Wedding Invitation Etiquette: What Should You Remember?


Would-be husbands and wives would want to make the best impressions on their special day. Because wedding invitations are among the first things guests see before the actual exchange of vows, it’s only natural that you’d want to get everything right.

It’s going to be one of the most memorable chapters of your life. That’s why inviting your family, friends, and acquaintances on this special day goes beyond merely choosing the stationery design you like. There are specific etiquette rules you should be aware of. For example, you should know what the right time is to send your save-the-date cards and which paper material for printing to use. You should also be aware of how you should word the details in your custom wedding invitations and let everyone know that you have a strict dress code or that it’s an adult-only event. Here are the answers to some questions you may have before heading out to have those invites delivered:

How should couples make it clear to their guests that they’re having an “adults-only” wedding?

Be specific when addressing your invitations and write the guests’ exact names instead of simply putting “and guest.” Doing this should automatically tell your guests that your invitation is only meant for those who were mentioned. If you receive a reply with additional names of their children, call them and explain how you’re planning to make the event exclusive for adults and that you’re hoping they can still attend despite it. But, if you’re from a family with plenty of children, you can consider arranging for babysitters if your budget allows it. While this isn’t exactly a requirement, it’s a good gesture to show you want them to be there on your special day.

Is it a requirement to put a “plus-one” for every guest?

couple holding hands

The quick answer is no, it’s not. If you’re inviting someone who still isn’t married or in a long-term, serious relationship, asking them to go solo is acceptable. Unless there’s a “and Guest” or another name written on the invitation, most guests will automatically understand that the invite does not come with a plus-one. It’s important to let your family members and friends understand your situation, especially if you’re planning to have a simple, intimate wedding. If you receive an RSVP for two, give them a call to explain why you’re unable to extend a plus-one to everyone. However, check your guest list once again. If it turns out that nearly everyone will come as pairs, it’s better to give your few single family members and friends a plus-one invite.

Is it acceptable to make the reception exclusive for immediate family members only?

Not exactly. Everyone who attends all the ceremonies involved prior to the big day, such as the engagement party and bridal shower, should also be invited to the wedding – and weddings include both the ceremony and the reception. Asking one specific person to attend but not the other sends the wrong signal. You’re essentially saying that while you want their presence in the ceremony, you’re not exactly willing to pay for their food at your party.

With these questions in mind, you can move forward with planning your guest list and preparing the wedding invitations. Remember that this is your special day, so the people who are present should be equally special to you.

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