Understanding wedding invitation etiquette can save you a whole lot of stress—even if you decide to break some of the more old fashioned rules. There are a lot of emotions involved in weddings, and wedding invitation etiquette is at the top of the list. So the more you can boil things down to simple emotionless guidelines, the better. But even more important, if your grandma is operating by a wedding invitation etiquette playbook you ve deemed irrelevant, you might end up hurting her feelings when you really want to thrill and delight her. And we can t have that, can we? That said, there is a lot of wedding invitation etiquette that just hasn t been updated to make sense in the current world of weddings. So let s, once and for all, go over the rules—as they were once and as they are now. Save-the-dates are a relatively new invention (Don t believe me?
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Ask your parents if they had them. ), which means there is a refreshing (or confusing) lack of formal wedding invitation etiquette surrounding them. First up, save-the-dates are totally optional. It s handy to provide significant advance notice to guests. In fact, giving notice six months or more in advance is great, and a year in advance for true destination weddings is even better.
Or, of course, you can send out cute note cards or magnets or whatever creative trinket your heart desires. But only spend cash money on save-the-dates if you really want to. Because again? They re optional. Here is one word of warning about save-the-dates:
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if you send them out way in advance, and your ideas about the wedding change, you may well be stuck with the guest list you ve got. Sure, you can send out notes saying you called it all off and went to the courthouse with your families. So tread lightly, and only give notice to folks you know you will be inviting, no matter what. The standard rule, which dates from back when weddings were mostly local affairs, is that wedding invitations should be sent out six to eight weeks in advance of the wedding. But the real truth is lots of folks won t make travel arrangements until they get an honest-to-God invite.
(See above about save-the-dates occasionally being revoked, and your great aunt not even really understanding what they are. ) So if a lot of people are going to have to travel for your wedding, sending the invitations out three months in advance will be a greatly appreciated. (And trust me, nobody will forget about the wedding because you sent them a little early. )There is this false idea floating around out there that if you re having a formal wedding, and sending formal invitations, that you have to use traditional honorifics even if they re not the honorifics the person in question uses. So here is the hard and fast rule:
you should address people by the names they actually use. If you want a deep dive on smart and proper (kinda feminist) wedding invitation wording, you can check out the. If you re using them, children under twelve can be addressed by Miss or Master. Unmarried women, or women that kept their names can be addressed as Ms. Married women who changed their name can be addressed as Mrs.
(Or Ms.! ).