When it comes to wedding invitations, every detail matters. From what to put on the outside of the envelope to how many people should RSVP with each invitation sent, many questions will arise as you prepare your invites.
In this guide, we will walk you through some of the details and give tips on ensuring all aspects of your wedding invitations are perfect and portray your personal style!
The Most Important Information – Wedding Date and Time
It goes without saying that one of the most important pieces of information on what to include on wedding invitations is the date and time of the wedding.
When sending out your “save the date” cards to wedding guests, you should also include the year in which your wedding will happen since so many couples are planning their weddings years in advance.
Follow the below checklist for the wedding date and time information that needs to be included on your invitations:
- Include the date and time of your wedding.
- If you plan to have an evening reception, include a start time.
- Add the time zone in which you’re having your wedding if it’s not in the same time zone as where your guests live. For example, if you’re getting married on a Hawaiian Island but are living in Portland, Oregon (which is seven hours behind), include both dates and times: “Saturday, May 4th at 2 p.m. HST (UTC-10).” You can also note that this is Hawaiian Standard Time (HST) instead of Pacific Standard Time (PST).
The Location of the Wedding Ceremony
Placing the location of the wedding ceremony on your invitations is essential if you want guests to show up to the right spot for your big day!
It’s good to include the venue’s official name, like “Flannigan’s Farm Barn,” but to save your guests time on Google or any confusion with similarly named venues, you should also include the actual address of the venue.
Follow the below checklist for some suggestions on what to include about the wedding ceremony on your wedding invitations:
- The location of the wedding ceremony
- The address of the venue
- Contact information for the venue
- Type of ceremony (religious, civil, etc.)
- Time of ceremony
The Location of Your Reception
The reception location should be clearly marked on the invitation. If you’re having your ceremony and reception at the same location, that information will already be there. If not, it’s best to include both locations so guests can know where to go after they’ve enjoyed their cocktail hour.
In many cases, couples will have a separate event space for the reception (or “reception hall” as it’s sometimes called). This is particularly true if they want to keep things simple by hosting both elements in one place. For example, they could host their ceremony at a church but then hold their reception at home or another nearby venue like a restaurant or hotel ballroom with enough room for dancing and other activities!
When in doubt, include more information than necessary, so guests don’t get confused about where they need to be and when.
If you’re hosting a destination wedding and have family members who are traveling to attend, make sure to include their information in this section.
The Names of Those Hosting the Wedding
In many cases and regions around the world, it’s common for the parents of a couple to be the formal hosts of their children’s wedding.
Including your hosts’ names on the invitation is a traditional practice that you can choose to do or forgo. If you do include the names of your parents, make sure to include both their first and last names.
Include Your Name and Your Fiance’s Name – The Most Important Names on the Invitation
As crazy as it sounds, some people do, in fact, forget to include their own names on their wedding invitations.
When putting your name on the wedding invitations, make sure it’s large, visible and the first thing a guest would see on the invitation when they open it up.
Your Wedding Dress Code – If Applicable
You may want to include a dress code on your wedding invitations, but it’s not required.
If you decide to include one, make sure it is clear and easy to understand. We recommend saying “formal,” “cocktail,” or whatever word best describes the attire expected at your event. If you wish for guests’ attire to be more formal than normal, consider using words like:
- Black-tie optional
- Cocktail attire suggested
- Evening dress (or gown) preferred
Bonus points – if you have a wedding website, you can even include links to different outfits or style ideas that fit within your dress code to inspire your guests on their wedding day outfits.
Providing Information About Your Wedding Website on the Invitation
If you have a wedding website, we highly recommend including a link to the site on your invitations. This will be especially helpful to tech-savvy guests who can easily navigate the internet.
Your website is also ideal for sharing more details about your big day — if you’re getting married at an unusual location, for example.
Your wedding website can include a full photo gallery with your engagement photos, the story of how you and your fiancé met and travel accommodations for those traveling from a distance to attend your wedding.
If your site includes links for RSVPs and gifts, these can also be included on the invitation so that everyone knows where they need to go when the time comes.
If you’re interested in setting up a wedding website for your special day, we recommend checking out Zola.com or TheKnot.com for their easy-to-set-up and use sites.
Include an RSVP Card or Link to RSVP and an RSVP Deadline
RSVP cards aren’t required, but they’ll help you with your wedding and reception logistics.
RSVP cards should include a response date, like “Please reply before June 1st.” They also need a place for guests to write their names and address on the back.
Also, make it clear to the guest whether they are allowed a plus one on the RSVP.
Include Your Return Address
The return address should be one of the first things to go on your invitation.
It’s important because it helps guests figure out where to send the RSVP card. a congratulations card or gift. You don’t want guests to spend time trying to find your address!
If you are hand-addressing your envelopes, put your address and phone number here so that people can get in touch with you if they need help with anything regarding your wedding, planning their travel to your venue or have a question about their RSVP.
If you are not hand-addressing invitations (for example, if you’re going digital), then include a return address just below the main text on your RSVP card.
What You Include is a Personal Choice
When considering what to include on your wedding invitations, it’s important to remember that you can include or not include whatever you want.
There is no set rule about what should or shouldn’t be included when sending out invitations for a wedding. However, if you want your guests to know where the ceremony will be held, who the officiant is, what time the cocktail hour is and what the dress code is, this information should be included in the invitation itself.
Even though there aren’t any hard-and-fast rules when it comes to what needs to show up on an invite versus what doesn’t need to show up, we always recommend clearly writing out everything that needs to be said. This is so that there aren’t any questions left unanswered by those invited guests who might not understand specific jargon or industry terms like “cocktail hour” where you could use a more common phrase such as “refreshments.”
We hope this information has been helpful and that you will feel confident in making all your wedding invitations. Remember to keep your guests informed while still being creative and having fun with it!
Learn more about wedding invitations in these other top picks:
- When to Send Out Your Wedding Invitations
- How Many People Should I Invite to My Wedding?
- Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Wedding Invitations
As a multi-passionate creative and a self-proclaimed frequent flyer of weddings, Kiara combines her love for the wedding industry and experience as a professional wedding photographer with her writing abilities to share tips, tricks, and helpful information with couples. She is the owner of Switech Studios a popular wedding photography business. With tons of insider information from behind her camera lens on how to have the best wedding possible, Kiara’s in-depth knowledge is sure to put you on the road to wedding planning success.