Wedding Invitation Etiquette
Invitation Dos and Don'ts
When it comes to wedding invitations - maintaining an equal balance of etiquette and clarity is key. It's likely that your paper trail will leave a wake of concerns and confusion in its wake - from missing-in-action RSVPs to invited guests calling you to ask whether they can bring their kids.
Invitations should be sent out 6 to 8-weeks prior to the wedding. This will give guests the adequate time to make all of the schedule, travel, babysitter and accommodation arrangements necessary to attend your wedding. It will also allow you to set your RSVP date 2 to 3 weeks prior to your wedding date so you can get a final head count and make final seating arrangements.
If an RSVP has yet to be received by the deadline - call the guest to ask if they will attend as they might have simply forgotten or assumed they needn't RSVP if they couldn't attend.
Be explicitly clear when addressing your wedding invitations. For example if you plan to invite your friend John and a guest, the invitation should be addressed to Mr. John Smith and Guest (or his date's name if you are aware of it). The same should go for families. If you plan to invite Mr. and Mrs. Richardson and their 3 children, then the address should be addressed to The Richardson Family. If you decide against having children at your ceremony or reception simply include a line that states 'adult-only ceremony' or 'adult-only reception' inside your invitations. Remember if you decide on an 'adult-only' wedding you mustn't invite any children at all.
Guests that attended your bridal shower or engagement party will be expectant of a wedding invitation because they've already given you a gift. Showers and engagement parties are gift-giving opportunities and guests that are invited to these but excluded from your wedding will assume they were only invited because you wanted a gift. If you don't want a guest at your wedding then don't invite them to your shower or engagement party.