Wedding invitation wording etiquette: Blue and white wedding invitation by Tiny Pine Press
Pro Tips

Wedding Invitation Etiquette

Experts Weigh In On Wedding Invitations
BY C&C EDITORS / 09 01 21

The COVID-19 pandemic is constantly changing and continues to impact communities all over the world. We are committed to continuing to support couples who are navigating their wedding at this time with inspiration and information on how to wed safely. As always, please be sure to consult official health departments for local restrictions and guidelines before making any final arrangements.

Picture this: You’ve finally conquered the guest list, but your job is far from complete. Wedding invitation suites have a lot of components, so it’s important to have a firm grasp on the best wedding invitation etiquette and ideas. 

Of course, working with an experienced wedding stationer to develop the invitations for your big day will make a huge difference. With tried and true experiences with countless couples, professional stationers craft unforgettable invites every day—and maybe even more importantly, they also have a thorough understanding of best practices and wedding invitation etiquette. 

While your stationer can help you design the invitation suite of your dreams, couples often find it helpful to educate themselves on wedding invitation etiquette (and more specifically, wedding invitation wording etiquette) before their initial consultation. Sometimes your stationer will ask you for your preferences about phrasing, and it’s good to have an opinion—and one that adheres to your own wedding invitation etiquette standards. The wording of wedding invites is highly nuanced, which means it can be a bit tricky. As a result, couples who share their thoughts on wedding invitation wording etiquette with the stationer are often happier with the results.

That being said, most couples haven’t created invitations like these before—so it’s totally normal to have a lot of wedding invitation etiquette questions. So, where do you begin learning about wedding invitation wording etiquette? Luckily, there are resources available to help you research the sometimes-overwhelming world of wedding invitation wording etiquette. Just think of this as your guide to all things wedding invitation etiquette-related. From learning how to communicate that your event is adults-only, to how to properly invite attendees’ plus one, there’s a lot to learn about “proper” wedding invitation etiquette. 

Of course, if specific wedding invitation etiquette questions pop up, you can reach out to a member of your vendor team to inquire about the appropriate way to proceed. In most cases, your wedding planner or stationer will have the best answer. Ready for your crash course on wedding invitation wording etiquette (and beyond)? Here are the key things you’ll need to keep in mind.

How have things changed since the pandemic? 

"The most noticeable change has been through Save the Date/Invitation Etiquette. Things are moving to a more digital platform, informing guests through email or wedding websites of date changes and new information. Digital invites can be efficient for getting information to guests immediately." —Fox Events

Wedding invitation wording etiquette: See more yellow and pink wedding invitations by Studio R
Perry Vaile

Where do you put the couple's names on the invitation?

"The couple is typically in the middle of the text before the time, date, place. The bride’s first and middle name comes first and then the groom’s full name." —Mariée Ami

Where do you put the parents' names (or the people paying for the wedding)? 

"If it's agreed upon, it's traditional to list the host parents first on the invitation. If both parents are contributing, it's customary for the bride's parents to be listed first, or the couple may decide to say 'together with their families' if they're hosting the wedding themselves but want to include their parents." –Valley & Company Events

Wedding invitation wording etiquette: See more olive green wedding invitations by Arzberger Stationers
Davy Whitener
Wedding invitation wording etiquette: See more sea green and white wedding invitations by Momental Designs
O'Malley Photographers

Where and how do you include the weekend itinerary? 

"So many fun ways to do this! This can be done on the back of the info card, or it can be a separate piece that shares information regarding the rehearsal dinner, a fun activity, and a possible brunch!" –Amorology

Wedding invitation wording etiquette: See more neutral wedding invitations by Lovely Paper Things
Rebecca Yale

Where do you put your registry link? Do you think this is ok to include?

"You should never include the registry on your invitation. This should be on the wedding website, and the website URL should be on an additional information card included with the invitation suite." Event of the Season

Where and how do you list guests plus one information?

"If you want to invite a guest with a plus one, you need an inner envelope. Either send the guest their invitation or make sure to include an inner envelope with your invitation. You should never technically put “and guest” on the outside of an envelope." –Easton Events

Wedding invitation wording etiquette: See more black and white wedding invitations by Darla Marie Designs
Tenth + Grace
Wedding invitation wording etiquette: See more custom accented wedding invitations by Pitbulls and Posies
Jose Villa

Where do you include the dress code?

"We always include a brief attire description on the printed invitation, such as "Black Tie" or "Cocktail Attire.” However, we often include a more detailed explanation on the client's wedding website to inform guests about appropriate footwear for grass, cold temperature, or even a link to a Pinterest board for style inspiration!" –Shannon Leahy Events

Where do you include the directions to your venue?

"Whether purely decorative or paired with directions for guest convenience, a custom map is one of my favorite ways to personalize an invitation suite. Include important wedding weekend landmarks, and consider adding a key to your favorite activities and restaurants, or call attention to places of meaning to the couple (first date location, first apartment together, etc.)" –Callista & Company

Wedding invitation wording etiquette: See more hand drawn wedding invitations by Bourne Paper Co
Sylvie Gil
Wedding invitation wording etiquette: See more rust red wedding invitations by Copper Willow Paper Studio
Lacie Hansen

How do you make an adult-only wedding clear to guests?

"Address the guests’ names only on the envelope, do not mention their children’s names. You can also spread by word of mouth or a polite handwritten note to specific families with children. If word of mouth is not enough, you can add a line on the response card to fill in how many guests are invited." –Fancy That

Wedding invitation wording etiquette: See more classic wedding invitations by Fancy That
Fred Marcus Studio

How do you adequately address the envelopes? 

"Formal addresses should be written using proper titles with the husband’s first name and last name, “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith.” These days, couples are often opting to address more casually to include the female’s name and omitting the titles, “Susan and John Smith.” In this case, the lady’s name always goes first." –Details Event Planning

How long do you give people to respond to RSVPs? 

"We usually ask for the RSVP one month before the wedding. Our invitations are typically sent out 6-8 weeks before the wedding to give perspective." –Stefanie Cove & Company

Wedding invitation wording etiquette: See more blue and white wedding invitations by Tiny Pine Press
Corbin Gurkin
Wedding invitation wording etiquette: See more hand drawn wedding invitations by Shannon Kirsten Studio
Michelle Beller