Thursday, September 20, 2012

How to Prepare and Mail Your Wedding Invitations

So, you've found your ideal Wedding Invitations! Now what do you do? There are most likely numerous questions you have in relation to how many to order, addressing the invitations and who gets an invite. Considering that the Wedding Invitations will set the tone for your upcoming wedding, it is important to remember the recognized etiquette of a wedding while ordering and mailing out your invitations.

  1. Who gets an Invitation? Of course all your guests that you wish to invite should get an invitation. In addition, your wedding party should also get an invitation as well as clergy and parents. The wedding party understands they are invited, but this gives you the opportunity to formally invite a spouse or provide the option for a guest to attend with a single attendant. This holds true for any clergy you wish to invite.
  2. How many invitations do I order? Once you have compiled your guest list, it is always best to add on at least an additional 25 invitations. If you have the option to just order additional envelopes, this is advised as well just in case errors are made during the address writing. Having additional wedding invitations on hand is ideal for keepsake purposes as well as return mailed and the last minute invites you may want to send.
  3. When are Send the Date Cards mailed? Send the Date Cards can be mailed anywhere from six to nine months before the wedding. These are still considered optional in terms of etiquette, but about 90% of couples today are choosing to send them in order to ensure family and friends across the country and world are able to attend. If you are planning a destination wedding, these really are a must as travel and hotels will need to be booked.
  4. When are Wedding Invitations mailed? Traditionally, wedding invitations are mailed six to eight weeks prior to the day. However, if you are having a destination wedding, you may elect to send out the invitations eight to ten weeks ahead in order to ensure that all accommodations can be made by your guests.
  5. Do I really need a Reception Card? A Reception Card isn't necessary, if the reception is immediately following the ceremony and if it is at the same location. A Reception Card is proper etiquette, if the reception is at a different location. The Reception Card is also the appropriate way to communicate what type of party you are hosting. For example, if you are hosting an "Adult Only" reception, the card is the avenue to communicate this important information. Directions should also be provided or at least the address of the reception.
  6. Do I really need a Respond Card? A Respond Card is the most traditional way for your guests to acknowledge the invitation and advise as to whether or not they will be attending. Although some couples are electing to print a website on the invitation itself for guests to RSVP online, this is not the proper way to solicit a response and it does take away from the invitation which is typically a keepsake considering the personalized verse and wedding details.
  7. How do I provide the reception menu options? The Respond Card is the perfect place to outline to your guests what meal choices they will have at your reception. Selecting a meal is the indication they will be attending. Another line is then provided below the meal options for those who regretfully cannot attend.
  8. How long should I give guests to RSVP? Your final number of guests is typically due to your venue about one to two weeks prior to your wedding. With this in mind, asking for the RSVP two to three weeks in advance will provide ample time for you to evaluate who has responded, call those who haven't and contact the venue with your final count. If you are planning a destination wedding and accommodations are a factor, asking for a response four weeks in advance is perfectly acceptable.
  9. Where do I put my Return Address? Your return address should be printed in two places. The first is on the back of the outer envelope. This will ensure that any invitations that are not deliverable will be returned to you. This can be printed by your invitation vendor. The second place is on the front of the respond card envelope. This can also be printed by your invitation vendor and is typically printed at no additional charge. Be sure to place a postage stamp on the respond card envelope as well.
  10. How should the invitations be addressed? The outer envelope can be mailed to a family just by indicating Mr. and Mrs. The outer envelope for a single person can just be addressed to that person. The inner envelope traditionally is the indication of who is actually being extended the invitation. If you are hosting a family oriented wedding where kids can attend the ceremony and reception, the invitation should be to the adults and "family." If you are just inviting the adults of the household, "family" should be left off. If you are inviting a single person who can bring a guest, the invitation should indicate the person's name and the word "guest." If you are just inviting the single person, it should only state his or her name.
  11. Do the envelopes for the Wedding Invitations need to be handwritten? The return addresses can be printed for the invitations. However, everything else should be handwritten. This is, after all, a personal and intimate invitation.

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