Wedding Stationery – What Exactly Is The Etiquette?

Posted on 30th March 2015 by Jo


A customer asked me the other day ‘when should she send her Save The Date cards out’ and ‘when should she post her wedding invitations’? I get asked this question quite a lot along with ‘what should be included on my wedding invitations’? My answer is always do what you feel is right and which will cause you the least amount of stress.  There however general guidelines or so called ‘Wedding Etiquette’ covering these types of questions and below I have summarised some of the most popular questions asked and my response……let me know if I have missed any out or if you would like me to add any.


Do I need to send out Save The Date cards?
No but they are a great way of letting your friends and family know about your upcoming wedding (before you know all the finer details such as timings) to ensure that they ‘reserve’ that day in their calendar well in advance. Save The Date cards can be particularly useful if you are planning a wedding abroad or if your guests have to travel a long distance as it gives guests ample time to plan/book ahead.


When should I send out Save The Date cards?
It is totally up to you but remember the whole point of sending a Save The Date is to give your guests ample notice so on this basis the sooner the better! Most Save The Date cards are sent between six to twelve months in advance.


When should I send out Wedding Invitations?
Invitations are normally sent two to three months before the wedding and contain additional information such as time of the ceremony address, RSVP date etc


When should my guests RSVP by?
On the basis that you will always get a few stragglers I would always send the RSVP at least one month in advance.


How should my guests RSVP?
There a number of ways you could ask your guests to RSVP. The traditional way is by asking guests to fill in a small RSVP card and send it back to you, alternatively you may wish to put an email address on your wedding invitation and ask guests to RSVP that way.


How do you gently indicate adults-only?
Avoid addressing the invitation to ‘& family’ and address the invitation to each guest. If you don’t think that would suffice then you could add ‘We have reserved _____ seats in your honor’ to the RSVP or even less subtly add ‘adult only reception to follow’ on the wedding invitation.


What should be included on the wedding invitation?

  • Name of guests (optional)
  • Wedding date
  • Wedding ceremony details (time/address)
  • Reception/Evening party details (time/address)
  • Dress code (leave off if no dress code)
  • RSVP details (RSVP date/RSVP address)
  • You may wish to include an additional card stating directions, transport and accommodation details etc.


What wording should I use on the wedding invitation?
This quite often depends on the level of formality you wish to …. and also who is hosting the wedding for example will it be the parent’s of the bride, father of the bride, groom’s parents or the couple themselves!

Traditionally it was the parents of the bride who hosted the wedding and an example of the wording that could eb used is shown below but this wording will change depending on the host.

(host’s name)
(host’s name)

request the pleasure of your company
to the marriage of their daughter

(daughter’s name) to (future son in laws name)

at (time)
on (day, date, year)
at (ceremony venue name)

Evening Reception to follow at (reception venue).

RSVP by (date)
RSVP to (host’s address)


It is now becoming increasingly common for the couple to host their wedding themselves using less formal language but my opinion is that it is your special day so anything goes, decide how you would like to invite your guests and go with it!


Alternative wording

  • Request the pleasure of your company at the wedding of….
  • Request the honour of your presence
  • Kindly request the pleasure of your company
  • Are delighted to request the pleasure of your company
  • Would love you to join them in celebrating the marriage of…
  • Would love you to share their special day
  • Invite you to celebrate the wedding of …
  • Would be delighted if……..could join them celebrate their marriage

Let me know what wording you chose!

Jo x


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *