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The How-To Lounge: Sending Wedding Invitations

Once the save the dates have been mailed, it's time to get your wedding invitations ordered. Even if you aren't having a fancy affair, your guests need to know the date, time, location, and formality of your big day. Of course there are no rules when it comes to your invite, but to see some of the traditions to consider,


  • Wedding invitations are usually sent out at least six to eight weeks before the wedding date and even earlier for destination weddings.
  • The style of the invitation will set the tone of the overall theme of your wedding day, so choose your invites accordingly. While most wedding invitations are a bit fancier than the save the date cards, that's by no means a strict rule.
  • Most invitations are written in the third person. Dates, times, and streets are typically spelled out, and no punctuation is used to finish a statement.
  • When writing out the invitation, make sure to add all the names of the people hosting the wedding. For example, if the bride's family is hosting, the invitation should read, for example, "Mr. and Mrs. James Roberts request the honor of your presence." If the mother and father of the bride are divorced but both contributing, both names should be present. If both the bride's and groom's families are contributing, all names should be listed, and if the bride and groom are hosting their own wedding, their full names should be written out — e.g., "Katie Anne Smith and Jacob Allen Lee request the pleasure of your company at their marriage."
  • Inviting guests to bring a date is completely discretionary if they are not living together or married — many people firmly believe in the "no ring no bring" policy. The size of your venue and any monetary constraints will play a big role in making your decisions but tread lightly because you don't want anyone to have hurt feelings.
  • When addressing wedding envelopes, remember to use the proper title — Mr., Mrs., Miss, Dr., etc. Address the invite to married couples as Mr. and Mrs. John Smith, single couples with a guest as Mr. John Smith and Guest, and unmarried couples living together as Mr. John Smith and Mrs. Jane Johnson.
  • In addition to adding your stamped response card in with your wedding invitation, remember to include any driving directions or additional wedding day information in the envelope as well.
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