What You Do and Do Not Need to Include on Your Wedding Invitations

In this guide we lay out everything you should include on your wedding invitations—and what can be left out or put elsewhere.

By McCall Minnor

Do and Do Not Need to Include on Your Wedding Invitations
Photo by Zola

The First Look ✨

Wedding invitations, while fun to put together, can be one of the most confusing parts of wedding planning. From paper suites to insert cards, you might question what information needs to go on your invites. If you’re unfamiliar with what’s typically included, we lay out everything you should present on your wedding invitations—and what can be left out or put elsewhere—in this guide.

DO include the basics.

While these may seem like no-brainers, it’s crucial to be exceptionally thorough. With all of the information that you’re trying to compile, it’s entirely possible to forget the basics. The following are the first few details that your guests will see on their invites, so let’s make sure that they craft a great start.

  • Who’s hosting. Invitations typically open with an “invitation line,” which states the names of the wedding’s hosts. The hosts (often parents, family members, or the couple) are the ones paying for or contributing financially to the event.
  • A request to attend. Their names are followed by a request line, such as, “request the pleasure of your company,” “cordially invite you to attend,” or “invite you to celebrate.”
  • The couple’s names. This is where the engaged couple’s names come in. Historically, for heterosexual couples, the woman’s name goes first, but this is a rule you can bend. Couples can order their names by age, alphabetically, or what sounds best aloud. Depending on formality, you can stop at your first names or include your full legal names—just don’t use your married last name yet.
  • Clarify who’s invited. Address everyone by their correct titles (Dr., etc.) and spell names correctly. If possible, get the names of any “plus ones” and address them by name alongside your loved ones on your invitation.

DON’T include too much information.

You may want to inform your guests of everything they need to know at once, but including too much information on your invites can be confusing. It also tends to crowd your invites, making them look messy.

  • Information you can leave off includes extra venue information (such as parking or directions), the weather forecast, accommodations, travel logistics, and similar.
  • These details, however, are still incredibly important. To avoid getting repeatedly asked for it, organize and list it on your wedding website.

DO include necessary information.

Confirming need-to-know information is a must. Aside from making a formal request, this is the major purpose of your wedding invitations.

  • Date and time. Although your guests have already received save the dates, avoid late shows and scheduling confusion by confirming the date and time of your ceremony. State the start time and time of day (a.m. vs p.m.). For formal invitations, spell out the date and time rather than using numerals (for example, six o’clock in the evening).
  • Location. As essential as the date and time are the ceremonies and reception locations. If both are taking place at the same spot, follow the venue’s name and address with “reception to follow” or similar. If they’re at separate locations, but the reception location on your invitation and include a separate reception card with its time and location.
  • RSVP instructions. Whether directly on the invite or on an RSVP card, include the RSVP deadline, methods of responding (by mail, online, over the phone), and appropriate contact information (return address, website, phone number). If you’re receiving RSVPs by mail, also include postage.
  • Meal options. If you’re having a sit-down dinner, list the offered meal choices on your RSVP response card. In doing so you’ll know what to tell your caterer once they request your final headcount.
  • Dress code. Listing your dress code is optional. In most cases, couples now choose to put this information on their wedding website. However, you can include a line with a brief explanation (“Black Tie,” “Semi-Formal Attire,” etc.). This is often in the lower right-hand corner.

DON’T include registry or gift information.

Etiquette around this is often confusing. To play it safe, avoid any mention of your registry or gift preferences (even if it’s “no gifts”) on your invitations.

  • Leave out mentions of where you’re registered or direct links to your registries.
  • Instead, provide a link to your wedding website. Make sure the registry tab is marked and easy to find.

DO include your wedding website.

Your wedding website is a great resource hub for your guests. As mentioned before, this is an ideal space to put information not listed on your invitation or to go into greater detail—from travel logistics to the weather forecast. You can even utilize it to collect RSVPs online. The easiest way to share your website is by including it on your invites.

  • Standard wedding etiquette insists you don’t put your website directly on your invitation, but if you choose to do so, add it to the bottom.
  • Save the dates and enclosure cards are another great place to share your wedding website with your guests.

DON’T include notes on kids.

Although you may not want kids at your wedding, your invitation isn’t the place to state that. This information is best addressed elsewhere, like on your wedding website.

  • Avoid stating “no kids” or “adults only” on your invitations.
  • Instead, address your guests specifically on the inner envelope and, if applicable, on the RSVP card to make it clear who’s included.
  • If children of all ages are invited, address families by their last name (e.g. “The Garcia Family”).
  • Make sure all points of contact for guests (typically the hosts) are informed on any adults-only wishes. That way, if anyone reaches out to them with questions they can pass the information along.

Your wedding invitations serve the major purpose of providing your guests with crucial information. Before printing or ordering yours, check them twice—then a third time, for good measure. And if you’re still questioning how to word the information, check out our guide on wedding invitation wording and etiquette.

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