After the excitement of your engagement passes and you begin planning your wedding, it can be easy to overlook wedding invitations. Compared to other planning tasks, sending out invitations seems easy.
Your wedding invitations are so important for planning because they announce your wedding and share important information with guests.
There is a lot to consider when designing, creating, and sending your wedding invitations. What do you want your invitations to look like? Are you sending print or digital copies? What information should you include on your invitations?
Once you begin the process, these questions can become overwhelming. I hope this post will help ease some of that stress! There is no right or wrong when it comes to wedding invitation design. Your wedding planning experience should be something you and your love cherish for years to come. Don’t get too caught up in the details. Let your creativity shine through, and everything else will fall into place!
What is a wedding invitation suite?
An invitation suite includes all the pieces you need for your wedding invitations. This typically consists of 3-4 standard items: a Save the Date card, an Invitation, the Details card, and RSVP card. You can also customize your invitation suite by adding an itinerary, directions and accommodations, and thank you cards (to be sent after the wedding, of course!).
What information does each item in your wedding invitation suite need to have?
Each of the key items in your invitation suite has an important part to play in providing information to your wedding guests. You can think of it like this:
- Your Save the Date (optional) is like a polite heads up to let your guests know they are the guest list for your wedding and to expect a formal invitation to follow.
- Your Wedding Invitation is like the leading lady/man of the show if you wish. They are the most important item as they provide the vital details on where and when the wedding is to be.
- Your Wedding Details Card is like all the fine print and your PA that has the answers to almost all or any questions your guests might have…. with all the extra details from maps and directions, to dress code, to accommodation and your wedding website details etc. Anything you wish to add (or don’t know where to add it), goes here.
- Your Wedding RSVP Card’s key role is simply for guests to let you know if they are able to attend your wedding or not.
So with this in mind, and that the style of your wedding and your personal preferences both contribute to your final choice on what items you wish to have in your invitation suite. Lets look in more detail at each piece.
Save the Dates
What information goes on your Save the Date?
When it comes to your Save the Dates there are generally 3 key details it should have:
- Your names.
- The location of your wedding (this could be as general as your state and country)
- The approximate date of your wedding (this could be the year and month, or just the year) depending what your venue options are and what you have been able to lock in. If you don’t have a specific date or venue set, you can give less specific details. You can add a line to let your guests know a formal invitation with details will follow.
When should you send out your Save the Date?
In short I have found with my clients that aiming to send out your Save the Dates between 6 and 9 months ahead of your planned wedding date is good timeframe to aim for. If your wedding is short and falls within the 6-9months skip doing Save the Dates and go straight for your Wedding Invitations!
Do you have to send a your Save the Date?
Save the Dates are fantastic for weddings with a longer engagement or for destination weddings where giving your guests plenty of notice of your wedding ahead of time so that they can make arrangements to be there is really helpful (and those pre-COVID days when you have a large number of guests from overseas).
If you have a short engagement of any thing less than a year – my personal recommendation is to feel free to skip the Save the Date if you wish.
On another note with the impacts of COVID and constant change you may be questioning if you need to have a Save the Date and what if things change once you have already sent your Save the Date out – will it feel like a waste of money? I recommend, if you do choose to go ahead with Save the Dates and there are changes due to COVID – check with your stationer (at the beginning of working with them) about what options they provide should you have to get your Save the Date redone, or reprinted at any stage.
It really is personal preference if you want to send Save the Dates or not as they are really just a polite form of a ‘hey! heads up your name is on the guest list’ and they add to the celebration and overall excitement of your wedding becoming a reality! Either way I know you are making the right choice for you – you’ve got this!
Save the Date Tips
A few helpful tips to keep in mind when thinking about your Save the Dates…
Be sure to think about who you’d like to invite to your wedding before you send your Save the Dates. Only send Save the Dates to guests you intend to invite! Think of them as a heads up to let guests know that they are on the guest list!
If you’re unsure about sending printed copies, see if your Save the Date can be sent digitally. This will allow you to change details quickly if needed.
Save the Dates do not need to be complicated. Simple elegance is a great design choice for your invitation suite, especially if you have yet to decide on wedding colors – it doesn’t have to match the rest of your wedding invitation suite! But if you are working with a good stationery designer they can pull something from it to match and ensure your wedding paper items look cohesive as you come to get them done in good time.
