Invitation Etiquette.

Q: What is the formal way to address wedding invitations?
A:  Wedding invitations traditionally consist of an inner and an outer envelop to dictate who is invited to a wedding and/or reception. The outer envelope is used for the postal service to get it there, the inner to show who is invited. Now, where in the world did this little tradition come from? continued

Q: How soon do I need to send out my invitations?
A: Mailing your invitations 6-8 weeks in advance gives your guests enough time to plan and respond for your wedding. If you send it too early, people may forget. If it is sent too late, guests may already have plans. 6-8 weeks gives your guests plenty of notice and gives you plenty of time to gather your numbers for caterers and other vendors. Your RSVP deadline should be a week or two out from your catering deadline. In order to ensure you have all of your responses, you may need to follow up with some guests. continued

Q: Why are RSVP's so important? Should I include a response card?
RSVP's are very important when planning a wedding. I can't stress that enough! Guests are more and more choosing not to respond when they receive invitations. Unfortunately, it sends a bad message to the host, and puts hosts in an awkward situation as they find themselves wondering or calling recipients to find out if they will attend the wedding. continued

Q: Being from the South, anything less than a hand addressed invitation is frowned upon. Is it necessary to have our invitations hand addressed?
A: Well, I am from the South too, and personally, I don't think it is absolutely necessary. GASP! Now, there is something to be said about a beautifully addressed envelope. Professional calligraphy is personable and very formal. It can cost anywhere from $1.00-1.50 for inner and outer envelopes. Your investment for professional calligraphy can be $2.50+ per envelope. continued

Q: We are having an "adult" wedding on a budget. How do we let our guests know who is invited to our wedding?
Including an inner envelope is the best way to let guests know who is invited to your wedding. (more on addressing inner and outer envelopes) Guests lists are the hardest part of planning a wedding. Not inviting children is perfectly acceptable, but can be a touchy subject. Use the outer envelope to address the invitation and the inner envelope to let the household know who is invited. continued

Q: How do we let guests know where we are registered or let them know that we would prefer cash gifts?
Traditionally, it is improper to include registry information or registry inserts in a wedding invitation. It implies that you expect a gift. It is also not in good taste to include "no gifts please", or "please make donations to...", or "cash gifts only". A good resource for guests are family and your wedding party. They will be able to verbally spread the word of your wishes. Some guests will still want to show their joy for your through gifts, whether on or off of your registry. A hand written note from you or your spouse is customary to send as appreciation of their gift. continued