Wedding Etiquette - Chapter 1 (Part 1 - Wedding Invitation Etiquette)
There is a common denominator when talking about wedding etiquette and it is confusion. So based on my experience I compiled information about different topics that I have been constantly asked by clients. I broke it down into a series of chapters to be able to give attention to each topic. In this chapter you will find information related to wedding invitations etiquette. If you are just starting the planning process you might find our previews post helpful.
Who to Invite to your wedding
When you start putting together your guest list, sit with your partner and whoever else is contributing to the wedding and making the big decisions.
Begin creating the guest list starting with close family members, the wedding party and their couples, then close friends, special guests, and last but not least, your "maybes" guests. After this you will have a better idea of your wedding head count.
Note: If you opt for not having kids at your wedding, this means you will not have a flower girl or ring bearer, because you don't want to hurt any of your guests feelings by having some kids there and others not.
How to Invite Guests
Save the date
If your budget allows it, and you decide to send save the dates to your guests, this is a nice, formal way to share with them the news and basic information about your special day. The date, time, city, state, wedding website (if applicable) should all be included. You should also mention that there will be a "formal invitation to follow".
Photography Anya Kernes Photography,
Stationary Olive Saint Lily
You don't have to use save the dates and can instead spread the news by word of mouth for the guests that will need more time to make arrangements, like out of town guests. You can then send the formal invitation to everyone that you are inviting (I will talk more about mailing times later in this chapter).
With times changing and technology being an important part of our everyday life, there is also the option of sending
email invitations. I generally don't recommend this approach, especially if you are having older guests at your wedding, as they might have trouble getting the invitation. Email invitations are a less personal way to invite people to such a special event. There is nothing like being able to photograph the whole stationary suit and being able to feel the paper. In my opinion, there is a unique touch involved with physical invitations, but ultimately, it is up to the couple and their preferences.
Note: You must send a wedding invitation to whoever you send a save the date. Although save the dates are not a requirement, they are very common as they give guests ample time to make arrangements. Giving your guests more time to make arrangements increases the chance that they will be able to attend your wedding.
When should I mail the Save the Date?
Well, it depends. If you are having a destination wedding, my recommendation is to send the save the dates 12 months prior to the big day. Now, if your wedding date falls on a major holiday weekend, consider sending the save the dates 9 to 10 months in advance. If the
celebration is local and most of your guests are from the area, 6 to 8 months prior to the wedding day is best.
When should I mail the wedding invitations?
If you sent save the dates, then mailing out your invitations 6 weeks prior to the
event is consider acceptable. If not, my recommendation is to mail them out 8 weeks prior to the big day. Trust me, this will save you lots of headaches later on.
When should guests RSVP?
I always tell my clients to encourage their guests to RSVP at least 4 weeks prior to the wedding day. I recommend this as a planner because once the month of the wedding kicks in, there is a long list of items that will need to be done. You will need the guest head count to finalize things like catering, the day-of stationary, wedding favors, and seating charts in order to be organized well in advance. By doing this, you will have extra time to contact the few guests that probably forgot to RSVP.
What if I need to change the wedding date?
Based on the recent situation happening around the globe, it is clear that nothing is set in stone and no one is exempt from having to change the wedding date, for whatever reason. As soon as you have found a new date and made the respective modifications, notify your guests about this significant adjustment as soon as possible. The best way to do this is by sending a "Change the Date" with the new basic information and update your wedding website immediately.
To be Continued...
Since this is such an important topic, we decided to break it down in three separate parts. In our next blog post, Wedding Etiquette - (Part 2 Wedding Invitations) and Wedding Etiquette - Chapter 1 (Part 3 Wedding Invitations) we will share wording, what to write in the envelope, and other tips to consider. So stay tuned and don't forget to subscribe to receive notifications about new posts and updates.
Need some guidance during the process? Contact us to learn how we could team up and create something amazing.
Have a sweet day,
Cristina Mantua – Owner and Lead Designer at HWE