Wedding Ettiquette: Invitations

Many of my spring couples are getting ready to send out invitations for their big day. Because your invitation sets the tone for your event (indicating the level of formality, tradition and style for your guests) its important to put your best foot forward here. Once you've decided on the style of invitation, here are a few modern day do's and don't from Ms. Post and myself to keep in mind when preparing correspondence.

Do's:

  • Do allow plenty of time. Plan enough time in your schedule to carefully address, assemble, and mail your invitations. Invitations should be sent 6-8 weeks before your wedding day.
  • Do get organized. Develop a system for addressing and mailing your invitations. Prepare by gathering the names and addresses of everyone on your guest list.
  • Arrange each piece that goes into an invitation in a stack, in the order it will be picked up, assembled, and inserted into the envelope.
  • Do ask for help. Invite friends, family or bridal attendants to help assemble invitations.
  • Do use the names of all guests when possible. It is much warmer and more welcoming to use the correct names of those who will accompany your guests on invitations instead of "and guest."
  • Do use Correct Titles. It's flattering when invitations are addressed correctly. This means using appropriate titles and spelling names correctly. When in doubt, ask before addressing.

Don'ts:

  • Don't forget to include any appropriate inserts, such as maps, directions or hotel information for out-of-town guests.
  • Don't include registry or gift information with your invitation. It is in poor taste to insert a list of places where the bride and groom are registered or a checklist of the things they want and don't want- this information should be on your wedding website.
  • Don't use a standby guest list. When possible, invite your entire guest list at the same time rather than waiting to see how many people accept before sending out a second round of invitations. When the guest list is carefully planned, and when you consider the likelihood that 10-20 percent of invited guests typically send regrets, this approach is much more straightforward than using a standby list.
  • Don't address invitations with labels. Always address wedding invitation envelopes by hand, even when inviting hundreds of guests (hence allowing plenty of time)