Wedding Wednesday: Invitations
This week for Wedding Wednesday I wanted to share with you my thoughts and some tips on wedding invitations. In this post I am going to cover the basics of invitations, like when to mail them, who gets them, how to address them and more. Be sure to take notes or save this post for later because you will visit it over and over again.
This is a sponsored conversation in partnership with Wedding Paper Divas. Any opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced.
Giving Notice with Save the Dates
There is no such thing as too soon in terms of sharing your wedding dates with those you plan to invite. Depending on the location of the wedding and if guests will have to travel from around the country to get there it may be wise to send a Save the Date.
The general rule is to mail out save the dates four months prior to the wedding, but in the case of destination weddings or having lots of traveling guests, the sooner you send them out the better. Giving guests time to plan and budget for any travel is very helpful. When it comes to choosing a Save the Date, you can choose to mail a paper copy or an electronic version. They do not have to match your formal invitations, and you should only mail them to people you actually plan on inviting to your wedding. The save-the-date should include the couple’s names, wedding date (or dates, for a wedding weekend), location (a city is helpful, even if the venue isn’t booked yet) and a notice for a formal invitation to follow.
What’s Included on the Invitation
All invitations should include the who, when, and where, so your guests know all the details so they can plan accordingly. The three W’s are:
- Who. Include the full names of the bride and groom. For a formal invitation, include the full names of the hosts, too.
- When. Clearly list the time, date, month and year of the event.
- Where. Include where the event is taking place, with a full address (zip code not required).
There are several factors to consider when addressing your invitations and choosing what wording you’re planning to use on them. Wedding Paper Divas has a invitation wording generator to help you find the right words to include on your invites. Another important feature to consider is including useful information that guest could use including, attire, directions, accommodations, and activities.
Addressing the Envelope
What you choose to put on the envelopes is also very important. Here are some great tips for addressing wedding invitation envelopes.
- Guests’ names should be written in full, with appropriate social titles included (i.e. Mr. and Ms.).
- Spell out all words in an address and spell out house numbers less than 20.
- The return address traditionally goes on the back flap and in many cases they’re still handwritten, you can also choose return labels instead of handwritten.
- Keep in mind that responses and gifts will likely be sent to the return address on the invitation. If you’d rather have them sent to a different address, list it below the RSVP line and your wedding website.
Choosing an inner envelope also gives the couple the opportunity to address whether or not kids are invited, or if someone who’s single is invited has the option to bring a guest. If you do not plan to invite children to the wedding, do not include their names on the inner envelope of the invite. It’s also a good idea to spread the word before hand with guests that you do not plan to have children at the wedding. If you invite someone who’s single, if they can bring a guest, address the inner envelope with their name with the addition of (+Guest). If they are not allowed a guest, simply address the inner envelope to just that person. Inner envelopes shouldn’t include first names or addresses of guests. It should just include their title and last name (Mr & Mrs Stephens).
When to Mail Invitations
Formal invitations for the wedding should be mailed no later than six weeks prior to the wedding, in the case of destination weddings you will want to give your guest more notice and mail those no later than three months prior to the wedding.
When to Cut off RSVP Dates
Be sure to cut your RSVP date at least three weeks prior to the wedding. You will need to get a final head count for your caterer for the reception and this will also give you time to work on seating charts and making place cards for your tables. If you have problems with guests that didn’t RSVP in time, designate a family member from both sides to call those guests to find out their intentions. Be firm with your dates so get a final head count to your caterer as soon as possible.
If you have more questions about invitations check out this great Q & A from Bridal Guide. It covers all the basics and more about invitations for your special day.
Get a head start on planning by ordering samples from Wedding Paper Divas. Click on the banner above get 10 free samples with code 10WEDSAMPLES.