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The Importance of Wedding Invitation Etiquette

One of the first, and most important, tasks that any bride to be can accomplish is taking planning their wedding invitations. Not only does this help you to know the number of guests to expect for the remainder of your big day, but it will also help you to develop a plan as to who you wish to celebrate your union with.

There are many things that go into planning who to send an invitation to and it is important that you understand some of the basics when it comes to invitation etiquette before you send out the announcement to your closest friends and family.

The Invitation

The first thing that you should consider is the invitation itself. The main portion of the invitation gives guests the basic; where and when the wedding will be. Beyond that, there are many other items that may be included with the invitation as well. It is always a good idea to include RSVP information. This will help provide you with a way to know how many guests to account for.

You should also provide any instructions that may be beneficial to the guest, such as specific places that they should sit or maps in case the venue is difficult to find for out-of-towners. You can also include information regarding the reception if it will be at a separate venue from the wedding location.

The Timing

There is also a proper time that you should send your wedding invitations out. For example, it is best to mail them no later than four to six weeks before the date of the wedding. This should give guests the proper amount of time to plan a gift purchase, make travel arrangements and choose the outfit that they will be wearing to your wedding.

However, if you are having a winter wedding, especially if it falls around the holidays, you should give your guests at least eight weeks’ notice so that they can arrange their schedules properly if they plan to attend. It is also best to provide eight weeks’ notice during the summer because guests may need to arrange their vacation plans around your wedding.


When you are selecting the wording for your envelope, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. For starters, it is common for words to be spelled with traditional British spellings, like ‘honour’ and ‘favour’. All dates, times and addresses are also traditionally spelled out.

These wording options are used because they help make the wedding feel formal. If you are ordering your invitations, this has probably already been selected for you. However, if you are customizing them, you may want to keep this in mind.

How to Address the Envelopes

When you are filling out the mailing address for the invitation, it is customary to use proper titles on the envelopes, such as Mrs. and Mr. You should also spell out all names and avoid using abbreviations and nicknames. When you are including military titles, they are always written in regards to rank.

Final Thoughts

When you are preparing your invitations, there are many things that you should consider. For example, you should keep in mind that there will likely be a few additional names that you have not accounted for. It is best to order about 25 extra invitations in order to account for these additional guests.

If you are having a small wedding or are limited on the number of people that you can invite, it may be a good idea to send a note to some of the people who did not receive an invitation that explains the situation.

Finally, it is likely that your caterer will require a final head count a couple of weeks before the wedding. For this reason, it is important to stay on top of guests as they send in their RSVPs. You may need to make a few phone calls to determine who will be in attendance and if you wait too long this could make the process stressful.

Best for Bride

Best for Bride can take care of all your wedding invitation needs. You will find a wide range of options when you visit one of their four locations and will be able to complete all your wedding shopping from one location.


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Your wedding invitation checklist

wedding invitations
via Best for Bride

You have endless options to choose from when creating your wedding invitation. While you can be creative with words and make a remarkable invitation that allows your guests a sneak peek into what to expect, it is also necessary that it conveys all the essential information about your wedding. After all, this card is their go-to reference for everything related to the wedding; and you have to do it right.

To make things easy, we have created this checklist to help you make sure you haven’t left out any necessary details that your guests may seek.

Focus on the Four W’s

The basic idea of any invitation is to answer the four questions – Who, What, When and Where. Before you set off choosing stationery or making an impact with words, ensure that you explicitly answer all four of these questions, and the major portion of your invitation checklist is already covered!

Who: It is a good idea to start your invitation with the names of who is hosting the wedding (either your names or your parents names). Include the last names of both bride and groom in the card, so the guests clearly know whose wedding they’ve been invited to.

What: Next, inform them that the event is a “wedding,” using your choice of words.

When: To answer this question, cite the day, date and time of the event. You should either use a.m / p.m or in the morning / evening, to avoid any possible confusion.

Where: Provide the complete address of the location, including name of venue and street address, so your guests have no trouble locating it even when they are from out-of-town. You can add a location map as an insert, but since this can get lost it is ideal to have the address in the body of the invitation itself. If both the wedding and the reception are at the same venue, you can use a single invitation. Else, a separate card for each event, which clearly lists the specific venue address would be the sensible approach.

Guide to the Type of Ceremony

Specifying this will allow your guests to know whether they are to attend a formal ceremony in a house of worship, or an informal one. Leave no scope for confusion on whether they are invited to the wedding ceremony, or only to the reception. It also helps if you indicate whether it is a black-tie event or a casual ceremony, so they can dress appropriately.

Reply Request

It is a good idea to encourage your guests to confirm attendance, by clearly asking them on your invitation card. For this, include an R.S.V.P line on the lower left corner of the card, with the correspondence address, email or phone number cited clearly. Specify the month and date by which they should respond, so you have time to plan the rest of the arrangements.

Once you’ve accounted for all these details in your wedding invitation, enjoy selecting fancy stationery and spurning words to create a charming invitation. Best for Bride is your one-stop destination for the perfect selection of invitation cards to help you with this. Visit us to find invitation cards, and everything else you need for your wedding.

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Your invitations set the tone for your wedding?

“Your invitations set the tone for your wedding”, is perhaps the most common and redundant phrase you will hear while you and your betrothed scrupulously plan that once in a lifetime milestone celebration. Your invitations are a reflection of your personalities and a visual representation of your love. Thus, they not only provide your guests with the first glimpse of this special day but they also set the expectations. A word of advice, don’t delay or skimp out on the most important preview of this spectacular day.

