Wedding words of wisdom
Is it rude to send wedding invitations early? When is it too late to send wedding invitations? Lily Anna Rose has captured the top five modern wedding invite tips to assist you and ensure simple planning.
- 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
- Keep reception details off your invite.
- Add an enclosure for additional information.
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 makes for an engaging and classy keepsake.
Top tip 1
A question that is repeatedly asked is, ‘How long before I send out my wedding invitations’? So is it rude to send wedding invitations early? There is debate over the correct etiquette. Some websites say the timing has to be just right, and sending invites too early may result in a guest forgetting! If that becomes the case, perhaps they shouldn’t have been invited in the first place.
There is no right or wrong answer – it depends on your planning schedule. Ideally, invitations along with reply cards and an all-encompassing information sheet should arrive on doormats with as much notice as possible. Traditionally eight weeks is a good time to distribute wedding memoirs, but not ideal for juggling a sit-down wedding meal for a large guest list. Sending wedding invites 6 months in advance allows as much time for far-flung family and friends to make necessary travel arrangements. Up to five months is reasonable – 12 months is acceptable.
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. 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.
Top tip 3
What time to put on the wedding invitation? The ideal scenario is wedding guests see your grand entrance. 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. A guest (without mentioning any names) arrived after we had signed the marriage certificate! My husband (a stickler for timekeeping) narrated how he’d been early for a wedding, yet hung-over and hungry. With an hour to spare, he slipped out to grab a snack before the ceremony. The cab that drove him to the restaurant, drove off, leaving him stranded for the afternoon. He had flown to Atlanta, Georgia for that burger. Whatever the excuse, life happens. The likelihood of this scenario happening at your wedding is remote. Rest assured guests generally drift in 30 minutes before to guarantee the best view of you floating down the aisle. On your invitation, set the exact ceremony time. To avoid any confusion for your 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 enables your guests a second opportunity to refer to and confirm ceremony timings and plan for travel and accommodation plans.
Top tip 4
What to put on a wedding invitation? A knowledgeable guest is a content one and guests appreciate clear instructions. Spare your invite of clutter – include the three Ws: the where, when and who. Allow plenty of white space for 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 and enclosure cards.
Top top 5
What to include in your wedding invitation enclosure? Your wedding invite is all about your style. As well as being admired and enticing, an enclosure card can include extra details such as time to be seated, ceremony and reception address, directions with a map illustration, and a menu. Additionally, your contact details and a cheeky suggestion for a wedding are bundled with a reply card. A stylish and functional enclosure or information sheet looks great when hand-folded and bound with a paper band, with a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) tucked in.
Finally, one last takeaway, enjoy what you are doing as this is all part of the lead to your most memorable and special day.