Hello Gorgeous

Who doesn’t love a beautiful invitation suite in the mail? It truly sets the tone for the feel and formality of the event to come. As Wedding Planners, we put infinite value on the invitations for both aesthetic and logistical purposes. However, over the years we have found some issues with invitations that could be helped with a few tips for both the couple and their guests. We are ready to share the wealth with all of you!

Photo by Josh & Aleah Photography

Who is Invited?

Anyone who has planned their own large event can attest to this piece being of the utmost importance. The number of people who are invited and, therefore, attend directly affects literally everything about the event, but most specifically, the budget!
As the host, your responsibility is to understand how to communicate who is invited to your guests. Here is the gist of it: If their name is listed on the envelope, they are invited. If not, then no dice.

Here is an example in which we will use the names of the family members in Emma’s family. Emma and Jason are a married couple with a son named Jonah, who is 2 years old.

If the whole family is invited, here is how the salutation should read:

Mr. & Mrs. Jason Cockerham
123 Example Street
Memphis, TN 38111

If this is an adult only event or the host wishes to only invite the couple, here is how the salutation should read:

Mr. & Mrs. Jason Cockerham
123 Example Street
Memphis, TN 38111

Some couples choose to use the terms, “and family” instead of the child’s name. This is fine to do etiquette wise, however, you do run the risk of misinterpretation by the guest. To them, “and family” might mean their mom, dad or distant cousin. It’s rare, but it does happen. Be prepared to clarify with your guests as needed when receiving your RSVPs.

Here is another example. Let’s pretend that Jonah is 16 years old, (though Emma doesn’t like thinking this way because she loves her baby boy) and you would like to extend an invitation for Jonah to bring a date.

If you don’t know the name of the date, the salutation should read:

Mr. & Mrs. Jason Cockerham
Jonah Cockerham and guest
123 Example Street
Memphis, TN 38111

If you do know the name of the date, the salutation should read:

Mr. & Mrs. Jason Cockerham
Jonah Cockerham and Sally James
123 Example Street
Memphis, TN 38111

The other option, of course, is to send Jonah and Sally their own invitation. Sometimes this is what the couple prefers, even if it is the same address, which is perfectly fine.

Photo by Mary Kate Steele Photography

What should be included in your suite?

What’s included in the invitation suite is very custom per couple and per event. The first thing is the invitation itself, obviously!

RSVP Cards and Envelopes | The next thing to consider is whether or not you want your guests to RSVP online or with a traditional RSVP card. It is our opinion that more responses are received with an RSVP card for a few reasons. First, there are potentially a good number of your guests who aren’t comfortable with using the internet in this capacity. Second, going to the computer to look up the website and rsvp is asking the guest to do something additionally, while a pre-stamped envelope is making the process simple. We have also found that many guests have the best intentions to get online to RSVP and simply forget in the chaos of day to day life.

RSVPs in general are so important. It drastically changes the cost of an event based on how many are attending, not to mention meal choices and food allergies that are a major part of the planning process. Speaking of, we highly suggest that you include the following on your RSVP card: RSVP by date, Names of the guests attending, Number of guests attending (yes both are required), Decline line, and any dietary restrictions line. (In the case of your wedding planning, more information is better!)

Accommodations Card | If you are expecting many guests from out of town, either securing a room block at a hotel or giving your guest hotel recommendations is a great way to show hospitality. The Accommodations Card is the way to communicate this. Many couples who have a wedding website however, are choosing to have the link printed on a card and the details for accommodations, activities to do in the city, etc. on the website.

Details or Reception Card | Reception Cards are to communicate the reception information when it is at a different time or place than the ceremony itself. If the venue changes, we suggest that you have directional cards that guests are given as they leave the ceremony, or a directional sign they can snap a photo of on their phones. Think about it… how many times do you bring the whole invitation suite with you to a wedding? This ensures that you have done all you can to help your guests get to the next destination easily.

Adults Only Card | The Adult Only Reception is becoming more and more common these days, and one sure fire way to communicate your expectations with regards to children at your event. There are many different polite ways to make it known, and Pinterest has some great ideas to help you. If you need additional help with this piece, make sure to talk with your CWP with Infinity Events!

COVID19 Card | With all that we are experiencing today with the COVID19 pandemic, many couples are opting to go ahead and communicate how they intend to handle the unknown from the get-go. Having a card in the invitation suite that leads guests to your wedding website to look for change of date information, should COVID19 affect the wedding, can potentially help you avoid additional stationery costs down the road.

Photo by Smash Studios Photography

What is the expectation with RSVPs?

Unfortunately, whether you choose to have guests RSVP online or on traditional RSVP cards, there are always a group who doesn’t respond. We always advise that the host go ahead and call the guests that you haven’t heard from to get the most accurate guest count possible. This is so important. With that in mind, we also advise that you put a “RSVP by” date of about 5 weeks before the wedding on thee RSVP Card to allow plenty of time for you and your fiancé to make these inevitable phone calls. This can be a daunting task, but a necessary one to make sure you are not over or under paying for seating, catering and more.

“To create something exceptional, your mindset must be relentlessly focused on the smallest detail.” – Giorgio Armani

Wedding Etiquette is not something you are expected to inherently know. We are here to help you! If you haven’t already, call Infinity Events and see what the Certified Wedding Planners can help you with to make your wedding the very best day ever!

The Infinity Events Team

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