Wedding Invitation Cards
What information goes in your Wedding Invitation?
Most wedding invitations include these two key details:
- The names of who is getting married – typically the bride’s name goes fist then the groom’s name.
- The details of your wedding ceremony – the time, date and location. Reception details can be included in your invite. Personally I like to keep the invitation clean, simple and streamlined to keep the focus on you and the wedding – and add the reception details to your wedding details card.
What about wedding invitation wording?
Traditionally, wedding invitation wording was very formal. It was customary for the bride’s parents to host, organize and pay for their daughters wedding. In these invitations the first line would read as the bride’s parents invite you to
With formal wedding invitation wording, every word is written in full. For example:
The Date: Customary format for the date starts with the day of the week, followed by the month, then the year. For example: Saturday, the first of October, Two thousand twenty (first number of the year is written in capitals).
The Time: Type the time in full such as – three o’clock. Remember to add the day period (am or pm) as appropriate. If the time is not on the hour (for example 3.30) this should be written in full and hyphenated for example – three-thirty.
Today many couple’s live together before getting married, and often host their wedding themselves. Formality is less rigid – wedding invitation wording and design is too.
Note: Your chosen ceremony – whether it be religious or secular will also impact the text used in your wedding invitation. For religious ceremonies you may like to add a phrase such as “Request the honor of your presence” or ‘Request your presence” for all other locations a phrase such as “The pleasure of your company” is perfect.
When should I send out my Wedding Invitations?
In my experience, you should be aiming to send out your formal wedding invitation and RSVP 3-4 months before your wedding. If you have a shorter engagement, a digital invitation may be a better option.
Don’t forget to account for design, print time (if applicable), and delivery time. Give yourself plenty of space to send out invitations so you don’t feel rushed. Your invitation designer will let you know how long their unique process will take.
Wedding Invitation Tips
Read and re-read your invitations… and then again – but read it out loud. Sounds so obvious and simple, but the little details can be so easily overlooked and missed especially when you know what it’s meant to say. It’s so easy to ‘see’ it there when its not if that makes sense. The attention to detail is what makes the whole piece amazing and perfect. If you are working with a stationer you can be assured their eagle eye will be over everything too giving you a little more reassurance! You will have heard this so many times now but your wedding invitations really do set the tone for your wedding in your guests mind, as they are your guests first sneak preview at how amazing your wedding will be, so make sure the details are carefully checked.
What about the extra details like gift registry, dress code and RSVP? Can I include these on my wedding invitation? Short answer. Gift registry details – N.O. this belongs on the details card, never on the invite. RSVP can be included, personally I prefer to leave these extra details (and directions, dress code, kids etc) on the wedding details card. This keeps the focus on your wedding details – apart from the obvious where everything makes for a very crammed up invitation with so much text to read, you easily loose sight of the key details.
Look for inspiration before making a decision and if working with a stationer tell them everything you can – what you like and don’t like! The style, venue, and dress code of your wedding will all play a role in the formality of your invitations. If you prefer simple language, leave out the formalities. It’s your wedding – do what makes you happy! Your wedding is all about your style and what works for you.
Wedding Details Cards
What information goes on a Wedding Details Card?
In short? Everything you want to say that is not written on your invitation. This includes any information you feel is important for your guests to know such as:
- Your gift registry details.
- Any transport options and details if you are providing guest transport to/from your ceremony or reception such as time and location for pickup/drop off points.
- Accommodation recommendations or any discount codes for your wedding guests.
- Your expected dress code.
- A note on any COVID practices that need to be followed such as social distancing or mask provision etc.
- Any details around kids such as creche facilities, or if you don’t want kids at your wedding etc.
- A link to your wedding website if you have one.
- RSVP details – if you wish you to skip the RSVP card – this is particularly convenient if you are using a wedding website and accepting RSVP’s online.
Wedding RSVP Cards
What information goes on a Wedding RSVP Card?
RSVP cards allow your guests to let you know if they plan to attend your wedding. RSVPs usually have 3 key details:
- A blank line for guests’ names. (did you know that the “M” at the start of the blank line for guests names. In keeping with a formal invite this stands for the first letter of the title your guest wishes to go by, such as Ms, Mrs, Mrs, etc.)
- The due date for the RSVP. (this is the date you must have a response from your guest by regarding their attendance so that you can inform your venue, caterers, and cake maker etc of final headcounts)
- Attendance options usually in tick box form.
