Do you dread sending out your wedding invitations? This might feel like a social minefield, but it can be a lot easier to manage if you understand etiquette and remember that the primary point of wedding invitations is to let your guests know what to expect as they attend your wedding. Here are a few of our tips:
Make An Impression
The first thing that your wedding guests will see of your wedding is their invitation. This is your first chance to make an impact. This can mean different things to different people. Maybe you want them to ooh and ahh over your design skills? Maybe you want them to smile over fond memories with cute pictures of you and your partner? Maybe you are having a super themed wedding and this can be a way to make sure your guests embrace the theme to their comfort level? Whatever statement you would like to make, this is your big chance!
Express Information Clearly
While you will probably spend a big chunk of time thinking about how you want your wedding invitations to look and making formatting decisions, the most important thing to remember when sending out your wedding invitations is that your guests will need information presented clearly. You need to let them know who exactly is invited and let people know if they have a plus one. You’ll need to share information about when events will occur and the location of your venue. This is also your time to express practical information like letting your guests know things like parking logistics. You will also want to make sure that your guests understand your dress code so that they can dress comfortably for the occasion.
Time It Right
Timing is a big part of wedding invitation etiquette. You will want to send out Save The Dates eight to ten months prior to your wedding. This will give your guests a heads up and will help them start planning to travel. Your formal invitation should be sent out six to eight weeks prior to the wedding or earlier if it’s a destination wedding. You will also want to give an early heads up to any out of town guests that will be traveling to your wedding, but this can be accomplished with a phone call.
Along with this timing, you also want to allot time for your guests to RSVP to your wedding. While you might think you giving your guests a long RSVP window is a way for you to be laid back and courteous, it will likely lead to guests forgetting to reply. Make sure the date responses are due by is clear (and a little earlier than you actually need responses) and that you make it easy to RSVP. Traditionally this is done by your guests mailing back an RSVP card but many modern couples will have their guests RSVP online.
Let People Know What To Expect
You can make your wedding day whatever you want and you can make some choices that might surprise your guests. The trick to doing this while also making your guests happy is to make sure they know all of the details about your wedding. You might decide not to serve a meal and decide to offer only appetizers or desserts. These choices aren’t uncommon but you should make sure that guests know to eat before they come. You may elect to have a cash bar or have an adults only wedding.
All of these decisions should be made clear to your guests on your invitation. This may result in some guests deciding not to come; however, it is much more comfortable for everyone involved if they know beforehand rather than via a surprise at your wedding.