I recently received an email from a reader who has been asked by her friend to create her wedding invitations. The bride had two requests that the reader is uncomfortable with, and she is asking what the official etiquette should be, and how to tell the bride if she is not following good practices.
The first request is the bride asked to put on the invitation that she is not registered, so to give a Visa Gift Card. When sending a shower invitation, the point of the shower is to shower the bride with gifts for her new home. Registering and stating where the bride is registered is appropriate and necessary. When it comes to a wedding, protocol is that you give a gift to the bride and groom, even if you do not attend the wedding, and even if you have already given them a shower gift. However, it looks presumptuous on the bride and groom’s part to expect a gift, and it is not in good taste to put where you are registered, let alone ask for a gift card on a wedding invitation. People will figure out if the couple is not registered, and will give money or something they see as appropriate for a gift.
The second request the bride had for the invitation was for some people to be able to invite a guest, and some not to invite one. For those who cannot, the bride asked to have the envelopes addressed as “Susan Smith only”. Unfortunately a lot of people do not read their invitations closely enough and do not notice if a guest is welcome to attend an event. In any case the proper way to address the envelope if you do not want a guest to come is to just address the invitation with the person’s title and name, such as “Miss. Susan Smith.” If a guest is invited on a wedding invitation, there is typically an inner envelope that would be addressed as “Miss. Susan Smith and guest.”
If you are worried that the bride will be offended by you not following her wishes when creating the invitation, tell her you wanted it to be just right for her special day, and you double checked the proper way to word and address invitations. You do not have to point out how she is wrong, and hopefully she will be willing to follow proper etiquette, and will let you do them the correct way.