What is Wedding Invitation Etiquette?

Ian RamirezWedding Planning, Wedding Tips

Wedding Invitation

While every wedding is certainly unique in its own way, I think it’s probably safe to say that one thing present in every single planning process are invitations. It’s a tradition that has seemingly been around forever and obviously a must, as you notify your guests of the big day! However, even though this may sound like one of the simplest tasks you’ll complete during wedding planning, there are a handful of items you’ll want to consider. In what has become a popular buzzword in the wedding industry, “wedding invitation etiquette” simply addresses what all should be included in your invitations, how it’s displayed and even the timeframe in which they go out. Essentially, there’s a handful of so-called rules (or guidelines) that are recommended with wedding invitations.

Before we dive into all of the invitation-talk though, we would first like to say hello to any new visitors! Our event space, Madera Estates, is located in Conroe, TX and specializes in hosting weddings. From the Grand Fireplace and Hacienda to the bridal suite and groom’s lounge, we take pride in providing everything necessary for creating the most amazing wedding day. Here on our wedding blog, we enjoy giving behind-the-scenes looks at previous weddings, as well as planning tips that any couple can incorporate into their own wedding. 

Since invitations are such an important part of your wedding planning experience, we’ve actually covered them before here on the blog. If you’re interested in checking those out, here are links to each of them:

Wedding Invitations Do’s and Don’ts
Most Common Wedding Invitation Mistakes

With that all being said, it’s officially time to break down wedding invitation etiquette!

Photos on the thumbnail courtesy of Ama by Aisha.


They’re not necessarily going to occupy a huge part of your wedding budget (in comparison to the wedding venue or caterer), but there’s no denying that they serve a key purpose. As such, when discussing invitation etiquette, timing is extremely important. You want to make sure your guests have plenty of time to make the needed-arrangements, whether that be hotels, airfare, ordering gifts or anything else. With the “Save the Date” sent earlier on, this shouldn’t be a huge concern, but definitely something you’ll want to keep in mind. As a rule of thumb, we typically recommend couples plan on sending out invitations around 2-3 months in-advance of your wedding. 

Planning a destination wedding? As you can likely guess, anyone with a destination wedding should factor that into the equation. If this is you, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to add a couple months on top of the numbers listed above.

What’s All Included?

While the timing in which you send out invitations is undeniably important, the etiquette side of things is largely centered around what all you’ll include with them. For the sake of including the full-package, we’ll discuss this as the complete wedding invitation suite. As a whole, the suite includes both the invitation and a handful of other items that are sent along with it. The invitation itself shouldn’t include a ton of information, but rather just the must-haves. Names of the couple, date/time, dress code (if any), ceremony location, etc. At a minimum, your invitation suite should consist of the actual invitation, RSVP return card and a stamped/addressed envelope. However, you can certainly include additional inserts for various other important details. Say your reception will be held at a different venue, that could be an added insert. Another possibility would be an insert outlining directions to the venue.

However, since the topic of this blog is etiquette, we’ll take a deeper look at a few things you shouldn’t include in your invitation suite. As we’ll discuss with the next point, avoid including every single piece of information on the invitation. That’s what your wedding website is for! Similarly, another piece of information that many couples want to include on their invitations (yet is a definite no-no etiquette-wise) is registry information. An alternative is to simply add an insert with the actual URL to your website where it’ll then be easy to navigate to the registry. Remember, you can utilize your wedding website for a variety of purposes and it’ll be a lot easier to include additional information there, including more specific directions to the venue (if needed).

Simple and Clear

When it comes to wedding invitations, it’s always going to be a smart move to make sure they are simple and clear. We briefly hinted at the importance of simplicity above. You can definitely add your own style to them and come up with some creativity on the design. After all, just take a peek at Pinterest if you’re struggling to come up with a layout that you love or need some inspiration on the wording for the invitations. There’s plenty of cool and creative designs out there! However, when all is said and done, you want a wedding invitation that serves its primary purpose. It should clearly state when and where the wedding will be held, as well as provide an opportunity for them to RSVP. As long as you include the most important details and don’t make it tough to read, you’ll be in good shape! And before we move on, another expert tip is to avoid going crazy with the fonts. Pick one that’s clearly legible and keep the number of different font styles to a minimum. While there’s nothing wrong with being a little “extra” on certain aspects of wedding planning, your invitations aren’t particularly the best place for that creativity.

RSVP Details

The goal of wedding invitations is to spread all of the important details about the big day and give your guests the opportunity to RSVP for the wedding. We’ve already referenced this a few times throughout this blog post. And in terms of the RSVP, you’ll want to consider a few different details. First off, you’re going to want to have an addressed and stamped envelope for the guest to return their RSVP card. Believe it or not, forgetting to include a stamp is a common mistake on wedding invitations. You want to make things as easy as possible for your guests. Secondly, you’re going to want to give a deadline for when guests should send back their RSVP card. While this isn’t so much of an etiquette-issue, it will alleviate plenty of stress and worry on your end, since you’ll likely be trying to get the guest list finalized. You’ll have plenty on your mind leading up to the big day, to the point where you don’t need to be scrambling to find out if certain guests will be attending.

Ready to Tour Wedding Venues?

What stage are you at in the wedding planning process? As we’ve mentioned before, wedding invitations are definitely an important task, but not necessarily something you have to knock out right away. In fact, we typically recommend ordering your invitations around 4-5 months out, before sending them out roughly 2-3 months before your wedding. Long before you start planning out your wedding invitations though, you’ll want to lock in your wedding venue selection. If your wedding will be held near the Houston area, we would be happy to show you around our venue, Madera Estates. And it goes without saying that the only way to determine if it’s the right venue for you is to see it in-person. To schedule a free tour, you’re more than welcome to check out our online booking calendar and select a time that works best for you. We look forward to hearing all about your dream wedding day!