Posts in Invitations
What Wedding Invitations Include (and What Not to Include!)

Alright girl scout, after we have a cocktail (or two) to celebrate your engagement, it’s time to get down to business: your invitations. And today, I’m sharing the essentials of what wedding invitations include… and what not to include.

Hopefully, this roadmap will help you craft a carefully-worded invitation full of both charm and formality.

Shake out those nerves, and let’s break down everything you need for the classiest correspondence you’ll ever send.

In today’s post, you’ll learn two very simple concepts:

  • The basics of what wedding invitations include

  • And what not to include on your invites

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Wedding Invitation Wording Examples for No Children, Divorced Parents and Other Tricky Scenarios

A top FAQ from my clients? You want etiquette-approved wedding invitation wording examples for no children, divorced parents, and other tricky scenarios. I hear ya–so today’s post is just for you, friend!

Figuring out wedding invitation wording is no easy task, on top of the fact that you might have a delicate situation to navigate through.

And let me just give you a bit of #truth–I do this EVERY day and there are STILL new wording questions that pop up.

Thankfully, I’ve been able to walk all of my clients through it, and, today, I am going to help you do the same.

Why? Because wordsmithing your way to the perfect invitation shouldn’t be complicated.

I was in your shoes six years ago, staring at a blank cursor on the computer screen with an old etiquette book in hand. What are these things supposed to say? I thought, as I designed my own wedding invitations. (This is one reason why it’s best to hire a pro for these things, but hindsight is 20/20, y’all.)

My mom, husband and I all contributed financially, with my husband paying the majority. My parents are divorced. His father has passed. With so many moving parts, I had no idea who the wedding hosts were, how to honor his father, or how to include both of my parents (father remarried) on the invitation. (“Together with their families” anyone?)

Now… I know exactly what I would have done six years ago.

And I’m going to tell you all the things I wish I would have known then. Because the next best thing to hiring a wedding stationery pro is getting free advice from one with six years of industry experience in her back pocket and Crane & Co.’s Wedding Blue Book at her fingertips.

Today, I’ll walk through how to carefully craft wedding invitation wording for delicate situations like:

  • No children

  • Divorced parents

  • Deceased parents

  • Couple hosting

  • Both parents hosting

  • Everyone hosting

Let’s get started, shall we?

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Wedding Invitation Wording for Reception Only

Need a few quick examples of wedding reception-only invitation wording? No worries, friend! I’ve got you covered.

A reception-only invitation applies to you if…

  • You are having a destination wedding ceremony and a stateside celebration at a later date.

  • You dream of a small, intimate ceremony and a large party with all of your friends afterward.

  • You’ve eloped (or planning to!) and plan to have a reception to celebrate your marriage.

Wording for a reception-only invitation is crucial.

Because if you only have 50 seats in that chapel you’re getting married in and 150 people show up–you’ve got big seating issues.

It’s important to make sure reception-only guests know that they are not invited to the ceremony. Likewise, it's important for guests invited to the ceremony and reception to be aware they can attend both celebrations. 

Sometimes, getting started is the hardest part, right? Learn the dos and don’ts plus get a few wedding reception-only invitation wording examples in today’s post.

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Wedding RSVP Card Wording

Wedding RSVP card wording–can’t it just be check “yes” or “no”?

Yep! It sure can. Buuut, there are a few tricks of the trade you might want to know before settling on generic wedding RSVP card wording.

Because if you have limited seating, reception dinner options, and/or a no-kids policy, you’re going to need a little more than a tick mark next to “can’t wait to celebrate” or “will toast from afar”.

Maybe you want guests to request a song.

Or accommodate dietary restrictions.

And, obviously, you need to know how many folks are coming.

I needed almost all of the above for my own RSVP cards, but guess which ones I used? None. Why? Because I didn’t know how to do it. I was swimming in a sea of etiquette rules when designing my own wedding stationery, and I had no idea all of the limitless possibilities there were for wedding rsvp card wording.

Thankfully, I’ve learned a lot from my own personal and professional experience, and I’ve been able to help thousands of brides since then navigate their way through a carefully crafted response card.

