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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.
Join The Conversation
bchicgrl bchicgrl 9 years
Janet, I saw those invitations on and I totally agree they are super cute.
emalove emalove 9 years
I loved my wedding invitations.
janest janest 9 years
Can you tell me where the invitation in the picture from? Really pretty....
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
Thanks julieulie!
ash_marisa ash_marisa 9 years
Daisy...etiquette would say that you could call (and rightly so, since what they did is not correct at all), and say "Im sorry but due to budget and space contraints, we cannot accomodate any additional guests". It may sound cold, but if you are consistent with everyone and who you invited, there's really not much for them to complain about (unless of course you invited someone singly when they are engaged, married, etc., which is improper etiquette anyways.)
julieulie julieulie 9 years
kikidawn, it would be: Dr. Jane Smith and Mr. John Smith written out on one line.
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
How do you address an invitation where the wife is the Dr.? Also wouldn't this: "unmarried couples living together as Mr. John Smith and Mrs. Jane Johnson." be wrong? She'd be a Ms. right?
daisydidi daisydidi 9 years
the problem i'm running into is people responding with more people than were invited! UGH!!! we had the specific names of the people on the envelope of who were invited...and people are taking it upon themselves to bring dates and other guests! is it me, or isnt that beyond rude??? so now we have to make phone calls.........and try to straighten this mess out.
julieulie julieulie 9 years
Bengalspice, if you would be inviting each separately even if they weren't dating, then they should each get an invitation (for example, my college roommate and his college roommate are dating but do not live together -- even if they broke up, we would still invite each,so they each got an invitation). If you know the significant other but are ONLY inviting them because they are dating your friend, then you mail the invitation to your friend with only his/her name on the outer envelope, but put both their names on the inner envelope.
bengalspice bengalspice 9 years
What if you are inviting a couple where both people are well known to the bride and groom, but they don't live together? Could you still address the envelope as if they are an unmarried couple living together?
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