31 Mar

Easy Wedding Invitation Etiquette

It may seem odd for a catering company to touch base on wedding invitation etiquette. Yet, your invitation and the RSVPs are an important part of the process in getting the caterer all of the information that we will need to know so your special evening is a success. Everyone knows that there is a certain level of decorum expected when responding to an invitation, but there is also etiquette for sending them as well. Below are the questions we are most often asked by our clients about sending invitations to their guests.

Photo courtesy of Susanna Tanner Photography

When should invitations be sent?

Typically invitations go out six to eight weeks before the wedding, so about one and a half to two months before the event. It gives guests an opportunity to plan ahead or reschedule something, and make travel arrangements. If you have a larger wedding or are offering choice of entrée, it may be smart to send your invitations three months before to give you time to track down missing RSVPs.

When should we make the deadline for RSVPs?

General rule of thumb is 3 weeks, but stretching it to 4 doesn’t hurt, and if anything, it helps you prepare in a less rushed and stress-free way. This gives you time to track down RSVPs, make your seating chart, and get your final numbers to your caterer. This benefits the guests that don’t RSVP in time the opportunity to

We’re having an adults-only wedding. How can we make sure this is clear to our guests?

Address your invitations correctly, to each guest by name, not ‘and guest’ or ‘and family’. Additionally, adding a line on your invitation such as ‘adult-only reception to follow’ is another great indicator for those guests that may want to bring their children. If you find that some reply with their children’s names added, give them a call and kindly explain it’s an adult-only reception and you hope that they can still attend.

What information do we ask for on our RSVP?

This is the golden key to finalized planning. Not only will you want to know who is attending, but your caterer will need to know your final guest count, any special diets or food allergies that they need to be aware of to prepare for, and if offering a choice-of entrée the caterer will need each guest’s individual meal choice, and table and seat assignment.

How do we let guests know the dress code?

The easiest way to communicate the expected attire is to include the information on the invitation’s reception card. Your invitation design can also clue guests in. An ultra-formal, traditional invitation will give guests a hint to the formal nature of the event, whereas a square invite with a playful font and bright colors can imply a more casual affair. Listing this information on your wedding website is also helpful. 


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