So let’s, once and for all, go over the rules—as they were once and as they are now.

The word etiquette meaning manners, good behaviour and old fashioned formalities. We know it’s not as popular a concept nowadays, but it's still pivotal- haven't we all heard as much from our mothers? "Now, Darling, be a dear and say hello to the Mc Kenzies." And understanding these fundamentals when it comes to wedding etiquette and the invite process is more important than ever. With so many emotions running wild during the wedding planning process, we suggest that the more you can nail down with simple emotionless rules, the better. SA Weddings is here to help you make sense of the current world of wedding etiquette.

Should we send save-the-dates? And when?

The save-the-dates notification is a fairly modern invention, if you don't believe us, go and ask your parents if they had them! This only further illustrates that there is a confusing lack of proper etiquette surrounding these reminders but to help you out, these save-the-dates are actually totally optional. The positives are that they come in handy as they provide a significant advance notice to guests (this means they can't decline!) If you are thinking they'll just be adding more to the stationary budget - think again - as they can be sent digitally. The only negative that comes with save-the-dates is that if you send them out way in advance, and your ideas about the wedding change, you may as well be stuck with the guest list you've got. Therefore, tread lightly and only give notice to guests you will definitely be inviting, come hell or high water.

When do we send wedding invitations?

As per the wedding rulebook, wedding invitations must be sent out at least about six to eight weeks before the wedding. Things change though if you are having a destination wedding. If so, your invites should be sent out at least three months ahead of time as your guests will need to make travel arrangements. Don't stress that people will forget about the wedding by sending them so far out in advance, they most probably have stuck the invite on their fridge.

How do you address your wedding invitations?

Traditional or modern, here is the hard and fast rule: we say that you should address your invited guests by the names they actually use. You can use the traditional honorifics or opt to skip them and go with the everyday century gothic! But if you do use honorifics the basic rules apply, men are addressed as Mr, unmarried women or women who kept their names are addressed as Ms, married women who changed their name are addressed as Mrs.

What sort of information should be on the invitation?

Be as visually creative as a Van Gogh painting but we suggest you kept to the basics with communicating your wedding information. It really is as easy as who, what, where and when.

Are you required to have an RSVP card?

That's only if you want to get RSVPs and an outline to the number of guests your are catering for. Your RSVP's should also have a deadline for the week before you have to communicate the final numbers to your selected service providers.

Children at your wedding?

The simplest and least hurtful way to let guests know who is invited is to list the names of the invitees on the envelope or invite itself. If you would prefer to not have children at the wedding, leave them off the list. But be warned, if you aren't specific - the message can sometimes get lost in all the excitement.

Do invitations state the dress code?

It really depends on your individual wedding, if your dress code is 'Black Tie" or "Semi Formal" but your ceremony takes place on grass you should inform your guests to wear appropriate footwear. Or better yet, put all the information pertaining to your wedding on a wedding website, or insert an information dress-card in your invitation.

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