September 25, 2020
I’ve been in the industry for twelve years, so I’ve seen and heard it all. Wedding stationery can be overwhelming! It isn’t as easy as tasting all those cake flavors or picking out a color scheme.
Whether you’ve been planning for months or just getting started, you know that wedding invitations go beyond just selecting the perfect design.
You have to consider wedding invitation wording, how many invitations to order, and other etiquette guidelines that you may never have considered until now. Then there’s fine tuning your guest list, deciding who gets a plus one, and so much more!
Working with a custom stationery has so many pros – like working with a live designer who knows the ins and outs of the industry and can walk you through the entire process seamlessly. Did you know you want one invitation per household, not per guest? Don’t make this costly mistake! And, don’t struggle with invitation wording that’s grammatically incorrect or impersonal. If you’re looking for quick, simple answers, I’ve got them for you.
In my twelve years of business, I’ve handled so many tricky wedding invitation etiquette scenarios and I’m happy to say that I’ve been able to carefully walk each of my brides through their dilemmas to bring them one step closer to invitation perfection.
1 | How many wedding invitations should I order?
Short answer? You’ll need one invitation per household.
But, there are exceptions to that rule. For instance, if two single roommates are living together you should send one invitation to each person. Or, any individual over the age of 18 living with their parents. You’ll also want a few extras (just in case!) and at least one extra copy to pass along to your photography to be photographed on your wedding day.
2 | How much do wedding invitations cost?
The average #blushbride spends $1500 on wedding invitations. I have a cost breakdown here and explain how much invitations cost here, but on average, you should budget 7-11% of your overall budget on paper goods.
3 | When should I order wedding invitations?
You should order your wedding invitations 6-9 months before your wedding. Most #blushbrides contact me 12-18 months before their wedding date, and some two years in advance! It’s never too early to book your stationer, especially if you want a custom design.
4 | When should I mail out wedding invitations?
I recommend that you mail your invitations 6-8 weeks before your RSVP date. Yes, your rsvp date, not your wedding date. Why? Because your caterer will need a final head count, which is usually 7-10 days before your wedding date. On top of that, you’ll need time to make your table arrangements.
If you are having a destination wedding, mail out your invitations at least 12 weeks in advance. This gives your guests plenty of time to make travel arrangements.
5 | When should guests RSVP?
Another great question! My first recommendation is to look at your contract with your reception venue or your catering company. See who has a headcount due first. Then, give yourself a 10-14 day grace period, and set an RSVP date. THAT is when you should have guests RSVP.
6 | My parents are divorced and remarried, how do I add them to the wedding invitation without offending anyone?
I get this question often, and I am always happy to help navigate tricky situations. Tricky situations like this will make you thankful wedding invitation etiquette exists! Why? Because there is a protocol in place for wording, you don’t risk offending anyone.
In any case, only use the conjoining “and” for married couples–such as in “Mr. and Mrs.” Do not add an extra “and” to the second line.
Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Hawkins
request the pleasure of your company
at the marriage of their daughter
Charlotte Mae Hawkins
Son of Mr. and Mrs. Jason York
7 | How do I let guests know it’s an “adults-only” reception?
The very best way to indicate who is invited to your wedding is by addressing your envelope properly. Address envelopes to the parents only, and do not include children’s names, or address envelopes to “The Jones Family”. Instead, the envelope should read “Mr. and Mrs. John Jones” followed by the formal address. Some clients like to use inner and outer envelopes. On the inner envelope, they specify the guests that are invited so there is no confusion.
You can also include “Adult Reception Only” on your reception card, on your wedding website, or on a website card with your invitations.
7 | How do I avoid guests bringing a plus one?
There is nothing more frustrating than people assuming they can bring a guest to your wedding when you weren’t counting on a plus one! This goes right back to how to address your invitations — the best way to indicate who is invited to your wedding is by addressing the envelope properly. Avoid using “and family” or “the family” on envelopes. If a guest is invited, include “and guest” on the envelope. If you’re extra worried, consider inner and outer envelopes!