Invitations 101

By Christine Winder

So, he popped the question, you said yes, and now you’re planning the wedding of your dreams. The next step is to invite guests to your soiree, but you want to make sure you abide by Emily Post’s etiquette while staying under budget and stylish. Invitation 101 tells you everything you need to know when it comes to addressing, phrasing, and designing your invitations.


Did you know that the way you phrase the invitation actually describes the type of venue the ceremony will be held in? The phrase “request the honor of your presence” means the ceremony will be held in a place of worship. Saying “would be delighted by your presence” describes a more informal location for the ceremony such as a vineyard or beach wedding.

Host Line:

Choosing how to word the host line of the invitation can be tricky when it comes to complicated family or financial circumstances. A great way to bypass the issue is to use the phrase “together with their parents” before the couple’s names and the invitation or announcement line. This way no one feels left out or overlooked.


Proper etiquette says responses should be due two to three weeks before the wedding, and the RSVP line should be located in the lower left corner where other important information such as attire is found. It’s stressful for a bride to chase after guests for RSVPs, so one way to help guests remember to respond is to include a response card, envelope, and stamp within the invitation. It is also acceptable to call and request a response by mail.


It is acceptable to send invitations to guests about six to eight weeks prior to the date in order to give everyone plenty of response time and preparation. When inviting guests to a destination wedding, it is better to give them up to three months advance notice. If you wish to send save-the-dates in addition to invitations, they should be sent six to eight months ahead of time.

Now that you know how to make the perfectly worded invitation, it is equally important to create a beautiful one. This year there are several new styles to try out.


If you or a close friend is artistic, this is the opportunity to incorporate personal details in the invitation. They can be as detailed or simplistic as you desire, but hand-drawn designs pair well with outdoor, bohemian weddings.

Pop of Color:

Guests won’t forget to RSVP when they see an invitation in bold, bright colors. They stray from the traditional, neutral colors of invitations, but using bold colors gives the bride a chance to incorporate wedding colors or even just favorite colors into the invitations.

Graphic Prints:

Invitations are traditionally known for beautiful scrollwork and calligraphy, but more modern brides should try bold prints and lettering instead. This style can turn ordinary invitations into artwork.

Liz Longwedding invitations