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Invitation Etiquette

A quick reminder of invitation etiquette by Mary Tarrant from Paper Passion (

1.According to wedding etiquette, you should send your invitations six weeks prior to your wedding. For oversees guests, you might want to consider sending invitations earlier to allow for time to make travel arrangements etc.

2. Spend time compiling your guest list to ensure that you have not overlooked anyone. It is courtesy to include those you know cannot attend the wedding on your invitation list.

3. Although it is not necessary to send reply cards with your invites, it is becoming increasingly common to do so. It is not tradition in Ireland to stamp your RSVP cards, although it can have the advantage that you will receive replies faster.

4. Always ensure that invites sent to widows and widowers give the person the option of bringing along a guest to your wedding

5. If you are inviting children under 18 years to your wedding, their names should not be written on the envelope. It is best to put ;Mr. and Mrs. [Husbands name] and Family; on the envelope and include first names on the invite.

6. When addressing an invite envelope, use the formal option e.g. Mr. amd Mrs. [Husbands name] and address the invite inside to your guests first names if appropriate to do so.

7. To word your invitation, generally the invite is issued by those paying for the wedding e.g. [Brides name Grooms name] request the pleasure of the company of.......... if the Bride and Groom are paying for the wedding themselves, or Mr and Mrs. [Husbands name] request the pleasure of the company of..... if the Bride's parents are paying for the wedding, and so on.

8.In situations where Brides or Grooms parents are separated or divorced, there are various wording options available, depending on particular circumstances. Paper Passion can assist you with this.

In response to the various comments and questions added to this article, Pam from the team writes:

The changing dynamics of Irish families along with moving trends away from the ‘traditional’ wedding has brought a new freedom to the ‘wording’ required in your wedding stationery. It is now not so unusual to find an invitation addressed to guests using their first names only. (but do be aware of your older quest who may find that inappropriate) It is also becoming more common to see invitations sent from; Mr and Mrs …… invite you to…; or the Parents of ……… invite you to….

It is important to match the wording you use to the style of the invitation and indeed the wedding itself: i.e. a very formal invitation to a formal wedding, would perhaps not look so well with wording like: Carol and Neill invite Jo and Sharon to ….. and yet I personally received a similarly worded invitation to a wedding earlier this year, printed on a lovely but informal card and enjoyed an informal and intimate day with good friends and family.

The key to how appropriate your invitations look and the wording used will be in matching it to the type of wedding you plan, your stationery supplier should be only to happy to discuss all of your concerns in this matter and help you to create a suitable option.


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