Your wedding invitations are the first glimpse into your day that your guests will see. So, it’s essential to start on the right track. Make a great first impression with these tips for the perfect wedding invitation etiquette.
Wedding Suite by Plume Calligraphy
When do you mail the save the dates? Typically, save the dates are sent out 6-8 months before the wedding. For destination weddings, it’s best to allow 8-12 months of advance notice for your guests.
It’s common practice to mail the invitations 8 weeks before the wedding if you’ve sent a Save the Date, and 12 – 16 weeks before the wedding if you did not send a Save the Date. If you are planning a destination wedding, the invitations are mailed 8-10 weeks before the wedding, if you mailed save the dates. If not, it’s recommended to send them 5 months in advance to accommodate the extra travel planning. None of your guests will mind having additional notice to plan.
The RSVP deadline is two to three weeks before the wedding to give you a final headcount to the caterer and make a final seating chart.
Your guests’ entire names are written on the outer envelopes. It is proper etiquette to address married couples as “Mr. and Mrs.,” followed by the husband’s first and last name. You may also opt to list both full names. When a woman keeps her maiden name, the names are written in alphabetical order: Ms. Susan Jones and Mr. John Smith. For an unmarried couple who live together, write the names on two lines.
The return address usually goes on the back flap of the envelope. Also, the return address used should be that of the person(s) whom you’ve designated to receive response cards, be it your parents or you (traditionally, whoever is hosting the wedding handles response cards). Don’t forget that the RSVP envelope should also be addressed with this address (and should include postage). From The Knot.
“Check, check and check again. Once you agree your proof with your stationer and your wedding invitations go to print, it is very difficult to make changes without it costing a lot of money!” – Hello Snowflake Designs.
First and foremost, the invitation design will give your guests insight into the wedding style (black tie, cocktail, or formal). But, it is acceptable to include a dress code in the lower right-hand corner of the invitation. If you have a wedding website, you can go into more detail about the weekend events and dress code in a more informal matter there.
Consider hiring a calligrapher. For such an essential piece of paper, addressing the envelopes by hand is preferred. The beauty and artistry of professional calligraphy make quite a statement and saves hours of work. If you are considering this extra effort and touch, reach out to the calligrapher at least 2 months before you are due to mail your invitations.
Are you looking for a stationer for your wedding invites? Here are a few of my favorites: Lettering by GRG and Shasta Bell Calligraphy.
If you found these tips for the perfect wedding invitation etiquette helpful, you might also like: Six Tips For Capturing the Getting Ready Photos