For today's Wedding Wednesday we are going to talk all about your wedding invitations! Wedding invitations set the tone and feel for your wedding day and they also provide all the must have information that your guests need for your wedding so they are pretty important. Let's break down the main invitations and styles below!
Save The Dates
Save The Dates are what you send to your family and friends letting them know that you will be tying the knot and what day it will be. These do not have a ton of information on them and are really just so your friends and family can make sure their calendar stays clear for your wedding date and start looking at and booking any travel that may be necessary. You will need to have some sort of guest list in mind when you send your Save The Dates. You can always send Wedding Invitations to people who you didn't send a Save The Date to, however, if you send someone a Save The Date then you will need to send them a Wedding Invitation.
When it comes to your Save The Dates, you can make things simple by just sending a one card design or you can have a more elaborate Save The Date. That's really up to you! You can also send email or digital Save The Dates too if you want to save some cash or be more environmentally friendly.
You will want to send out your Save The Dates around the 6-4 month mark before your wedding if you are planning a local wedding. This will allow your guests to start planning for your wedding. If you are planning on having a destination wedding, then you will want to send your Save The Dates out around the 10 month mark. This will allow your guests to not only mark off your wedding date but to also plan and book the travel that they need.
Wedding Invitations are what you send to officially invite your guests to your wedding! These are formal with all of the information that your guests will need (ceremony start time, wedding venue, etc). Your Wedding Invitations are what will set the tone for your wedding and will help your guests understand if it's going to be a formal affair or more casual so they need to match your wedding theme. If you have a certain dress code that you would like your guests to adhere to, then it's best to leave the guessing out and put it directly onto your Wedding Invitations.
Wedding Invitations can range from elaborate multi-card designs to simple one card designs depending on your wedding theme, budget, and preference. If you want to be more environmentally friendly, you can buy recycled invitations or invitations that are made out of flower seeds that your guests can plant! You can also send electronic Wedding Invitations as well.
You will want to send your Wedding Invitations around 6-8 weeks before your wedding date. If you are having a destination wedding or have guests that will be coming from abroad, aim for around 10 weeks before your wedding.
Reply Cards are what you send with your Wedding Invitations so your guests can either accept or deny your invitation. If you are having a plated meal, you will also have a menu option on your reply card so guests can choose which meal they would like and let you know if they have any dietary concerns.
Reply Cards can be a simple small card or can be an elaborate part of your Wedding Invitation suite. You will want to include a self-addressed and stamped envelope along with a return date so your guests will know when they need to let you know if they accept or can not attend. If you want to be more environmentally conscious, instead of a reply card, you can do an online portal or website where your guests can reply.
Reply Cards will be sent out the same time as your Wedding Invitations so refer to the times above.
Reception Cards are what you send with your Wedding Invitations that will let your guests know where the reception will be and what time the reception will start and end. If you are a couple who may be having a smaller ceremony and then inviting more guests to your reception, then these will replace the Wedding Invitation for those guests.
If you have an elaborate invitation suite, then these will be a separate card. If you are doing a simpler design, then it is totally find to include this information on the main Wedding Invitation instead of including a separate card.
Reception Cards will be sent out the same time as your Wedding Invitations so refer to the times above.
Wedding Programs, Menu Cards, Place Cards
Wedding Programs, Menu Cards, and Place Cards are all stationary items that are not must haves but are nice to have.
Wedding Programs will include the order of events for the ceremony, names of the wedding party and parents, readings and song information, and thank important people or honor deceased loved ones. These can be a simple one card design or a multi-page booklet. You can also display one large sign with all of the information instead too.
Menu Cards will include all of the meal information and what your guest will be eating. These are usually a one card design that is placed on the tables. You can also have a sign with all of this information instead or if you are having a buffet, have place cards for either dish.
Place Cards are what will tell guests where they will be sitting. These can either be on the table or on a sign placed in the venue. If you are having a plated meal, having place cards at your guests seat will help your catering crew. The backs will have your guests meal preferences so your caterers will know exactly who gets what.
Wedding Programs, Menu Cards, and Place Cards won't be sent to your guests but will be passed our on your wedding day. TIP! Although you may need Place Cards for each guest, you don't need to order a wedding program or menu card for everyone! One menu card per table, or a couple for larger tables, is sufficient. One wedding program per couple or family is also sufficient. Most guests will not grab a program per person but instead will grab one per family so there is no need to print multiples!
Thank You Cards
Last on the list are Thank You Cards! These are what you will send to your guests to thank them for their gifts and their presence at your wedding. These should be sent to every family/couple grouping. You do not need to send one per guests, one per family is fine.
Thank You Cards can be a simple normal thank you design or you can make custom Thank You Cards with a photo from your wedding.
Thank You Cards need to be sent no later than one month after your wedding. For guests that send you a gift directly to your home before the wedding day, these thank you's should go out immediately.
Need To Order Invites?
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Wedding Invitation Checklist!
Need a quick checklist to make sure you have everything ordered and ready? Click the photo below to download my FREE Wedding Invitations Checklist!