Sincerity and style are key ingredients when it comes to creating a quality wedding invitation. In essence, the tone balanced with the right amount of detail make for an engaging and classy keepsake. Lily Anna Rose share top invitation etiquette tips to assist you with uncomplicated wedding planning.
Five top Lily Anna Rose tips
Send invites out at least eight weeks in advance
Put a stamp and return address on the reply envelope
Be specific with the ceremony date, time and location
Do not include the reception details on your invite
Add an enclosure for additional information
Ideally, invitations along with reply card and an all-encompassing information sheet should arrive on doormats with as much notice as possible. A question that is repeatedly asked by clients; how long before I send out my wedding invitations?
There is no right or wrong answer – it depends on your planning schedule. Traditionally eight weeks is a good time to distribute wedding memoirs. For your far-flung family and friends, I urge you to give as much detail of your arrangements as possible. Up to 5 months is reasonable – 12 months is acceptable.
Invitations with gold foil design and calligraphy envelopes
Top tip 2
The small but mighty response card is a crucial device to keep markers on whose attending and who is not. Include a reply card and self-addressed envelope as part of your invitation package – and you can ensure a swift reply response. By adding a stamp (although an extra cost) will also save you precious time and establish your preparations as planned.
The tone of your day has begun – you want guests to feel that this day is exclusive, whilst enticing them to a wedding that they will remember for decades. Less really is more.
Marble paper layered with gold and granite
Top tip 3
The ideal scenario is your wedding guests see your grand entrance. A guest (without mentioning any names) arrived after we had signed the marriage certificate! My husband is a stickler for time-keeping. He told me how he was the first to appear for a wedding. Hungry and an hour early, he took a cab to grab a quick burger – the cab drove off and left him stranded. He had flown to Atlanta, Georgia from the UK for that burger. Whatever the excuse, life happens. The likelihood of this scenario happening at your wedding is remote. You want everyone present and seated.
Rest assured guests will generally begin to drift in 30 minutes before just to guarantee the best view of you floating down the aisle at noon. So whilst tempting to give guests an earlier start date than the ceremony – it is not worth the risk of having guests fidgeting in their rows for longer than necessary. On your invitation, set the exact ceremony time. To avoid any confusion for you guests, add a small line on the information sheet indicating ‘please be seated at 11:45 am in time for the ceremony that will begin at noon’.
An enclosure gives guests a second opportunity to read the ceremony date, time and location and plan for expected Bank Holiday traffic!
Navy and ivory wedding sets with pink ribbon band
Top tip 4
A knowledgable guest is a content guest, keep everyone up to date. The details guests appreciate clear instructions. Spare your invite of clutter – include the three Ws: the where, when and who. Keep the 'white space' to allow air and clarity. Unless your reception is at the same location, then announce "reception to follow". If you are hosting your wedding reception at a different venue, you can incorporate this on the invitation, but exclude the address and postcode, instead send a formal printed reception card.
Silver bundle with ivory ribbon
Top tip 5
Your wedding invite is all about your style. You want it to be admired as well as be enticing. Add an enclosure to include extra details such as time to be seated; ceremony and reception addresses; directions with a map and other elements in addition to a menu; your contact details and even a cheeky suggestion for a wedding present.
All structured into a beautiful hand-folded information sheet, bound with a band – neatly packed with the reply card to reaffirm just how important the recipient is.
Final tip from Lily Anna Rose – enjoy what you are doing as this is all part of the lead to your most memorable and special day.