Wedding Etiquette – Chapter 2 – The Invitation
So, in part 1 we considered the point about whether etiquette is elitist or even pointless and as I mentioned, I think not. So where should the instructions that etiquette provides begin?
They should begin with the invitation.
Traditionally the invitation was sent out by the Family of the Bride, however as couples are more involved these days, very often it is the couple who send them out.
On the invite should be the following.
- Who the invite is from. (Either Mr & Mrs Bride, Miss Bride & Mr ‘Groom, or in the case of Divorced Parents Mr Bride & Mrs Bride)
- What the invite is for. (Request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their daughter Miss Bride to Mr ‘Groom.)
- Where they are invited to attend.
- What time they are invited to attend.
- If it is purely for the marriage or at a reception to follow, or both.
- Who the invite is for exactly. This means if it is a family, the names of children should be included where applicable. Or it could even be Mr or Miss So & So + Guest
- Where, to whom and by when, the reply should be sent including address, email address and telephone number if applicable. (RSVP)
- What should be worn (If themed – or “Black Tie”). *
- Gift notification if specific instructions needed. *
- Finally, ideally where applicable, protocol dictates that you should always try and address the invite to the woman**. (This is presumably because if you send it to the man, they will probably forget to put in the diary!)
(*These two are optional only and in fact the last one is often considered “bad form”. However, the clarity it brings tells people what they can give if they wish.)
(**This last one is one that could be dropped. It was considered at the time that the women ran the house and engagements. This may still be the case in your household, but it is no longer politically correct as roles are supposed to be shared more evenly these days.)
So whilst this may seem quite a bit to include in/on an invitation it provides very clear guidelines to all and what is expected. Some might think receiving an invitation with all this info’ might be a bit overwhelming. Trust me though, it is far less overwhelming than arriving at a wedding at the wrong time, wearing the wrong clothes and carrying an inappropriate gift!
In Part 3 we look at the Bride and the etiquette that guides her role as well as how she should be treated.
James Hasler is a professional event/conference host, moderator and facilitator. He is also a Master of Ceremonies, Charity Auctioneer and Voice of God and is well-known as The Man behind “The Man in the Red Coat”, a Professional Toastmaster. He has facilitated events all over the UK, as well as throughout Europe and the United States and is the 2019 Toastmaster of the Year.
He also coaches public speaking and works with those who wish to gain greater confidence in front of an audience or camera.