Wedding Invitation Etiquette | Questions & Answers

Do we need to use save the date cards?

Sending save the date cards is a great way to let your out of town guests know about your wedding date. This may be essential for planning flights and taking time off around peak vacation times. Save-the-dates should be sent out at least 3 months in advance of your wedding date, but it is recommended to send save the date cards 5 months to a year in advance.

How do we get the word out about the dress code?

Dress code should be included in the wedding invitation.

If you are planning a very small wedding and a larger reception or vice versa do we need to send separate invitations for the wedding and reception?

If you have chosen traditional full day invitations then your guests will also have been invited to the wedding and the reception. A separate reception only invitation should be sent to those just invited to this part of the celebrations.

Is it okay to ask for money instead of gifts?

You may use a wishing well but it is not recommended to include anything about gifts in the body of the invitation.  Place your wishing well on the back of the invitation or on a separate insert.

We have registered a Wedding Gift List but don’t know how to let our friends know. Is it okay to enclose a card in the wedding invitation?

You may enclose a card in your wedding invitation, or have the details printed on the back. Do not include these details in the body of the invitation as this is considered bad invitation etiquette.

Is it okay to include a map in a wedding invitation? Most of the guests will be coming from outside of the city.

Yes, but no photocopies. Make sure they are printed as beautifully as the invitations themselves.

We are planning a very small wedding. Do I need to send wedding announcements after the wedding to our friends who aren’t invited to the wedding?

Wedding announcements are a lovely idea but not necessary.  If you decide to have them, mail your announcements a day or two after the wedding.  To do this you may need to have them prepared beforehand so it does not conflict with your honeymoon.

My parents are divorced, and my father has remarried.  Whose names go on the invitation? 

This is a tricky one and needs to be discussed with both parties to avoid offence.  If your parents agree, list both names on the invitation.  If they don’t want their names to appear together, the name of whoever is hosting and / or necessarily paying for – the wedding should be on the invitation.

Can I include a poem or verse in the invitation?

Certainly, it may go in the body of the invitation if it is only 2-3 lines maximum.  It is important not to make your invitation text cluttered.  If the poem or verse is longer, it will need to go on the back or inside cover of the invitation or even on a separate insert.

How do I work out the RSVP date?

Response deadlines should be no later than two weeks before the special day, or the date your caterer needs a final count. If after two weeks you haven’t heard from some people, phone calls can be made to those having trouble putting pen to paper. This gives you time to figure out exactly how many people will be coming.


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