Invitation Etiquette

Mind your Ps and Qs

Knowing proper wedding invitation etiquette is an important component of the planning process that can ultimately save you time and money when it’s all said and done. 

When figuring out how many invitations you will need, remember this:
Families get their own, those over 18 get their own, those inviting a guest get one invite with both names on it. Then add 15%-20% more than that number.

Couples living together who are not married receive one invitation, and should be addressed with the names on separate lines, in alphabetical order.

For couples who are unmarried living separately, send a separate invitation to each at their respective address.

Married couples receive one invitation, addressed as Mr. and Mrs.

Members of the bridal party also receive their own invitation, even though they are well aware of the date and that they are invited!

The officiant would get an invitation, if he or she is invited to the reception.

Invitations may be addressed in several ways. They are usually handwritten, printed or done in calligraphy – but make note of this very important wedding invitation etiquette tip: Avoid using labels at all costs – it’s super tacky. 

Outer envelopes should be addressed to guests using the proper titles (Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms.) Don’t abbreviate names or addresses. If you aren’t sure about a woman’s preference, always use Ms.

The inner envelopes should only have the guests’ names. You can be informal on this envelope. For example, Uncle Jim and Aunt Marie instead of Mr. and Mrs. James Barker.

When determining whether to use Ms., Mrs., or Miss, always respect the woman’s preference. If it is not known, it is appropriate to use the title “Ms.” 

Invitations should be sent 6 to 8 weeks before the date of your wedding. However, if you have international guests or lots of out of town guests you should typically send them out 10 to 12 weeks before the wedding. This gives your guests time to plan their travel schedule. The same rules apply if you are having your wedding during a holiday weekend or are having a destination wedding. You want to make sure you give your guests plenty of time to plan accordingly.