You can also include a line for any dietary requirements, or a question such as what songs would guests like to hear on your wedding playlist etc. RSVPs are so important for wedding planning. They let you know how many guests will be attending, which is important information for your wedding vendors. Seating charts, place cards, menus, and food quantities are all dependent on guest RSVPs.
How do you set the date for your RSVP Card?
If you don’t have a date from your catering team that you need to advise a final headcount for, I recommend setting your RSVP due date for 1 month before your wedding. This will give you enough time to follow up with guests who have not responded and send a final headcount to your vendors.
Remember that while most of your guests will reply straight away. Some won’t… for any number of reasons they are the kind that read it and go “whoohoo yes I’m going! I’ll reply shortly….” and forget. BUT this doesn’t meant they are not excited, just chase them up with a bit of love up a week before your due date and do your happy dance. Your wedding is only weeks away now! You’ve got this.
RSVP Card Tips
Remember to include a postage paid envelope for your RSVP cards if guests need to mail the card back to you! (Obvious I know, but so easy to forget too!)
If you are doing a ceremony only wedding – you don’t need an RSVP card.
If you are printing your RSVP card – opt for a matte card finish for the best results. This means when your guests write on the card the ink won’t smear and smudge… and you can read it when the card returns to you!
How many Wedding Invitations do you need to order?
The determine the correct number of wedding invitations you need, follow this simple formula:
# of households + 10-20 = your magic number of total invitations needed
Why do you need so many extra invitations?
- 2-4 to preserve as keepsakes
- 3-6 for your vendors so they can get a sense of your style
- 5-10 for “in case” situations. You never know what may come up! It’s better to be prepared and stress-free than scrambling to find last-minute invitations.
Should I print my wedding invitations or send them digitally?
This is entirely up to you. There are positives and negatives of each.
Print invitations are more formal and sentimental. They also cost more money, but there is just something so special about snail mail!
Digital invitations are better for the environment, are quick and easy to deliver, and are easy to update. They’re also easy to forget and may get lost in spam if sent via email.
If you’re unsure which you’d like to use, find an invitation designer who creates designs that can be sent either way. Talk to your invitation designer to decide which method of delivery is best for your wedding invitation suite. You can always do a combination of both to mix things up! I have also done a guest post all about going digital with www.ownyourdayweddings.com that you can read here for more help.
Wedding Stationery Tips
- Get a dedicated email address for your wedding correspondence and use this for your online RSVP’s too!
- If you have a wedding website. Its totally worth paying a little extra for a shorter URL. This makes it so much easier for your guests typing this in without countless errors. Most importantly it also looks much better than a long string of strange characters and computer speak.
- Picking a semi-custom design can save you so much time and money whilst also getting an element of personalization.
- It is worth investing in expert support to help keep your stress at bay. An expert who knows exactly what details need to be included, where they need to be and how to write it all to perfection. Someone who knows just how to make your invites meaningful as well as being everything you dreamed of.
Are custom wedding invitations worth the investment?
I cannot answer this question for you. But, as a wedding invitation designer and a lover of unique details, I say absolutely! Your wedding invitations are one of the only tangible pieces of your wedding you get to keep. Just like a seamstress helps you fit perfectly into your wedding attire. Your invitation designer will help you create invitations that are unique to you.
I believe it’s so important to work with an invitation designer who matches your style. My design aesthetic is all about modern simplicity. Clean lines and simple type. Feel free to browse my invitation gallery to see if we’d be a good fit!
Few aspects of the wedding planning process allow you to be truly creative. You can order premade invitations online to save time and money. However you won’t have the unforgettable experience of designing your own invitation suite.
If you have the time and want to add unique details to your wedding that your guests will never forget. Investing in custom wedding invitations is so worth it!
If you’re not looking for a totally unique invitation suite, but love the modern luxe aesthetic. Consider taking a look at my semi-custom suites.
DesigningLove also has custom and semi-custom monograms available for all your wedding stationery needs. I’d love to help you make your wedding day your own! There’s a lot to weigh when thinking about wedding invitation design. I’d be happy to help you decide if this is the right decision for you. Fill out the contact form on my website and I will be in touch.
I’ll be here to help you every step of the way. Let’s make your wedding planning process a memory you will never forget!
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