The complete guide to wedding invitation etiquette

pexels pixabay 262023

Now that you have decided to tie the knot, the first thing to do is send a formal wedding invitation card to your prospective guests. But how do you structure an invitation, and the best invitation wordings to use? How exactly should the invitations be sent?

I’m sure you’ll enjoy using a lot of imagination to spruce up your wedding invitation and give it a distinctive message for your prospective guests. Also, you’ll probably need a nice “be my bridesmaid candle” gift as a special invitation to your maid of honor.  This article is meant to help you achieve that. Kindly read on.

What’s up with save-the-date letters?

A save-the-date letter is a formal announcement of your wedding date and location, as well as a prior notice that your guests will be invited. It won’t be wrong to simply write “save the date”. However, adding some unique language to things will never be a bad idea. One thing to always remember when crafting a save-the-date letter is to stick to the “less is more” rule. No matter how you choose to format your save-the-date, don’t forget to include an “invitation to follow” to let your visitors know what to expect next. The following information should be provided in your save-the-date letter:

  • Date of the wedding
  • City
  • Wedding website
  • A note about the invitation

While crafting your save-the-date letters, watch out for these etiquette rules:

  • Send it not less than four months ahead of the wedding. Preferably, between four and six months. 
  • Be sure to send them to everyone you intend to invite.
  • Add the date, city, wedding website, and a brief note about the invitation.
  • Do not include the registry or venue you intend to use.

Do we have to send save-the-dates?

In most cases, your family, friends, and other expected guests may have had a whimper about your forthcoming wedding. It’s still right to formally inform them to let them know how much value you attach to them. Sending a save-the-date letter is also necessary because you need to let your potential guests cancel all other appointments on the date.

What information ought to be on the wedding invitation?

Your online wedding invitation should include the following elements:

  • The host 
  • Request to come to the wedding
  • Couples’ names
  • Date and time
  • Venue
  • Reception information
  • Dress code 
  • Separate RSVP card

The Host

Although most couples foot their wedding bills on their own, they still name their parents as the hosts. Traditionally, the host is the bride’s parents. However, for the sake of inclusiveness, most wedding invitation ideas include both the bride and groom’s parents as the hosts. In a situation where the parent(s) is (are) late, it would be wise to make a note.


Jane Gregory, daughter of the late Gregory Wolf and Elizabeth Wolf


Thomas Cook, the son of Steven and Mary Cook

The request to come to the wedding

Every invitation letter should carry a request to respect your guest’s presence. It usually comes in this form:

  • the pleasure of your company
  • at the marriage of their children
  • They would love for you to join them
  • Invite you to celebrate with them
  • Honor of your presence

Couples’ names

Traditionally, the bride’s name comes before the groom’s. You should use the first and second names of the bride, then the title and the full name of the groom. If it’s a homosexual wedding.

Date and time

The date and time are written in full for formal weddings. There are no numerals for both the date and time. The use of a.m. and p.m. is not mandatory. For casual weddings, numerals are acceptable.


The location of the venue is usually given in the form of a city and state. However, if more details are required to locate the venue, kindly add the street address for clarity.

Reception information

If the reception takes place somewhere else, try to mention it separately; if not, just say that it comes right after.

Dress code

The dress code is usually located at the lower right-hand corner of the invitation card.

Separate RSVP card

You can have guests RSVP to you via your wedding website or a response card for guests to email. You should indicate it on a separate RSVP response card.

When should the RSVP deadline be set? 

RSVP is a French abbreviation for “répondez s’il vous plaît,” meaning “please reply.” Four or five weeks is enough time for a guest to RSVP. This is long enough to allow a guest to decide if they can attend your wedding or not.

How to inform visitors of your dress code

Including a dress code on your invitation card is a good wedding invitation idea. You can indicate the dress code for your wedding on the bottom left, center, or right-hand side of the invitation card. 

In conclusion

Good knowledge of wedding invitation etiquette is the starting point of every successful wedding. I hope you have been properly guided to give your wedding the perfect touch.