As an invitation designer, I am often asked numerous questions about wedding invitation etiquette. (It comes with the territory!) Although the overall structure of an invitation has remained the same over decades, modern brides have done away with the “Emily Post” etiquette standards. Traditional styles and etiquette has slowly evolved to allow for modern designs and today’s way of thinking. A classic example of this etiquette evolution is the introduction of online RSVPs while doing away with the paper RSVP.
The issue of what brides should and should not do with regard to their wedding invitations can get quite tricky and sometimes abundantly confusing for all those involved. I have compiled a small list of basic Dos and Don'ts when it comes to today’s invitation designs. One thing I always remind my brides is “this is your Day. Do what makes you feel comfortable!”
Do consider your color scheme and theme. If you're opting to use a pop of color (say green or orange), try to incorporate that color into your invitation theme. If you are doing a vintage lace or rose theme, opt for invitations that have those items on them. Keep in mind that no one actually brings the invitation to the wedding to critique your decorations versus the invitation – you don’t need to be matchy-matchy! Although Pantone color tiles are my best friend, don’t limit yourself to a specific shade of purple.
Don’t opt for a casual style if your wedding will be formal – and vice versa. I can't repeat this enough - your invitation sets the tone for the wedding. This is the first clue to your guests what to expect at your wedding. If your invite is casual, and your event is held at a Country Club, don't be shocked when your guests arrive in jeans.
Do place postage on your RSVP envelopes. It's a simple gesture that'll help in getting your RSVPs back on time. Also be sure to have a USPS-approved address on the return envelope. It’s easy to check the correct USPS recommended address by visiting www.usps.com and use their Zip Code Lookup. When you input your address, it will give you the legal USPS address.
Don’t use address label stickers to address your invitations. You never know how such labels will handle with the postal service. Moisture of any kind may cause the letters to run and corners of the stickers may pick or rip in transit. It’s a safer bet to forego this option entirely. Most invitation designers offer addressing services and, if they do not, can direct you to a local calligrapher.
Do choose a style that’s really you. Browse Pinterest, blogs, stationary stores, etc. Try to narrow down what you like to 5-10 main invitations. There are so many ideas floating around so don’t try to overwhelm yourself. I often tell my brides to bring me a few pictures of invitations they like, their wedding dress, and flowers. These help me in finding out more about my bride and what sort of “feel” she’s going for. Finding your perfect invitation is like finding that perfect dress!
Don’t put your registry information on the invitation itself. It’s understandable to want to include your registry information for your guests, especially if you opt to not have pre-celebration events (Bridal Shower, Couples Showers, etc.) It’s bad form to include registry information on the invitation itself. By simply adding an insert with your wedding suite, directing them to your wedding website, this can be avoided.
About Ashley Barado, Owner of Invitobella, LLC
I grew up in small town Ponchatoula, Louisiana with big town dreams. Although I have a BS in Psychology from Northwestern State, I was always drawn to the arts. I could never draw pen to paper to save my life (I can’t even draw a straight line, and that’s not a joke!), but found my artistic niche in graphic design. I'm a mommy, bookworm, and gymaholic that devotes my time to my two rambunctious boys, Caleb & Jax, and my amazing husband, Jason. When I’m not at a soccer field, baseball diamond, or the gym, I can often be found playing board games, refereeing Xbox battles and most brotherly arguments (mommy always wins 😉). I have a minor obsession with magnolias and anything gold. My favorite design aesthetics are calligraphy and watercolor.