Wedding invitations and etiquette have evolved significantly over the years. Hand-calligraphed invitations with formal sir names have been replaced with modern informal printed invites and sometimes even digital invitations sent through email. We’ll teach you all about wedding invitations and etiquette so you can decide which traditions to uphold and which to put your own modern spin on. Here are all of today’s wedding invite etiquette questions answered.
The first on the list of “Today’s Wedding Invite Etiquette Questions Answered,” would be save the date cards! Save the Date cards are typically sent out 6-8 months before the wedding date to let guests know when and generally what city you plan on getting married. Traditional wedding etiquette says these cards must be mailed, but some couples opt for a paper-free version via email or e-invite.
The save the date etiquette is a bit looser; they are typically a much less formal invitation than wedding stationery, so go ahead and have some fun with them! Many couples use photos from their engagement photos to design their save date cards. You can really get your guests excited about your plans and show off a little of your wedding style by including colors or fonts that will carry into your actual wedding invitation.
When sending save the dates, regardless of if you send out save the dates in physical snail mail form or electronically, they should include the ‘cliff notes’ details of your event.
Our preferred wedding website builder is Zola. Although the design features are a bit less customizable than other options, the platform overall is very user-friendly and easy to work with. Within Zola, it’s also very easy to build your wedding registry, honeymoon funds, etc. right within their website base.
Keep in mind not to put any information on the wedding website until it is 100% final. Although it can be helpful for guests to learn more about your wedding right when they receive their Save the Date, oftentimes they won’t be checking it for updates if information changes. For example, if you say shuttles will run at 3 and 3:30 but then you want to switch it to 3:15 and then 3:45, your guests may not see the update. So while everything is still TBD it’s best to be general with information. For example, “Shuttles will be available from the hotel to the reception. Check back for updates on timing”.
At least six months before your wedding, have your wedding invitations designed. This gives you ample time to make changes, and have them printed, addressed, and mailed.
When choosing or creating a design and all the details, keep in mind postage costs. At 58 cents each in 2022, the forever stamp alone for each of your envelopes will add up quickly. Minimizing the need for additional postage can save a lot of money in the long run.
Most importantly, don’t forget to include the who, what, where, when information! Even if it is a local wedding, guests like to know all the details as soon as you have them planned, especially the wedding venue and accommodation information.
The way your invitation is written has a lot of traditional etiquettes associated with it, as well. And you can have your invitations be as formal or informal as you’d like.
As you can see, there are a lot of details that go into designing wedding invitations! This is why we always recommend our couples work with a professional stationer to design and coordinate their wedding invitations. We can help pair you with a stationer that is perfect for your style and budget. Below are some of our favorite and trusted Milwaukee wedding invitation vendors.
It should go without being said that generally, you’ll want to invite people who know you and love you and your fiance. Also, keep in mind that wedding nights can be wacky and wild. It might at first sound like a good idea to invite your boss. But do you really want them to see you at the end of the night drunkenly belting Usher songs? Maybe not. Always be sure that the people on your guest list are good friends and family members who genuinely love you for who you are.
It can be a difficult decision whether or not to invite kids to your wedding. Not allowing kids can be off-putting to some parents and might mean they won’t attend. But conversely, some kids can be wild and unpredictable during a day that you want everything to be perfect. Some couples decide to only invite kids over a certain age limit, which can be a good compromise, but tricky for families with a wide range of ages.
At the end of the day, it is up to you to decide who you want to invite to your wedding or not.
So if you decide you don’t want to invite kids, how do you politely say “don’t bring your kids to my wedding”? It’s all about who and how the names are addressed on the invitation envelope. If your envelope reads “The Smith Family”, that would include all the people in their family. If you’re only inviting the parents, address them directly such as “Mr. Joe and Laura Smith”.
If you’re concerned the receiver might still not get the message, you can add a small statement to the bottom of your invitation or on your wedding website to ensure there is no confusion. Here are some ideas of kind ways to phrase it.
You’re pretty sure your cousin who lives in Australia and is in college won’t be able to make the trip but do you still send them an invitation? A resounding yes. And that’s not just for the idea that you might get a gift!
Getting invited to a wedding is an honor. You may not be able to go to every wedding you’re invited to, but you probably really appreciate being included. Err on the side of letting people know that they are important enough to you that you wish they could be there on the day, even if you know it’s not possible. Sometimes you might be surprised at their response!
Typically, four months before your wedding date is a good rule of thumb for when you should start sending out wedding invitations. You can send them even earlier if you’d like because guests appreciate receiving them early enough to make plans or arrange for child care.
From a financial standpoint, it’s also wise to keep in mind that it becomes more expensive for people to book travel as your wedding gets closer.
If you are going to be addressing your invitations, there are a few etiquette norms to keep in mind. In general, invitations should be addressed using the standard business format for an envelope:
John Adams and Mary Adams
1234 Merryweather Drive
Independence, MO 64056
Beyond that, there are formal and more modern options for addressing married couples with the same last names, different last names, and more. Here are some etiquette examples of how to address your wedding invitations.
This is something your wedding invitation designer should be able to assist with, as well. And if you can, having them handle the addressing makes your life even easier!
Make sure you note on your RSVP card the date they need to respond by. As a general rule, you want this to be about 2-4 weeks before the wedding date. This allows you time to finalize the seating arrangement and let the caterer know the final headcount for ordering food.
A note about people who don’t RSVP; yes, it’s annoying. But it happens, and try not to take it personally. Some people don’t know their schedule, many forget they even received an invitation, and some just don’t care to be involved in the wedding process no matter how small or big of a role they may play in your life.
A quick email or phone call from someone who is helping you with the planning and knows the invitee personally can be helpful to remind them to let you know if they are planning on attending.
We hope we’ve answered all of today’s wedding invite etiquette questions for you! While planning their Milwaukee wedding, each couple we work with has different goals, dreams, and personal touches they want to see fulfilled for their wedding. While etiquette is important, staying true to yourself is also important.
We never want you to feel like you’re forcing yourselves into a box that doesn’t fit just because it’s the “proper” way to do something. It’s our goal to help you find that happy medium between tradition and personal convictions.
Have a question about wedding dos and don’ts? We’re here for you! We help Milwaukee couples plan beautiful and stress-free weddings along with miring their way through wedding etiquette!
Let us help you design an amazing wedding. Contact us to request a complimentary consultation. Live out of state or out of the country? No problem, we offer video call appointments and can meet you virtually.
Let’s talk about your wedding day!