One of the most critical decisions in planning a wedding is deciding what should go on your invitation.
Most of us have seen enough invites to know what to include in wedding invitations. A wedding invite may display only basic information, but it serves as an essential first glance into your special day.
Will it be casual or formal? Relaxed or by the book?
From the moment they pull your invitation from their mailbox, your guests will get an essential first impression of your wedding. Vines of the Yarra Valley is your ultimate Wedding Reception Venue to create your dream wedding.
But have you ever wondered if there are things you shouldn’t add to your invites?
Table of Contents
- 1 What Not to Include on Your Wedding Invitation
- 2 Wedding Invitation Etiquette Mistakes to Avoid
- 3 Wedding Invitation Dos and Don’ts
- 3.1 Wedding Invitation Dos
- 3.1.1 Do Be Consistent With Wording.
- 3.1.2 Do List the Bride’s Name First.
- 3.1.3 Do Choose Invitation Colors That Match Your Wedding Colors.
- 3.1.4 Do Include the Children.
- 3.1.5 Do Be Different.
- 3.1.6 Do Use Online RSVPs.
- 3.1.7 Do Include Directions.
- 3.1.8 Do Let Someone Else Address Your Invitations.
- 3.1.9 Do Be Diligent About Recording Responses.
- 3.1.10 Do Keep an Invitation as a Keepsake.
- 3.2 Wedding Invitation Don’ts
- 3.2.1 Don’t Mention Registry Info.
- 3.2.2 Don’t List “no Children” on the Invitation.
- 3.2.3 Don’t Use More Than Two Fonts.
- 3.2.4 Don’t Mention Pre- or Post-Wedding Events.
- 3.2.5 Don’t Forget to Verify Addresses in Google Maps.
- 3.2.6 Don’t Forget to Stamp the Response Cards.
- 3.2.7 Don’t Forget to Include Meal Choices.
- 3.2.8 Don’t Set The Rsvp Date Too Close to the Wedding Date.
- 3.2.9 Don’t Be Vague About Who Is Invited.
- 3.2.10 Don’t Skip Ordering Extra Invitations and Envel
- 3.2.11 opes.
- 3.1 Wedding Invitation Dos
What Not to Include on Your Wedding Invitation
Whether it’s in the spirit of tact or just aesthetics, there are a few things you should consider leaving off when thinking about what to include in wedding invitations. We’ll take a look at a few here.
Topping the list of what not to include in wedding invitations is registry information.
This is a tough one because you’re probably really excited to spread the word about the fantastic registry you’ve created.
Wedding registry etiquette is very clear about never referencing gifts or registries on the wedding invitation.
It’s best to keep this information on your wedding website or share it via word of mouth. Then, if you need to include it, you can print it on an insert card instead of on the invitation itself.
And, of course, you want to ensure your guests know what to purchase if they choose to give you a gift.
But unfortunately, adding registry information to your wedding invitation is still a big etiquette faux pas.
That’s because no matter how you word it, it comes across as looking like you’re only inviting your guests to receive gifts.
These days, a simple solution is to include your registry information on your wedding website and then provide a small insert with your website address with your invitation. Problem solved!
Although the decision to invite children or not to a wedding is a highly debated topic with no right or wrong answer, we still suggest to never say “Any children” or “Adults only” directly on your invitation; it’s better to use some other subtle ways to get this point across.
When addressing the inner envelopes, you should only include the name of each person invited; this tells the guests precisely who has an invitation extended to them and who doesn’t.
You can complete the “Number attending” portion of the response card, and all the guest has to do is fill in their name and check “accepts” or “regrets”. This puts you in control of the total count you are allowed.
You can also get the help of your parents or a close family friend to call those families who have included their kids in the response card and politely explain that you have an adult-only reception.
While it’s lovely to want your wedding to be an adults-only affair, printing “no kids allowed” or something similar can deliver quite a sting to your #momlife guests.
So skip this harsh wording and instead address the invitation to the people who are invited.
Afraid they’ll assume their brood can tag along? Utilise your close family and friends—your mom, your future mother-in-law, and your wedding party—to politely spread the word that your wedding will be an adult-only one.
Also, be sure to note this on your wedding website too!
Pre- or Post-Wedding Events
Never mention pre-or post-wedding events on the wedding invitation. The rehearsal dinner information can be communicated by word of mouth or send rehearsal dinner invitations.
Same thing for Post Wedding Brunch; only those invited need to know, not your entire guest list.
Too Much Information
Think of your wedding invitation as an elevator pitch of your wedding. It’s meant to provide a brief but concise picture of your wedding day; who’s getting married, where, and what time.
When you try to include much more than that, it becomes easier for details to be overlooked. What’s worse, your invitation will look busy and cluttered instead of simple and elegant.
