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Wedding Invitations FAQs
We want to send out custom designed invitations. When should we order the invitations?
Although this depends on the individual company, generally, invitation designers take about three or four weeks to complete invitation orders from start to finish. For that reason, you should start looking for a designer about four months before the wedding and make sure that you have placed your order three months before the big day so that all of your guests receive them in time to make preparations to ensure that they can attend.
When should we send the invitations out?
Most couples send their invitations 6-10 weeks prior to the wedding, but you will need to send them earlier if you are planning on having a destination wedding, to give guests time to make travel arrangements. A ‘save the date’ notification should be sent out as soon as you finalise your more major wedding plans- a minimum of 4-6 months in advance.
How long before the wedding should the RSVP date be?
Most couples set their RSVP date 4 – 6 weeks before their wedding date. This helps to finalise details with caterers and venue co-ordinators. However, destination weddings will require more planning so there should be a significantly longer timeframe between the RSVP date and the wedding day. An exact date will depend primarily on how easily you can coordinate with your guests, venue and service bookings. Generally speaking, 1-2 months is the minimum amount of time needed to coordinate these details.
Do we need to send out ‘Save the Dates’?
‘Save the Date’s aren’t mandatory but they are helpful because you can send them out as soon as you have decided on a date, but don’t have the pressure of organising the official invitations just yet. ‘Save the Dates’ are especially useful if you are planning on inviting overseas or interstate guests because they can make their travel arrangements as early as possible and then read the fine details of the event when they receive their invitation later. Super modern brides sometimes send Save the Dates via social media apps, to cut down on costs, but traditional, printed Save the Dates are always nice (and, some would argue, less tacky).
How should we word a Save the Date?
This depends on the formality of the wedding. If it is a black tie wedding, very formal, polite language should be used. If it is a casual affair, a more playful, informal tone may be used. The important details to include are your names, the date and the venue, as well as “Invitation to follow”, or words to that effect. Simply conducting an internet search of ‘wedding save the date wording’ can be enormously helpful.
Do we have to handwrite the guest names on each invitation?
In short, no. There is no strict etiquette relating to what parts of the invitation are printed versus handwritten. Handwriting guest names yourself adds a personal touch but if your handwriting isn’t very neat, some invitation designers offer a handwriting service at an extra charge. Alternatively, you could look at having the guest names printed individually on the invitations, which will cost extra. If you do decide to have the names printed, be sure to order a few extra invitations with blank name lines so that you can handwrite names of guests who you may invite at the last minute.
How much should we spend on invitations?
Most wedding planning experts suggest spending between 2 and 10 percent of your total wedding budget on invitations. As always, if you spend toward the higher scale of that percentile, you will need to cut back on costs in other areas of your budget.
Who should be listed as the inviters on the invitations?
Traditionally, the bride’s parents are the wedding hosts and are listed as the inviters on the invitation. However, these days, many couples choose to host their own wedding and list their own names, along with their parents’, as the inviters. If the bride and groom’s parents are also hosting the wedding, all of the parents’ names should be included.
The bride’s parents are divorced. How should we go about listing them as inviters?
If only one of the parents is hosting the wedding, only their name should be listed. However, if they are both hosting but are not personally close, their full names can be listed on separate lines along with their partners’ names, if they have remarried.
Can more than one invitee be listed on the invitation?
Of course! You only need to send out one invitation per couple or family. On average, invitations are sent out at a rate of 60% of the total number of invited guests, for this reason.
What information needs to be included on the invitations?
Invitations don’t need to be filled with lots of information. The crucial details to include are: the date, time, ceremony location, reception location, RSVP date and the dress code. You may want to include extra details about whether or not children are invited and if single guests can bring a ‘plus one’. You can send additional items, such as maps, directions and transport recommendations on separate cards.
What else should we include in the envelope with the invitations?
As previously mentioned, maps, directions and transport recommendations should be included on separate cards. If you have invited out-of-towners, you might like to include some brochures or contact details of recommended accommodation options. Information about the wedding rehearsal and other important dates should also be included with the wedding party members’ invitations. Some couples also like to send a copy of one of their engagement photos to their guests, as a nice extra touch.
We can’t really afford professionally made invitations. Can we make our own?
Of course! Many craft stores now stock a wide range of DIY invitation packs which are both tasteful and easy to assemble. Alternatively, you can search the aisles and pick and choose between different materials you would like to use for your invitations. Make sure that you have access to a printer which is compatible with the type of paper or cardstock that you choose, though.
How long does it usually take to make DIY invitations?
Elaborate, multi-layered invitations can be a bit fiddly so the time-frame involved in DIY invitation depends on the style you are going for. Make sure to get all of the bits and pieces you will need and do a trial run a few months before the wedding. Get your design down pat and time how long it takes you to assemble a few. Once you have found a comfortable rhythm, make a realistic estimate of many you can make each day by setting some time aside in the evening (or morning, if you prefer). The number of days you will need will depend on the time involved in making each invitation and the number of guests you are inviting. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. It’s better to assemble a few each day than break under the pressure of having to complete one hundred in a day.
Should we give invitations to the bridal party members?
Yes! Even though you know that your bridal party and immediate family members will definitely be in attendance, it is always a nice gesture to give them their own invitations. They will probably want to keep them as a memento of the occasion.
Should we send invitations to relatives who we know won’t be able to attend?
Absolutely! Even bed-ridden grandmas who live on the other side of the world should receive an invitation simply because it is good manners. They may be offended if you don’t send them an invitation and sending them one gives them the opportunity to politely decline and perhaps send a small wedding gift if they are able to. Having said that, you never know which overseas relative might actually make the effort to come and celebrate your special day with you. It’s always best to send invitations, even to those who probably won’t come.