What details you need to have on your wedding invitations
Whatever the etiquette books say about whether it’s more appropriate to request the honour of someone’s presence or the pleasure of their company, there are only a few things you actually need to have on your wedding invitations:
The names of who’s getting married
You don’t need to word it in a particular way. You can use your full names, with middle names and titles, if you want to feel like a fancy Jane Austen heroine. You can use your first name or a nickname or your surname. All that really matters is that your friends know whose wedding they’ve been invited to.
This one’s pretty important.
Unless you’re having a wildly expensive destination wedding, the date is going to be the biggest deciding factor in if your friends can make your wedding or not, so it’s worth making sure it stands out on your invitation.
The time they should arrive – and the time of your ceremony
There are two types of people in the world. The ones who’ll never judge the time right and will arrive just before – or during – your ceremony (coughUncle Jeremycough). And the ones who’ll turn up a half hour before the time on your invitation to avoid being those people.
If you only put one time on your invitation, they’re both going to get it wrong.
I once showed up to a friend’s wedding ninety minutes early because the time on the invitation – in big, bold letters – was the ‘arrive from’ time, a good hour before the wedding ceremony started, meant for all the Uncle Jeremies of the world. I thought it was the ceremony start time and arrived a half hour before it.
The building wasn’t even open yet.
It’s important that you put the time you want people to start arriving and when the ceremony is, so they have a cut-off point, and you don’t have red-faced friends getting in your way while you’re trying to set up.
The address and any unobvious driving instructions
You should have the full address and post code on your invitations – so your guests can actually find your wedding!
If the venue’s hard to find or if there are any unobvious driving instructions (‘turn left after the third castle and go through the second set of marble gates’, that kind of thing), it’s useful to include those too. Though, if you have a wedding website (and you should, they’re brilliant), you can have all the venue details on there and save the space on your paper invites.
How your friends are meant to RSVP to your wedding
Unless you’re including an RSVP card with your invitation, you’ll need to tell people how you want them to RSVP. Do you have a wedding website? Are they to email a certain address or text a certain number?
There’s no wrong way to do it – just pick one single way people should RSVP and tell them to. Don’t give them two different numbers or tell them to contact one or the other of you. (I’ve seen it; it’s messy.) One lot of details. Then you have everything in one place and aren’t having to cross-reference your guest list across your work mobile, your personal mobile, two different email accounts, and that LinkedIn account you forgot you made in 2009.
That’s it – that’s all you need to have on there. Everything else is optional. Such as…