Wedding Planning Etiquette: Correspondence

Use our wedding etiquette guide to find tips to properly send invitations and more

Wedding etiquette has changed over the years, but some things never go out of style. If you're getting ready to announce your nuptials, it's a good idea to review proper wedding planning etiquette so you know when to send invitations, how to address correspondence, when to send Save the Date cards and how to write Thank You notes. Use this guide to learn more about proper wedding correspondence and how Citizens Bank can help you prepare for and keep track of wedding costs at home and on the go.

Learn the new wedding etiquette for Save the Date cards

Save the Date cards are becoming more popular, and it's easy to see why. These simple notes are a great way to let your guests know about your wedding far in advance – and if people have more time to plan ahead, they are more likely to attend.

A relatively new tradition, Save the Date cards aren't as tied to formal wedding etiquette as invitations or Thank You notes. Save the Date cards should include the date and general location of the wedding, and should be sent to guests at least six months in advance. Also, be sure the words "Formal Invitation to Follow" appear somewhere on the card. Keep a list of people who receive a Save the Date card, as wedding etiquette dictates that anyone who receives a Save the Date card must receive a formal invitation.

Know the proper guidelines for formal invitations

Wedding invitations are usually bound by more rules than other wedding correspondence. An in-depth wedding etiquette guide can help you with the finer points, but here are some of the basics to help you get started:

  • Sending wedding invitations: Wedding invitations should be sent to guests as soon as venue, accommodation and guest list details are finalized – ideally, about three months in advance. At the very least, ensure guests have 15 days before the RSVP deadline.
  • The wording of your invitation should be polite and include the names of the hosts, the date and time of the ceremony, if the reception will be adults only, and the location of the wedding and reception venues. Invitations for out-of-town guests should also include hotel information, as well as directions or a map to the venues.

  • Handling response cards: While many couples prefer the convenience of receiving responses through their wedding website, it’s traditional to include response cards with wedding invitations – even if it is just a small card with the website and an RSVP date. Some experts suggest including pre-stamped and addressed return envelopes or using postcards to make it even easier for guests to reply. Make sure you factor return postage into your invitation costs if you choose this method.
  • Inviting and addressing guests: When writing out invitations, make sure that you have the correct name and title for the addressee. Wedding etiquette dictates that nicknames and initials should be avoided. If you will be inviting a couple, include both names, or specify the suggestion of a "plus one." If you invite a family, you have the option of sending children separate invitations or including their names below their parents' names on the outer or inner envelope.
  • Estimating costs: Much like Save the Date cards, the cost of wedding invitations can vary greatly depending on the style, paper and printing techniques used. The style and tone of your wedding will dictate the type of wedding invitation you should choose, but it's important to keep tabs on your budget – remember that spending less on invitations could leave you more for other expenses.

Follow appropriate wedding etiquette for Thank You notes

Once the wedding is over, it's important to set aside time to write Thank You notes. Review these guidelines to ensure you follow the proper wedding etiquette for Thank You notes:

  • Aspire to send thank you notes within three months of receiving the gift to align with recommended guidelines.
  • Be sure to send a card to each guest, as well as suppliers, vendors and any parties who sent a gift but could not attend. You may want to include special notes to your bridal party, the officiant, anyone who housed guests and each other's parents.
  • Include both of your names on the note, even if you split the task of writing Thank You notes.
  • Go with an appropriate tone: Thank You notes can be informal, but should also be polite and thankful. If you received money or a gift card in lieu of a gift, wedding etiquette suggests letting the person know what the money was used for.
  • Handwrite notes and send them through the mail – this is one area where wedding etiquette states that email, phone calls or social media postings just won't do.

Open a checking account at Citizens Bank to keep track of wedding expenses

In addition to reviewing wedding etiquette, it's also important to plan ahead for the costs of a wedding. As you're saving for your special day, consider opening a new bank account to track wedding expenses. Plus, when you open a checking account at Citizens Bank, you can take advantage of our mobile banking app to set up transfers, schedule automatic deposits and review transactions while on the go. For more information about mobile banking or how to open a checking account, contact a Citizens Bank customer service representative today.


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