After doing Wedding Stationery for some good few years now, I feel like I should share my wealth of knowledge on some of the questions that I get asked frequently by new clients; brides & grooms to be. Your Wedding Invitations play a very big part of your Big Day- and I'm not just saying this because I do wedding stationery (!)- for one, they provide your guests with the vital information that they need and of course, they set the tone for the whole day too.
1. When should you send your Save the Date's out?
Once you've secured your desired Wedding Venue and you've got your date set, the next stage, is to send your Save the Date cards out. I would recommend sending these about 8-12 months before the Big Day. You need minimal information on these- leave the venue for the invitations- you want to keep your guests guessing and keep them excited to receive their invites.
2. Who do you send your Save the Date's to?
Only send your Save the Date's out to your guests who are coming to the whole day. If you are having a separate guest list for the evening, you do not need to send out these Save the Date's out to them.
3. When should you send your Wedding Invitations out?
I would recommend getting these out about 3-5 months before the Wedding. If you've sent Save the Dates out, you can afford for the invites to be sent out a little later. If you're a bit of a 'last minute Linda' and you've totally forgot about the invites and need to send them ASAP then don't panic (!), it's better late than never. Here at Retro Press, we often work to tight schedules and deadlines so we're used to it and we work with you to make sure we get them out in good time.
4. Whats the usual RSVP deadline for your guests?
I would always try and give your guests one month to reply. If you've sent your invites out in good time, this will enable you to chase any naughty ones who haven't replied. It will also enable you to sort out all the final numbers, etc, needed for the Big Day itself.
5. How many Invitations do you need?
Don't make the mistake of ordering an invite per guest! I always suggest 1 per household/ family, 1 per couple and 1 per individual. Don't under order either... Ordering lower quantities always increases the costs, so make sure you get it right in the first instance. I always suggest ordering 10% extra- for spares, keepsakes, in case you forgot someone, etc!
6. Having an adult- only affair but don't know how to word it?
Make it clear on the invite, in the details section. Make it polite and inoffensive. It's totally personal preference as to whether or not you state it on your invites, but it leaves no room for awkwardness down the line. For instance, you could word it like: "To give all guests the opportunity to have a good time without having to worry about little eyes and ears, we politely request no children or babies".
7. You feel awkward about the whole "gifts" thing...
Don't! I mean, I understand why you do, but honestly, your guests would much rather it be on the invite than not- it makes their lives easier too, because naturally they will want to buy you something. Whether it's a contribution to your honeymoon (which is the most common request these days) or a gift list, make sure your have this in the information section of your invitations. You could use a cute little poem- there are many online- or just keep it short and sweet, it's up to you, but just don't feel embarrassed about it.
8. Do 'evening guests' need a 'full' invitation?
In short, no. Of course, they need to know the where the venue is, when to RSVP by, but I always suggest to have all of this on the one invitation (no separate sheets etc). It saves on costs for you and it is totally adequate and what is expected.
9. How do you introduce the invitations?
Traditionally, it's always the parents of the bride who invite your guests, for example, "Mr & Mrs Jones request the honour of your presence at the marriage of their daughter, Sarah Smith to Tom Clarence"
Historically, they always paid for the wedding... But it's different today- sometimes both sets of parents contribute to the wedding and sometimes not at all. So I've found that it's been more common that couples request something more informal, for example: "Together with our parents" or "Together with our families".
And also, of course, you, the couple can invite your guests, keeping it simple and modern.
10. Just first names or full names on the invites?
Again, this depends on whether you're going for a more traditional or contemporary style of invitation. So it's really just a case of personal preference and there is no "right" or "wrong" way of doing it.
11. Can you print our individual guests names on the invitations?
Yes I can! This is beneficial for a number of reasons;
1. It saves you a lot of time
2. If you have 'messy' writing, this can look really smart and in keeping with the whole look of the invite
3. Saves confusion as to 'who' is invited
4. It doesn't cost a lot extra, but may look like it does!
12. Can you also print the individual addresses of all our guests onto the envelopes?
Absolutely! For the same reasons as above (in question no11), it's affordable and it's a nice addition to your bespoke wedding invitations.
I hope this has been helpful as I know that it can all be a bit overwhelming when you first start planning for your BIG DAY. I like to make things as easy and as smooth as possible for you and I just want to help towards creating the most perfect of days for you. Don't hesitate to get in touch if you've got any more queries.