You Are Cordially Invited…

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They may be small, but your wedding invitations are one of the most important components of your wedding day preparations.  They not only let your guests know where and when your all-important day is happening, but also offer them a sneak preview of the day itself in terms of style and colour schemes.

These days the sky’s the limit when it comes to the invitations themselves you can choose from ready made styles, have handmade invitations designed especially for you or even make your own if you’re feeling crafty!  For more help on choosing your invites and what you’ll need, check out our advice from stationery expert, Sarah at Gorgeous Cards.

There are, however, some rules to be followed in terms of wedding invitation etiquette some for purely practical reasons and others as a nod to age old traditions that will add to the atmosphere surrounding your big day.

When do I send my invites out?

Traditionally, wedding invitations should be sent out six to eight weeks prior to the date of your wedding.  This should give plenty of time for guests to make arrangements for attending the event, send their RSVP back and of course, find an outfit to wear!  If you are inviting guests from overseas it’s best to give them as much notice as you can so that they can make the necessary travel arrangements.  If you’d prefer to send all your invitations at the same time, you might like to think about sending some save the date’ cards in advance.  For advice on the wording of your invitations, click here.

What else do I include?

Once upon a time, a wedding invitation was just that an invitation.  These days it’s become fashionable to send a whole host of accompanying stationery along with the invitation for example, a matching RSVP card with stamped addressed envelope, a map with directions to the wedding venue and also information about your wedding gift list.  While lots of couples opt to do these things, it’s worth remembering that you don’t have to if you don’t want to.  Sending RSVPs with pre-paid envelopes saves any hassle for your guests and may mean you get replies in quicker and easier, but it will also cost you extra so if your budget is tight you may opt not to.

Sending gift list information is an accepted part of invitation etiquette these days and if you’re having your list in a large chain or department store they may well supply you with little cards to slip inside your invites for convenience. Some brides still feel uncomfortable with the notion of putting their gift list in with the invitations and if this is the case, you can put a note inside asking guests to contact you or your parents if they would like to know more.  If you’re having a big wedding, bear in mind that you could be tormented by people phoning to find out about your list at all hours of the day and night.  If you don’t mention your gift list at all, however, you might find yourself in that four toasters and no saucepans’ predicament our parents faced in the days before wedding lists!

With some couples setting up home together before they tie the knot, sometimes the conventional wedding list is surplus to requirements.  Some couples would prefer gifts of money and this in itself can be controversial.  If you look online you’ll find little poems that might help you get the message across in a more discreet and humorous way.  Alternatively, you might like to let your guests know that you’ve booked your honeymoon with a certain travel agent, or reserved some large items of furniture in a particular shop and would appreciate travel vouchers or money towards these.

Another option and one sometimes favoured by couples remarrying is to ask for donations to charity in lieu of gifts very often your chosen charity will supply you with cards to pop in your invitations advising your guests how they can donate.

{image source: Creative Invites}


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