As the spring season is upon us so marks the time to get your invitations designed and sent out! I have asked one of the most creative, best stationers; Gretchen Postiglione, owner of p.ink Creative to give us some invitation etiquette. Hopefully this aids in answering any questions you may have as you make final design selections, wording and much more for your special invitation. This is a GREAT refresher for me as well!
Make sure you check out more of her great work by clicking on the link above! One thing I love about Gretchen and what a lot of our past brides love about her is how quickly she responds and gets in touch with her clients. Her creativity and knowledge definitely make her one of a kind!
Invitation Etiquette 101
Written by: Gretchen Postiglione
Wedding Invitations: What to Know
When planning a wedding, invitations are usually the first glimpse that guests have of your wedding. Invites are important because they set the tone for your wedding. They should be beautiful but functional as well. Wedding invites should accomplish the following things: address formality or feel of the wedding, give pertinent details about the wedding, and give guests a clear indication of who is invited. Easy, right? Well, with etiquette rules and multiple people having input, it can be a little tricky. Hopefully these tips will help to guide you through the process and give you guidelines for wedding invitations.
What is the level of formality and feel of your wedding?
Your invites should portray the feel of your wedding ceremony and reception not only with style and color but with formality as well. It is easy to see a design that appeals to you and just want to go with it, but it is important that it carries the feel of your event. A bohemian invitation design might be adorable, but it gives the impression that your wedding is more laid-back. This would be an excellent choice if you are having an outdoor wedding or a casual afternoon reception. But if you are having a formal church ceremony and a black tie reception, this choice wouldn’t be as appropriate. I always tell brides, “Imagine what kind of attire you want people to wear, then ask yourself if that’s clear in the style of invitation you selected. It should be clear, without the need to have it in writing.” Your invite designer should be able to help you indicate the formality to guests through design, paper choice, and wording.
Make sure all the details are given on the invite.
This seems simple, but how many times have you received an invite that didn’t provide all the specific details? Any information you can give your guests is helpful. That being said, etiquette rules dictate the way this info is given to guests. Traditionally, on the invitation itself, you should have details about the ceremony ONLY. It should be clear who is hosting the wedding, (i.e. the bride’s parents, both parents, or the bride and groom) and should be worded accordingly. If the reception is immediately following the ceremony, you can put that at the bottom of the invite. All other details about the reception should be put on an extra insert card. Other things that can be included if they are applicable to your wedding are transportation details, hotel information, map or directions, and other wedding activities. One thing that should NOT go anywhere in the invites is registry info. It is considered improper to include this in the invite or on the extra cards. I recommend creating a website that has all the details of the wedding, including registries, and include that link instead. It gives people the ease to find it without coming across as “buy me these presents.” RSVP cards should be included as a separate card if you want them sent back. Make sure to include postage on the RSVP. I LOVE the new trend of RSVP postcards as a way to save a little on postage!
Who is invited?
This is probably the biggest concern I hear from brides. How do I make it clear on the invite who is invited, and how do we indicate children are or aren’t invited? The best and proper way to do this is through the addressing of the envelopes. If you want to be crystal clear, I recommend investing in the extra inner envelope. The outer envelope should include the parents and the inner should include or exclude the children’s names. However, many people don’t know this etiquette anymore, so they still bring their children, even if their names weren’t listed. I am not a fan of putting “adults only” on the invite, because I think it can come off as rude and makes it awkward for children like ring bearers and flower girls to attend. That is why I LOVE this new trend to make it clear to guests:
On the RSVP card include this line:
_____ seats have been reserved in your honor
____accept with pleasure
____decline with regret
Before mailing invites to guests, you fill this in with the number of guests. If the quantity written is two, then the parents clearly see that children are not invited, without the invite outwardly stating ‘NO KIDS.’ This also allows for some kids (like nieces and nephews) to be invited without anyone else questioning it if the invitation had stated ‘no kids.’
In closing, invitation etiquette can be tricky, but remember that this is your wedding, and if something above doesn’t seem like you then don’t do it! I give each bride this same advice, but as you can see from these examples, they each add their own personality to their invites. The most important thing is that YOU LOVE your invitations!