Our series for the "I Do's and Don'ts" of today’s weddings continues with the etiquette of the invitation. How do you address it properly? Decipher the attire code? Who gets invited to the rehearsal dinner?
For clarity on all these things, we brought in Nancy Slade, editor of St. Louis Bride Magazine. Slade says when it comes to addressing the invitation, a couple should be clear about who is invited and if that person is allowed to bring a guest. She says if the invite doesn’t say your significant others name, your children’s names, or a guest, that means those people are not invited.
As for the rules of the rehearsal dinner and who is expected to be invited, Slade says there are some guidelines, but they can always be bent by the bride and groom. Invites for rehearsal dinner can be placed inside formal invitation or guests can be informed by word of mouth, Slade says.
"There are no set hard fast rules on the rehearsal dinner. Most family and friends and wedding party should be invited to the rehearsal dinner. Also, guests who might be coming from out of town could, but they don’t have to be, invited to the rehearsal dinner. That’s really truly up to the couple," she explained.
When it comes to deciphering the attire for the wedding, Slade says guests should follow these expectations:
- Black Tie: Tuxedos and formal gowns.
- Black Tie Optional: Tuxedos, formal gowns, suits, and cocktail dresses.
- Casual: Khakis or slacks, button down shirts, sundress.
Guests should RSVP as soon as they know if they will or will not be attending so the couple can make any changes.
The couple should NOT put their wedding registry on their formal invite. Slade says that is never in good taste. The couple can, however, put their wedding website at the bottom of the invite for details on registry, etc.
If your still left scratching your head after reading an invitation to an upcoming wedding, Slade suggests picking up the phone and calling a family member to ask any questions. She says there should always be a designated communicator to field questions so the bride isn't too overwhelmed.