Hand delivering wedding invitations used to be an etiquette no-no. In Western countries, most people deem it more appropriate to mail out wedding invitations. However, in some cultures such as the Philippines, the wedding party, particularly the principal sponsors/witnesses, actually expect the bride and groom to hand deliver invitations as a sign of respect. Overall, contemporary wedding rules have become more relaxed, allowing for convenience and practicality. Hand-delivering invitations has become an accepted practice and a sensible option for bride and grooms who find it a very welcome errand.
Hand delivering your wedding invitation adds a personal touch. Guests find the gesture more intimate and appreciate your extra effort in bringing the invitations yourself. Usually, the couple hand delivers invitations to members of the wedding entourage and their close friends, or if they are having a really small, intimate affair with just a handful of select guests. This way, they are able to spend time with invitees as well as make them feel special and honored for being recipients of such a personable gesture.
Deliver the invitations yourself to save time and money. This is a much faster alternative to mailing invites, since they do not have to go through the mail. This is also advantageous if you do not have enough time to mail them out. Couples also opt to do this because wedding invitations with ribbons, beads or other handcrafted designs are sure to reach the recipients intact and without damage when they are hand delivered.
When to Hand Deliver
Traditionally, invitations should be sent out at least six weeks before the wedding, to give guests enough time to prepare for it, make travel arrangements and respond. When hand delivering invitations though, since they do not need to go through the postal system, it's okay to hand them no less than one month ahead. Never put it off for a much later time, as this is considered poor etiquette. Always remember to give your guests enough time to make their own necessary preparations.
Be careful when delivering invitations. Make sure that you are only meeting with the people who are invited to your wedding. Avoid handing out invitations in the presence of someone who is not invited, as this causes an awkward situation for both parties and possible hurt feelings.
In olden times, the bride's so-called footmen or messengers used to hand deliver wedding invitations to each invitee’s house. Using a silver tray as the proper instrument for handing out mail, they brought the happy news to invited guests, with a good deal of class and formality.