Wedding invitation etiquette has relaxed greatly over time and nowadays tends to act as a guide when seeking inspiration to write the perfect wedding invitation. When your guests receive your wedding invitation that has observed wedding etiquette, it will not go unnoticed.
wedding invitation & wording wording
The selection of paper in its weight and colour can convey formality. A black tie affair calls for a classic wedding invitation, with classic fonts & classic text layout while a less formal wedding gives you the freedom to be a little more colourful in both the colour of your card, ribbon and use of text. Either style, formal or informal your wedding invitation wording should observe etiquette guidelines.
Click here to read more and to view sample invitation wording.
Social & professional titles on host lines & envelopes
Abbreviations should not be used with title names eg. Reverend, Father, Doctor, and all military titles should be spelled out. Exceptions are: "Mr." and "Mrs."
Use appropriate social & professional titles for addressing envelopes, examples;
- Husband is a doctor his wife is not - Doctor & Mrs James Foster
- Wife is a doctor her husband is not - Doctor Laura Foster & Mr James Foster
- Both are doctors – The Doctors Foster
- Husbands & Wives with different professional titles, wife’s name with her title comes first.
- When a husband and wife has different last names, as when a wife has retained her maiden name her name is printed first.
- For unmarried couples living together the ladies name comes first.
- A boy aged 12 and under – master, a girl aged 17 and under - Miss
"Black tie" for a formal event appears on the right hand side of your wedding invitation. Note: the "B" in "Black tie" is capitalized, but not the "t.". If sending evening invitations to guests who have not attended the wedding ceremony & wedding meal, it would be correct to include "Black tie".
‘Never, never’ make suggestions that your female guests are not to ‘dress shop’ at a particular shop just because you have purchased your bridesmaid dresses there. (yes this has happened, eg. no ‘shop name’ dresses please)
It is considered extremely socially incorrect to make any mention of gifts on invitations based on the theory that we should expect nothing from our friends except their presence, therefore never list the shop where you have registered your wedding gift list. Including the name of a charity for donations or your desire for money rather than presents is also considered incorrect. ‘Never, never’ mention money requests.
No Children please
It is difficult to convey to your guests that you do not want to invite their children and is considered socially incorrect to write, "no children please" on the any part of the invitation. Cleary print just the couples name on the invitation and envelope. While still not really polite or correct you could mention on your information card that unfortunately your venue cannot accommodate younger guests & suggest a list of ‘baby sitting’ services available in the area.
We are often asked - Do we send wedding invitations to family members?
All your guests should receive an invitation. Your family members are more likely to ‘keep’ your invitation as a memento. Family will cherish your wedding invitation the most.
When to post wedding invitations
Traditionally wedding invitations should be sent 6 weeks prior to your wedding date. Sending invitations 8 weeks in advance, is becoming quite popular if your wedding venue or location attracts tourists in high season, especially if you want to ensure your guests can secure accommodation.
If getting married overseas, it is a good idea to send a ‘save the date’ card at least 6-8 months prior to your wedding date. However, if you have not sent a ‘save the date’ card you should send your invitations at least 12-16 weeks prior to your overseas wedding date. This rule of thumb also applies to guests living overseas who will have to make travel arrangements to travel to your wedding in your ‘home’ destination.