Invitation - Do's & Dont's

If you'll be tying the knot in a less-than-traditional setting, the wording of the wedding invitation can be as creative as you want: Think of meaningful quotations, song lyrics, or any other phrases that will give your guests a sense of the style of your wedding. Just don't forget to include the basics – the who, what, when, where, etc.

However, for traditional or formal weddings, though "there is no definite rule", wedding invitations follow certain etiquettes. Wedding Invitation Etiquette is just one of the many aspects of your planning that should not be overlooked. This is sometimes the first time your guests will know of your plans, so make sure you make a great first impression.

For truly formal events, there are certain rules of etiquette that are observed when writing an invitation. Here are some simple things to remember when you're composing a formal invitation:

  • Write out names in full, including middle initials. Omit all middle initials, if you can't provide all the middle initials for the entire entourage list.
  • It’s appropriate to use the British spelling for “honour” and “favour” unless you prefer to use the American spelling of these words.
  • Spell out all words, including the hour, the date and the year. Spell out all words in the address, including Street, Road and Avenue. The two exceptions to this rule in an address are Saint (St.) and Mount (Mt.).
  • Use Roman numerals in names, rather than “the third” or “3rd.”
  • For ceremonies taking place in a house of worship, use “request the honour of your presence.” Ceremonies taking place in a non-religious setting should say, “request the pleasure of your company.”
  • It is never acceptable to write “No Boxed Gifts” or even mention gifts in the invitation itself! Instead, have a close friend or family member politely spread the word verbally.
  • No punctuation is necessary, except after dates.
  • The first letter of each line is not capitalized, unless it is a proper noun (for example – “Sunday, the Fifth of October" is correct. OR “on Sunday, the Fifth of October" is correct)
  • Don't use the phrases "No Children" or "Adult Reception." If children are not invited, simply omit their names from the addressed envelopes.
  • It is acceptable to include information about attire on the invitation itself. However, you may wish to include that information in an informational insert or on your wedding website instead.
  • To word your invitation, generally, the invite is issued by those paying for the wedding e.g. “[Brides name & Grooms name] request the pleasure of the company of…” if the Bride and Groom are paying for the wedding themselves, or “Mr. & Mrs. [Husbands name] request the pleasure of the company of…” if the Bride’s parents are paying for the wedding, and so on.
  • Always ensure that invites sent to widows and widowers give the person the option of bringing along a guest to your wedding.

  • Address all invitations by hand. Wedding invitations with printed labels are considered tacky and lazy.
  • Address a wedding invitation to two persons with the last name by addressing them in alphabetical order by surname.
  • When addressing a couple with children, the adult names go on the first line, and the children are listed by the first name only on the second.
  • If a single person is allowed to bring a guest, this would be indicated on the envelope: Miss Mari Dela Cruz (and guest).
  • If children are invited to attend, their names will not appear on the envelope unless they are over the age of 18, in which case they should receive their own invitation.
  • Unmarried couples who live together receive a single invitation because they are a couple.
  • If a wife and husband are both doctors, the outer and inner envelopes should be addressed to: "The Doctors Dela Cruz."
  • The spouse with the professional title is listed first.

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