Having worked as a seasoned bridal consultant for 4 years and a wedding invitation shop manager for 2 years in my past life, I have quite a bit of insight into the planning process. Aside from the romantic notions, there are some very practical reasons why your invitations should be at the top of your wedding planning checklist. For the next 6-12 months your invitations will serve as your guide for almost every aspect of your wedding planning. I suggest getting your invitations 4-6 months before the wedding date. Turnaround and production time generally takes 1-2 months and you want to make sure your guests have plenty of time to make arrangements in their schedule for your special day. If you are having a destination wedding, send out your invites or a save-the-date card 1 year prior to your wedding day.

What is more important, however, is that by creating a custom invitation with a professional designer, you can nail down the look, theme, and colour scheme for your wedding. This “wedding scheme” is like an inspiration board of all your ideas, which will be required for almost every aspect of your planning. For example, many cake artists will ask you for the invitation as the inspiration for a cake. How will you coordinate your bridesmaids’ dresses? Nowadays brides are stepping away from the conformities of a single colour and choosing to do an ombré effect with their bridesmaids wearing various transitional colours. What about your bridal gown accessories? Will your shoes match your bridesmaids’ dresses or your bouquet? Or perhaps you want to match your groom’s accessories to your own, and the bridesmaids’ accessories to the groomsmen? And don’t forget the colour of your bouquet(s) and flower decorations. Decisions, decisions! All of these elements make up the look and feel of your wedding. All of these should reflect you and the groom on that special day.

Enter your multifaceted fairy-godmother bridal guru. Yes I am boasting, but ask any of my brides and they will confirm that their planning became a lot simpler after contacting me for invitations. I will become your personal wedding planning advisor. Once we sit down with your ideas, I will help you conceptualize your bridal vision. The invitations will become your mini inspiration board and will serve as a guide and help you make decisions in all the other items on your checklist. I am here to make your life a lot simpler and the process enjoyable.

Here are some helpful hints from White Dove about invitations, but if you are a bit overwhelmed with all the above aforementioned, please do take a breather, maybe grab a latte?

Here goes…

  1. Guest Sift: The first decision you should make before looking at invitation styles is the guest list. Sift, sift, sift. An easy way to make sure you don’t forget anyone is to separate the guests into categories, such as: bride’s friends, groom’s friends, bride’s family and their friends, groom’s family and their friends, mutual friends, and others. Write each category at the top of a sheet of paper and brainstorm. Take the appropriate papers to your family as well as your fiancé’s family to see if anyone was left off. When a number of all invited guests is reached, divide this number by two and add 25-50. The remaining number should be the amount of invitations you order, with the extra going towards potential extra guests or lost mail.
  1. Create a timeline and sense of urgency: Technically, invitations should be mailed 8-10 weeks (2 – 2.5 months) prior to a wedding. However, more than that is too early as many will put off RSVP’ing and then forget altogether. You should have your final headcount 1-1.5 months before the wedding. The sooner you receive your final guest attendance count by RSVP, the easier it will be to finalize your quantities and menu items (in case of food sensitivities or allergies) with your caterer, seating arrangements (seating charts), and rentals. Also, depending on your invitation choices, you may need as much as two months more for design and printing time, so be sure not to cut it too close. Ordering your invites early can save you money for rush fees and expedited shipping.

It’s a simple equation:

order invitations early = receive replies early = save money and your nerves

  1. Count Carefully: Be sure to count mailing addresses and not invited guests! Remember, many guests are invited as couples or as a family. If you have 100 total invited guests, you may only need 65 invitations. Add approximately 10 to 15 extras for last minute guest-list additions.
  1. Creative reply cards and website: Reply postcards are a really popular and great way to save money by avoiding the envelope. They can be well designed with a vintage emblem to look like an old postcard. You can also leave a blank space for your guests to reply with a note. Another idea I pitch to clients is that they can create their own wedding website for free and use it to communicate with their gusts as well as set up virtual RSVP. For the older generation of less tech-savvy guests like grandparents and foreign family members who speak a different language, you can purchase the physical reply cards. This will substantially lower your overall cost!
  1. Avoid using address labels if possible: You really don’t want your wedding invitations to look like a mass mailed corporate office mailer. My best suggestion is to hand write them yourself or get your family and bridal party involved! It’s a great way to spend some quality time…just tell them it’s a little party with lots of food and goodies (wink, wink) and then casually have each person address 10 envelopes for you. 10 people addressing 10 envelopes = 100 envelopes. Easy breezy and you had a fun time doing it! Who doesn’t love to see a hand-addressed envelope waiting for them in their mailbox? It’s that extra personal touch. Just an FYI, when you order with White Dove Invitations, we will always provide an additional 10 envelopes with your order for free just in case.
  1. Be neurotic about postage and mailing:Make sure that your invitations have the correct postage. Go to the Post Office to send them out and get them weighed. Ensure the ink and handwriting is clear and legible so that your good tidings arrive to their intended destinations. Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3…Mail one invitation to yourself as a test to ensure that you used proper postage. It’ll also be a keepsake with a postmark from your local post-office.

Hope these tips are helpful! Just remember, you only have one opportunity to make a first impression, so make it count.

Xo xo,


Invitation artisan for White Dove Invitations