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Wedding Invitation Etiquette

Posted: Tuesday October 14, 2014

Wedding Invitation Etiquette

You’ve spent months planning your wedding, choosing your dress and picking the perfect menu. You’ve even tackled the minefield that is your guest list, so how do you now go about inviting people to celebrate your big day with you?

When to send wedding invitations?

Advice about when to send invitations varies depending on who you ask, but somewhere between 8 and 12 weeks in advance of the wedding, with an RSVP date of about six weeks before your wedding. However if you are getting married in key holiday season you may want to send your invitations out slightly earlier or send a “save the date” card to ensure your guests don’t book their holidays over your wedding day.

What should be included on wedding invitations?

The wording and style of wedding invitations may vary depending on the formality and type of wedding, but there are some key points that should be included on every wedding invitation:

  • Name of the bride and groom

  • Name of who is hosting the wedding (if it’s not the bride and groom. For example, it’s traditional for the bride’s parents to host the wedding).

  • Location of the wedding ceremony

  • Date of the wedding and time of the ceremony

  • Wedding reception venue

  • Name of the guests you are inviting, adding the names of children if they are invited. If you are inviting a “plus one” make this clear on the invitation

  • An RSVP address

  • A deadline by which to reply

  • You should include details of any specific dress codes or themes

Who should send the invitations?

The invitations should be sent from the people hosting the wedding. This is traditionally the bride’s family but is increasingly the bride and groom themselves.  The usual wording for a traditional invitation is:

Mr & Mrs Smith request the pleasure of your company

at the marriage of their daughter

Jane to Mr Steve Jones

at All Saints Church, Great Braxted

on (date), (month), (year),

at (time)

and afterwards at Braxted Park

RSVP: (host’s address).

However invitations can come from:

  • The bride and groom

  • Both sets of parents

  • The bride and groom with one or both sets of parents

  • A single parent or a divorced parent with their spouse

  • Jointly hosted by divorced parents

  • Grandparents


Sending invitations to the reception or evening party

Many couples invite additional guests to their evening reception or party. Similar details should be included on an evening only invite, leaving out details of the ceremony venue.

To invite children or not?

If you choose to invite the children of your guests, ensure this is clear on the invitations by adding the children’s names. If you leave their names off, it may be assumed by the parents that the children are not invited.

If you choose not to invite the children of your guests but worry there could be confusion, add a line to your invitations to make it clear. Something along the lines of ‘We are sorry we are unable to accommodate children’.


Photo from Paul Hubbard Photography

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