So please keep it simple and only include what guests need to know about the actual wedding.
And don’t worry, there are other ways to disseminate information about all the other festivities you’ve got planned (like on your wedding website)!
Too Many Different Fonts and Font Sizes
Keeping your invitations beautiful and straightforward (and easy to read, of course!) is to avoid using a variety of different fonts and font sizes.
At most, you should have two of each to keep a streamlined look.
If you’ll be including a single line about the reception at the bottom of your invitation, such as “dancing to follow,” it’s okay to use third, smaller font size, but in general, two should suffice.
Consider scrawling your names using a dramatic font more significant than the rest of your invite for a great dramatic effect.
The Bride’s Married Name
If you change your name as soon as you get married, you’re probably super excited to start using your brand-new last name.
But unfortunately, your wedding invitation isn’t the place to get started—and your married name is on our list of what not to include in wedding invitations.
Your maiden name is the right choice here, assuming you aren’t yet married when you send the invitations out.
An exception to this rule would be if you’ve already gotten married, perhaps in a destination wedding or courthouse, and you’re inviting guests to a ceremony or a reception in honour of your union.
Then, using your married last name is acceptable. Another option? List only your first and middle name (and that of your spouse, of course) on the invitation.
It is unnecessary to put “Alcohol-Free” or “Wine and Beer only” on the invitation.
You are inviting your guests to a wedding, not a cocktail party, and indeed this information will not be the deciding factor as to whether or not guests attend.
If you need to add it, you can include this information on your reception cards.
An Incomplete Address/location
The information you include in wedding invitations should make it as easy as possible for your guests to arrive safely and on time for your ceremony and reception.
So before you send off your invitations for final printing, be sure to double-check the address you’re providing on the invitation.
Is it specific? Is it an exact address that guests will be able to plug into their GPS?
While this may seem like a no-brainer, it’s a big deal!
You wouldn’t want your guests to arrive at the other side of town, at the church’s rectory instead of the church itself, or your country club’s business office instead of the reception hall.
So if you’ll be including a location or address, don’t use vague information and include the actual address as well.
Wedding Invitation Etiquette Mistakes to Avoid
When it comes to creating and sending your wedding invitation, there’s a lot more to it than just sticking a card in the mail.
We’ve asked our experts to weigh in on the top invitation etiquette mistakes and to share their tips so that your invites are everything you want (and need) them to be.
Putting an Incorrect Start Time
While it might be tempting to indicate a ceremony start time that’s earlier than the one you’ve planned, you may want to reconsider that thought. Looking to purchase your wedding rings? Check out our list of Wedding Ring Shops to help you choose.
If there is one thing wedding guests know, it’s to show up early to a wedding ceremony.
If you plan to begin your ceremony at 5 p.m., expect guests to arrive between 4:30 and 4:45—and head down the aisle no later than 5:15.
If you tell guests the ceremony will begin at 4:45, they’ll arrive closer to 4:00 and wait an hour to see your grand entrance.
Not Including All the Necessary Information
A well-informed guest is a happy guest, so make sure to keep your guests in the loop. Specify the date, time, and location of the ceremony—among other essential details—on your wedding invitation.
If your reception is at the exact location, indicate “reception to follow” to let guests know they don’t need to go anywhere else.
If you’re having a reception at another location, you can either include it on the invitation or, more formally, print a reception card with the time and place.
On your information card, you’ll want to include any pre-and post-wedding events, hotel information, and a link to your wedding website. And don’t forget the dress code!
Sending Them Too Late
Look at your wedding date and count back eight weeks (for a non-destination wedding). This is the latest you should mail your invitations to give your guests enough time to RSVP and make any travel plans.
Are you having a destination wedding? Count back 12 weeks so your guests don’t feel rushed and can shop around for the best travel prices.
Not Providing Rsvp Instructions
Don’t forget an “RSVP by” date on your RSVP cards—this one is a biggie. Give your guests three to four weeks to let you know if they’ll be attending.
The RSVP date should be at least two weeks before your wedding so you can give your caterer a more accurate headcount.
And, of course, let guests know how to RSVP. Include a pre-addressed envelope that they can use to send back their reply, or direct them specifically to the email, phone number, or URL they should use to RSVP.
Not Putting a Stamp on the Rsvp Envelope
If you want your guests to mail back an RSVP card, ensure the envelope is pre-addressed and includes a stamp.
Does this mean you’ll have to buy a whole bunch of extra stamps? Yes. But asking your guests to pay to reply (even if it’s just a single stamp) is an etiquette no-no.
Including Your Registry Information
We all know you shouldn’t put your registry information on your invitation, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it completely.
Instead, include the link to your website (not directly to your registry) on an information insert. Then make sure the registry tab on your site is marked so guests can find it easily.
