Your wedding invitations give your guests their first impression of your celebrations, so its important to get wedding invitation etiquette right! When sending out wedding invitations, there are a few key things to remember...
T I M E L I N E S
Ensure you send out the invitations in enough time to allow people to make the necessary arrangements to be able to attend. If you are inviting guests who live overseas, the invitation is generally sent three months prior to the event. If your guests live locally, six weeks is standard. (Although, as this is such a special day, sending out a Save the Date card is always recommended.)
D E T A I L S
The invitation itself should include all of the necessary information for your guests to make it to the wedding and/or reception venue without having to call you to ask for further details. When in doubt, more information is better than less. Key elements that the invitation should include are:
Location – include a map if the wedding/reception is to be held at a rural or hard-to-find location
RSVP details and/or RSVP card.
D R E S S C O D E S
The time of the wedding generally dictates the dress code:
Morning wedding, prior to 2pm: Morning suit
From 2pm: Lounge suit
From 5 pm: Cocktail dress (knee length dress)
From 6 pm: Black or white tie; floor length gown for the ladies
However, as many people have a late afternoon wedding with an evening reception, it is a good idea to let your guests know how you would like them to dress, so that they can be prepared and dress accordingly.
R . S . V . P ' S
R.S.V.P’s are generally requested one to two weeks prior to the wedding day, however, it is always a good idea to speak with your suppliers to verify when they require the final number of confirmed attendees. Including a pre-stamped R.S.V.P. card will most likely ensure they are returned well and truly prior to the R.S.V.P. date. This will save you the time of following up guests to confirm their attendance.
R.S.V.P. cards may be as detailed or as simple as you like. The details that need to be included are:
- Space for the guests' names
- Whether the guest/s ‘Accepts with pleasure’ or ‘Declines with regret.’ (There is generally a box placed next to these options, for the guests to tick.)
Other information that may be included is:
- Are there any special dietary requirements to be taken into account?
- Are bus transfers required and if so, how many?
G I F T R E G I S T R Y C A R D S
While it is acceptable for these to be included in the same envelope as the wedding invitation, many people still worry about doing this. If one isn’t included, the maid of honour or the bridesmaids should have been briefed on the details and be able to advise the details of any registries.
Our tips were originally published in Modern Wedding DIY #6 and were written by Alexandra Blakemore, the founder of the online stationery and etiquette company www.frenchnavy.com.au!