HOW DO YOU WORD YOUR WEDDING INVITATIONS?
Don’t be intimidated by wedding invitation wording etiquette – the “rules” are actually much more straightforward than they seem. Whether the Bride’s parents are hosting, your parents are divorced, or you and your fiancé are hosting together – we’ve written out the proper casual and formal wording options for you below!
Keep mind that we like to live on the edge around here and know that some of these examples won’t fit your exact style – we can change the wording however you’d like!
IF YOU OR THE GROOM HAVE DIVORCED PARENTS
Names are listed on separate lines without an “and” between them
Mom always comes first.
If the bride’s mother is not remarried, use “Ms.” followed by her first name and the last name she is currently using (maiden or still her married name).
INCLUDING THE BRIDE’S LAST NAME
Traditionally, the bride only includes her first and middle name if her last name is the same as her parent’s, but we thinks it’s quite alright to include your last name as well if you’d like!
HOW TO PROPERLY SAY “NO KIDS ALLOWED”
No problem! Although this can be tricky, there’s a few different ways that you can successfully pull off an adults only wedding without offending anyone.
Address your envelopes properly. The names that you list on the envelope tell the guests who’s invited to the wedding. Even if they don’t get this hint, it’s a great place to start.
Put “We’ve reserved (blank) adult seats for you” on your RSVP card. This gives just one more hint that the wedding is kid-free without slapping them across the face with it.
Put “Adults Only Reception to Follow” on the invitation. This isn’t clearly saying that kids aren’t allowed at the ceremony, so it’s the perfect way to tell guests that the reception is kid-free and a good addition even if both events are adults only.
Fill in the name line on each RSVP card with the exact names of people invited. This can take some time, but it’s a pretty obvious way to tell them who is included on the invite.
HOW TO WORD RESPONSE CARDS
Like most things, RSVP card wording can be completely custom to your type of event! For example, if you’re going for a more formal occasion, you will probably stick with the traditional “happily accepts” and “regretfully declines”, compared to if you’re having a playful destination wedding your wording could be something like, “yeah, mon!”.
If you need to make it clear how many people are invited (usually if you have really limited seating or you’re worried that big families will assume all are invited, etc.) you can put a section at the top that says, “We’ve reserved (blank) seats in your honor”, and you would fill in that blank before you send it.
We can also add a line that says “(blank) out of (blank) attending”. This can be in addition to the aforementioned portion or by itself and you would just need to fill out the second blank.
Or, we can just have a general “(blank) Number Attending” section.
CALL TO ACTION
Another thing to include on your RSVP card is an RSVP by date. This can be different depending on when you need final head counts for other vendors, but a typical rule of thumb is the request the RSVP cards back within 2-3 weeks before your wedding day. Below are some wording examples:
The Favor of Your Reply is Requested by June First
Kindly Let Us Know By 06.01.2017
RSVP By 05/01/2014
Please Reply By 06.01.2107
Kindly Reply by June First
Reply by 06.01.2017
Please Respond By June First
RSVP by June 1st or forever hold your peace
RSVP by June 1st or will use at least 4 forms of communication to hassle you
Of course you’ll need to know who it is that’s filling out this RSVP card so it’s important to put a space for them to write their names. Traditionally, you include a simple “(M)” and a line next to it for people to write “Mr., Miss, Mrs., etc.” followed by their name. Alternately, you can just put “Name(s)”: for people to list out who’s attending or not attending.
We’ve listed a few different wording options for the response phrases as ideas below, but keep in mind that this can be whatever fits YOU best!
This section will depend on what you’re serving at the reception. If you’re opting for a buffet, chances are you can leave this section off altogether. If you have multiple entrée options, list the options, and ask your guests to tally the entrée preferences for their party and place a number next to each entrée option.
You can also include a line for dietary restrictions to let you know of any food allergies or dietary preferences (i.e. vegetarian).
If you’d like, you can include a phrase at the bottom that says something like, “Look forward to celebrating with you!”
WHAT TO INCLUDE ON YOUR DETAIL INSERT CARD
It’s very common to have a detail insert card that covers all of the miscellaneous details of your wedding that you want your guest to know so that everything is in one place. This card is specific to YOUR particular event, so no two cards will be the same and there’s essentially no rules. Here’s some things that are typically included:
Accommodations: Hotel(s) name, address, phone number, room block deadline, hotel contact if there is one, etc.
Directions from hotel to venue and/or to venue from major highway intersection and/or from ceremony site to reception venue and/or can also include custom map
Registry link if registry is online or list of store names
Reception info if reception is at a separate location from the ceremony. It’s very important to include the name & address of this location.
Event specific details: This is where you can include any random information you have for your guests (i.e. valet parking at venue, shuttle service to and from hotel and venue, dress code (this can also be on invitation), etc.
WHAT YOUR TIMELINE SHOULD LOOK LIKE
7-10 months before your wedding: order save the dates
6-8 months before your wedding: mail save the dates, order wedding invitations & rehearsal dinner invitations
6-8 weeks before your wedding: mail wedding invitations, order thank you notes, wedding day programs and reception items (place cards, table number, seating chart, menus, etc.) if you haven’t already
5 weeks before your wedding: mail rehearsal dinner invitations, finalize wedding day programs and reception items