Invitation Etiquette and Timeline Suggestions‏

Wedding invitations are one of the most important aspects of your planning. They provide potential guest with vital information for your big day. This guide can be extremely helpful for couples struggling with common invitation etiquette and a mailing/order timeline.

Key To My Heart Wedding Custom Announcements
Key To My Heart Wedding Custom Announcements
1. Couples should order their invitations, RSVP cards, and thank-you cards five to six months before the wedding. You want to allow yourself the leisure of getting them mailed out without the rush. If you’re anything like myself, choosing invitations can be a a mixture of excitement and indecisiveness, but try to narrow down your choices to ensure a timely mailing.

2. Wedding invitations should be mailed out six to eight weeks before the wedding. If the couple plans to include save-the-dates, those can be mailed along with the invitations. If a couple is planning a destination wedding, invitations should be mailed out eight to nine months in advance. This will allow potential guest to fully prepare, and lessen the likelihood of  complicated travel arrangements.

3. Couples should set their RSVP date three to four weeks before the wedding date. Remember, your caterer needs a definitive head count and seating arrangements have to be finalized. You don’t want to keep vendors and/or venues from doing their part in making your day perfect. Keep in mind, some guest will need a follow-up call. This is to be expected and do not panic. Simply call and modestly ask for their RSVP cards via mail.

4. Couples should NOT include registry information or gift request on the wedding invitations. You don’t want to give guest the impression that gifts are of major importance (which could result in reluctance to attend). If there is a registry, the information can be passed along by close relatives, through word of mouth, or by creating a wedding website (more information on a wedding website at a later date!). Both are great alternatives!

Modern Deco Flowers Wedding Invite
Modern Deco Flowers Wedding Invite
5. Wondering what to do about the sometimes-single-sometimes-monogamous guest? Fortunately, it is entirely admissible to extend solo invites to those that are not married or in long-term relationships. They are not entitled to a date or “Plus-One”, so don’t feel obligated to tact on additional food and beverage cost.

6. Ceremony only invitations are a DEFINITE negative. This is something couples have a tendency to bend on and I strongly suggest going against this trend. Individuals invited to the ceremony should be invited to the reception (as well as all events leading up to the wedding). Only inviting people to the ceremony sends the red flag that you don’t consider them important enough to pay for any additional food and beverages or that their presence isn’t needed for the entire celebration. If you can not accommodate all ceremony guest at the reception, consider a guest revamp or see what other areas of the budget have a little wiggle room. Re-figuring the cake and flower budget can free-up money towards food and beverages.

Author, Brittany, specializes in weddings and both, formal and informal social affairs. Brittany can help you plan your dream marriage proposal, from the moment you decide to pop the question, to the moment your significant other says, “Yes”!

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Categories: Wedding Invitations

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Date: March 2, 2013

Comments: 4

Comments: 4

  1. Laura M. Best March 4, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    With regard to item 2, I don’t understand why you would suggest sending a “save the date” along with the invitation. Traditionally, save-the-dates are sent much earlier than the wedding invitation to allow out-of-towners who may have to budget for travel and make complicated travel plans time to do so in order to attend the wedding. The other time I think they can be useful is if the couple is having a “destination” wedding. Otherwise, unless you have a lot of guests who need to arrange for international travel or will have to include traveling to your wedding in their budget, I think save-the-dates are an unnecessary expense the stationers try to push on unwary brides.

    Items 4 and 6 should go without saying, but I find myself having to repeat that same advice a lot. Good to have another voice in the choir. Nice post.

    • Brittany Champion March 5, 2013 at 8:02 AM

      Hello Laura! Thank you for your reply. The “can be mailed along with the invitations” suggestion, sort of implies “if you waited too long, it isn’t too late to mail them”. I should have been more clear with my meaning. I usually recommend following through with late save-the-date mailing because 1). They’ve been purchased and 2). They can make great keepsakes for guest

      #4 and #6 are constant battles. I began to believe only I held such a perspective.

      Thank you once again.

  2. Dan Greenberg March 3, 2013 at 9:00 AM

    Great timeline – it’s important to be organized about your invitations as the addresses can take so long to collect. Well, that used to be the case – brides usually sink 15-20 hours into getting addresses, but conxt[dot]com/wedding-addresses can do it in 5 minutes, for free! Hope your readers find it useful :)

    • Brittany Champion March 5, 2013 at 8:05 AM

      Hello Dan! Thank you for your reply! A timeline is extremely important in order to maintain grounded, steady planning.

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