Before I tell you my amazing idea that I’m sure will trend in no time… since, well, it’s amazing... let’s go over invitation basics.
Save-the-Dates are not required unless your date is during the holidays, high-travel times, or you have a destination wedding. That being said, the majority of weddings are during the summer, and anytime during the summer could be considered a high-travel time. Pros in sending a notification early on to your guests, regardless of when it is? They can plan accordingly. Cons? None.
- Save-the-Dates are typically sent around 6-8 months prior to the wedding, or 8-10 months for destination weddings
- Don’t send save-the-dates to people you don’t actually want to attend. If they accept, there is no turning back.
- Ensure you indicate if the invitee can bring a guest, either on the save-the-date or on the envelope
- If you want your save-the-dates to match your invitations, plan accordingly
- If you have a wedding website up and running, it is typical to include your wedding website info
Invitations vary in so many ways – the possibilities are endless. Whether you are creating your own using a template at Zazzle.com or going with some premium letter-press stationary, you’ll have some common choices to make:
- Will you include an RSVP card, or have guests RSVP on your wedding website?
- Will guests choose entrees? If so, on the RSVP card, or on your wedding website?
- Should you add a dress code?
Here are some things to know about invitations:
- Regardless if you sent save-the-dates, invitations are typically sent 6-8 weeks before the wedding
- You should not include your registry info on your invitations; it’s tacky. You CAN include your wedding website, either on the invitation itself, or on a separate small card within the envelope. From your website, guests should be able to find your registry information
- If you are having an adults-only (no kids) wedding, indicate that on the website, not on the invitations. Ensure you address your invitations to the adults who are invited, not “The Smith Family”.
A Different (and better) Approach
And now for the amazing idea you have been waiting for. Let’s say you have a wedding during a time where save-the-dates would be a good idea (any time, in my opinion).
- You create a website with all of your wedding details – the date & time, location, entrée options, dress code, registry, hotel accommodation, wedding party, etc.
- You add your website url to the save-the-date.
- You send your save-the-dates 6-8 months in advance.
- Guests get the save-the-date, they go on your website, and they receive all of the information.
Now my thought is… what is the point in sending out the invitation with duplicate information? Oh, right, to remind people that this is happening (approximately 6-8 weeks prior). But isn’t that kind of lame? The first indication of the wedding guests receive is your little save-the-date card, not the invitation you have either spent time creatively designing or a good chunk of money on? They’ve already found out all of the information about your wedding on your website. Nothing on the invitation is new to them.
I came up with a new way to do things. I think you’re going to like it.
6-8 months before the wedding:
- Send invitations
6-8 weeks before the wedding:
- Send reminders
Think of these reminders as the same you would the save-the-dates – they can be cute or creative or casual or classy. Completely up to you.
My fiancé and I are getting married on 12.13.14. Not only is it during the holiday season and during high travel time, it’s going to be a very popular wedding date. The majority of my fiancé’s family and friends are coming from the Mid-West. Guests need the information early for many important reasons.
Here’s what we did:
- We sent our invitations and included a link to our website last month (7 months prior)
- The info on the website will help out-of-town guests make flight booking decisions and plan hotel accommodation.
- 6-8 weeks before the wedding, we will send out a creative, but simple reminder… something like “We’re looking forward to celebrating with you on 12.13.14”, and perhaps provide our website url again
The first thing our guests see is our awesome invitations. They get all of the information upfront. They get a cute reminder card closer to the big day. By then, they have probably already rsvp'd, and Justin & I have a realistic headcount, which you know helps the planning process immensely.
Genius, I know.