Cream or rose? Squares or rectangles? Amelia or Sarina font?
The littlest things become legitimate decisions when it comes to sending out the announcement of your big day. And when it comes to formalities, it's important to honor etiquette as you request friends' and family's presence at your celebration.
Here are 10 questions that couples often wonder as they prepare to send out their wedding invitations, with some answers to clear the air:
1. When should we send out the invites?
The invitations themselves usually go out 6-8 weeks prior to the wedding. Traditionally, couples will send out save-the-dates 6-8 months prior to the big day. This gives people plenty of time to clear their schedules and put the wedding on their calendars. If you're doing a destination wedding, it's a good idea to send them out at least 3 months in advance so guests can make necessary travel plans and take time off of work.
2. When should we make the deadline for RSVPs?
Make your RSVP date 2-3 weeks before your wedding date. This gives you time to get a final head count to your caterer (most caterers want a final guest tally a week before the wedding). There will always be a couple stragglers that forget to RSVP that you will have to call and ask for them to mail or email you their response (so you can have their "yes" in written form).
3. Where should we include info about our wedding website?
Your save-the-date is an appropriate place for you to include information about your wedding website. If you don't send out save-the-dates, including a separate insert with the website info will suffice!
4. Should we include registry info on our invitations or save-the-dates?
It's best not to include it on either. It's still considered impolite to blatantly advertise your registry info because it can seem like you're expecting gifts. Spread the word to your wedding party and close family & friends about your registry. They can fill in guests so it's not coming straight from the two of you. Most guests will be able to figure out that any extra information they need will be listed on your website.
5. We made the decision to have our wedding be adults-only (no kiddos). How can we make that clear in a polite way?
Make a point to address each invitation to each individual guest by name. Most people will know that the lack of "and guest" means only the specifically mentioned are invited. If people RSVP with their children's names, it wouldn't hurt to give them a call and gently explain your adults-only request and tell them that you still hope they'll be able to contain. If you have several family members and close friends with kids, it's a thoughtful (but not necessary) gesture to provide a babysitter.
6. What's the proper way to let guests know the dress code?
The lower right-hand corner of the invitation usually serves as the "attire designator". Black-tie, cocktail attire, casual attire, etc. The style and theme of your invitation will also clue guests in to the nature of the event. A colorful, playful invitation will communicate a more laid-back ceremony while an elegant, fancy calligraphy will mean a more formal environment.
7. Do we invite every guest with a date or a "plus-one"?
This is totally up to you. The usual code is if a guest is married or in a serious relationship, they can have a plus-one. Otherwise it's your call if you want to invite a guest solo. Guests should understand that unless it explicitly says "plus-one" on their invites, they should skip out on bringing someone. Although it's ideal to invite everyone with a guest, friends and family should understand your reasoning if that isn't the case! If some still RSVP with another name, call them up and explain that your ceremony is going to be intimate and, unfortunately, that means that not everyone can have a guest.
8. Where do you put the return address on wedding invitations?
The return address usually goes on the back flap of the envelope. The address should be that of the person whom you've designated to handle the RSVPs, usually either you, your soon-to-be husband, or another family member. Traditionally, this is the same person who is hosting the wedding. Don't forget that the RSVP envelope should be printed with this address, as well, with postage included!
9. If our wedding reception is strictly for immediate family, is it ok to invite people to the ceremony only?
Not so much. Everyone who attends the ceremony, bridal shower, or engagement party should be invited to the wedding in its entirety (ceremony and reception). If you invite people to the ceremony and not the reception, they can interpret that as you not caring about them enough to feed them or allowing them to celebrate your newly-wed status.
10. I invited my friend and her boyfriend (by name on the invite), but they just broke up. Now she's asking if she can bring a friend I don't like. Can I tell her no?
You have every right to say "no", since you included her boyfriend's name on the invite. As a rule, invitations are nontransferable when people are invited by name. Try explaining that you're not friendly with her proposed guest, and you'd prefer that the wedding be limited to very good friends and family.
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