FAQs & Etiquette

To our sweet bride, this etiquette guide was created with you in mind!  We know that coming up with the right (and proper) wording for your Save-the-Date cards and wedding invitations can be overwhelming, and we want nothing more than to make this process as fun and as easy as possible.

This will help you learn all the ins and outs of creating the perfect wording for your wedding stationery. You’ll walk away with lots of tips & tricks to personalize your wedding stationery to fit your wedding style while abiding by the proper etiquette for each paper piece. If you still have questions about something a bit more specific, let us know and will be happy to help you!

Composing your Wedding Invitations

The traditional wedding invitation really has not changed much over the years. There are a number of basic etiquette rules that you want to abide by when it comes to wording your invitations.

Host Line

This is the line that denotes who is hosting (or paying for the bulk of the wedding). The origins of this tradition goes back to when the bride’s father made the marriage arrangements for his daughter by negotiating the size of her dowry. The tradition continues today with the bride’s family simply hosting the wedding. However, not all weddings are hosted by the parents of the bride, now-a-days couples are paying for the weddings themselves, or for the grooms parents to equally contribute. Other factors such as whether the host(s) are married, divorced, widowed will affect how we word this portion of the invitation. Please see below specific wording suggestions.

Request Line

The request line is inviting your guests to the ceremony. The wording will vary depending on where the ceremony is held. If you are getting married in a house of worship, then you would use “request the honour of your presence” (also honour / honor are both correct). If you are getting married outside of a house of worship, then you would use “request the pleasure of your company”

Bride & Grooms Name

Traditionally the brides name will be listed as her first and middle name when the bride’s parents are giving her away. If the bride’s last name is different then whoever is hosting the wedding, then she would use her first, middle and last name.

The Grooms Name is always spelled out, first, middle and last name is usually preceded by a title.

Nicknames should never be used on your formal invitations. The name that appears on your birth certificate should be used on your wedding invitations.

Joining Word – “and” vs “to”

“To” is used on invitations to the wedding ceremony as the bride is traditionally married to the groom.

“And” is typically used when the couple is having a Jewish Wedding, or when the invitations are issued by the couple.

Date & Year Line

The day of the week and the date are written out in full. The capitalization of the year, is completely up to you. Both are correct to capitalize or to not capitalize. It is really a personal preference.

Time Line

The time of the wedding is always presented on one line. You don’t have to indicate the time of day “in the afternoon” or “in the evening” but if there could be confusion of eight o in the morning or 8 in the afternoon then it is recommended to add it.


Reception to follow (wording samples)

Indicate attire

Wondering where to include the dress code info? If your ceremony and reception are at the same location, the dress attire should be printed at the bottom right or bottom center of your invite. If you ceremony and reception are in separate locations, the dress code should be printed on the reception card.

What paper goods should I include in my invitation suite?

We have put together a list of the most common enclosure cards to help you know what to include with your wedding invitations.

Response Cards

An accompanying response card allows your guest to notify you whether or not they will be attending to the wedding and the reception, how many will be attending, and each guest’s meal selection. It is proper to ask your guests to respond 4-3 weeks prior to the wedding date. When choosing your caterer, please make sure you know when you need to provide them with the total head count for your wedding and factor that into your response date.

Lastly, your reply cards must have a response date and envelope with return address and postal stamp.

Reception Cards

Reception cards are used whenever the wedding ceremony and reception are held in different locations (Example: ceremony is at a church, and reception is at a hotel). While the wedding invitation displays the ceremony details, the reception card specifies the details such as time and location of the reception celebration.

Reception cards are also necessary when the guest list for the wedding ceremony is slightly different than the guest list for the reception celebration. Some couples have a intimate ceremony and larger reception or the opposite, a larger ceremony and intimate wedding reception.

Reception cards are not necessary when the ceremony and the reception are held at the same location.

Direction & Map Cards

Direction Cards give simple yet explicit driving instructions to your wedding while, while map cards are mpas with the routes to your wedding highlighted.

Nowadays everyone has GPS on their phones and a lot of brides opt out of adding a directions or map cards into their invitation suite. However, be considerate of older guests as they might not be very familiar with modern technology. Before opting out of either of these cards make sure that GPS directions to your venue are clear and accurate, your out-of-town guests will appreciate it.

