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Wedding invitations are exciting. This is how you tell those closest to you that they’re important enough to have been invited to an incredibly exclusive event. Since your wedding is one of the most important days of your life it’s important that everything goes according to plan, and the first step of that plan is getting everyone there. Marlow’s Diamonds is here to help with a few things you need to keep in mind when you’re putting your invitations together.

When should I send the invitations?

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This may seem like jumping the gun, but it’s often the first question which is asked – not what should we include or anything like that – when should we send them? Traditionally most invitations go out about 8 weeks before the wedding. This gives guests ample time to clear their schedules and make the travel arrangements necessary to see you for your big day. This may seem a little short notice, which is why most couples also send out save the date cards six to eight months before the big day.

What should we say in the invitation?

There are many styles of invitation which will appeal to different couples. Some opt for beautiful calligraphy to announce their invitation, others opt for something more sleek and subtle. If you have a lot to say, like your dress code, the names of local hotels you recommend or that you’ve arranged special rates at, it may be worth saving all that for your wedding website. This is a stylish and chic way of letting people know what’s happening, keeping people up to date, and even sharing your engagement and wedding photos.

Keep the invites simple – who is invited, where and when the event is, a link to your wedding website for more information, and when to RSVP by. Pro tip: don’t include registry information or anything like that, as it’s generally considered impolite and like you’re asking for gifts. Just let your family and wedding party know and they’ll pass it on for you by word of mouth.

So who do I make this out to?

If you want to invite a friend and their partner it’s generally safest to invite your friend “and Guest” – nobody knows what the future holds, and inviting their partner by name could be awkward if they’re not still together by the time the wedding rolls around. If you don’t want them to bring their other half, or if they’re not in a serious long-term relationship, it’s perfectly acceptable to say that you’re having a small, intimate ceremony. Just be aware that if you offer everyone else a plus one, not extending that courtesy to a select few could generate friction.

“I really don’t like kids”

Some people don’t want kids at their wedding. Most people understand that and won’t be offended by the fact that you want an adults-only wedding. You can either state this on your wedding invitation, on your wedding website, or both. If you find people are still replying with their kids’ names, give them a call and explain that you’re having an 18+ wedding and hope that they can still attend. It may be worth looking up local babysitters, crèches or the like where guests can leave their kids. It’s not essential, but it’s a nice gesture all the same.

Respondez s’il vous plait

RSVPs are incredibly important when you send out your invitations. It’s the reason you’re sending the invitation out, after all. Setting your RSVP date about three weeks before your wedding will give you enough time to do a final headcount, inform the caterers and finalise your seating charts. In reality you two weeks should be fine, but this gives you time to chase up anyone whose RSVPs you haven’t received which may have got caught in the post.

RSVPs are also usually sent to a designated person who has agreed to handle the process. You may opt to do this yourself, or your parents or friend may offer to do this for you. Either way the RSVP address should be printed on the back of the envelope, (in case it can’t be delivered,) as well as on the return envelope you’ve included. Don’t be cheap, and don’t forget to pay the postage of the RSVP.