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What to Include & NOT Include in Your Wedding Invitations
January 10, 2020

wedding invitations

Your wedding invitations help set the tone for your nuptials while also providing the important info guests need. Although it might seem like the simplest aspect of your wedding plans, the invitation does require a little finesse. Here’s everything you should and shouldn’t include in your wedding invitations direct from our wedding planning experts!

Who to Name

Your invitation acts as a formal announcement. Not only are the bride and groom’s names mentioned, but also your parents. Traditionally this was because parents were often “hosting” the wedding. Today, many couples are paying for the big event themselves, so this is not always necessary. However, you can still include your parents’ names as part of the invitational line, such as “Bob & Alice Smith and Pierre & Rochelle Young Request the Pleasure of Your Company.”

Date and Time

The date and time should be front and center directly under your names. Include the times for the ceremony and reception so people can plan accordingly. With modern weddings taking place at all hours, be sure to include am or pm so the time is clear.

Your Venue

Although you can include your reception venue info on the invitation, it’s always best to provide a separate card informing guests where the reception will take place following the ceremony. If you just have one venue, the reception card isn’t required.

Remember not all guests will recognize your venue, especially those from out of town. Put the full name and address so people know where to go. If you just have one location for your ceremony and reception, add a line that states: Dinner and dancing to follow at such and such a time.

It’s always a good idea to include a little map, even though most people will use their phones. Include the venue, the spot for the ceremony and even local hotels for people who plan to book a room.

Dress Code

Let your guests know the dress code for your big day using the basic attire categories:

– Black Tie

– Formal (black tie optional)

– Semi-Formal

– Cocktail Attire

– Beach or Garden Party Attire


If you’re going all out with your theme, be sure to be more specific, such as “60’s attire encouraged.” You can also simply state, “no dress code” if people can dress as they wish!

Who’s Invited

The last thing you want is unexpected guests at your wedding. To avoid confusion, it’s best to include a line stating, “We have reserved blank seats in your honor.” You can fill out the number, so people understand who is invited.

RSVP Instructions

Provide the due date and manner to RSVP. If going the old school route, include an RSVP card and self-addressed envelope. If your caterer requires entrée counts include this on the card so people can indicate their choices.

If you wish guests to respond via email or your website, include the instructions on your wedding invitation. Regardless of the RSVP method, you need to make it clear what information you require. This usually includes:

– Menu options

– Dietary restrictions

– Number of guests attending

– Date to respond by

Avoid Mention of Gifts 

Avoid mentioning gifts on your invitation, including gift registry info. Instead, you can add registry info to your wedding website. In general, even adding “No Gifts” on wedding invitations still sets an expectation!

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