It is important to have a wedding invitation that is well balanced of etiquette and clarity. You want to make sure your invitation is direct but at the same time you don’t want to offend your friend if say you don’t plan on allowing them to bring a +1. And then you got your procrastinators who RSVP late, so you want to make sure they follow the deadline. Yes, I know – headache! So basically you want to have a clear to the point invitation but written / worded in a classy and sophisticated way.
So to avoid the flooded phone calls asking “can i bring a +1?” or “can i bring my kids?” Why don’t we just make the invitation clear to the point but in a sophisticated way?
First thing’s first: invitation should be sent out 6 to 8 weeks prior to the wedding date. This will give plenty of time for the guests to arrange their busy schedule to attend your wedding. This also gives you 2-3 weeks before your wedding date to get the final head count and make final seating arrangements for the reception.
If for some reason, you did not receive an RSVP from your guest, give them a call and make sure. Yes, I know this may sound double work, but trust me this will relieve some stress and you’ll get an instant confirmation from those guest who may have forgotten to RSVP, or thought they didn’t need to RSVP since they’re not attending, OR maybe their mail got lost.
DO be clear when addressing your wedding invitations:
1. If you plan to invite your friend and a guest, the invitation should be addressed to your friend’s name and Guest (if you know the name of the your friend’s +1, include it). You should always find out the name of the significant other, that way your friend won’t just bring a random friend. Now, most guest will understand that without “and Guest” or Guest’s name on the invitation, means the invite is only for them alone. This is important for wedding couples to make it clear especially if you’re going to have a small intimate wedding ceremony / reception. You’re not going to allow everyone to bring a +1, unless it’s a fiance or a serious significant other. If some clueless friend decides to RSVP for a +1 anyway and you’re in a budget or even limited space, simply call them up and explain that you’re having an intimate wedding and unfortunately you are not able to invite everyone with a guest. All guests should understand that.
2. Same for families; if you plan to invite, for example: Mr. and Mrs. Smith and their 3 children, then the address should be addressed to The Smith’s Family, or you can list out all of there names. If you decide against having children at your ceremony or reception simply include a line that states ‘adult-only ceremony’ inside your invitations.
Remember, for whatever decision you make – whether to allow children or not, for guests to bring +1 or not. Once you make the decision, you should apply that decision for all guests. No exception.
FYI: Guests who are present at your bridal shower and/ or engagement party should be invited to your wedding because they’ve already given you a gift. Showers and engagement parties are gift-giving opportunities and guests that are invited to these but excluded from your wedding will assume they were only invited because you wanted a gift. If you don’t want a guest at your wedding then don’t invite them to your shower or engagement party.