Invitation Etiquette


My daughter is getting married...

When you are paying someone to be of service at a wedding, do you also send them an invitation?

Examples: The organist or horn players for your ceremony. The minister performing your ceremony. The wedding coordinator. An acquaintance (but not close friend)that plays the piano at your reception. The band members (you know them, but they are not close friends.)

This is not about having to spend money to send out an invitation, or worrying about extra reception food. I am concerned that the person may think that the invitation is asking for a wedding gift, or worse, expecting them to give their service for free - as a wedding gift to the bride and groom. I don't want that, but also don't want to go against possible etiquette, by not sending an invitation.

Does anyone have experience with this?

Comments (3)
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It's a good question. My husband is a clergyman, so I can tell you a little from my experience from both sides.

I also think you are being very smart as well as sensitive to look at it from the point of view of the recipient; you don't want to seem like you are asking for a gift, especially given that some (but not all) etiquette authorities say you must give a gift if you receive an invitation.

You wrote that you "don't want to go against possible etiquette, by not sending an invitation." Etiquette does not require you to invite any of these people except the officiating clergy. Even then, you don't have to invite the officiant if s/he is not someone from your congregation, just a stranger hired for the day.

As for the others, I would say to send an invitation if this is someone you would invite even if they weren't hired to work at the wedding. If they are "borderline" -- i.e., people you know well enough that you might have put them on the "maybe" list - you might feel better inviting them. But if you aren't more than just acquaintances, so that it would never have crossed your mind to invite them if they weren't working the wedding, don't worry that they will be offended that you didn't invite them. They do plenty of gigs for people they know and understand that you can't invite lots of extra people (especially because you would have to invite their spouses, too, remember). They may even be relieved not to have to worry that YOU would be offended if they chose not to attend the reception and buy a gift!

Have fun planning. When is the wedding?

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As a wedding coordinator, I often receive invitations for two reasons. One is if the couple is having a sit-down dinner and they need me to make an entree choice. The other reason is that I keep the invitations in my files and share different designs with new clients who are trying to decide on what they want. It is nice to have a variety of styles on hand. I particularly enjoy the invitations that combine two cultures. I have invitations in English and Chinese, English and Indonesian, etc.

You might ask the photographer and videographer if they would like an invitation to use in a photo or a video. Many like to have one. In both cases mentioned above, you can simply hand the invitation to the recipient rather than mailing it if that is more convenient.

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But, sweet pea, I think the OP was asking whether to INVITE these people, not just whether to give them a copy of the invitation to look at or save.

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