Wedding Invitation Etiquette (you need to know this!)

by Sarah Macdougall on March 21, 2013

Before we get started here, I wanted to introduce you to our newest writer, Sarah! She’ll be adding her personal flare to the site – this girl has a ton of talent when it comes to paperworks (she designed Cam’s and my invitations, which you’ll get to see after we send them out next week!) and we’re lucky to have her! Enjoy the first of many amazing articles.

wedding etiquette that every bride must know!

It seems like every bride has a vision of how she wants the day to go: what flowers are perfect, an exceptional color scheme, and the people who will be surrounding her. You want everything to be perfect! With modern technology stepping more and more into the forefront of our everyday lives and instant gratification becoming the norm, it’s important to remember an element that is harder and harder to get clarity on: etiquette.

I know. It’s old fashioned, and who even cares what fork to use first, right? Wrong. At one time, it was considered ignorant to NOT know these things. Most issues I’ve seen seem to stem from a modern conundrum: Paper vs. Pixel. So here are a couple basic invitation-related etiquette rules that will hopefully simplify things a little and cause less fret!

1. Inviting unmarried Couples Who Live Together/Couples in an Established Relationship

For stationery purposes, these couples are married. The end. Sure, you have a choice about who to invite and where they sit, and whether they get to bring a guest. But if you find yourself in a situation where only some people get to bring guests, and the people who can bring guests are not just family members, couples who live together should be on this list. And if that can’t be managed, you need to let them know personally in a way that shows your regrets. Things happen. Sometimes Aunt Myrna and Mom gang up and take over the guest list and invite THEIR friends, leaving little room for yours. If this happens, a mass Facebook message saying, “Sorry, but you can’t bring your girlfriend who lives with you, there’s no space” is not acceptable. This happened to me once. And I knew the bride. She then sat my boyfriend at a table with his ex, who still had feelings for him. If guests of guests are not welcome, there are appropriate ways of getting the message across.

2. Foregoing Stationery Altogether

I recently went to a wedding where no paper was involved. Well, it was, but only for those individuals worthy of it. A mass invitation was sent out via Facebook, and included the couple’s registry info, a generous statement saying we could just give cash if we wanted, and a little aside mentioning “Some of you will also be receiving handwritten invites”. By all means, have a big wedding! Invite all your contacts! But everyone attending your wedding is taking a day to celebrate you and your love. It’s not entirely fair to your guests to actually point out that only SOME of them are getting an actual invitation. We went, and we got them a gift, and we danced and had fun. But knowing that fancy invites went out to a select few made it feel like our presence wasn’t actually important to the couple. Sticking with the lack of stationery, this was followed up with a complete lack of thank you notes. Maybe this is just because my mom always made me write thank you notes before playing with any gifts, but it’s my opinion that you always find some way of showing gratitude.

Be nice to your guests, they’re celebrating you. A lack of paper doesn’t mean a lacking in manners, and keeping this in mind can save you a lot of drama in the long run.

Check out more about Sarah at!

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