etiquette part I

Wedding Invitation Etiquette & Tips:

What is “Etiquette”? Etiquette is simply a set of guidelines to make people feel comfortable by being thoughtful, appropriate, and warm. It’s about the principle of respect and honesty. And thanks to experts like Emily Post, Peggy Post, Martha Stewart, and others, we have pulled together some information from them to help you.

The traditional paper shades for most formal invites are ivory, soft cream, and white. Today’s invitations often consist of color, and lots of it! All are perfectly correct. The wording for your Invitation obviously varies based on the formality of your wedding, whether there is a reception following for all your guests, your family situation, who is paying for the wedding, etc. (More on that later.)

Traditionally, a wedding invitation is sent in two envelopes, an outer envelope which is addressed and stamped, and an inner envelope—containing the invitation, reception card, reply card and other material such as directions—which bears the names of the people invited. Although it may seem complicated or overly formal, a second envelope is actually very practical because it clarifies exactly who’s invited: other family members, children, and whether or not an invited guest may bring a guest. It’s perfectly acceptable, however, for a couple to omit the inner envelope.

Where do you want response cards sent? Usually gifts are sent to the return address on the envelope or to the address printed by the RSVP. If the wedding is in another city other than the brides home, this is something to consider. Inevitably you will receive reply cards back that either have no name or are just completely blank.  A great trick to prevent confusion is to discretely number your reply cards.  Then record the number of the reply card in the column next to the name of the guest to whom it was sent.  This way when you receive blank or no name reply cards, you will know who mailed them.  You will want to create a list that includes columns for number, name and address, mailed, attending, unable to attend, no response and called.  This way you can keep track of who you have mailed invitations to, who has replied, who has not responded and who you have called to follow up with.

About a week or two before you need to provide your final guest list to your vendors be sure to contact the guests who have not responded.  This will prevent guests you’ve invited but didn’t respond from showing up unexpectedly.  Also we all know that the U.S. Postal service is far from perfect. Invitations that you’ve sent may not have been received and replies that your guest’s have sent may have been lost in the mail.

Next post? Part 2.


ryan miller