Sending out Stationery
Where Do I begin?
You are engaged! Now you have so many decisions to make. Start with celebrating your engagement, you and your fiancé can get lost in the wedding planning process. Discuss with your partner the big decisions - the main one is budget, that will dictate if it is a big or small wedding and where you want to spend time and resources. Time with family and friends on your wedding day or a big party. This is a celebration of you and your fiancé spending the rest of your lives together.
Do I send out engagement announcements?
With social media a formal engagement announcement card is not as necessary, however if you feel like you want to send out a formal announcement you can. Be mindful that as soon as the first one is received, family and friends will call each other and it will spread so you can choose to do it via social media.
How to gather addresses for Stationery?
The best way to gather addresses for sending out stationery such as save the dates, or just the invites is by phone or email. Start by creating your guest list prior to reaching out for addresses. I prefer email as you will have the full address written out correctly by the recipient and a backup to check if you loose the address later on when it comes to mailing them out. Send an email, saying you would like to keep in touch and would like their mailing address for postcards or Christmas cards, be sure to follow up, especially for something like your first Christmas card as a married couple if you end up not inviting them to the wedding, to be courteous.
Once you have addresses coming in I recommend a spreadsheet to keep all information together.
I have a sample one you can use, just download the excel file below. The shaded sections are optional. I also recommend adding the phone numbers to the list as if there are changes closer to the wedding date and you are not sure if your guests got the message you have the list ready and won't reach someone not on the list by accident.
Save the date Cards
Are save the date cards necessary?
Save the date cards are not necessary, however they are essential for your guests who will be travelling to get you your wedding. They let your loved ones know to plan and make arrangements for you special day ahead of time and in many cases for booking tickets and reserving accommodations.
When should save the date cards be sent?
Save the date cards are best sent at the latest 6 months ahead of the wedding date. If there is travel involved or a destination wedding 1 year gives your guests time to plan to celebrate with you.
When Do I order and send our save the date cards?
1 year to 8 months - Once you have the venue details and rough number of guests, contact your stationer to go over your wedding stationery suite. Depending on the details you will get a customized timeline.
When Do I order our Invitations?
6 to 8 months - Once you have the venue details and rough number of guests, contact your stationer to go over your wedding stationery suite. Depending on the details you will get a customized timeline.
When should Invitations be sent?
Save the date cards are best sent between 6 to 8 weeks ahead of the wedding date. If there is travel involved or a destination wedding 3 months gives your guests time to plan to celebrate with you.
When should the RSVP Date be set for?
Traditionally the RSVP date is set 4 weeks prior to the wedding date. If you have a plated service include meal options on your RSVP card or if you have a buffet style leave include a space for food allergies.
Should we include dress code information on the invitation?
Dress code information is perfectly acceptable to include on the invitation. If you do so, put in the lower right hand corner. If you do not include a dress code, the invitation itself should serve as an indication of the dress code (i.e. a very ornate invitation will indicate a formal dress code, while a more casual invitation would denote a more casual dress code).
Can we add our wedding website information to the invitation?
Absolutely! Your guests will be excited to see your website. You can include the information right on the invitation, or you can add a separate card to the invitation suite that lists the website.
Can we include our registry information on the invitation?
It is not recommended to include registry information on the invitation, it is considered gauche. You should, however, include the registry information on your wedding website.
What if we don't want to invite kids?
When a guest receives an invitation, they should not assume their children are invited unless the invitation is addressed to the whole family (i.e. The Duchesne Family) or the children's names are specifically listed on the invitation.
What if we didn't invite a guest's child but the RSVP included the child anyway?
In this case, it's usually best to make a personal call to the guest and handle the situation gently. Explain that the wedding is for adults only and let them know you hope they'll still be able to come. If you want to have an adults-only wedding and a lot of your guests have children, you can consider hiring a babysitter to watch all the children while the parents enjoy the wedding so you still get your kid-free reception and your guests don't have to scramble for a sitter. If you will be offering childcare services, note it on your wedding website so your guests can plan accordingly.
Should we invite guests we know can't come?
Once you've gone through the trouble of setting a wedding date, it can be a bummer to find out a friend or family member can't make it. Traditional wedding invitation etiquette suggests skipping their invitation. After all, even a single invitation can still be expensive, and furthermore, sending an invitation to someone you already know can't attend could be interpreted as a tacky solicitation gifts. However, if it's a guest you know will appreciate the gesture and will like having your invitation as a memento, you should still formally invite them to be there with you to celebrate. Chances are they'll be thrilled to hear the details and will want to send you a gift, and that link to your wedding website will make finding your registry that much easier.