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Our Advice on the Invitation Etiquette that Matters


When it comes to celebrating and sending invitations, being tactful, considerate and gracious are usually our intentions. Here are some of our biggest tips when trying to live out those intentions!

Address the invitation to who you'd like to attend. If the whole family is invited, address your invitation to "The Jones Family". If you want to invite specific people from the family (the parents only or your friend and not her roommates), address the invitation to Mr. and Mrs. Paul Jones or Ms. Sarah Smith. If you're okay with Sarah bringing a guest, it's fine to address her invitation, Ms. Sarah Smith & Guest but know that if she decides to bring one of her roommates instead of the boyfriend you've met and like, you're giving her that option. If you're expecting her to bring a certain person, you should address the invitation to her and that guest specifically.


Photo by We, the Light Photography

Err on the side of "no" when thinking about adding your registry information or gift requests. If the invitation is coming from you (for your wedding, bridal or baby shower or housewarming party) never list your registry or gift requests. If the invitation is coming from someone hosting a party in your honor (other than a wedding invitation), it's okay to list registry information but again, stay away from specific gift requests. Tell your closest friends and family your requests and ask them to share that information. The important thing to remember when being honored with any of these events is that the point is to celebrate you, not for you to receive gifts. Of course, the majority of your guests will bring gifts and that gesture should be appreciated regardless. Returning and exchanging things you don't care for are easy things to do in today's world so you will absolutely have the chance to get the things you really want, anyway!

It's completely fine to have an adults-only party, but list that explicitly on the invitation rather than having your guests assume. You can use phrasing like "adults-only reception to follow" on a wedding or formal invitation or "please leave the little ones at home as this event is for grown-ups only!" on something more casual.

Provide your guests with time and multiple RSVP options. For weddings, it's customary (and nice) to give your guests a month to respond, especially if you have a good amount of out-of-towners. For other celebrations, at least two weeks to RSVP is ideal. Allowing your guests to RSVP by text or email in addition to a phone call will get you more responses much quicker as at least half the population (where my introverts at?!) would rather watch paint dry than have to call someone they don't know and RSVP!

Give your friends and family a little leeway. Not everyone is up-to-date on invitation etiquette. If you receive an invitation that includes a faux pas, don't worry about it. It's very likely the sender had no ill intentions. Give them a pass and enjoy their event anyway!

Happy Celebrating!

Becca

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