So you are tying the knot. Guests lists is made. Time to send out invites. What is the proper etiquette when it comes to invitations. You are filled with questions. No need to worry. We did the research for you. We contacted our friends at Zazzle.com and got the 411 on invites to remove the guesswork.
When should Save the Dates be mailed out and is it necessary?
While there are many stops along the way in terms of all things wedding planning, save the date cards are important because they’re the first impression your guests will have about your wedding, so spend some time thinking about a design that will coordinate well with your invitations and decor.
Here are our top tips on getting your save the date cards out:
Work backwards! This one might seem obvious, but once your wedding date is booked and the guest list is made, sending out save the dates should come shortly after. For a local wedding, plan to send them out four to six months prior to the wedding. Planning a destination wedding? We suggest sending them six to twelve months in advance. Depending on the time of year and location of your wedding, your guests might need the heads up to take time off from work or to book travel. Give them plenty of time to make arrangements to join you on your big day!
Be specific. One of the trickiest things is deciding on who comes to the wedding. At the point of the Save the Date, it’s time to get specific on the who. Some couples elect to put people into groups, those who are first priority and those who might be invited a little later on based on budget. Whoever gets a save the date must also receive an invitation to the wedding, so make sure you aren’t over-committing right from the start. Also, just as important, do make it clear who is (and who isn’t!) invited by specifying “plus a guest” or “adults only” right on your save the date.
Get creative. If you and your partner aren’t into posed photos, look into using a caricature or silhouette in your likeness, or skip a photo altogether and select a beautiful design-only card. Some of our favorite ideas include imagery of the destination or animation characters representing the couple. Mickey and Minnie anyone?
Keep it short and sweet. The purpose of your save the dates is really only to announce your upcoming nuptials and give your guests some details about it. Make sure to include your names, the wedding date (or dates, if your events are over the course of a few days) and the location. Just the city is fine for now, so don’t worry if you haven’t landed on a venue yet.
Skip the registry info for now. When you’re sending the save the dates, it’s a little too early to start fishing for gifts, and some etiquette experts will even advise against mentioning it on your invitation! Take this time to simply tell your guests the logistical details, and fill them in with more information later on.
Double check the details. You should be triple checking everything when it comes to your wedding planning, but on the save the dates, it’s especially important to make sure that the information you provide to your guests is 100% correct. Guests will make travel plans based on what you tell them, so any mix-ups or confusion here could be a massive headache for you later on.
Think outside the envelope! Save the dates are much less formal than the invitation, and for that reason, the way you send them can be too. Many couples these days are opting to send postcards as save the dates, saving money on both envelopes and postage.
Stick it to them! Save the dates don’t just have to come in the form of a card. Magnets help you make your amazing announcement in a modern way. With one of these stuck to their fridge, no one will forget your special day to come.
When should invitations go out?
We suggest sending out your invitations out 2 to 4 months before the wedding, earlier for a destination wedding or if it’s during a busy time of year. With that timeframe in mind, try and get your design selected anywhere from 4 to 8 months before the big day. That might seem like a lofty goal, but remember that this design and color scheme will likely be translated through the rest of your wedding planning decisions, so it’s a good idea to get it set in stone early. Another great part about looking for your design and theme early is that you can order multiples samples to see which one you like best in person. At Zazzle, there’s no minimum order size for invitations, so you can easily try out a few before selecting your favorite.
With today’s society being so digitally inclined is it still necessary to send out paper invites?
Weddings are still one of the few events where people painstakingly choose and meticulously design printed invitations. It definitely takes time and money to create a whole suite of wedding cards and invites, but there is no question that friends and family love receiving them over electronic ones. Beautifully designed invites are nostalgic and they speak to the importance and formality of the wedding itself. Generally, a wedding is the most important event ever for the couple getting married and a paper invite speaks to the importance they are placing on their revered ceremony. Also, many close friends and family members hold onto their invitations as keepsakes, which you definitely can’t do with an evite.
Is it important to include RSVP return cards?
Having your intended guests send you back RSVP cards is great for staying organized. Before sending out your invitations with the enclosed RSVP cards, assign each guest a number, and write it lightly on the back of their RSVP card. This is a good idea in the event that your guests forget to write their name on the RSVP card because you’ll be able to look up the number and see who the envelope came from!
How does one go about selecting a design, based on a color scheme, the theme of the wedding or other? Please give us tips on shopping for invites.
With so many options for wedding themes and colors, it can be a tall order to decide on what direction to go. We like to suggest, instead of drowning in color palettes and swatches, try using the date of your wedding as your inspiration. Basing your wedding design on the season is a great way to pick your wedding theme, and can make planning your big day easier too! Here’s a little guidance from Mother Nature:
- Delicate Flowers – Look to light pink flowers and soft lines for a color scheme that plays off of the changing seasons. Flowers like lisianthus, hydrangeas, alstroemeria, and peonies are both beautiful and in-season blooms for spring.
- Greenery – As nature is coming back into bloom in the spring, so should your wedding! Think soft green botanicals and foliage for a day that is equal parts elegant and simple. Top greenery types are eucalyptus, lambs ear and olive leaf for this theme.
- Boho Vibes – Playoff textures like weathered wood, wheat, and feathers for a wedding that transitions from the cooler months to warmer ones while integrating both! Foliage that lends itself well to this theme would be lavender, garden roses, and waxflower.
- Bold Hues – Use bright and bold colors to echo the energizing spirit of the summer season! Think greens, yellows, and blues – but most importantly, the brighter the better. Try sunflowers, billy balls, ranunculus and daisies for a wedding in this color scheme.
- Sunset Soiree – Look to beautiful sunset colors for your summer wedding theme by featuring subdued pinks, oranges, and purples. Dahlias, carnations, and roses in soft shades would be perfect for this theme.
- Tropical and Lush – Imagine yourself on a warm beach when you think of this theme! Incorporate nods to the sunshine, bold leaves, pineapples, and flamingos. Some flora and fauna ideas for this theme could be philodendron, protea, hibiscus or birds of paradise.
- Saturated Jewel Tones – Think rich, and concentrated colors like purple, burgundy, and orange for a theme that complements the changing leaves of fall. Flowers that lend themselves to this color scheme are calla lilies, amaranthus, sweet pea, and roses.
- Enchanted Forest – Imagine your wedding day being watched on by fairies for this theme! Take a note from the forest and use colors like green, brown and white to bring it to life. For your foliage look to ferns, Spanish moss, and wisteria.
- Harvest Hues – Don’t fight the changing of the leaves, embrace it! Pick this theme for a wedding filled with oranges, yellows, and browns. Flowers that will make this theme come to life are snapdragons, Queen Anne’s lace, lotus pods, and mums.
- Dusty Blue – A trending hue lately, look to dusty blue for the base of your wedding color palette. Add a few accent colors in different shades like pink, red or green to bring out its beautiful undertones. Flowers that have grey-blue accents like globe thistle, succulents, and blue anemones will pair nicely with this theme.
- A Winter Wonderland – Especially relevant if you’re getting married in a snowy climate, make it a true winter wonderland! Incorporate dreamy whites, deep blues, rich greens, and mountainous forest accents. Look at adding pinecones, dusty miller and pine to your arrangements to match this color scheme.
All That Glitters – Go all in with metallics! Mix and match gold, silver, copper and other hues to create a magical and enchanted theme. Pick white flowers in a variety of warm and cool tones to match all your metallics.