Six Wedding Invitation Mistakes to Avoid

In The Emily Post Institute's latest book, Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette: 6th Edition, Emily's great-great-granddaughters Anna and Lizzie Post tackle modern-day wedding questions that the original etiquette expert never could've dreamed about, from how to use (wisely) use technology, the rules for same-sex weddings, and much more. Here, the fourth generation of Posts tackle the biggest wedding invitation mistakes.

calligraphy wedding envelopes
Photo Credit: Paperfinger via

Before you okay your proofs or send your invitations to the printer, review them for the following:

Check, double-check, and then have others check the wording. Be particularly attentive to spelling, the correct names and addresses of ceremony and reception sites, and the correct date and time.

Avoid any mention of gifts or listing of gift registries. Also, don’t include a notation such as “No gifts, please,” tempting as it may be. This keeps the entire focus of the invitation on the person you are inviting, not on any implied obligation to bring a gift. You can put registry or charitable-giving information on your website, or have family members and attendants help spread the word.

Don’t write “Adults only” or “No children” on the invitation. If you aren’t inviting children to your ceremony or reception, then simply don’t list their names on the inner envelope (or outer, if there is only one) of their parents’ invitation.

Dress notations aren’t included on invitations to the ceremony, unless the ceremony and reception invitations are combined. If it’s essential to indicate “black tie” or the rare “white tie,” add the notation to the reception invitation in the lower right corner.

References to alcohol service aren’t included on invitations, although menu choices may be listed on reply cards.

Don’t use stick-on labels to address your invitations; they are far too impersonal. Plan ahead and take the time to hand-address your invitations, or hire a calligrapher or someone with good handwriting to do it for you.

—Anna Post and Lizzie Post, as seen in Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette: 6th EditionPublished with permission from It Books/HarperColilns Publishers. © 2014 The Emily Post Institute.

emily post wedding etiquette
The Emily Post Institute has been answering etiquette questions for more than ninety years, and Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette, 6th Edition, written by Emily’s great-great-granddaughters, Anna Post and Lizzie Post, will provide you with everything you need to know from past traditions to modern updates so you can approach your wedding with grace and ease.