Wedding Invitation Etiquette: Mistakes to Avoid and Best Practices

Sending out wedding invitations is more than just conveying information; it’s an art that reflects the elegance and respect you hold for your guests. From addressing envelopes to assembling the invitations, here’s a comprehensive guide on wedding invitation etiquette to ensure your special day is perfect.

1. Timing for Sending Wedding Invitations:

When it comes to wedding invitation etiquette, timing is crucial. Save-the-Dates are typically sent out six to twelve months before the wedding day. Invitations should be sent two to four months ahead of the wedding date. Always include an “RSVP by” date, usually three to four weeks before the wedding, to give enough time for catering and seating arrangements.

2. Destination Wedding Invitations:

For destination weddings, your guests need more time to plan travel and take time off. Send Save-the-Dates eight to twelve months in advance and the wedding invitations three months ahead of the wedding.

3. Addressing Outer Envelopes:

  • Married Couples (Heterosexual):
    • Outer envelope: “Mr. and Mrs. John Boe”
    • Inner envelope: “Mr. and Mrs. Boe” or “John and Natalie”
    • Modern option: “Mr. John Boe and Mrs. Natalie Boe”
  • Married Couples (Same-Sex):
    • Outer envelope: “Mr. Eric Smith and Mr. Trevor Sharp”
    • Inner envelope: “Mr. Smith and Mr. Sharp” or “Eric and Trevor”
  • Unmarried Couples Living Together:
    • Outer envelope: “Jane Doe and John Smith”
    • Inner envelope: “Jane and John”
  • Families with Children:
    • Outer envelope: “The Smith Family” or “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith and Family”
    • Inner envelope: “Jane, John, Emily, and Max” (listing children in age order)
  • Adding a Guest:
    • Outer envelope: “Ms. Jane Doe and Guest”
    • Inner envelope: “Jane Doe and Guest”
  • Addressing a Single Male:
    • Use “Mr.” if he is over 18 only.
  • Addressing a Single Female:
    • Use “Ms.” if she is over 18; under 18, use “Miss”.

4. Wedding Invitation Wording:

  • Formal Invitations:
    • Begin with a request line: “Request the pleasure of your company…”
    • Include names, date, time, and venue.
  • Casual Invitations:
    • Use a more relaxed tone: “Join us for the wedding of…”


With Great Joy

Mr. and Mrs. Shea

Request the honor of your presence

at the wedding of their daughter

Jessica to David

Son of Dr. and Mrs. Adrian Bragg

On June 27, 2025

Gasparilla Inn

Boca Grande, Florida

Ceremony at 5:00 pm

Reception to follow

5. Postage Etiquette:

Include a return envelope with postage for the RSVP. Ensure sufficient postage on each invitation to avoid them being returned.

6. RSVP Postage:

Include a stamped, addressed RSVP envelope for your guests’ convenience.

7. Evite Etiquette:

Evites are becoming more popular due to budget considerations, environmental reasons, and ease of RSVP management. However, they are less traditional and should be used thoughtfully.

8. Assembling Invitations:

  • Order of Inserts:
    • Place the invitation on the bottom, followed by additional cards in size order.
  • Response Cards:
    • Insert the response card under its envelope flap with the printed side facing up.
  • Map and Accommodation Cards:
    • Arrange these in order of importance.
  • Facing Upwards:
    • Ensure all text faces up when inserting cards into the envelope.
  • Sealing and Mailing:
    • Use a moist sponge or glue stick to seal the envelope securely. Hand off to the post office or a reputable courier service.

Remember, attention to detail and respect for your guests are paramount. Following these wedding invitation etiquette guidelines will ensure a smooth invitation process and set the tone for a memorable wedding celebration. Happy planning!