Post-It Notes – 4th November 2011: Invitation Etiquette

November 4, 2011

Credit: Valerie & Craig’s wedding invitation – how cute? (full wedding on the blog soon!)

This week’s Post It Notes topics have turned into quite long answers so I’ve decided to split the post into two. Pop back at 12pm today for this week’s Business Note on how to get more blog comments.

Knowing how to word your wedding invitations can be tricky. Should it be from you or your parents? What if your parents are divorced? If they’re paying for the wedding does it make a difference?

Luckily these days wedding invitations can be a little less formal than times gone by, especially if you’re having an informal wedding – after all they do say that the invitations set the tone for the day.

Here are a few of my top tips for getting those invitations right…

♥ ‘Proper’ etiquette states that the invite should be sent by the parents of the bride (if they’re paying for the wedding). However these days it’s getting more and more common for the invite to read “bride name & groom name, along with their parents, would like to invite you to attend etc etc…”

“I never have set wording for my brides and grooms”, stationery guru Lucy Ledger advises. “I tell them that it is a great opportunity to let their personalities shine through. Having a carnival themed wedding? Why not start with ‘roll up roll up’! A theatrical theme? Why not have your parents names as ‘Jones and Smith company presents…’ You certainly don’t have to stick to the traditional approach and It will create a great buzz of excitement for your big day.”

♥ If you’re sending Save the Dates out I’d recommend posting them as soon as you’ve decided on your wedding date. Final invitations should be sent out around 3 months before the wedding day.

♥ Have a separate invitation (usually just a simpler version of the main invite) for any guests that you are just inviting to the evening reception. Be sure to make it clear that they are just invited to this part of the day – you don’t want extra gusts showing up for the sit down meal!

♥ Including some extra info with your invitation will make it easier for your guests and save you having to answer the same questions over and over. You can either simply include a word document print out or your stationery designer can work it into your invitation. Things to think about including are a map or directions to the venue, local accommodation recommendations, asking guests about any dietary requirements, gift list info and dress code.

♥ Order a few more invitations than you need in case some people can’t come. “I always advise my brides to order 5 or so extra day invites with a later RSVP date, then if some of your day guests can’t make it you can bump up some evening guests without it looking like an after-thought,”Lucy Ledger advises.

♥ Get creative with your RSVPs. For example the couple behind this wedding that I featured this week, included a postcard of London for the guests to post back. They then displayed them at their reception! If you have a postal RSVP its nice to include prepaid postage and give guests a deadline to get them back. You can save money by setting up a wedsite ( for example) or even a facebook group and asking guests to RSVP online.

♥ Excel is your friend when it comes to keeping on top of your RSVPs. Set up a simple spread sheet with the guest name (and +1 name if you’re allowing them), if they’re attending or not, any dietary requirements and their postal address. Having everyone’s addresses in one place was a lifesaver for us when it came to sending out thank you cards afterwards.

Thanks to Lucy Ledger for helping me with this article. love you Luce!


  1. Emma

    Thank you so much for this post. It was what I needed to read to kick negativity out of my life and allow positivity in.

  2. Well said. Exactly why I am not on any forums anymore. Twitter is far nicer in the way that people cannot bitch and moan opening (for the most part anyway). Because forums are closed to the public they can get way to negative for my liking. Good for you for stopping the social media rants 😉 God knows it can be hard not to blurt things out – but in a week’s time you would have forgotten all about it anyways.

  3. Just catching up on blogs etc now there is some time and loved reading this one. Well done, this is a hard one to learn and also very hard to be so open and admit that there are people/jobs that you just can’t stand!! But life is too short and so much better when everything is dealt with and changes made. But a great place to be when all is rosy!

  4. Kirsty

    This has just be added to my favourites 🙂

    My dad has always said to me ever since I was little “Attitude is everything and attitude is personal choice” and “Treat others how you would like to be treated” I always remember this and my dad is my positive shiny star

    Kirsty x

  5. I was just referred to this post by a friend after fretting about an outright rude and uncalled for comment was posted to my blog and what I should do about it. I worried so much about ‘censorship’ and being democratic, but you are so right – it is my space and don’t want that kind of negativity polluting it. Thank you for the courage to hit ‘delete’ and to block that nastiness from my life!


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