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The Ins And Outs Of Wedding Invitations

Updated on October 13, 2014

Preparing For That Special Day

Every bride and groom knows they need to pick out wedding invitations and mail them in ample time to ensure a good RSVP and turnout on the big day. The truth is there is more to the process than meets the eye. Of course, invitations should include the basic who, what, when, where and why type answers. But, what else should go into their creation?

Image: Rustic Country Distressed Vintage Wedding Invites by RusticCountryWedding on Zazzle.

What to Put in Your Wedding Invitation?

The answer to that question can be a whole lot. Wedding invitations can serve as valuable tools to tell guests about several different things relevant to the ceremony, reception and even gift-giving suggestions. While this information won't necessarily all go on the main invitation itself, you should consider extra cards or inclusions if you want the festivities to be a bit different.

For those planning a standard wedding and reception, wedding invitations should go out at least a month in advance. Also, they should include such things as the bride and groom's names, the location of the ceremony and reception, the date, time and who to RSVP to. Pre-stamped envelopes are a nice touch, too, for the RSVPs. In addition, the invitations might also include dinner order cards and other standard touches. It is acceptable to include special cards with the invitations that list gift registries and preferences. It can, however, seem rude to include them as part of the main invitation.

Planning a Special Wedding - Special Circumstances for Wedding Invitations

  • Theme Weddings

    It's no fun for guests to show up at a costume party reception in standard dress clothes. If the intent is to throw a beach party, a masquerade ball or even a Hawaiian luau, share that information in the invitation. Doing otherwise could leave guests out of the loop and feeling rather uncomfortable on your big day.

  • Destination Weddings

    When a wedding is planned for a remote location or even set to take place during a cruise, you should let guests know well in advance. It's one thing to take a day off to fly in for a one-day event, it's another to get a week off for a cruise. Planning and money saving will be required on the guests' part, too, so share the intent as early as possible. Send invitations early and consider reminder cards as the big day approaches.

  • Black-tie Affairs

    As it is with theme weddings, so it goes for formal affairs. Most guests expect to dress up, but perhaps not this much. If you want tuxes and tails dress, make that clear in the invitation.

  • Other Special Circumstances

    If you intend something special for the wedding or the ceremony that will need guest participation, it's not a bad idea to share that in the invitation or on an add on card that goes with it. Examples here include such things as cash bars rather than open, a reception that's age 21 and up only, and so on.

Wrapping Up...

Wedding invitations are meant to do more than just herald the big day. They should also carry any information that guests will find important. From clues about proper dress to special theme announcements, the more information you share, the more likely it is guests will come prepared.

Article by Michelle Davis of

Wedding Planners

The Wedding Book: The Big Book for Your Big Day
The Wedding Book: The Big Book for Your Big Day

An all-in-one wedding planner by Mindy Weiss.

Paperback: 485 pages


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