Before ordering you wedding invitations, Montreal Weddings recommends to decide on the maximum number of guests you will be able to invite after setting the wedding budget with your spouse-to-be. It’s preferable to have the bride, the groom, the bride’s parents and the groom’s parents each make a list, and then combine them to create a master wedding list. Check your address book, consider your friends, work and business relations, relatives that live far away (even if you know they won’t be able to attend), the officiant and your spouse-to-be. Don't forget to note couples with children (if you plan to invite them), and singles with escorts. Be sure to have the full name and address of each guest.

From the master list you can determine the number of wedding invitations needed. It is wise to order fifty or more extra invitations in case you decide to add some guests.

Make two copies of your wedding guest list, one for each set of parents, adding notes beside names to help them to relate with guests they don't know well (such as business partners, college roommates, etc.).


  • Order your invitations at least six months before the wedding.
  • Choose an invitation style that matches the formality and theme of your wedding.
  • The invitations should be mailed four to six weeks in advance of the wedding; for a small wedding they may be sent as late as two weeks before the ceremony, or guests can be invited by telephone. Calendar & Tasks
  • Send invitations to the immediate family, wedding party and clergyperson, even though they have been invited informally. Don't forget to keep one for yourself as a souvenir!
  • Spread the word to the bridal party and your families if children or dates are not invited.
  • Each couple invited should receive one invitation.
  • Single people and children over 16 should each receive their own invitation.
  • Each invitation can include a response card. This way you’ll know the exact number of people coming to the reception (do not include one if the invitation is to the ceremony only).
  • Set up a list to record who is coming or not as soon as they advise you by informal notes, response cards or phone.
  • If you do not receive any response from invited guests, call them to make sure they received the invitation.
  • If there are changes in the wedding plan, notify your guests with a printed card (if there’s enough time before the wedding date for printing). The new date or location may be added to the original invitations if they haven’t been mailed yet.
  • If the wedding is postponed or cancelled after invitations are mailed, invited guests must be notified by telephone, telegram, or printed cards (if you're sure the guests will receive them before the wedding date). Reasons other than illness or a death in the family need not be mentioned.

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The words ‘honour’ and ‘favour’ are spelled with a u (request the honour of..., The favour of a reply is requested..., etc.). The numbers in the date and time are usually spelled out (the eighth of May, at nine o'clock). The invitations are usually sent in the name of the bride's parents, since they pay most of the expenses and are the hosts, but if the groom's parents are assuming a full share of the costs, the invitations should be in their name also. If you and your fiancé are paying, the bride's parents may still be listed at the top of the invitations.

The reception invitations can be sent with the ceremony invitations or separately, depending on your wedding plans. The invitation to the wedding ceremony alone does not include an R.S.V.P. If you request a reply on the reception invitation, add the mention ‘R.S.V.P.’ or ‘The favour of a reply is requested.’ after your text. Common titles can be abbreviated (Mr. Mrs. Ms.). No other punctuation, except after abbreviations, is used in the text. Formal titles should be written out (Doctor, Captain, Reverend). Use two different lines if the second person has a title. If the bride has a title, she should use it only if the invitations are issued by herself and the groom. Otherwise, she "is the daughter of..."

If the groom is an active member of the armed forces, he should use his military title. If the father of the bride is a member of the armed forces, either on active duty or retired, he should also use his title.

There are many combinations and creative possibilities for the invitation wording and presentation. Your wedding coordinator or stationery supplier can help you with the right text for your situation.

The following information can serve as guidelines:

  • Traditionally, the bride's surname is not included in the invitation text, unless it is different from that of her parents.
  • To personalize their invitations, both brides and grooms often use their first and middle names without their surnames.
  • When divorced parents send a joint invitation, they can place their names on separate lines, whether remarried or not. If they don’t want to have their names appear together, they can send two different invitations: the mother sends the ceremony invitations as host and includes the reception invitations naming the father as host.
  • For a second marriage, invitations can be easily made by personal note or even by telephone. If the guest list is large, the invitation options are the same as for a first wedding.
  • A divorcée should use her maiden name if she has reverted to using it after her divorce. If she is young, the invitations may be sent by her parents, as with her first wedding. A more mature widow or divorcée will send her own invitations.
  • Handwritten invitations can be sent for an informal wedding with 50 or fewer guests, in which case the full names of the guests must be written out without any abbreviations.
  • For a double wedding, the invitations are sent in the name of both brides' families if the brides aren’t sisters and if both sets of parents are paying for the reception. For the marriage of two sisters, the elder sister's name is given first.


Reception cards

When all the guests invited to the ceremony are also invited to the reception, the invitation combines both. If some are not invited to the reception, you can include the reception invitation with the ceremony invitation for the guests invited to the reception. The reception invitation, which includes the date, time and location of the reception, is otherwise mailed separately in its own envelope.

You may indicate that a guest is welcome to bring someone by including a personal note in the invitation such as "we would be delighted to have you bring a date if you wish."

Pew cards

These small cards with a number may be enclosed with invitations to family members who are to be seated in the reserved pews during the ceremony. The people receiving them take them to the church and show them to the ushers, who escort them to their place at large formal ceremonies. Such cards sometimes state "within the ribbon," meaning that a certain number of pews are reserved for special guests but that no specific pew is assigned.

Admission cards

These small cards are printed to avoid having uninvited people at the ceremony or reception when the wedding is held in a public place. Guests present the cards to the ushers for admission.

Name and home cards

If you wish, you can send cards to inform colleagues and friends of your new name and address. These can be sent with the invitations or separately after the honeymoon.

Response cards

For convenience, these cards are almost always enclosed with reception invitations along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Your reply-by date should be at least one month before the wedding date.

Place cards

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These are used to let guests know where they should be seated. Plan to seat groups (relatives, teenagers, college friends) together, as they will all feel more comfortable and you will solve any seating problems. Place cards are also very helpful for the caterer if you place a number on each table.

Rain cards

If an outdoor wedding is planned, this card will specify an alternative location in case of bad weather.

Transportation or parking cards

These are used to inform guests of special transportation or parking arrangements.

Accommodation cards

These cards let guests know that they have rooms reserved at the hotel mentioned on the card.

Direction cards

These provide directions for guests coming in from various directions. Make sure your directions are complete and correct.

All these cards can be included in the invitation. They should all match in style and paper quality.


The invitation is placed in the inner envelope (if there is one), folded edge first and facing the back of the envelope.

The guests’ names should be written in by hand (with no address). If you invite children or a single person along with the principal couple, their names should be written on a second line.

If you add any insertions, they should be placed inside the invitation.

A smaller pre-addressed, stamped envelope contains the response card, face up with the fold of the envelope over it. You can place this insertion inside or on top of the invitation, printed side up. Then you include both in the inner envelope (unsealed).

The first envelope is usually inserted in an outer envelope, with the guests’ names facing the back of the envelope, and the outer envelope is then sealed.

Everyone should be addressed by hand using black or blue ink.

As for the invitation itself, common titles (Mr., Mrs. and Ms.) can be abbreviated on the envelope, but formal titles (Doctor, Captain, Reverend, etc.) should be written out. Teenagers should also have a title (Miss, Misses, Mr. or Messrs.) before their names. Wedding invitations are always addressed to both members of a married couple. Children's names should not appear on the outer envelope. For an unmarried couple, the invitations are addressed to Mr. and Ms.