When it comes to wedding invitations, there are endless questions. Couples are confused! They understand that invites need to happen for their people to attend, but they’re stuck on how to go about sending them “correctly”.
Wedding invitations are one of the most important details you’ll send your guests about your wedding. They provide information to them so that they can prepare, included your wedding date, ceremony and reception times, location, dress code, etc.
With so many details on the line, it’s only natural to want to get them just right!
So I’ve decided to help answer your most pressing wedding invitation etiquette questions so you can get back to the fun stuff— planning your party!
When to send out our wedding invitations?
Most sources will tell you wedding invitations should be sent 6-8 weeks before your wedding. If you ask me, that’s not enough time!
As a wedding and event planner, I tell my couples to send their invitations out 3 months in advance. Why? This gives your guests plenty of time to clear their calendars, budget their finances for wedding day travel, and (let’s be real) enough time to carve out 2 minutes in their day to actually RSVP!
When should we make the deadline for RSVP’s?
2 months out! Seems a little early right?
As punctual as your wedding guests may be in their day to day lives, I’ve found the RSVP’s always drag. Without them you aren’t able to move on to the final phase of your planning— which is confirming your head counts with vendors (potentially dropping from your original number and helping you save), guests meals, table assignments, and escort/place cards.
Setting your RSVP date early allows you extra breathing room so that you aren’t rushing in the final hour!
Where do we include information about our wedding website?
If you ask me, wedding invitations are not the place for wedding websites. This is something you should save for your Save the Dates! Invitations, in my opinion, should be kept classy, simple, and clean.
(You can read more about my take on Save the Dates here!)
We’re having an “adults only” reception. How do we make this clear to our guests?
Addressing your wedding invitations correctly will be your saving grace when it comes to being tasteful about your intentions. If you’re only inviting certain members of a family, be sure to clearly write out those people by name. This helps them gently understand that their 11 children are not invited.
How do we let guests know our dress code?
Though most of the weddings I attend are ones I plan, I always love to know the dress code for the few times I am a guest. Including this information on the very bottom of your wedding invitation or on a separate wedding details card is best. “Black tie,” “black tie optional”, and “cocktail attire” are all acceptable. If your dress code is something different and you need help with the proper wording, ask your planner! He/she will easily be able to guide you to the right language.
Having this on your wedding website as well will ensure guests are extra clear about your preferences!
Does every guest need to get a “plus one”?
The choice is yours! Depending on the scope of your wedding, you may decide to allow everyone a plus one or just invite people solo. It varies by person as well. If the one you’re inviting is married or in a serious relationship, extending the additional invite is always a nice gesture. (They’ll feel more comfortable having their person there and, in turn, be able to enjoy your day more!)
But if a more intimate wedding is your goal, a simple explanation is all it takes. “I would love to have everyone attend, but we really are excited to celebrate with our closest family and friends.”
Photography Credit: Shannon Moffit Photography, Nikki Santerre Photography, Hannah Bjorndal Photography