Wedding Invitations Guide

Sending out your Wedding Invitation is one of the first steps in planning any wedding. There is much more to think about than meets the eye, but luckily our guide can help you through every step of the way!

So... you've decided to have the greatest Wedding in the world - you've found the perfect venue, ordered the best food and drinks (within budget of course!), picked the music and maybe even chosen what to wear... But this is just the start. You want to make sure that this will be a memorable day for your guests and for you. So remember, it all starts with an invitation; ensure your invitations are inspiring and exciting to tempt your guests. Try to capture the essence of how you want your Wedding Day to be through design, typography, colour and so on, to start creating the buzz about your day!

One of the most common concerns when you start thinking about wedding invitations is how to word them. This depends on the style of wedding you are planning. Will it be a traditional, formal affair, or a more relaxed, unconventional and modern occasion?

First, you need to make a list of how many invites you require - and then buy a few more so you have spares! Once you have picked the design of your wedding invitations - and this is no small task, what with the huge variety of cards available - the first thing to consider is how the wedding invitation will be laid out. Again, this depends entirely on your chosen style of wedding.

Wedding Invitations Guide

Whose Names Go First?

Traditionally, whomever is paying for the wedding would be at the beginning of the invite e.g. "'Mr & Mrs (Surname)' request the honour of your presence at the marriage of their daughter, 'Miss (First Name) (Surname)', and 'Mr (First Name) (Surname)'."

Obviously it is going to get a bit more complicated when you take into account divorced parents etc. but the main rule of traditional invites is that the names of the parents paying for the wedding should come first.

If both sets of parents are paying for the wedding then the bride's parents' names would go first followed by the groom's parents' names.

If you are paying for the wedding yourselves, or if you have decided on a less formal approach, your own names can be written first. A more modern invitation opening line could be -

"'(First Name)' and '(First Name)' invite you to join them on the happy day of their wedding."


"'(First Name)' & '(First Name)' would love the pleasure of your company on their wedding day."

Wording can be flexible - it is YOUR special day so, as long as you are happy, there is no right and wrong way to do things!

Next you need to put in the date of your wedding, which includes the day of the week, the date, month, and year. Following the date should be the time. It is a good idea to state an arrival time of slightly earlier than your fixed ceremony time-slot to make sure everyone arrives in good time. However, don't make this too early as you do not want your punctual guests to be left waiting for long periods!

Following the date comes the location of the ceremony and/or reception (some guests may be invited to just the reception, in which case these invites need to be completely re-worded to make this the focus). This could include the full address of the venue, or this could be included in a separate directions note.

Please note that, whether you opt for trational or unconventional invitations, abbreviations are unnecessary and unattractive, e.g. "St" for "Street" etc. There is no need for full stops at the end of addresses or each sentence on the invite.

At the end of the invite always put on an RSVP Date and the address you want the invitation sent back to. This is of upmost importance, so that you know the number of guests to expect as early as possible before you start planning reception venues and catering.

What Else Could be Included in the Envelope?

Reply Cards

Reply cards are of course optional, but can be a useful way of getting quicker responses from your guests. If you choose to include a reply card it is a good idea to also include a stamped addressed envelope.


A helpful thing to inlcude in your wedding invitation's envelope is directions to your venue(s), including the addresses. Also put in the postcode for those with SatNavs!

Local Accommodation Information

A list of nearby accommodation for guests that are travelling long distances to attend your wedding is also a very helpful and bound to be much appreciated. You could include the price and telephone numbers if possible.

Wedding Gift List

Some people feel uncomfortable having and sending out Gift Lists, though nowadays is it quite commonplace to find them included along with the wedding invite. Again, the choice is yours.

If you are against Gift Lists, a popular and humorous quote to use is: "It's your presence, not your presents, that we want!"

A similar dilemma occurs with the question, Is it okay to ask for money as a gift - perhaps to be requested as a contribution towards the Honeymoon Fund?

As you may already live together and have all the household items you need (and all new bride & grooms dread receiving ten identical toasters!), you may feel that money would be more appreciated than an actual gift. This can be a difficult one as some people, especially older generations, may find this inappropriate.

A way to get round this could be to have a small Gift List and to also make a note alongside it, stating that contributions towards your Honeymoon etc. would be gratefully received. This - as ever - all comes down to personal taste. Perhaps you could include a money request for some guests and a Gift List for others - or maybe you could even neglect to mention weddings gifts at all and leave it in the hands of Fate!

Wedding Invitations Guide - Suffolk Weddings Guide

When to Send Your Invites

The simple answer to this is: as soon as possible! Your invitations should be sent out at least 6 weeks before the wedding. A relatively new concept is a Save the Date card. These are quite informal cards that can be sent out to guests just stating the date of your wedding and telling them an invite will follow, which can be particularly helpful if you are planning your wedding well in advance. If you have already sent save the date cards then 6 weeks is sufficient time to send them and get replies back.

So remember - plan everything as early as possible, follow the simple guide lines for traditional wedding invitation etiquette, but keep in mind that there is no need to stick to strict formalities if they do not fit in with your personal preferences.

Last and by no means least, have fun! You are beginning preparations for what will be one of the best days of your lives!

Suffolk Weddings Guide