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Do Wedding Invitations Need to Have Pictures on Them?

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Decisions around wedding invitations set the tone for your eventual wedding. Some may not feel like a big deal but getting the invitation right is essential. You’re sending a message to potentially hundreds of people in hopes that they come or otherwise celebrate the happy union.

Wedding invitations come in all styles. Are you wondering whether pictures are a must?

Do wedding invitations need to have pictures on them?

Not all wedding invitations or save-the-date announcements need pictures. Plenty of people opt to leave pictures off to make the invitation feel more elegant or formal.

Pictures are great because they make things more personal, but millions of engaged couples choose pictureless wedding announcements every year.

How do you know which way is best for you? You’re spending a good amount on the letters you send out, so you’ll want to get it right. Here are some things you should know about wedding invitations to help you decide whether pictures are for you.


Why People Want Pictures on Wedding Invitations

These days, it’s common for people to have extensive networks of friends, family, and work colleagues spread across states and countries. Not everyone will have the chance to see or meet their friend’s fiancée before the wedding. Sending invitations with your pictures on them is a perfect way to introduce the couple.

You can hire a photographer to capture the two of you in an intimate embrace, or you can choose a more relaxed setting with pictures that capture your personality. Someone hosting a backyard wedding on the informal side may decide to include a shot of the couple in jeans or walking on the beach.

If you go with pictures, they should be on the theme for your wedding plans. Shoot for the same level of formality in choosing what type of picture you want to use.

You Can Use a Picture on the Back

If you want to stay rather formal, stick with a text or calligraphy invitation. Adding accents like flowers and other designs is a nice touch.

If you still want pictures, you can always put them on the back of your invitation. This way, people will open the invitation and see the formal, more elegant written invitation. When they flip the card over, they’ll see the pictures. It’s a pleasant surprise, and you get to check both boxes!

One thing you should remember when using pictures is how to manage space on the invitation. Wedding planners and experts say not including all of the details of the wedding schedule, where to RSVP, and more is a big no-no. People want the invitation to give them enough information to help them send a gift or plan to attend.

These invitations are likely going on refrigerators, cork boards, and desks to remind people they have a wedding to attend. Keep that in mind when you’re choosing your layout.

What Needs to Go on Your Wedding Invitation

If you decide to go with a picture on your main page, you will need to make accommodations to pack in all the other important information. Wedding invitations should generally have the following info:

  • RSVP Instructions
  • Date
  • Start Time
  • Ceremony & Reception Details
  • Address
  • Who Is Invited (+1 info)
  • Registries

Many weddings have ceremonies in one location and the reception in another. That means that two different addresses need to fit. If you have a website or social media profiles for your wedding, you’ll also want to list those.

As you can see, there’s a lot to fit in. Not having a picture is an easy option. Putting it on the back is a nice compromise if you must have a photo.


Other Wedding Invitation Do’s & Don’ts

Large weddings have a lot of tradition and custom to them. If you’re having a small wedding, you can throw the rulebook out the window. People won’t care as much, and your close friends and family will cut you some slack.

Big weddings, however, have rules and general etiquette expectations. Also, you’re probably inviting work colleagues, your parents’ professional associates, and other people you or your family want to impress. Make sure you get things right and follow the etiquette when sending out your invitations.

Here are some of the things you should and shouldn’t do.

Send Them Early Enough

Wedding invitations should get to your guest list six to eight weeks before the ceremony. This gives them ample time to plan around the event. It’s also not too early that they forget to put it on the calendar. If you’re planning a destination wedding, give them another few weeks to save money on plane tickets and guarantee they get the hotel rooms they need.

If you’re an uber planner, you can send save-the-dates or wedding announcements so they can mark their calendars without having every detail.

Tell Guests if There’s a Dress Code

You’d expect most people to show up to a wedding in at least a suit. That, however, isn’t always the case. Save people the embarrassment of underdressing and make sure you get the wedding of your dreams by telling people what to wear if there is that expectation. If you’re having a black-tie wedding, dress code details are vital.

Stamp the RSVP Envelope

Save people the trouble of having to the post office by including stamps on the RSVP envelope. It’s a nice touch that lets your guests know you’re handling everything, including the tiniest details.

No-Kids Weddings

Some people don’t want kids at their weddings. Fancy weddings are not always conducive to young children who can’t stand the thought of sitting through hours of dinner and drinks. Just be clear on your invitation by saying, “Adults Only Please,” or something else that doesn’t sound overly exclusionary.


Deciding on Your Invitation Layout

Traditionally, all of the information about the wedding should go on the front side of the invitation. Putting things on the back side is an invitation for mixed-up times and unexpected guests showing up at your ceremony.

If you need the space, put in another card or a smaller insert with things like your registry information or the wedding’s website. If it’s missed, it’s not such a big deal.

Knowing this makes getting the picture right even more important. If you have photos on your invitation, do whatever you need to get the information in the right space. If you must, put pictures on the back of the invitation.

Many couples are creating interesting details that go on the back of wedding invitations, so guests will look to see what’s there. Couples have unique logos, social media links, and cute designs. Having a photo on the back is a perfect addition to any formal wedding invitation.

Above all, remember that it’s your wedding. There are rules and etiquette, but what matters most is what you want to do with your special day. Don’t throw tradition out the window if you wish for an old-fashioned wedding. Keeping the invitations formal will start your marriage off on the right foot.