Wedding invitations - we all know they can be a giant headache, but they don't have to be, oh no! We've put together the ultimate step-by-step guide for how to deal with them. Everything from etiquette to timelines and what exactly to include with your wedding invitations. You. Are. Welcome.

wedding invitations Image: The Lous

Wedding Invitation Etiquette:

Engagement Party

Getting engaged is so exciting and you’re forgiven for wanting the world and its Granny to celebrate with you. But, beware the engagement party trap! Etiquette states that you only invite future wedding guests to your engagement drinks, so don’t get carried away! Not inviting them to the main event after they’ve partied hard with you and maybe even bought you a gift, might be mega awkward. If you have no idea of your numbers yet, make your engagement drinks a nearest and dearest affair.

Save the Dates

These go out anywhere between a year and three months before the wedding. If you have guests traveling from abroad or if you’re having a destination wedding, send them as early as possible. This is also a great way of letting certain people know that they’re not invited – that presumptuous cousin who booked her accommodation six months in advance, presuming she’ll get the nod, will soon get the hint.


Traditionally, invitations go out about six to eight weeks before the wedding, which gives guests plenty of time to finalise any travel or accommodation plans. If it’s a destination wedding, send them much earlier (at least four months before) as your guests will need to book flights and book time off work.


The ideal RSVP deadline is roughly two to three weeks before the wedding. This will allow you plenty of time to get final numbers to your venue or caterers (usually one week before the wedding), and to get cracking on your seating chart.

wedding invitations Image: Into the Light

What to Include:

Wedding Invitation

The most important bit, this will detail the date, time and your ceremony and reception venues.


The response card allows guests to indicate whether they can make it or not. Top tip: Number each card and create a spreadsheet with your guests' names and their corresponding numbers so that if a card returns with an illegible name, you can easily find out who it belongs to.

Dress Code

This will usually be written on the main invitation, but if you have to expand on it for any reason, you’ll need to include extra information. For example, if you’re having a rustic barn wedding or a ceremony on a cliff side, you may need to advise on appropriate footwear.


If your venue is in a rural or obscure part of the country, or indeed, if it’s a destination wedding, you should include a directions card. You can only rely on Google Maps for so long, and your guests may run out of coverage or phone battery, so it’s handy if they have physical directions.


Depending on how many rooms your reception venue offers, you may need to include extra accommodation options. Detail nearby B&Bs and hotels and perhaps their going rate per night. This will be especially helpful for any guests traveling from out-of-town.

Taxi Numbers

If your guests aren’t staying at your reception venue, provide them with a card of local taxi numbers. They can ring ahead and pre-book their travel to and from your venue.

Day Two Info

Are you have a ‘day two’ celebration? If so, provide your guests with details including the location, timings and any specific dress code information.

wedding invitations Image: Steve Cowell

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