Expert Advice: Guest List Tips and Invitation Wording Etiquette

We always hear that making a guest list is the hardest part of planning a wedding. Unfortunately, everything from your budget to your venue choice hinges on how many people you are inviting. Getting your list done quickly, and correctly, also helps with the planning process!

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Here are some of our favorite tips to consider when making a guest list:

• Use an Excel spreadsheet. Every calligrapher we work with wants to work from a spreadsheet.

•Make each category a separate column: formal names, street address, city/state, zip code, and inner envelope.

• Spell out every word and use spell check. Your calligrapher will pen directly from your list. Wedding envelopes should have street addresses (street vs. st), states and names (Alabama vs. AL) spelled out entirely.

•Use full formal names for the outer envelope, including middle names and suffixes. Only “senior” and “junior” have commas separating them from the last name (William Gregory Baugh, junior). Roman numerals do not have commas separating them from the last name (William Gregory Baugh II). Only titles and surnames are used for the inner envelope (Mr. Baugh). The inner envelope is also where you can add “and guest, “and family,” or children’s names (Mr. Baugh and guest). Guests over 18 should receive their own invitations.

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Catharine Knight, designer for one of our favorite print vendors, Arzberger Stationers, says there are three things to consider when finalizing the wording of your invitation.

Catharine, our rep at Arzberger, makes ordering invitations a seamless process for us! She has been designing invitations for 5 years and is the etiquette expert on how to properly word invitations.

Catharine, our rep at Arzberger, makes ordering invitations a seamless process for us! She has been designing invitations for 5 years and is the etiquette expert on how to properly word invitations.

•The time of the event traditionally lets your guests’ know the attire of the wedding. However, if the attire is an important message to deliver, consider a separate reception card as to not clutter your formal invitation.

•“Request the honour of your presence” is used when the wedding ceremony is in a place of worship. “Request the pleasure of your company” is correct if the ceremony is being held at a home, club, or venue other than the church.

•Be sure to use proper capitalization - your invitation should read as a sentence.

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We hope these suggestions make creating your guest list and deciding on your invitation wording a little easier!


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