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Wedding Etiquette Frequently Asked Questions

Wedding invitations are just a start to the celebration, but they are just as important as the rest of what's to come. Make sure you get everything right the first time - starting with the invitations. Our wedding experts have answered some of the most common questions regarding wedding invitations, so you're prepped and ready to go before sending them out.

We're excited to get you on the road to wedded bliss. Choosing the invitation is one of the first steps in getting the planning rolling. As you prepare while sending out invitations, many questions that come up later will be answered here. Always remember that guests treasure these and will save them as mementos and reminders of the wedding ceremony.

Before sending out wedding invitations, it's necessary to come up with a guest list. You may have to cross names off here and there, but a list is a must. After coming up with a list of people you will be inviting, choose an invite that represents the couple's personality and reflects the ceremony. Make sure to visit our wording etiquette section in order to properly word the invitations.

Q. When do I send the invitations out?

A. Wedding invitations usually go out out six to eight weeks before the wedding. This gives guests plenty of time to make travel arrangements or move things around in their schedule to allow for their attendance. If the event is a destination wedding, or if you have out-of-the-country guests, invitations may be mailed prior to the 6-8 week timeline. The reply-by date should be set for 2-3 weeks before the event, depending upon a caterer's needs for a head count.

Q. Is the mailing timeline different for an informal wedding?

A. Yes. Informal invitations should be mailed out 3-5 weeks before the actual event. A reply-by date may or may not be necessary for this event, but is typically required approximately 1-2 weeks before the party. If additional response time is necessary, this is acceptable.

Q. Do I put registry information in the wedding invitation?

A. Absolutely not. Since weddings are seen as invitations to celebrate a bride and groom's union, gift-giving is only seen as optional. It's custom to bring or send a wedding gift, but registry information should only be passed around by word-of-mouth. It's also proper to include a link to the couple's wedding website where registry information can be given.

Q. How do you let guests know the formality of the wedding - is it informal or formal?

A. The type of wedding invitation should accurately portray the formality of the ceremony. Traditional, formal invitations - ones on heavy stock in white or ecru with black lettering - should give guests an idea of how to dress appropriately. Where the reception is held should also be a good indicator. They should also be able to look at the location and make their best guess.

Q. Are there any unusual postal regulations that should be followed when sending out wedding invitations?

A. Many wedding invitation envelopes are sent in oddly-shaped envelopes. These usually require additional postage. Also, the thickness and any extra embellishments on the invitation will up the postage. When you have a complete invitation, take it to the post office and have them weigh it. If it's on the fence as far as weight and requiring any additional postage, it's wise to err on the side of too much rather than too little. You don't want your invitations returned to your home.

Q. Is it required that you give everyone the ability to bring a guest?

A. If it's a small wedding, then it's not necessary. If a guest is married, engaged or seriously dating someone, then they should be given a "plus one." It's also wise and thoughtful to let guests who may not know many people at the ceremony to bring a guest. That way, they won't feel uncomfortable.

Q. What are the Postage Requirements for wedding invitations?

A. The postage for a typical invitation is one stamp. If additional embellishments are added to the invitation, such as pockets, ribbons, rhinestones, directions cards, or reply cards, additional postage may be required. A good rule of thumb is to take an invitation that is ready to mail to the post office to have it weighed for proper postage. Besides the contents inside your envelope, believe it or not, the actual humidity in the air will affect the weight of your invitation. It is always better to err on the heavier side of the postage than to have 200 invitations returning to your mailbox. Remember that square invitations require additional postage, as well as vertically addressed invitations envelopes.

Q. Are there any guildlines for selecting invitations for a Formal Wedding vs a Casual Wedding?

A. Formal Weddings - Formal events require a little extra time and attention. Historically the wording and style of a formal event was written in such a way as to show wealth and honor for the participants. In today's society we produce formal invitations in much the same way, with quality paper, embossing and /or script. There are rules for writing and constructing formal invitations and we will help you with those questions next.

A. Casual Weddings - Casual invitations give a little more lee-way with the look and overall writing. Though still creating a wedding invitation, casual invites can be produced with color as well as images. Having a wedding on a holiday is fun and fitting and is a good way to show the couple's fun side.