I’m currently in the process of finalizing wording for the wedding invitations and wanted to highlight some language we’ll be using that may seem atypical (or are pointed out as wedding invite etiquette no-nos). Despite what the etiquette rules say about guests magically knowing who’s invited by the specific names included on the outer/inner envelope, I’ve heard (and seen) time and time again the ultimate guest faux pas of assuming they can bring other people. I think the heart of the matter is that 1) many weddings do generally include a plus-one, but we’re trying to have an intimate gathering where we know every person who will be celebrating with us and 2) unless they’ve planned a wedding, most guests really and truly do not understand just how expensive weddings are—and that bringing additional guests is directly related to increasing the overall cost.
Image via It’s a Bride’s Life
So for our invitations, we are making it as clear as possible as to exactly who’s invited. I wrote a whole post about how we are not including children—we have let our guests know this via word of mouth and have also included it on the FAQ section of our wedding website. But just to be 100% clear, we are also including “Adults Only” on the bottom of our invites, next to “Formal Attire.” Apparently it’s a big etiquette no-no to say “Adults Only” on the invite, but I’m saying screw that. If it’s fine to tell guests what to wear (which is acceptable in the etiquette rules), then I say it’s acceptable to tell people it’s an adult affair.
For the RSVP cards, to ensure it’s crystal clear to guests exactly who from their household is invited, we are doing two things. First, below the RSVP card due date, we have a line that says “Due to the intimate nature of our wedding, we have reserved X seat(s) in your honor” (X will be the number of people invited from their household). And right below that, the invited guests’ names will be listed out with an “accepts/regrets” line below each for them to check off. If this doesn’t clarify who’s invited, I don’t know what else will! See the actual proofs below.
Example of the three-person household RSVP card / Digital proof of my order
Example of the two-person household RSVP card / Digital proof of my order
I think it’s OK to be polite but firm in any of the language you choose to include on your invites. Just because the wedding etiquette gods say this or that isn’t acceptable doesn’t mean it’s something you have to adhere to (after all, many of these rules were written decades ago and just frankly don’t apply to modern society anymore). It’s YOUR wedding—don’t be afraid to make up your own rules.
Did you go against traditional wedding etiquette in any way?