Invitation Planning

November 25, 2019

photo: Erin Jean Photography


• Save the Dates should only be sent to those guests who will be invited to the wedding • You can use a paperless save the date if you wish, however, remember this will be harder for the older generation and others to remember the date if it isn’t printed in front of them and put on their desk, fridge, or calendar.

• Start your guest list in a template from your local stationer or planner so you don’t need to rework the wheel once you need these to mail.

Things you may not know…

• Children that are old enough to be out of the house should get their own invite

• Single guests do not require an “and guest” option

• If you know the guest, address them by their name Example:  Ms. Jillian Smith and Ryan


Addresses should be written formally which means no abbreviating.

Example: 1234 Main Street Green Bay, Wisconsin 54301

Address your guests as you would invite them.

Formal Example: Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

Casual Example: John & Mary Smith

If inviting families indicate that. Example: Mr. and Mrs. John Smith & Family


 • Always take your complete stuffed save the date envelope or invitation suite to the post office to get measured and weighed before buying postage. 

• If using custom postage order this postage after the invitation comes in and you are able to get it weighed and measured at the post office.  This typically adds 2 weeks to the ordering time. 

• When selecting your invitation, be mindful of items that add to your postage fee: square size, oversized, overweight, ribbons with knots, folders, etc.


 • Invitations should be mailed 8-10 weeks prior to the wedding, which means you should start working on them 4-6 months prior.

 • A wedding invitation should be a preview of your wedding style.  This is the only item the guest has in their hands to know how to show up accordingly.  Make it a true reflection of the wedding.

 • If stating dress code, use proper wording appropriate for the wedding. If black tie, that truly means all men should arrive in tuxedos & women in formal evening gowns.  This is not that common, try using these dress codes to inform guests. 

COCKTAIL ATTIRE – Men in suits, short dresses acceptable for women

CASUAL ATTIRE – Khakis & no suit jacket acceptable, women in less formal dress

• Order extra envelopes in case of addressing mistakes. • If using a calligrapher be sure to get on her schedule 6-9 months in advance.  Contact your local stationery store for a recommended list. • When selecting the RSVP address for the envelope, make sure that it will not change in the coming months.  If you plan to move, consider having one of your parents collecting these for you.


 If the bride’s parents are footing most of the wedding bill, the invitation should come from their address as they are technically hosting the wedding. Have a conversation with both sets of parents when deciding on your invitation wording.  Once you have a proof of the invitation share it with them to ensure all parties are happy.


 Mr. and Mrs. John Smith Invite you to the marriage of their daughter Sarah Anne To Tyler James Son of Mr. and Mrs. James Schiller


Mr. and Mrs. John Smith And Mr. and Mrs. James Schiller Invite you to the marriage of their children Sarah Anne and Tyler James


Along with their parents Sarah Anne Smith And Tyler James Schiller Invite you to celebrate in their marriage


Make the RSVP easy to read and respond to.  Clearly ask the guest how many are attending and then obtain their meal choices & dietary restrictions so you properly prepare for their meal with the caterer.

Names ______________________

Number of Guests Attending ____ Please initial by your food choice _____ Beef Tenderloin _____ Chicken Boursin _____ Portabella Mushroom Ravioli

Dietary Restrictions: _______________________

____ Unable to Attend

• Set your RSVP date out 3-4 weeks prior to the wedding so you allow follow up time with guests who have not responded.

 • Consider using a monogram or crest to be used throughout the stationery & design process.

 • Consider other pieces of the wedding day stationery that will match the invitation, ie. Ceremony Program, Escort Card, Seating Chart, Menu, Welcome Bag Insert, Favor Tags 

• Plan to have guests mail a RSVP card back to you. The response rate is greater than RSVPing online and this is the last thing you want to be waiting on when your final counts are due to your florist, planner and caterer.


Totally understandable. Here are some tips to politely remind your guests of that.

• On the invitation envelope, only address it to the “Mr. and Mrs.” of the home. 

• On the reception card indicate, “adult reception”

• On the RSVP instead of saying “Number of Guests  Attending” say “Number of Adults Attending”.

There are a lot of formalities and etiquettes when it comes to inviting guests to the largest celebration you will ever have.  Make sure to take meaningful time to invite them gracefully. There are a lot of online options for Do It Yourself brides, but don’t forget about your local resources that can make this process pain free and save you a lot of time and money in mistakes.

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