In today’s post, I’m summing up #allthethings on wedding RSVP card wording. You’ll learn:

  • What the “M” stands for

  • When your reply-by date should be

  • How to address limited seating or adults-only on reply cards

  • Fun rsvp wording ideas

  • And more!

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How to Address Wedding Invitations (for Modern Brides)

Are you ready to knock out those envelopes? Well then roll up your sleeves, girlfriend–let’s get to work on how to address wedding invitations!

As you can see, this post is clearly marked for modern brides who still care about grammar, but don’t want to be too old-fashioned–like dropping the woman’s first name.

Today, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: you can still address wedding invitations formally and include both the husband and wife’s names.

Yep, it’s true! Gone are the days when a woman’s name has to be lumped into her husband’s name, i.e. Mr. and Mrs. John Smith.  

While you may prefer to use formal envelope etiquette (i.e. Mr. and Mrs. John Smith), sometimes modern envelope addressing is necessary for less traditional brides or recipients. 

However, the number one mistake I see is when brides try to include both the husband and wife’s first names on an envelope.

If you’re doing this:

Mr. Brian and Mrs. Valerie Freeman…

Or this:

Mr. and Mrs. Brian and Valerie Freeman…

I’m #sorrynotsorry, but both are incorrect.

I’m a stickler for grammar–can’t help it! English was always my favorite subject, Journalism was my major in college, and now I study wedding etiquette relentlessly so I can help my clients make the right choice for their stationery.

After all, this is the fanciest mail you’ll ever send out. If there’s ever a time to channel your inner Kate Middleton, it’s with your wedding stationery.

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8 Answers to the Top Wedding Invitation Etiquette FAQs

Today, I’m going to answer all the top wedding invitation etiquette questions I’ve been asked over the past (almost) six years of being in business.

Whether you’ve been planning for months or just getting started, you know that wedding invitations go beyond just selecting the perfect design.

(Although, choosing your favorite invitation is a task all on its own!)

You also have to consider wedding invitation wording, how many wedding invitations to order, and other tasks that might be out of your expertise. This is also the step where you might be simultaneously fine-tuning your guest list, too–especially if you skipped sending save the dates.

It’s not as easy as tasting all those cake flavors, is it? 

Wedding stationery can be overwhelming!

When I was designing my own invitations, I made so many rookie mistakes. I ordered save the dates for every guest (instead of counting households), which ended up being costly.

I struggled with wedding invitation wording, too. I aspired for a formal invitation that reflected the kind of event we were having, but I ended up with wording that was slightly vague, impersonal and grammatically incorrect.

I just needed quick and simple answers. 

Thankfully, I’ve learned so much since then!

As a stationer, I’ve handled so many tricky wedding invitation etiquette scenarios, and I’m happy to say I’ve been able to carefully walk all of my brides through each dilemma to bring them one step closer to the perfect invitation.

Alright, let’s dive right in, shall we?

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How to Address Wedding Invitations: The Return Address

In today’s post, I’m tackling little-known etiquette rules for the return address.

The topic of how to address wedding invitations is widely covered. (I’ve covered it many times too! It’s one of my favorite topics, and something I get questions about all the time.) But, there are also a few rules to keep in mind for your return address.

You're probably knee deep in wedding planning at this point, and maybe a little overwhelmed. But this is a really quick and easy post (promise!) on how to formally address the back flap of your invitation and the front of your rsvp card. (Spoiler alert: It’s different for both.)

So if you’re a grammar nerd, if you love tradition and all things proper, or if you just want your invitations in tip-top shape, then let’s get started.

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How to Address Wedding Invitation Envelopes (Like a Pro!)

Let’s talk about wedding etiquette and honorifics! Exciting right? Not so much. You’re here because you need to know ASAP how to address wedding invitations the right way without offending anyone–not for a full-on grammar lesson.

In today’s post, you’ll quickly learn how to address wedding invitation envelopes that are grammatically correct.

You've hired a calligrapher, bribed a best friend with good handwriting or opted for printed envelope addressing. Your wedding guest list is before you, along with hundreds of envelopes.

Now it’s time to #getitdone.

Whether you're a traditional, modern or laid back bride, your entire wedding invitation suite should have a sense of formality. And that includes your envelopes too!

