Starting the wedding invitation process should a fun and beautiful process. Its the one area of your wedding that you can really work alongside your designer from start to finish. When you work with a professional wedding stationer your stationer should be responsible for solving any etiquette questions you may have. However, if you aren’t working with a professional wedding stationer it can be daunting to send out invitations without the professional etiquette knowledge. I have listed some of the most common mistakes I see from couples who aren’t working with stationery professionals.
This is an obvious one, but you do not want to get the date or time wrong on your wedding invitations. The year is the number one mistake in date that I see. First off, I would like to say the year should never include ‘and’!! For example it is never “two thousand and twenty” it is “two thousand twenty”. Also don’t capitalize the first letter of the year or add hyphens. Secondly, make the ceremony time the time you plan to walk down the isle. Your guests know how important your day is and they want to be early. Vast majority of your guests will arrive 15 minutes early on their own. You don’t need to make the time 4:15 if you plan to begin at 4:30. If you do that you’ll end up with guests arriving at 4:00 for a 4:30 wedding and they’ll be confused.
Be clear about who out of a household is invited. The best place to do this is in the addressing of the envelope. For example, if you are inviting an entire family of a husband and wife and adult child and two minor children in a household you might address to “The Lewis Family”. But if you are only inviting the husband and wife of the family you will address to “Mr. & Mrs. Lewis”. However if you are inviting the husband and wife plus their 21 year old son but not the young kids the addressing could be “Mr. & Mrs Lewis, John Lewis & Guest”. When it comes to an adult-only wedding I would not recommended that you say that children aren’t invited on your wedding invitation stationery items. A good place to put this info is on your website. In addition, the way you address your envelope will make the implication of whether or not you are inviting children.
You must stamp your rsvp envelope. You must also address the envelope with your address. Having guests pay for a stamp to reply is tacky.
Don’t make a B list. Here’s the thing, they will know that you put them on the B list and they will probably feel offended. Typically prior to them getting their B list invitation A list guests received a save the date, A list guest received invitations, A list guests sent you their response. Many things have happened before your B list guests got their invitation and its not the most respectful view of your relationship with them or of their time.
You should have all of your responses back one month prior to your wedding, and you should give your guests at least a month to respond. A good time frame to mail your invitations out is 2 months prior to your wedding. Unless you are having a destination wedding, in which case mail them out at least 3-4 in advanced.