A Guide to Wedding Invitation Etiquette

Your guide to wedding invitation etiquette; from who is invited to RSVPs


A guide to wedding invitation etiquette

Wedding invitations have come a long way since the formalities of yesteryear and with even more styles and designs, modern couples have seemingly unlimited options when it comes to inviting guests to celebrate their big day. One thing that certainly hasn’t changed however, is wedding invitation etiquette.

The aim of your wedding invitation is to provide your guests with the crucial information they need for the day; namely ‘who’, ‘where’ and ‘when’. Formal phrasing of invitations is still incredibly popular with modern couples, but if you’re a little more casual, it is perfectly acceptable to loosen up the language a little. Whether you’re getting married at an exclusive use wedding venue, or you’re hiring a marquee at home, you’ll most definitely need to send out wedding invitations. Here’s how we think you should do it…

Who Is Invited? 

To save any embarrassment, you’re better off naming each guest you are inviting, on your invitations, rather than simply putting ‘ & guest’ or ‘plus one’. This has many benefits, such as breaking the news to parents that you’ve opted for an ‘adult only’ affair or avoiding the awkward situation of explaining why a friend can’t replace their recent ex with someone you don’t know! If the style of invitation you’ve chosen doesn’t allow individual names to be added, it is best to include the actual names of the guests invited, on the outside of the envelope. 

If you want to go the extra mile and make sure your guests are thoroughly prepared for the day you can opt to include a little more information such as the wedding attire, a map of the church and/or venue location and local accommodation and transport services. 

Top tip: If you are inviting children to your wedding and are planning on having evening entertainment or a nanny/crèche for them, it would be advisable to let the parents know in advance. Some parents may choose not to bring their children, even if they are invited. Others may be relieved that you are booking someone to keep their children entertained. 

Dietary Requirements

It’s advisable to request dietary information from your guests to pass on to your caterer but not include the wedding menu in detail. It tends to spoil the surprise on the big day if you do and also means you’re committed to those particular choices earlier than you need to be.

If any of your guests have specific allergies or dietary requirements, the catering team at your venue should be made fully aware in advance. 


In order to keep your sanity (not to mention the sanity of your caterer or wedding venue), include an RSVP deadline and make this at least 3 weeks prior to your day. Of course, there will always be a few last minute alternations to the guest list in the days leading up to your wedding, but you’re going to need a reasonably accurate idea of numbers in advance in order to complete your table plan. 

Ordering Wedding Invitations 

There are numerous ways to order wedding invitations. Choose an option to work with your wedding budget, and don’t forget to order in advance. If you send your invitations out too late, your guests may have made alternative plans. Here are 5 different ways to order wedding invitations, covering every wedding budget:

  1. Order personalised wedding invitations online
  2. Commission a wedding stationery designer 
  3. Buy pre-printed invitation cards from department stores or stationery shops
  4. Get crafty and hand-make your own
  5. Opt for modern, laser cut invitations

Top Tip: If you’re getting married abroad, plan to send your wedding invitations out well in advance. Guests may need to book the time off work or save if you’re travelling far.

Finalising Your Wedding Invitations 

  • Don’t forget to add these important points of information to your wedding invitations: 
  • Wedding date 
  • Time of ceremony (if you are inviting a day guest) 
  • Time of Evening Reception (for evening guests only) 
  • Carriages (the time guests a required to depart from the venue) 
  • Location of the church and/or wedding venue 
  • Dietary requirements 
  • When you need an RSVP by
  • Your contact details 
  • Who the invitation is from (your parents may be inviting the guests)
  • Information about your wedding gift list
  • Accommodation details, or information about local accommodation if your venue doesn’t provide it or is limited with rooms
  • Whether you are providing any transport for guests (from the church to the venue, for example)
  • Information about your personal wedding website, if you choose to create one

Need wedding invitation inspiration? Visit our Pinterest board.