Wedding Invitation Tips
You should ideally start looking into the invitations for your wedding approximately four to six months before your wedding date, once the guest list is well on its way to completion. If you decide to order invitations, do so between four to six weeks before they are scheduled to be mailed. Whether having them professionally printed or doing them yourself, check invitations, response cards, envelopes, wedding programs, etc. for mistakes and spelling errors before they are printed.
Always order extra invitation envelopes and response card envelopes. There will inevitably be a few mistakes when addressing these and you’ll want to have a few extras on hand.
When do I send out my wedding invitations?
For wedding guests living in the same country, wedding invitations go out six to eight weeks before the wedding with RSVP’s back three weeks prior to the wedding. This will give guests time to receive their invitations and reply by mail, which in turn, gives you time to finalize catering plans, seating arrangements, etc. Keep in mind that between 7%-10% of guests who respond with a “yes” will not actually attend the wedding.
For destination and overseas weddings, wedding invitations should ideally be sent out three months ahead of the normally recommended six to eight week recommendation, with RSVP’s back three to four weeks before the departure date. As a rule of thumb, acceptance rates for guests of overseas and destination weddings are approximately two times higher for family than they are for friends.
If you don’t receive a reply from some guests by your reply date, feel free to call them. It’s important that you know how many are attending so you are able to budget accordingly.
You can also make two separate guests lists; a primary guest list and a backup guest list. Guests from your backup list can be used to fill in gaps from declines received from guests on your primary list.
Here are some simple wedding invitation tips and etiquette which should make the whole process a little easier.
Make your single guests feel comfortable by adding “and Guest” on the envelope. This allows them the option of bringing along a companion without having to commit to who that is in advance. Don’t forget to account for plus ones, if you’ve invited them.
Children and Babies
Another common question is what to do about inviting (or, more trickily!) not inviting children to your wedding. If you’ve decided that you would like to include children as guests, this can be divided into two groups; children under 16 and children 16 and over. For children under 16, you can choose to write the child’s name on the addressed envelope or simply place the words “and family” next to the names of their parents. For older children, aged 16 and over, you may wish to send them an individual invitation, just like you would an adult. This is likely to be appreciated.
If you decide that you would prefer not to invite children to your wedding, remember to write only the names of the parents on the envelope and not to use the words “and family”. For clarity’s sake, you may also add “sorry, but children are not invited”, “adults only” or something similar on the invitation itself.
If your wedding is on a beach or other outdoor area, be sure to let your guests know this, so that they are able to have the option to dress appropriately and come prepared (sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, appropriate shoes).
Create a user-friendly experience for your guests, starting from the invitations and leading all the way up to the wedding itself. Make sure your requests are unambiguous and are clearly laid out. This will allow everyone to be clear as to what is expected from them and