One of the most common concerns our couples have seems to surround their stationery. And we’re not necessarily talking about the design, rather the wording and timing of these golden tickets. While it may seem simple, knowing when to send Save the Dates so people actually remember to do just that can be touchy; and wording your invitations just right to meet etiquette standards while still being unique can be tricky. And how do you know when to expect those RSVPs back so that you’re not scrambling at the last minute to change your seating chart? We’ve done some research and pulled from our own experience to come up with, what we’d like to think is, a pretty perfect guide to all things paper.
Save the Dates
He finally got down on one knee and popped the question and despite his desire to stay home and watch football, you’ve convinced him to trek all over the state of Maryland in search of the perfect venue. After days (let’s be real, weeks) of hunting, you’ve finally found the venue within your price range that screams prettiness and guess what? – they have your dream date available! Perfect! What’s next? We think it’s time to let everyone know when you’re getting married so they can put a big, pink heart around the date in their calendars!
Most wedding gurus, including us, would recommend sending Save the Dates at least six months before your big day. If you’re planning on having a lot of out of town guests or having a destination wedding, putting these puppies in the mail eight months before you’re wedding is key to making sure everyone has ample time to take off work, book their flights and hotels, and prepare for your special day. While it may seem a bit much, we’ve had some couples send Save the Dates even earlier than eight months. This can get hairy, as guests are likely to forget a piece of mail sent almost a year prior, but you know your guests best. If you think they need the extra time and won’t lose it in the chaos of day-to-day, by all means, please send them nine to ten months before the wedding.
A word to the wise, however. Before sending your Save the Dates, make sure your guest list is finalized. Once a Save the Date is in the mail, you’re pretty much obligated to send a wedding invitation. In the excitement, we recommend not getting carried away and sending a Save the Date to everyone at the office, because come time for your big day, John, the nice guy three cubicles over, may no longer make the cut.
GET THIS SAVE THE DATE HERE.
By this point, most of your wedding planning is likely underway. You’ve booked your vendors, have decided on your design concept, and you might have had your bridal shower and bachelor/bachelorette parties by now. It’s time to start thinking about your wedding invitations. The rule of thumb when sending out wedding invitations is to send them six to eight weeks before your wedding day. We completely agree. If you’re having a wedding during peak wedding season (read: May or June, September or October), however, we would send those invites out closer to eight weeks before.
Putting a wedding together in a few short months? You may want to consider sending your wedding invitations out as soon as you know your date and venue and nix the Save the Dates all together. While wedding invitations typically don’t go out until 2 months before the wedding, sending invites out immediately allows guests to prepare for fast approaching nuptials.
GET THIS WEDDING INVITATION SUITE HERE.
For some couples, waiting to hear back from guests about their RSVP can be agonizing. Despite making it super easy for them, there are just some people who wait until the last minute to drop that pre-stamped envelope into the mail. We hope our advice can make this process a little less stressful. Industry standards recommend setting your RSVP date two to three weeks before your wedding. That gives you plenty of time to finalize your seating chart and get your final head count over to your caterer. Some guests may still miss the cut off, but giving yourself a weekend post-deadline to account for these stragglers will keep you stress-free (we hope!) Read your catering contract thoroughly to make sure of their headcount deadline – little is worse than having to pay for uneaten meals.
Want to know how to word your Save the Dates, Invitations, and RSVPs just right? Check out our blog post this Friday. We’re so excited to share our knowledge and experience with you and can’t wait for you to see some totally gorge stationery that we can’t stop obsessing over!
GET THIS WEDDING RSVP HERE.