Not sure of how to word certain details, or what information to include? We've created this handy guide to help you navigate through the sometimes confusing world of wedding invitation etiquette.
All guests who are invited to the entire wedding day should receive invitations. One per couple or household. Don’t forget the best man, bridesmaids and ushers, the couple's parents (except where any parent is doing the inviting) and the person officiating the wedding ceremony (if he/she is to attend the reception).
If the venue is small, or if numbers are too tight, then it is acceptable to invite some guests exclusively to the evening celebrations. If guests are only invited to the reception later in the day, then it is best to get some separate evening wedding invitations printed.
Spouses and partners of those in serious or ‘live-in’ relationships should be invited, but whether you include a plus one for single friends and family is entirely up to you. When inviting partners try to establish their name. If this is not possible then the words ‘and guest’ or ‘plus one’ after a guest's name can be used.
Be clear about who is invited to your wedding when you address your invitations by listing each guest by name. If you are worried, you can also include wording such as ‘we have reserved ___ seats in your honour’ on the reply card. If guests reply for more than were invited, a polite phone call or email explaining that you are having an intimate wedding is perfectly acceptable.
Some couples welcome children at their wedding, others prefer an adults-only event. Either way, a decision must be made and adhered to. If children are invited, their names or the term ‘and family’ can be written on the invitation/envelope. If you are unable to accommodate or would prefer children not to attend, it is a good idea to mention this in your detail card. See Wording for phrasing.
Your invitations will set the tone for your wedding, and should give guests an idea of how formal your event will be. However, if the dress code is important to you, make sure this is indicated on your invitation or detail card.
Popular dress codes include:
Black Tie (tuxedos for men and elegant dress for ladies)
Formal Dress/Cocktail Attire (smart suit and long or cocktail dress for ladies)
Smart Casual (shirt and ties for men but not necessarily a jacket, smart skirt/trousers or dress for ladies)
Couples often find it particularly difficult to word their request for gifts. Including gift information, or your wedding registry on your main invitation or save the dates is not considered polite. However, it is almost universal practice to enclose such info on detail cards, or wedding websites. Details of where the wedding list is held, with website, address and phone number can be stated on your detail cards. For examples go to Wording.