Advice & Ideas Articles

Invitation Essentials Part 1

Save – The – Date – Cards

Save the date invitations are a relatively new concept. Couples mail them well in advance, sometimes as early as a year prior to the wedding, to prevent friends and family from making plans that will conflict with their date. These early notices don’t have to follow the wedding’s theme or color palette. More often a reflection of the couple’s humor and personality.  Save – the – date cards are a refreshing departure form the formal invitation and come in a variety of creative formats, including postcards and magnets. Even if you are planning a black-tie affair, don’t be afraid to have a little fun with your save – the – date card.


Selecting Invitations

The invitation is a guest’s first impression of a wedding. It should do more than merely outline the day’s events, specify how guests should dress, and provide details on dates, time, and location. Of course providing all this information is essential, but a proper invitation also gives other clues about the upcoming event. The paper stock, color palette, graphics, and, the overall formality of the fonts and wording should all accurately match the personality of the wedding. If done well, guests should know all they need to know upon reading their invitation. If you have designed a personal logo (a service that is available with our top package) for your wedding, consider incorporating it on custom invitations or stationery.

Wording for a formal invitation

  • A wedding invitation is issued by the host(s). The hosts’ name(s) are spelled out and include middle names and titles.
  • Titles such as Mr. and Mrs. are not spelled out. Doctor should be spelled out, unless the name would be too long to fit on one line.
  • The phrase “the honour of your presence” is used when the ceremony will take place in a house of worship. Honour is spelled with a “u” in the British fashion. For other venues “the pleasure of your company” is the traditional wording.
  • If the bride shares her parents’ last name, only her first and middle name are used.
  • The groom’s name is spelled out, and is preceded by a title. For example: Mr. Stephen Eugene Hall.

Time and Date

  • The date is also spelled out, as is the year. Note that there is no “and”: two thousand twenty-three.
  • The day of the week and the month are capitalized; the year is not.
  • Use the phrase “half after” when indicating time, rather than “half past” or “four-thirty.”
  • The phrases “in the afternoon” and “in the evening” are not necessary.
  • Provide the city and state of the wedding location. The state is spelled in full, but may be omitted if all guests are local.


  • “RSVP,” which is an abbreviation of the French Répondez S’il Vous plaît, means “please respond.” Each of the following usages is correct: RSVP, R.S.V.P., r.s.v.p., R.s.v.p. and “The favor of a reply is requested.”
  • RSVP is only used on reception invitations or combination wedding/reception invitations; it’s not used on wedding-only invitations. When used, it goes on the lower left.
  • RSVP on its own indicates that replies should be sent to the return address on the outer envelope of the invitation. If you want replies sent to a different postal address, or to include an email address or phone number as alternative methods for sending replies, add this information below the RSVP:
RSVP to 4010 Oak Lane
Essex Falls, New Jersey  07021



RSVP isn’t necessary if you’re including stamped addressed reply cards unless you’d like to give your guests another way to respond, such as an email address or a phone number.

The response card is inserted with a wedding invitation and is engraved or printed in the same style and paper stock as the invitation. Most people pre-address and stamp the reply envelope to make as easy as possible for guests to RSVP via mail. If you would like to receive replies via email or telephone, that’s fine, just include the necessary information on the response card.

Regardless of the medium, RSVPs are essential tools to help you organize and monitor your guest list.

Response Cards

The favour of your reply is requested by January 8, 2012


_____ Number of adults accept with pleasure

_____ Number of adults decline with regret

Details and Differences

  • The wording for a Jewish wedding invitation differs only in that “and” is used instead of “to” between the bride and groom’s names.
  • When a Roman Catholic mass is part of the ceremony, invitations may include “and your participation in the offering of a Nuptial Mass” beneath the groom’s name.
  • Do not mention gifts or attire on the wedding invitation. If necessary, “Black tie” may be written in the lower right on a reception invitation.


  • Don’t forget to include any appropriate inserts, such as maps, directions, or hotel information for out-of-town guests.
  • Don’t include registry or gift information with your invitation. It is in poor taste to insert a list of places where the bride and groom are registered or a checklist of the things they want and don’t want.
  • Don’t use a standby guest list. When possible, invite your entire guest list at the same time rather than waiting to see how many people accept before sending out a second round of invitations. When the guest list is carefully planned, and when you consider the likelihood that 10-20 percent of invited guests typically send regrets, this approach is much more straightforward than using a standby list.
  • Don’t address invitations with labels. Always address wedding invitation envelopes by hand, even when inviting hundreds of guests.


1st save the date found:

2nd save the date found:


Content provided by Donnie Brown and

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