Everything you need to know about wedding invites

Wedding invitations are the very beginning of something special: your wedding. See them as a your ticket to your new married life and the preview of what  your amazing wedding is going to be all about. So this is quite important and exciting, right? In todays post we will be talking about all the elements to keep track of, timing, wording and which critical details to include, as well as showcasing beautiful design ideas.

Save the Date

A save the date might be the first news a guest receives about your imminient wedding, so don’t underestimate the excitement this simple card can bring. You can never give too much notice when it comes to telling your guests about your wedding, especially so if you are planning for a destination location, or any wedding which requires guests to travel. This allows guests to research and book flights and accommodation. If you are planning a short notice wedding, the save the date is not necessary and you can jump straight to the invites. Send the save the date 6-8 months before the wedding or as early as possible.
Some ideas to make your Save the Date extra memorable could be to print it with a photo from your engagement shoot. Or why not send a fridge magnet so that your guests can definitely not forget your wedding date?

Invite design

The invite is your opportunity to set the tone for the wedding, so aim to embody the same feel as your intended wedding vibe by adding customized touches. A traditional wedding calls for a white classic card, or if your wedding is more modern you might stick to a minimalist aestetic, perhaps with contemporary details such as transparent or geometric elements. For a high-end wedding you want to create the same sense of luxury with an opulent card, perhaps with a laser cut trim or a custom wax seal, whilst boho brides are likely more content with a unique, quirky design. Letter press, bespoke calligraphy or gilded details can make a simple card feel more sophisticated.
It is a lovely idea to incorporate the same colours, fonts and floral elements as you intend for your décor, or perhaps you have designed a monogram with your initials that you can utilise through all your stationery to tie the theme together.

Information

On all your stationery, especially the invite, be as creative with the look as you want. But most importantly the information must be clear and details easy to follow. Much like the design, the wording will also reflect what kind of wedding it will be. A formally phrased invitation works for all wedding styles but is particularly appropriate if your wedding is traditional or religious. If your wedding is casual or rustic your tone can be more relaxed. Your venue, ceremony style and dress code are indicators of how formal your wedding invitation wording ought to be.

How to set the right tone for a traditional wedding invitation:

Host line: at the top of the card state who is hosting for the wedding by writing the names of those who are paying. Traditionally this would be the brides parents. However this day and age it is usualy both set of parents that contribute. In any case, the bride’s parents names are always mentioned first.
The request line is the second phrase, which for a classic wedding would go something like ” requests the honour of your prescence” or “the pleasure of your company”.
Wedding couples names: If the bride shares the same surname as the parents, include her middle name but not surname. Spell the groom’s name out in full. Bride’s name goes first.
For date and time, stick a formal phrase such as “half after” instead of “four thirty” or “half past”. You wouldn’t need to mention in the afternoon or evening if you are writing a traditional invite. Spell the date out in full, don’t use “and” for the year.
Provide the location name and area in full, but the street address is omitted.
Only mention “reception to follow” on the main invite if the reception venue is at the same location as the ceremony. If reception is at another place, write all the details on a separate card.
Don’t mention “adults only” or registry details on the main invite card, but on a separate card with a link to your wedding website which explains these details.

Nailing the timeline

Send the Save the Date as soon as you have a date and a firm venue booking. Destination wedding invites are ideally sent out three months in advance, and other invites two months in advance. But it is never a bad idea to give guests plenty of notice, especially if you know that your circle of friends has busy social lives or commitments coming up. The request for RSVP should be by three weeks before the wedding. Be prepared that you must give the caterer the final headcount up to 2 weeks before, so it is totally cool to ask for RSVPS sooner even.

Printed vs e-vites

Whilst a physical invite creates a tangible and luxurious presentation, it is acceptable to invite via digital means. This generally cut costs and is certainly more environmentally friendly. It is also a more direct way for guests to receive the invite, and will save some postal or printing stress too. You might opt for a dedicated wedding website which will synchronize your RSVPs. There are beautifully made templates on offer around the web that can be personalized which will save the cost of a graphic designer.
If you are planning a rehearsal dinner, it is absolutely fine to invite guests to dinner via digital channels.

Plus one’s and children

This might be one of the hardest decisions when you created your guest list. Our advice is to create a rule that anyone who is in a long term and committed relationship should bring a plus one. You could also go by a case-by-case basis depending on how well you know the significant other, or if you think that your guest wouldn’t have as much fun without the plus one. If a single friend who doesn’t know many of the other guests, perhaps you should allow a friend to tag along so they can feel more relaxed. Family members will definitely expect to bring their partners whether married or not, whilst work colleagues can come as a group. If a guest asks for a plus one and you don’t have capacity, gently explain that the guest list was limited for space/budget/covid reasons.
Children or no children? This is entirely your choice. Children at weddings will change the atmosphere so think about how you want the day to be like. Bear in mind that some parents will not be able to make it without their kids, but to bypass that you might consider helping out with a baby sitter, or to organize a supervised crèche area at the venue.

Good ideas:

Set up an alternative email address that handles all the wedding admin, and write only personalized emails when corresponding to the guests.

Treat your thank you cards with a sense of urgency, and try to send them out no later than a month after the wedding.
As you open the gifts, make a list of who gave what so that you can thank for the item or contribution and describe how it will be used.

Heartfelt communication will be much better received by your guests than a generic reply, whether it comes to the pre-wedding communications or post wedding thank you cards.

Don’t send wedding invitations on social media no matter how small your wedding is
Be clear if children are allowed to the wedding already on a separate card insert with invite to avoid awkward conversations later.

If you are asking for money instead of gifts in your registry, let them know what the fund is for.

Details you must include on main wedding invite card

  • Your names, plus parents names for a formal wedding
  • The date and time
  • The name of the of location
  • Dress code

Helpful details to include on a separate card or wedding website

  • Map of the area or gps coordinates if it is remote
  • Activities in the area (for travelling guests)
  • Registry details
  • If it is an adults-only event
  • How long the ceremony is and when reception is expected to end
  • Reception location if different from ceremony location
  • Alternative contact person – Maid of Honor and Best man for example
Editor

Jo is dedicated to all things bridal. When she is not supporting and inspiring brides through Sheer Bride, she can be found designing bridal wear with the help of her three cats.