Invitation Etiquette

People still want to get married during a pandemic, but large gatherings are prohibited. Plan Like A Pro gives them the tools and the knowledge they’re lacking so that they can create a wedding that includes as many people as they want. As we shelter-in-place, I'm getting ready to publish an e-book for couples who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, are recently or currently engaged and need professional resources to navigate this unprecedented challenge. Keep your eyes peeled for the e-book, Poise Over Panic, expected to publish within the next week.

One of the first tasks to complete as a couple is setting up your invitations suite. The first impression that your guests will have is your wedding website and your wedding stationery, including save-the-dates and your invitation suite. This impression sets the formal or casual tone, style and/or theme of your wedding. Whether you’re considering electronic or mailed invitations, there are a few components that you should always include:

- Wedding date - Ceremony start time - Location (or link to virtual wedding events) - RSVP due date - RSVP contact information - RSVP card instructions (includes Family name, Number of guests, Dietary restrictions and/or food allergies) - Song requests for the DJ (optional) - Dress code (optional) - Pre-wedding events (i.e. engagement party) and corresponding links (optional) - Additional virtual spaces for wedding day events (i.e. ceremony, cocktail hour, reception, dance floor, etc.) - Wedding website It’s proper etiquette to omit your wedding registry from your wedding invitations; however, because weddings during a pandemic are primarily virtual, it’s actually helpful for guests to learn about all your wedding-related links, including your registry or honeymoon fund. Wedding invitations are traditionally sent by mail, but in a pandemic, you may find local stationers who offer electronic invitations as an alternative. Remember, as we shelter-in-place, most guests will have a home address and be home to receive your invitation. Most stationers are able to ship your personalized invitations and envelopes designed by their in-house or preferred calligrapher. You can use as a resource to get the postage you’ll need for standard mail. Keep in mind that if your invitations are printed on heavier paper or are a different shape and/or size from standard envelopes, you may require additional postage. If you have a weight at home, this is the time to use it to confirm what postage each invitation requires. Otherwise, stop by your local postal office to use the scale available. The second component of invitations is tracking your RSVPs. Sites like The Knot, Wedding Wire and Aisle Planner have RSVP-tracking features that you can use and easily see how many of your guests have yet to RSVP. If you’ve hired a wedding planner, then inquire about whether or not your planning package includes RSVP tracking. If not, it can typically be tacked on for an additional fee.

Last, but not least, here are some wording samples to consider as you address your guests:

1. Unmarried Couples Living Separately

The person you know best appears on the outer envelope. For example:

Outer envelope:

Mr. Jolly Roger or Ms. Carmen Sandiego

Inner envelope:

Include both names of the couple, beginning with the name of the guest you know best. Give each name its own line. For example:

Mr. Roger

Ms. Sandiego

Mail the invitation to the person you know best.

2. Unmarried Couples Living Together

Give each name its own line in alphabetical order of last name. For example:

Outer envelope:

Ms. Christina Columbus

Mr. Tim Turner

Inner Envelope:

Tim and Christina or Ms. Christina Columbus and Mr. Tim Turner

Married Couples:

3. Couple with the Same Last Name: