There is a lot of information and details that go into your wedding invitations. There are also details that should not be included. Here is a list of things you should keep in mind when it comes to invitation details.
Bride’s name traditionally goes first on the invitation: This is because the parents of the bride were usually hosting because they were paying for the wedding. Even though the “bride’s parents pay for the wedding” is not as common as it used to be it is still customary for the bride’s name to go first on the invitation (i.e. “Grace and Liam,” not “Liam and Grace”)
The year is a 4 digit number: 2020 is “two thousand twenty.” Not “twenty twenty” even though that is how many people say it. Officially years are 4 digit numbers and there is no “and” in them. 2021 is “two thousand twenty-one.”
Is it “afternoon” or “evening?”: Evening starts at 6:00pm. So anything before 6:00pm is afternoon and 6:00pm and after is evening.
Ceremony address does NOT go on the invitation: The venue name and city, state go on the invitation but not the street address itself. Because the invitation is a formal invitation the address is not included. This information goes on an insert card. Keep in mind that you can do just the address if the venue is easy to find or you can include directions if it is hard to find or cell reception can be spotty (i.e. Google Maps won’t work). If your ceremony and reception are in different locations it is nice to put the directions from the ceremony location to the reception location on an insert card as well. This information can go on the same card as the ceremony address/directions.
Registry information does not go anywhere in the invitation suite: Including this in the invitation suite is considered rude by formal etiquette standards. Your wedding website and shower invitations are great places for this. Be sure to let your wedding party know where you are registered in case people ask them. Word of mouth and your wedding website is the best way to convey registry information. Some people choose to add it in their suite and it should definitely be on an insert card and not on the invitation itself.
Keywords: wedding, wedding invitation, invitation details, colored envelopes, colored text
There is a lot to know about addressing your envelopes. You can be formal or informal with your addressing. You can also get creative with your formatting, but don’t get too creative or the post office won’t deliver.
For save the dates you can choose to be formal or informal with the addressing, it is up to you. Generally, save the dates are informal and invitations are formal. But not in call cases.
When deciding the format of addressing- formal or more casual- should follow the theme of your wedding. If you are having a black tie affair in a ballroom you should follow all addressing etiquette for a formal affair. If you are having a more cocktail attire wedding you can choose to be more casual in your addressing. If you are having a rustic wedding you can choose to be pretty casual. Ultimately it is your choice but it is a good idea to be in line with the theme and style of your wedding.
Here are some examples:
Formal wording (Using formal names and spelling out all words. No nicknames for guests):
Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Smith
1234 Southwest Main Street
Anywhere, Oregon 97520
Informal/less casual than formal(Nicknames and abbreviations are ok):
Mr. & Mrs. Chris Smith
1234 SW Main St
Anywhere, OR 97520
Very casual (Just following basic addressing rules that the post office requires):
Chris & Jenny Smith
1234 SW Main St
Anywhere, OR 97520
You will notice that not only is the writing for the names different but also the addresses themselves. A formal address will have everything spelled out. There is no right or wrong choice. There are just ones that may fit your wedding better than the others. If you are working with a stationer that offers guest addressing they can help with which format to use. Or you can always reach out and I can help with addressing or give you guidance.
Note about non-heterosexual couples: If you have guests that are members of the LGBTQ community you may have questions related to that. You would follow the same formality choice as your other invitations but there would be changes in the names. Here are some examples of how to address the names:
Same-sex couple (whether they identify as male or female):
Mr. Christopher Smith and Mr. Jeffrey Davis
Mr. Chris Smith & Mr. Jeff Davis
Chris Smith & Jeff Davis
Gender fluid, queer, or does not identify as one gender:
Mx. Jamie Barnes and Ms. Jennifer Evans
Mx. Jamie Barnes & Ms. Jenny Evans
Jamie Barnes & Jenny Evans
Envelope addressing can be a stressful part of wedding planning. From the hand cramps to the etiquette to the formatting, it can all be a source of stress. Most stationers offer guest addressing. Discuss the options with your stationer or reach out to me for more guidance and options.
Keywords: wedding invitations, save the dates, guest addressing