Wedding Invitation Etiquette
Our professional Consultants are trained to assist you with wedding etiquette and selection of wedding items, wording, ink color, font and envelope lining. Through the years, our consultants have been collecting and gathering information on invitation and wedding etiquette. This etiquette guide contains the questions our consultants are most frequently asked by our customers.
Prior to ordering
When should I order my wedding invitations?
Once you have your event details finalized, as far as the date, location and time, you should place your order. You want to give yourself enough time to find the right invitation and choose your ink color, font and wording. With so many options you need time to view what is available. You also need ample time to receive your order, address the invitations and mail them to your guests. Typically invitations are ordered 2 to 12 months before the date of the event.
Should my invitations match the theme or colors of my wedding?
Invitations are the first impression you will make on your guests. You can incorporate the colors of your flowers or bridesmaid dresses on your invitations. Themes are often used as well. If you are having a wedding on the beach, tropical invitations are a great accent to your event. Using a color or theme is a personal choice, but remember your invitations set the tone of your event.
Can I see samples of wedding invitation wording?
For help with wording, please visit our sample wording section
Can you explain etiquette for wedding invitation wording?
A general rule to follow on invitation wording is to avoid abbreviating names of places, street addresses, cities and states.
- Typically the time of your event should be spelled out. If your event is before noon it is considered the morning. If the time is after noon and before 6:00 p.m., it is considered the afternoon. If the time is after 6:00 p.m. it is considered the evening. It is acceptable to refer to 6:00 as the afternoon or evening. If the time falls on a half hour the proper way to word it, for example is "half after four o'clock."
- Punctuation should be used on times, dates and between locations. All other punctuation is typically left off the invitations.
- Zip codes are typically left off of wedding invitations and reception cards when specifying the address of an event location.
- If you want to limit or restrict the number of children attending the reception it is recommended that you enclose a note to those who might be understanding or talk to close friends and ask them to spread the word. "No children" is not recommended as per etiquette.
- In regards to gifts it is never appropriate to request monetary gifts. However if you would like to have guests donate to a charity it is appropriate to say on an additional insert card: "In lieu of gifts please make a donation to..."
How much wording is recommended on my wedding invitations?
For most invitations 10-14 lines of text is recommended. When ordering you will be given the appropriate number of lines to type in for your invitation. If you need additional lines we will try to accommodate your request. We may have to combine lines or move wording in order to make the text fit properly. We recommend not overcrowding your invitations.
How much wording is recommended on my reception and respond cards?
or most enclosure cards 5-7 lines of text is recommended. When ordering you will be given the appropriate number of lines to type in. If you need additional lines we will try to accommodate your request. We may have to combine lines or move wording in order to make the text fit properly. We recommend not overcrowding your enclosure cards.
How many invitations should I order?
One invitation is needed per household. Once you have your final number of invitations needed, make sure to order 10-25 more invitations than you need. This is just in case you remember someone you forgot to include on your list or decide to add guests later. It is more costly to place a second order for just 25 invitations, so it is recommended to order extra invitations to begin with.
What font should I choose for my wedding invitations?
The font you select should match the style of your event. For example, formal scripts are typically selected for formal events. It is important to make sure your font is readable to your guests. The suggested guideline is:
- If your wording exceeds 14 lines, we encourage you to use a less scripty or "loopy" font to allow for readability.
- If your invitation doesn't have much wording we suggest using a "full body" font
- We do recommend using two fonts on your invitation (at no extra charge), one for your names and another font for your main wording.
Click here to see a list of our available fonts. You can view your order in the font you selected before we print by ordering a proof. Click here for more information on proofs.
What ink color should I choose for my wedding invitations?
When selecting an ink color we recommend choosing a color that will match or compliment the design or border of the invitation.
- For a traditional style, black and charcoal ink colors are recommended.
- For a contemporary event we recommend using colors such as aqua, chocolate or magenta to accent your invitations.
What is a monogram?
Some invitations feature monograms. On these invitations monograms are available at no additional charge.
Monograms may be added on invitations which do not feature them online. Some monograms require an additional charge. Please call toll-free 888.381.4400 for more information.
Monograms consist of the initial of the bride's first name on the left. Then the initial of the groom's first name on the right. The middle initial is the initial of the groom's last name. Very often monogram invitations only show the first name initials or the groom's last name initial. View our invitations with monograms.
When you receive your order
When should I mail my wedding invitations to my guests?
Guests may be sent an invitation six to eight weeks before the date of your wedding. However, if you have international guests or many of out of town guests you should typically send these invitations out ten to twelve weeks before the event. This gives your guests time to plan their travel schedule. The same guidelines apply if you are having your event during a holiday weekend or are having a destination wedding. You want to make sure you give your guests ample time to plan for your special day.
You may also want to send out save the date announcements. This is great for giving travel and accommodation information in advance for your guest's convenience. This is especially useful for destination weddings. Save the date announcements should be sent out at least four to twelve months prior to your event.
How do I address my invitations?
Invitations may be addressed in several ways. Typically they are handwritten, printed or done in calligraphy. Etiquette suggests to avoid using labels.
Outer envelopes should be addressed to guests using the proper titles (Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms.) Don't abbreviate names or addresses. The outer envelope has the guests' names and address.
When determining whether to use Ms., Mrs., or Miss, always respect the woman's preference. If it is not known, it is appropriate to use the title "Ms."
Couples living together who are not married should be addressed with their names on separate lines.
The inner envelopes should only have the guests' names. It is not gummed so it doesn't seal. You may be formal by writing Mr. and Mrs. William Jones or as informal as Uncle Bill and Aunt Jenny.
When specifically inviting children:
Young boys up to age seven are given the title as master. Mr. is used at the age of 18. No title is used between the ages of 7 - 18.
Young girls are given the title Miss. Then when married it changes to Mrs. or Ms. if the woman keeps her birth name.
How do I assemble my invitations?
Typically invitations are assembled by placing the tissue paper (not included with all invitations) in front of the invitation.
The enclosure cards (reception and respond cards) may be placed in front of flat invitations or inside folded invitations. The items should face your guest when they open the invitations.
All items are placed inside the inner envelope if this is included with your order. The inner envelope is then placed inside the outer envelope. The front of the inner envelope with the guests' names should face the guest when they opening the envelope.
Click here to see a demonstration on how to assemble an invitation.
Do I need extra postage on my invitations?
Your invitations should be weighed for postage before mailing. When items are added to the envelopes, the weight can increase. Also, special shaped invitations, such as square and oversized, may require additional postage.
For more information regarding postage rates and fees, please visit www.usps.com or contact your local post office.
Mailing your invitations:
If your invitations have a bow, ribbon, or anything that is three dimensional be sure to ask the Post Office to hand stamp your envelopes, instead of the invitations going through the machines since this might tear them. Check with your local post office if additional charges apply.
Need help with planning your wedding? Use our wedding checklist and download it for easy printing!
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