Accommodations cards

Accommodations cards are sent to your out-of-town guests who are unfamiliar with the area and need to make hotel reservations. In these cards you can include detailed travel information, hotel options, and if you have booked a certain number of suites in a particular hotel. Also any rental cars information can be included in the accommodations cards.

Details cards

Details cards are great if you are having a lot of activities planned for your guests. If you are having a welcome dinner, a morning after brunch, or any other weekend activities you would want your guests to attend.

Website Cards

Most couples have a website where guests may find a brief biography about the bride and groom, a brief story of how they met and got engaged along with detailed information about the wedding weekend. Even though you may have included the website address in your Save-the-Date cards, it is highly recommend it to include a simple card in your invitation suite providing your website address just in case.

What not to Include

Registry and bridal shower information should not be included in your invitations. It is considered rude as it implies that getting a gift is just as a priority as inviting your guests. These information should be included in your wedding website or it is the job of your bridesmaid and parents to informed your guests about it.

I hope this helps you understand the purpose and the importance of each enclosure cards. Including reception cards, response cards, directions and maps cards, accommodations cards, and website information in your invitation suite offers you the most appropriate way to start your wedding weekend and ensure everything runs smoothly for your guests. The more informed they are, the less stressful you [and they] will be!

When To Mail

Traditionally, invitations go out six to eight weeks before the wedding. This is plenty of time for your guests to clear their schedules and make travel arrangements if they don’t live in town. If it’s a destination wedding, give guests more time by mailing your invitations three months ahead of time.


You wedding invitation suites are usually assembled in size order, with each card placed face-up, starting with the invite. The reception card comes next face-up on top of the invitation followed by any other enclosure cards such as website card or accommodations cards. Lastly, place the reply card facing up on top all the other enclosure cards (usually the reply card is tucked under the envelope flap).

A few things to remember…

  • If you’re using two envelopes (an inner envelope and outer envelope), insert the fully assembled invitation suite into the inner envelope (left corner first for a single-card invitation; folded corner first for a pocket-fold invitation). When the envelope flap is opened, you should see the printed side of the invitation. Then, insert the inner envelope into the outer envelope so that the guests’ names listed on the inner envelope are visible when they open it up.
  • If you’re using just an outer envelope, insert the fully assembled invitation suite into the envelope (again, left corner first for a single card invitation; folded corner first for a pocket-fold invitation). When the envelope flap is opened, you should see the printed side of the invitation.
  • wording – brides parents hosting
  • wording – including grooms parents on the invitation
  • wording – both parents hosting
  • wording – couple hosting
  • wording – divorced parents
  • wording – deceased parents
  • wording – same sex marriage
  • wording – nuptial mass
  • wording – Jewish wedding

RSVP Wording Ideas

Your response card is a very important piece in your invitation suite, not only is a way for you to keep track who is coming to your wedding, but it is also another way to show off your personalities and set the tone for your big day! To help you with the process of crafting the right verbiage for your response card, we’ve put together a few ideas that will pair with virtually every wedding style!

First, let’s talk about what information you need to include in your reply cards.

  1. RSVP date. Ask your guests to respond by a specific date, or you may find yourself chasing down your guests to find out whether or not they are coming.
  2. Your guests’ names. Traditionally, your guests will enter their names after the “M” on your RSVP – with the “M” as the first letter of Mr., Mrs., or Miss.
  3. Accept or Decline?  Another important one. Ask your guests whether or not they can come to your wedding (and any other event you may have scheduled for them).
  4. Entrée Preference. This section will depend on what you’re serving at the reception.  If you’re opting for a buffet, chances are you can leave this section off altogether.  If you have multiple entrée options, list the options, and ask your guests to tally the entrée preferences for their party and place a number or their initials next to each entrée option. If you are concern about food allergies, you may include a note at the bottom center of your card asking to notify you about any food allergies (see sample below)
  5. Indicating Invitees. Many brides opt to have “Number of Guests Attending” with a blank for the guests to write in. While it does allow you to have an accurate account, it can also be tricky and become a nightmare because it can give your guests the idea that the entire family is invited. If the envelope is addressed to just Susie & James and they see the space, they might think that they can bring their 5 children as well. To avoid this, you can simply omit “number of guests attending” and add a line that says “We have reserved ___ seats in your name”. This will clearly tell your guests exactly how many people are invited without sounding rude. The downside is that this process is time consuming, as you would have to write in exactly the number of seats for each invitation.

