Proper Wedding Invitation Etiquette

Proper Wedding Invitation Etiquette


invitation etiquette

Weddings may be smaller for the near future but something that hasn’t changed: wedding invitation etiquette. Today we are delighted to have Alexandra Kretschmar from Ladybird Paper Co. answer the most common etiquette questions surrounding wedding invitations and addressing envelopes. Keep scrolling to see some of her beautiful invitations and calligraphy. 

First, let’s talk design. What is the most important thing about choosing a wedding invitation suite?

Your wedding invitation is your guests’ first glimpse of what your big day will look like. Not only does it let them know the information like time and place, but it also lets them know what to wear. The invitation for Black Tie nuptials with a grand ballroom reception will look very different than an intimate backyard wedding. The design, materials, and wording will help set the tone for your guests to understand the formality of the event.

Should one use formal titles in both the invitation and when addressing envelopes? 

Yes! In most cases, you err on the side of formality. Even though the wedding may be more casual you want to be respectful of guests who prefer proper titles. A more formal event requires formal addressing. Proper titles and salutations should be used.

wedding invitation with crest

Are abbreviations okay to use in a wedding invitation?

Street names, the word “Apartment”, and States should never be abbreviated on wedding invitations.

wedding invitation etiquette

What should go on an inner envelope? 

An inner envelope is simply the names of the invited guests who are the recipients of the invitation. This is where children’s names as well as “and guest” are written, and clarified. Unfortunately inner envelopes are often omitted for budget purposes, and most of the major online stationery shops don’t even offer them as an option. This can lead to some uncomfortable situations for both parties. It is best to work with a professional stationer and wedding planner for guidance on these details to help keep your planning experience stress-free.

A few things you should remember – If you do not include the proper titles, the woman’s name is listed before the husband’s (ladies first!). For example, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Robertson would become Anna and Michael Robertson on a more casual invitation.

wedding invitation

What if the couple doesn’t want guests to bring a date (or children)? 

The invitation should be addressed clearly stating who is invited to the wedding. This is getting trickier as inner envelopes are falling out of favor, so it is important to take notice of what your guests have written on the response card. If a guest assumes their children are invited and they were not, give them a call and gently let them know that it is an adults only wedding. You can also mention your wedding is adults only on your website, but never on any part of the printed invitation. It bears repeating, no exceptions to that last rule.

Do you put a couple’s gift registry on a wedding invitation? 

No, registry information should be saved for the website and shower invitation only.

wedding invitation suite navy

What about a stamp on the RSVP envelope? 

Absolutely, your guest should not be responsible for providing postage for the response card. After all, it can be hard enough getting guests to remember to send their reply, I promise you do not want to slow down that process even further. The only time you should not include a stamp on the response envelope, is if your guest lives outside of the United States as they will need to use postage from the country in which they live.

wax seal for wedding invitations

What is the biggest mistake you see couples make with invitations? 

One of the biggest mistakes I see is not reaching out to your Stationer and Calligrapher in time. Deciding on a design, confirming information, printing, and assembly and addressing all take time; especially if a custom design or a process like letterpress and thermography are involved. Just as a couple books their florist or baker well in advance of their big day, I recommend booking your Stationer and Calligrapher in advance to confirm your spot on their calendar. Invitations are the first part of the guest experience, so timing is important. I recommend contacting your preferred Stationers and Calligraphers about 4-6 months prior to your wedding date.

What if couples need to postpone their wedding? 

Talk with your stationer about options for letting guests know. We have a free rescheduling announcement template that can be downloaded and customized for free here

Thank you, Alexandra! What questions do you have about wedding invitation etiquette? Ask below!


About Alexandra and Ladybird Paper Co.: 

Alexandra is the owner of Ladybird Paper Co., a full-service stationery and calligraphy studio with a focus in weddings. She loves integrating her life-long love of fine art with custom watercolor or hand-drawn sketches of florals and venues into her invitation suites, and of course finishing everything off with a scripted address.

She first dabbled in the invitation world in 2010 designing children’s birthday party invitations for her roommate’s Preschool class while she began her career in Product Development. As she advanced in her career traveling around the globe for retailers large and small, she left the party invites behind. It wasn’t until her own wedding in 2015 that she decided to revisit the world of stationery. Once the spark was ignited again, she couldn’t put it out. She designed for friends and family quietly and by request, but decided this is what made her the most happy and fulfilled. She used her experience in corporate retail and degrees in Design and Business from Auburn University, to build a brand while still maintaining an 8-5 career. It was during this time that she really honed in on efficiencies. In 2018 she took Ladybird on full-time from her in-home studio, and has since been featured in D Weddings and Brides of North Texas.

You can learn more about Ladybird Paper Co. on her website here


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