Need some unique wedding invitation ideas? Wedding etiquette expert and personal stationery designer Vaishali Shah of Ananya has worked with many bridal couples over the years and she has come up with this handy guide about how to handle wedding invitations and it’s correspondence.


The first thing that needs to be done is to set the wedding date. Then you need to source an invitation designer – ask friends for recommendations, visit shows etc to find the correct designer for you. Then ask to see samples of his/her work before commissioning the designer. Have a clear stationery budget in mind; and it can be helpful to provide a written brief mentioning the key colour themes etc. Why not print off this handy guide to remind you of the things you need to know!

unique wedding invitations

The wedding invitations need to state:

  • Which part(s) of the wedding the guest is invited to
  • Whether or not the guest can bring someone with them
  • What kind of wedding it will be: formal, informal, an intimate gathering, a big party etc
  • The dress code needs to be stated, even if there is none, because people will call and ask if this information is not included
  • Make it perfectly clear who is hosting the wedding
  • State the time, date and venue for both the wedding and the reception as appropriate for each guest
  • One invitation per couple or family
  • If children are not allowed, either leave their names off when addressing the invite or pass word around that children are not welcome via friends and family. Alternatively, you could add one of these phrases to the bottom of the card:
    • Adult Reception
    • We hope that the (# of) of you will be able to join us
    • (# of) seats have been reserved in your names
  • The RSVP deadline needs to be on the invitation and a separate RSVP card with return postage enclosed. The RSVP card should also ask for dietary requirements. (The RSVP deadline is usually two – four weeks before the wedding)
  • Once the designs have been approved the invites need to be ordered three months in advance, and posted out six weeks before the wedding
  • Order extra invitations to allow for mistakes, ones lost in the post, and for last minute invites
  • If someone hasn’t responded to your wedding invitation a week after the RSVP date, call and confirm over the phone
  • Send your parents and wedding party invitations, as a keepsake. They don’t have to reply

Thank you cards

  • Thank you cards need to be sent out soon after the wedding or as soon as gifts are received (which could be before the wedding day). For gifts received before the wedding, two weeks is an appropriate time limit before writing a thank you, and for gifts received at the wedding, one month (to allow time for a honeymoon)
  • Thank you cards should always be written by hand. Take time to let your friends/family know that you care and are grateful for their gift. Always mention the gift in the note. Thank them also for attending the wedding. If someone sent a gift even if they could not attend, say how sorry you are that they could not be there and you would have loved to have seen them
  • Use nice paper, perhaps even order cards with the invitations

Thanks to Vaishali Shah for help with this handy guide

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