Save the Date

Wondering how to word your Save-the-Date cards? Don’t worry! We’ve got your covered! Whether you want something traditional or casual, we are here to walk you through the entire process.

First, let’s talk about what information you MUST include in your Save-the-Dates.

  • Your and your fiancé’s names (of course!)
  • Your wedding date
  • Your wedding location (just the city and state)
  • A notation letting your guests know that a formal invitation will follow


Many brides are now starting to include some additional information on their Save-the-Date to better accommodate their guests. Here are the most common things that we have seen.

  • Your wedding website
  •  Accommodations information. This is particularly important if you have a lot of guests coming from out of town, the website is not up and running, and when you want to make sure your guests have plenty of time to make traveling arrangements.
  • Event Timeline. If it’s a destination wedding, you may want to give your guests a brief idea about the weekend events or activities that might occur.

What NOT to include in your Save-the-Date.

  • Your venue name
  • The ceremony or reception time
  • Registry information

Now that you know what information is “must-have” on your Save-the-Dates, we have put together a few examples to show you how you can incorporate the details mentioned above into your Save-the-Date while adding a personal touch.

Add Wording: formal/traditional/most common/less formal


When to mail Save-the-Date Cards?

Lots of our brides ask, “When do I need to send my save-the-dates out?” Once you have set your date and booked your venue, it’s time to start working on your save-the-dates. The proper time for mailing save-the-dates is anywhere from 6-12 months before the wedding.  Of course, if you are having a shorter engagement, you need to get those save-the-dates out as soon as possible!


  • what to include
  • booklet vs single paper
  • religious ceremonies
  • embellishments


  • types
  • guest names
  • courses
  • vegetarian alternatives

Place & Escort Cards

  • what is the difference
  • couples vs individuals


  • inner envelopes
  • outer envelopes
  • return address
  • abbreviations
  • postage
  • envelope liners

Monograms Etiquette

Digital Vs Hand-Calligraphy

Hand calligraphy or digital calligraphy, which one should you choose? Both can be beautiful to address your envelopes, use on your escort cards, place cards, table numbers and menus. However, timing, pricing, and the type of paper you choose can determine which of these two styles of calligraphy you should use.

Digital Calligraphy

The return and guest addresses are printed onto the envelope using an inkjet or laser printer. Digital calligraphy offers a variety of fonts, and you will likely be able to match the fonts you used on your wedding invitation, which will give your suite a more uniform look and feel.

Two additional advantages of digital calligraphy are affordability and quick turnaround times. If you are on a budget or a tight deadline then digital calligraphy is your best option.

There are certain limitations you must consider with digital calligraphy, the most important of which is that digital printers do not have white ink. Because of this limitation, the ink always has to be darker than the paper. For example, if you want gold addressing on a navy or black envelope, then digital calligraphy will not be a good fit.

Hand Calligraphy

Hand calligraphy is truly an art form! Calligraphers have a variety of styles ranging from traditional to modern, so you can really get creative customizing your envelopes and other paper goods with virtually endless and beautiful options. With hand calligraphy, no two are the same, giving your paper details a unique and personal touch. Additionally, hand calligraphy gives you the option of having light-colored ink on dark paper.

Hand calligraphy is a time-consuming process and therefore more expensive then digital calligraphy, so make sure it fits in your budget before you commit. Also, make sure you schedule with the calligrapher well in advance to make sure your order is completed on time. Generally, hand calligraphy takes about two weeks, but it may vary depending on the project.

We understand this process can be both exciting and overwhelming, and we'd love to walk you through the best fit for you. Schedule in a time that works for your schedule, and we'll call you to discuss your wedding paper details. We're so excited to chat with you!

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