Not Clarifying Who Is Invited
It’s all about the names on the front of the envelope. If you’re inviting a couple but not their children, don’t use “The Smith Family.”
Instead, put “Mr and Mrs John Smith,” which implies the only two invited.
If you’re inviting someone with a guest, be sure to write “and Guest” on the envelope or put the name of their significant other if you know it.
Inviting the whole family? Either write “The Smith Family” or “Mr and Mrs John Smith, Susie, Alex, and Michael,” with the kids’ names on the line beneath their parents’.
Wedding Invitation Dos and Don’ts
We’ve gathered a few of our most helpful tips when it comes to personalising, addressing and sending your wedding invitations.
We hope these words of advice help you when the time comes to invite friends and family to this great day.
Wedding Invitation Dos
Do Be Consistent With Wording.
If you’re using formal wedding invitation wording, be consistent throughout all your stationery pieces (invitation, response card, reception card, etc.).
Do List the Bride’s Name First.
Etiquette states that the bride’s name should appear first in the wedding invitation wording. Of course, you can deviate from this rule, but sometimes it’s nice to stick with tradition.
Do Choose Invitation Colors That Match Your Wedding Colors.
If the design isn’t available in your colours, the wording on most wedding invitations can be customised to fit your specific colour choices.
Do Include the Children.
For blended family ceremonies, we highly encourage using wedding invitation wording that incorporates the children.
Do Be Different.
There are so many invitation styles to choose from, and you don’t have to settle for an invitation that’s anything like the last five invitations you’ve received.
Do Use Online RSVPs.
An online RSVP service is perfectly acceptable. If you’re worried about the older generation, you can include a phone number for them to call. Also, feel free to use both response cards and an online RSVP service.
Do Include Directions.
You can include map cards with your invitations or offer directions on your wedding website. Either way, your guests will appreciate the added effort.
Do Let Someone Else Address Your Invitations.
Whether you use our envelope addressing service when you order wedding invitations or hire a calligrapher for that gorgeous custom look, this will save you lots of time and stress.
Do Be Diligent About Recording Responses.
You may be tempted to set the response cards aside on the counter or coffee table but make sure you record the responses right away or have a safe place to put all response cards until you have time to record them.
Do Keep an Invitation as a Keepsake.
Couples often forget to keep an invitation for themselves. Luckily, a friend or family member is always willing to give one up but setting one aside in pristine condition is best.
Wedding Invitation Don’ts
Don’t Mention Registry Info.
Registry information may be shared on your wedding website, listed on your wedding invitation or response card. You may also transfer this information via word of mouth.
Don’t List “no Children” on the Invitation.
Address the inner envelopes to include the name of each person invited. This step tells your wedding guests exactly who is invited. You can also choose “limited-seats” wording for your response cards. Read How to Word Your RSVP Cards for an example.
Don’t Use More Than Two Fonts.
We recommend using one script font as an accent lettering style and one block font as your main lettering style. This will ensure that your wedding details are readable.
Don’t Mention Pre- or Post-Wedding Events.
Pre- and post-wedding events should not be mentioned on the wedding invitation itself. The rehearsal dinner information can be communicated by word of mouth or send rehearsal dinner invitations. For day-after events such as brunches and gift openings, include a separate information card with your invitation.
Don’t Forget to Verify Addresses in Google Maps.
As we all know, our phones don’t get us to the correct location 100% of the time. Therefore, we highly recommend checking all Google Maps and MapQuest addresses to verify that the results are accurate. If they aren’t, you will need to include map cards with your wedding invitation ensemble.
Don’t Forget to Stamp the Response Cards.
Stamping the response cards is a simple courtesy to your guests. It makes responding easier, which means you’ll receive more responses in a more timely fashion.
Don’t Forget to Include Meal Choices.
Sometimes couples forget to include meal choices on their response cards. For example, the caterer needs this information if you’re having a plated meal at your reception. If you’re offering a buffet meal, this wording is not necessary.
Don’t Set The Rsvp Date Too Close to the Wedding Date.
You will want at least three weeks between the RSVP date and wedding date to contact late responders, give vendors a final guest count and create a seating chart (if needed).
Don’t Be Vague About Who Is Invited.
Make sure the name of each guest invited to your wedding is listed on the inner envelope. If your invitation doesn’t come with an inner envelope, make sure your response cards indicate how many people are invited.
We suggest customers use the phrase, “xx seats have been reserved for you.” Check out our ultimate list of Wedding Planners in Melbourne to help you organise a stress-free wedding.
Don’t Skip Ordering Extra Invitations and Envel
You will more than likely need more invitations and envelopes than you think. Chances are you will forget to invite a few people, and you might make some mistakes while addressing the envelopes. The cost of ordering extra is far less than placing a new order.