Wedding Invitation Etiquette

Wedding Invitations

Sending out wedding invitations is a big step in your wedding planning journey. You want to make sure you do it right! In this post, I’ll talk about everything you need to know regarding wedding invitations. We’ll go over how to address them, what to include in the envelope and everything in between.

What is the etiquette for names on a wedding invitation?

Knowing how to format a wedding invitation is not something that most people think about…until it’s your wedding. Being able to properly write out your invitations is the first step in hosting a formal event. Here are some tips.

  • Use formal names only (no nicknames)
  • Spell out all words like “street”, “avenue”, “place”, etc.
  • The bride’s name goes first. This is because the bride’s family traditionally paid for the wedding.
  • Include the date of the wedding, location (venue name and address), and ceremony time at a minimum.

What should you include in your wedding invitations?

You’ll likely want to put more than just the invitation in the envelope when sending out your invitations. Even if you would like your guests to do everything online (like RSVP), you’ll still want to provide instructions on a separate card. This information should not be on the formal invitation. Additional cards should be included for each topic. Here are some examples of items you may want to include in your invitation suite.

  • Invitation
  • RSVP Card
  • Menu Card
  • Order of the Day
  • Guest Information Card
  • Table Plan
wedding invitation suite

RSVP Card Etiquette

Be sure your guests can easily respond to your invitation and include all the information you need from them. Here’s a list of things to include on your RSVP card.

  • Add a “Reply By” date
  • Dinner option
  • Name
  • Number of people attending

Should you include a stamped envelope?

When you include an RSVP card in your invitation suite, it is absolutely necessary to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. This makes it easy for your guests to reply. Wedding etiquette dictates that your guests should never have to pay to respond to your invitation.

This is really important, so don’t skip this step. Your guests might not reply at all if it’s not convenient.

place setting at wedding reception

What are the guidelines for addressing wedding invitations?

Now that you have everything you need in the envelope and your invitations are ready to go, you need to address them. Believe it or not, there is a “proper” way to address the envelopes for formal events like weddings. Here are the basics for addressing your wedding invitations.
  • Male guests – “Mr.” then first and last name
  • Female guests – “Ms.” then first and last name
  • Non-binary guests – “Mx.” then first and last name
  • Married couple – “Mr. & Mrs.” then husband’s first and last name
  • Same sex couple – Either name can go first
groom's shoes with his watch

Getting great pictures of the groom.

On a day that mostly revolves around the bride, I like to take some time for the groom. See what that looks like in this post.

wedding invitation with flowers and greenery

Customize your wedding invitations.

Etsy has some amazing shops for wedding invitations. You can find everything from super simple minimalist designs to the most elaborate suites you can possibly imagine.

bride kissing the groom's cheek while he looks at the camera

Santa Barbara elopement.

See more from this adorable couple’s Santa Barbara Courthouse elopement.