So you’ve set the date and now its time to invite your guests. Is it necessary to send save the date cards? How do I word my invitations? How many invitations should I order? This brief guide to wedding stationery will hopefully answer the most common questions.
Save The Date Cards
Many people view save the date cards as an unnecessary added expense and for many people, they may not be necessary. It really depends on the time of year you are getting married, for example if you are getting married at the height of the summer holiday season, on a bank holiday or around christmas, save the date cards are a good way of letting your guests know well in advance so that they can make arrangements to attend. These can be sent out 9-12 months in advance. Save the date cards wouldn’t usually be sent to evening guests as this could give the impression they were invited to the whole day, although you could change the wording to ‘save the evening’ or ‘evening invitation to follow’ to make it clear.
Wedding and Evening Invitations
Traditionally, invitations would be sent out no later than 6 weeks before the wedding. However, as most venues usually require final numbers around 6 weeks in advance, depending on what time of year your wedding is, I would recommend sending your invitations 3-5 months before the wedding with an rsvp date of approx 8 weeks before the wedding.
When working out how many invitations to order, bear in mind that you don’t need one invitation per guest, but just one invitation per couple or family. It is also a good idea to order some extra invitations to allow for additional guests and also for any mistakes while writing them out, 10% is a reasonable guide, so for example if you need to order 50 invitations then add on an extra 5 invitations.
Wedding invitations are sent to guests who will be attending the whole day, evening invitations are sent to guests who will only be attending the evening part of your reception.
The wording inside the invitation is a personal choice depending on how formal you want to be and who is hosting the wedding. It is traditional for the brides name to appear first on the invitations, but again this is personal choice.
Other things you may want to include in the invitations would be directions to the venue, hotel information, gift list details and a request for your guests to let you know of any dietary requirements.
As with save the date cards, these are an optional extra. Providing rsvp cards to your guests can encourage a quicker response but this is not guaranteed! As shown on the evening invitation example above, you could include various reply options for your guests including an email address, telephone number or some couples set up a wedding website that includes all the details about the venue and gift list etc.
The second part of my wedding stationery guide will cover all the ‘on the day stationery’ such as order of service, place cards and table plans.