Guides for brides on invitation etiquette

We spoke to the team at Guides for Brides who gave us all the top tips on wedding invitation etiquette! These days, wedding invitations are one of the few pieces of formal printed post that people actually still receive - in fact, a recent survey by Royal Mail found that 52% people prefer to receive printed invitations due to tradition. With this in mind, it’s important to get those invitations right!

When to send your invitations

There are two stages to inviting people to your wedding - the save the dates and the actual invitations themselves. Save the dates aren’t a requirement, but they’re recommended if you’re getting married on a weekday, during the peak summer months or if you’re tying the knot abroad. Sending save the dates up to a year in advance means you can then send your wedding invitations around 3-6 months in advance.

Wedding invite


As you’ll be asking for RSVPs on the invitations, we recommend setting a deadline of around 8 weeks before the wedding date, to give you plenty of time to amend table plans and catering plans. Check with your venue and caterers to see when they’ll need final numbers to ensure you have plenty of time, and make sure to make a note every time you receive an RSVP! The Guides for Brides online wedding planner is perfect for this, as you can easily check off when people have responded.

How to address your wedding invitations

According to traditional wedding etiquette, wedding invitation envelopes should always be hand-written, so avoid printed labels if you can. The outer envelope should be addressed to the couple or single guest by name, and then if you are also inviting children or a guest, then they should be included on the invitation itself. Try to find out the names of any guests, but if you are unsure or you’re extending an open plus one, then ‘and guest’ is perfectly acceptable.

Wedding invite

What to include in your wedding invitations

Here’s the quick guide to what your wedding invitation should cover:
- Who’s hosting - the bride’s parents, the groom’s parents, both families or the couple
- Who’s invited, including titles, first names and surnames, and any children or plus ones
- Where the ceremony and reception are taking place
- The date of the wedding (including the year)
- The time the guests should arrive (you will need two versions for day and evening guests)
- How guests can RSVP, and the deadline to respond
- Option extras may be:
- Whether children are invited
- Details of the dress code
- Accommodation information
- The menu
- Gift list information

Guides for Brides make it easy for you to keep track of your guest information, RSVPs and more by using their online wedding planner.

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