that best fits your style  of wedding.

There are 4 main print styles of invitations.


A printing press raises the letters from beneath to 
best express distinctions of texture and contrast.


Words leap off the page with an infusion of ink and powder.

Foil Stamping

Shimmering metallic foils create a lavish and striking effect.


Deeply pressed indentations give an artisanal look and feel.

Certain Etiquette Guidelines


Wedding invitations are usually written in third person. The first line identifies the hosts. The hosts' names is then followed by a line that extends the invitation; "requests the honour of your presence".  If the ceremony will not be held at a place of worship, a less formal; "requests the pleasure of your company". Next the names of the bride and groom are named in full and then the date, year, time and location.


Punctuation is commonly avoided except after "Mr., Mrs. Dr.". Names, titles and first letters of a sentence, as opposed to lines, are capitalized. All words, dates, times are spelled out. For example, "3:00 pm" should be written out as "three o'clock in the afternoon" and "July 27, 2013" as "The twenty-seventh of July two thousand and thirteen". Avoid contractions and do not abbreviate.


The invitation can also include a RSVP card with a deadline of 2-3 weeks before the wedding. The RSVP is usually on a separate card included with the wedding invitation. Etiquette for the RSVP card should also include the same formality as the wedding invitation. The cards can use the simple wording of I/We are able to attend or I/We are unable to attend.

Addressing and Mailing

For formal invitations, the return address should be written on the envelop flap. It should be wedding hosts' address and not any names.  The invitation should be address specifically to the individual or individuals invited and use titles as necessary. An invitation addressed to Mr. Jones indicates that Mr. Jones should attend the wedding alone without bringing an additional guest. Mr. Jones and Guest indicates that Mr. Jones and one additional guest may attend the wedding. Mail invitations 6 to 8 weeks before the wedding.


Children under the age of 18 do not need to be named on the outer envelope, but if their names are not included on the inner envelope, indicates that they are not invited. If children under 18 are invited with their parents, include their names on the inner envelope. Children who are 18 or older should receive their own individual invitation even if they reside with their parents.


Once the invitations go out, all you have to do is wait for the RSVPs to come. Unfortunately, manners and rules of etiquette are often left by the wayside as guests do not always reply.  If guests do not reply, the Emily Post Institute declares a bride, groom, parent, friend or wedding coordinator can call guests a week after deadline has passed to personally ask for their reply.

Save The Dates

Three day wedding events and destination weddings are on the rise and so are the custom of sending Save The Date cards. They are intended to give guests an extended notice of the wedding date to allow proper planning. When the wedding is a far away location or a busy travel time, the advice notice is a much appreciated gesture. These cards need to be mailed at least 6-8 months prior to the wedding.

I hope this has helped to answer any questions you might have had concerning your wedding invitations.  Please share any advice you can give other couples on their wedding planning journey.