Nato Welton

Everything You Need To Know About Wedding Invitation Etiquette

Your wedding invitations are one of the most crucial parts of the wedding planning process. Not only is it how you communicate all of your big day’s details with your guests, but it’s also the first glimpse of what’s to come and a keepsake for many.

“In our fast-paced digital age, beautifully designed and worded invitations and letters received by post have never made more of an impact," says etiquette expert Jo Bryant.

In fact, according to research by the Royal Mail, most guests prefer to receive physical communication at all stages of the process. In the study of wedding guests and brides and grooms, past and present, over half (52%) of wedding guests prefer to receive physical invitations, due to tradition (45%), etiquette (33%) and the fact that many guests like to keep beautiful wedding invitations on display in their homes (11%).

Needless to say – the pressure is on to get your wedding invitations right. Not just right, but perfect! So, when should you send them? And what should they say? Here we share some of Jo Bryant best tips on modern written wedding etiquette:

Send Save-the-Dates 6 months in advance

It is convenient for guests to receive save-the-date cards so they can plan accordingly. For UK weddings, send them around 6 months in advance; for destination weddings, give guests 10–12 months’ notice.

Choose stationery that reflects the vibe of your wedding

The wedding invitation gives your guests a first glimpse of the look and feel of the wedding; make sure your stationery reflects the style of the day.

Tips for handwriting your invitations:

  • Write invitations, thank you letters and envelopes in proper ink. Black or blue is traditional but, if it suits your style of stationery, make a statement with a more contemporary colour.
  • Guests’ names are written in the top left-hand corner of the save-the-date cards and invitations, unless there is a dedicated space/line for them.
  • Writing lots of invitations and envelopes can be tiring, so approach the task in small batches to avoid mistakes. Double-check tricky spellings and, if possible, find out the names of guests’ partners rather than writing ‘and guest’.

How to word your invitations

Think about how formal or informal you want to be, and word your invitations accordingly. For example, you need to choose between writing guests’ first names or using the more formal ‘Mr and Mrs’ etc on the invitations. For more tips, see our guide on wedding invitation wording.

Remember, invitations are important documents, providing guests with all the key information: location, timings, RSVP details and sometimes a dress code. Don't miss these 6 details you must include on your wedding invitations.

Don’t forget to send thank-you cards

Thank you letters for wedding presents should be handwritten and sent as soon as possible after the honeymoon or, if the couple is going away later, after the wedding. See our guide to wedding thank you card wording.