Wedding invitations have become less formal over the years, and while that’s a good thing for many couples, there are still some basic rules to follow. (By the way, if you are planning formal invitations, you can’t go wrong by checking the Emily Post website. It’s got it all!)
Use a template: Many wedding planning websites have templates you can follow to word your invitations. Whether you’re hosting the wedding as a couple, or family members are hosting, the templates will give you a great starting point.
Plan ahead: Gather everything you need long before you sit down to put your invitations together. Check with both families to get proper names, addresses and titles (how were you to know that Uncle Bob was actually Dr. Robert Smith if no one told you?)
Get help: No matter how informal your wedding may be, it’s still considered improper to use labels for wedding invitations. Have an envelope-stuffing party! Invite members of the wedding party, open a bottle of wine (but be careful not to spill on the invites!) and work together to get it done. Pick the people with the best handwriting – or anyone who took a calligraphy class! – to get the invitations addressed.
Be clear: Be specific on the invitation as to whom you’re inviting. If you know the name of the guest, use it on the invitation. Not everyone you invite needs to have a plus-one.
Watch your deadlines: Save-the-dates are great to get the word out to people ahead of time. They can be sent out six to eight months before your wedding date. The invitations themselves should go out about six to eight weeks before your wedding, earlier if it’s a destination wedding. This will give your guests time to plan any travel arrangements, if necessary.
No registry details: It’s also considered improper to list any information about a gift registry – or worse, that cash gifts are preferred! It’s best to leave off any information about gifts at all from the invitation. If you are registered, let family or members of the wedding party get the word out. You can also put that information on a wedding website, if you have one. Just leave it off the printed invitations.
No matter which direction you go – formal or casual – your invitations are your guests’ first glimpse as to what to expect from your big day. Have fun with them, but make sure you’re telling your guests everything they need to know.