Wedding etiquette can be confusing, specifically for those “special snowflake” situations where you don’t want to offend anyone. You know, like addressing an envelope where the wife is a Doctor, or maybe you have a girl-power Aunt who isn’t crazy about being called “Mrs. John Smith”. (She has her own name, too!)

Thankfully, I have an easy-to-follow guide for wedding envelope addressing to help you get it done easily, quickly and correctly. 

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Formal Wedding Invitation Wording

You’ve found the perfect invitation, now what?

It’s time to personalize your wedding invitation and make it your own! This is the most exciting part, but sometimes wedding etiquette can be a little tricky to navigate–especially if you desire very formal wedding invitation wording.

There can be a lot of sensitive scenarios involved (especially in the case of divorced and/or remarried parents), and of course you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

This is where wedding invitation etiquette comes in handy. Not only can etiquette help you avoid grammatical mistakes, but it can also prevent hurt feelings. (Yes, really!)

A quick Google search will turn up plenty of advice on formal wedding invitation wording, etiquette and so on. It can be overwhelming, especially since you are completely new to this. (They don’t teach this in school, amiright?)

There are many different variations of wedding invitation wording, but if you want a truly timeless and formal wedding invitation, today’s post is just for you.

If you desire an elegant affair, your wedding invitation wording should reflect that. Your wording is a subtle cue that lets guests know whether or not you are hosting an upscale wedding or a laid-back celebration, and it is often the only indication guests will get before the big day of how snazzy your wedding will be. 

In this post, you'll learn a few simple steps for formal wedding invitation wording. Plus, get 12 wording samples to make all your own!

Let’s get started, shall we?

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When to Order Wedding Invitations

True story: I mailed my wedding invitations out four weeks before the big day. I was in such a panic, especially since I DIYed my invites and assembled with custom envelope liners, belly bands, vellum–you know, the works.

Overnight shipping from the print shop I used was outrageous, and once I had everything in my hands, I simply couldn’t get them assembled and in the mail fast enough.

You probably already know wedding invitations should be mailed out at least 6-8 weeks in advance of your wedding. (Even I knew that!)

But many brides are not sure when to order wedding invitations. (Hint: It is not a month before you need to mail them out!)

And while you’re juggling a full time job, planning a wedding, and trying to find a place together, little tasks like ordering invitations can really sneak up on you. (Trust me!)

In order to avoid rush fees, expedited shipping charges, and the added stress of mailing wedding invitations late, begin searching for a stationer as early as possible. Plus, the earlier you order, the more options you'll have to choose from–like specialty printing (hello, letterpress!) or envelope liners, both of which can take longer to produce.  

So, when is the best time to order wedding invitations? 

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Find Out How Many Wedding Invitations to Order

“Oh no–I need to order three more wedding invitations, and I need them overnighted! They were supposed to be mailed out yesterday!”

“At least ten invitations got lost in the mail. Help! I need extras ASAP!”

One wedding planning task clients tend to overlook is knowing how many wedding invitations to order.

The above snippets are from emails I’ve seen from panicked brides, weeks away from the big day, who were short just a few invitations. You want to avoid this scenario, right? (And I’m guessing, you’d also like to avoid paying overnight shipping plus rush printing fees plus the high cost of ordering a small print run.)

Mistakes happen to the best of us–I get it! But knowing how many wedding invitations you need is one scenario you can avoid with proper planning.

While you don't want too many invitations (saving every little bit of money helps, right?), you also want to make sure you have enough with a handful to spare. 

Whether you're early in the wedding planning process or one step away from hiring your stationer, today's post is perfect for you.

So, how many invitations do you really need? Keep on reading! I have a very simple formula below to help you determine how many wedding invitations to order.

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Your Complete Wedding Stationery Checklist

Feeling a bit daunted by wedding paper goods? Don't be! This wedding stationery checklist will outline everything you need (and don't need) for your wedding. From the necessary invitations to the sentimental extras, here's a complete wedding stationery list.

Plus, there's a super helpful timeline at the end of this post. It's filled with exactly when you should order all of the stationery items listed below. If you're anything like me, this wedding planning timeline will be essential in guiding you along the way! 

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