An Updated Guide to Wedding Invitation Etiquette

By Kori Carter Gillespie


You Are Cordially Invited (fingers crossed!) to Our Wedding 

Remember when wedding invitations were fairly straightforward?  We can thank Emily Post, Martha Stewart, and of course Pinterest for showing couples how to perfectly craft their invitations word by word. That is until a global pandemic changed everything.

Ongoing restrictions on large group gatherings and overall health concerns have forced many couples to re-imagine their wedding to avoid canceling and to allow guests to feel safe celebrating.

Discover three expert tips on how to adjust your wedding invitations if you need to move to Plan B:

How do I gracefully make my guests feel more comfortable?

Consider including a personal note along with the invitation. It communicates how you are choosing to celebrate while acknowledging what is happening in the world and the emotions some may be feeling. Share that you want them to be there but of course will understand if they cannot attend. Also, a wedding website is great for communicating and updating safety measures such as masks, distancing, and possible temperature checks.

Should I include a Zoom link on my invitation?

Sure! It is absolutely permissible to let them know on the invite that they can choose to attend virtually. Once again, details on your wedding website will make these guests feel included and welcome.

What if I’ve already mailed my invitations but find I need to downsize my list due to local restrictions?

This is definitely a sticky wicket. If you need to reduce your guest list after sending your invitations, we first recommend eliminating any plus-one guests and children. Also, break down your list into categories (family, friends, and VIPs) so you can easily see where to begin downsizing. Once you’ve made the difficult decisions, you need to let these guests know as kindly as possible.

Lynn Graham, owner of Lynn Graham Designs and President of NACE Boston, specializes in the wedding market. Graham advises clients to “send a thoughtful note written from the heart that explains why you had to make the difficult decision to reduce your guest list. This personal touch is more appropriate than a mass e-mail. You want to make sure guests who have started planning to attend are given a thoughtful explanation of why the wedding is being downsized.”

Trust that your friends and family want the best for you and will understand. You don’t need to apologize for something that is out of your control. Also, keep in mind that some may feel more relieved than left out, especially when they can see how hard you’ve worked to be inclusive and caring!

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