I’m currently finishing up the designs of my invitations and boy, has it been a wild ride. Who knew how much etiquette there was to consider when inviting people to a wedding! Mind you, majority of my guests probably won’t even know there’s a ‘proper’ way to do things, so in the end, I decided to do things OUR WAY.
Regardless, here are some of the things that got me thinking:
- Outer & Inner envelopes
This was definitely something I had no idea about. Apparently, the outer envelope is traditionally unlined and addressed with the complete mailing address of the individual/couple you are inviting. The inner envelope is typically lined and is only addressed to the person’s name. It was thought that the outer envelope protected the inner envelope or letter that was inside.
Our decision: Forgo the inner envelope. I ended up going with a lined outer envelope (which admitedly cost me too much. I ended up paying 65 cents each for them). But, had I gotten outer envelopes, I would have almost twice that amount.
- Separate reception cards
Totally torn over this one. Once again, I wasn’t aware that it was proper to have a separate reception card, especially if there is a gap between the ceremony & reception (yep) and if they are held at different locations (yep!).
Our decision: I decided to include the reception information on the same invitation card that had the details about the ceremony. I made sure all times & locations were noted and in my opinion, the more ‘separate cards’ there are, the more confused your guests will be.
- Parents names
According to the etiquette gods, the bride’s parents hosted the wedding and thus, they were mentioned at the beginning of the invitation asking the person they are inviting to join them “in the marriage of (bride) + (groom), son of (groom’s parents)”. But nowadays, if a couple are paying for the wedding themselves they can omit their parents names from the invitations, or choose to use the wording ” (bride) + (groom), together with their families”.
Our decision: I ended up placing both sets of parents names on the invitations, before ours. As a sign of respect and gratitude for our parents, we decided to ensure their names were listed. Despite who was paying for the wedding, we felt it was something we wanted to do, regardless of etiquette.
- Placing registry information on the invitations
It has been looked down upon for couples to place their registry information on their invites, primarily because they should not assume that a guest will be giving them a gift. Instead, registry information should be reserved for “word of mouth” or placed on the couples’ wedding website.
Our decision: Jason & I decided it would be best if we reserved the registry information for our website. To be honest, we loathe the ideas of registries because we always feel like we have everything and if we really wanted it, we’d buy it now and not wait till the wedding day.
- Response (RSVP) cards
Traditional invitation sets have separate response cards and envelopes which guests would fill out and send back to the bride & groom. It served as a formality, but was also important for guests who aren’t savy with the computer.
Our decision: We decided to opt out of creating response cards and picking up envelopes. This was definitely a cost-saver. Response card envelopes are typically more expensive due to their small size, and the cost of placing postage on each one was immense. Likewise, it wasn’t environmentally friendly and all our guests were capable of either using email, visiting our website or picking up the phone to call us. Almost all weddings we attended these past two years, the couples all chose not to have RSVP cards, so we felt comfortable with this decision.
These invitations will definitely be a labour of love once they are done. It has been such a learning experience. I hope this helps any of you who are currently deciding on your invitations!