Prepare To Be Showered
Wedding showers are a popular way for the people in your life to express their joy about your upcoming nuptials. There is nothing more special than celebrating the love you have for your spouse-to-be than with your close friends and loved ones.
Zola is here to help you with every aspect of your engagement and wedding planning process leading up to the big day, including any showers you may have. Our easy-to-use wedding registry will help your guests shower you the best way they know how while helping you navigate the wedding registry process seamlessly.
For more resources surrounding bridal showers, see our expert advice below:
Average Rsvp Date For Weddings
A post shared by Naebr | Wedding Invitations on Oct 22, 2020 at 9:03am PDT
Wedding planners and experts generally say that your guests RSVPs should be due 2-4 weeks before your wedding day. Give guests enough time to RSVP, but not too much so that they forget!
Make sure that there is ample time between the date when you send out invitations and the RSVP By date. Guests may need a few weeks to decide if they want to attend or if the wedding fits in their schedule.
Before you send your wedding invitations, figure out when you need guests to RSVP by. Two to four weeks is a good timeline, but consider the finer details of your wedding before you settle on a date.
Most importantly, ask your venue and vendors when they will need the final headcount. Vendors like your venue and caterer will need to know the headcount to finalize their services and prices for the big day.
When Should You Consider Ordering Your Invites
Once youve settled on a design, you need to order your invitations. If youre ordering custom, designs like those on offer at Crimson Letters, youll need to set aside at least 12 weeks for these to be agreed, completed and sent out to you. This means youll need to add an additional 2-3 months onto your wedding timeline. That means that if you plan to send out your invites 6 months before your wedding day, youll need to have these ordered at least nine months before your chosen date.
I know, theres a lot to think about with when to send out your wedding invitations!
But getting ahead with ordering your wedding invitations and RSVPs will give you more time to send them out and wait to receive the RSVPs from your guests. If youre ordering ready-made designs you should still give yourself a two month window to receive these. Getting ahead with your ordering will help to take the stress out of organising your big day.
And as with anything in life, things change and you may find that youve got additional guests youd like to invite. That or one of your invites gets lost in the post. For this reason, its a good idea to order some extra invites. The number of extra invites you order will depend on the size of your wedding, but giving yourself a 10% cushion to give you plenty to fall back on should you need them.
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What Time Should We Put On Our Wedding Invitations
A good rule of thumb is to call the wedding for at least half an hour to 45 minutes before you want the ceremony to begin, and state that time on your invitation. Its also important to be very intentional with what you plan to have guests do for that window of time before your ceremony starts. Its important to make this very purposeful. You dont want your guests sitting in their seats waiting or thinking that youre running late, says etiquette expert Elaine Swann. Have something ready for your guests to do. It doesnt take much, but you want to create a moment that allows your guests to arrive at that time and be involved.
Meet the Expert
Elaine Swann is a lifestyle and wedding etiquette expert. She is the founder of The Swann School of Protocol and the author of Let Crazy Be Crazy.
According to Swann, something as simple as serving spa water, setting up a photo area, or the signing of the guest book is a great way to fill this time intentionally and to be sure guests aren’t sitting down and waiting for too long. Listing this activity on a handheld program or large sign is another great way to make it clear that the start time was intentional.
To Whom Do I Send My Save The Dates
Your save the dates should be sent to all of your guests, which means you should have a finalized guest list before sending them out. Some couples create A, B, and C guest lists and only sending save the dates to those on the A-list, but thats not something we recommend. In fact, we don’t recommend having A, B, or C lists at allit’s best to just have one final guest list, rather than multiple lists with potential invitees. Its possible that those family members and friends on your B and C lists will find out that save the dates went out , and they werent includednot ideal.
What About Invitations For International Guests
If you’re inviting just a few overseas guests, send their invitations along with the ones for your other guests, but make a point to give them a heads-up. Give them a call or send them an email with the details, as well as information about booking hotel rooms, so they can start to arrange their travel with time to spare.
Does half of your family live abroad? You might want to consider bumping up the timeline for them and the rest of your guests. Start designing your invitations a few weeks early and plan to send them out a minimum of 12 weeks in advance.
Be sure to follow up promptly with anyone you haven’t heard from to make sure they have plenty of time to book their flights.
You will also want to have all of the information available on your wedding website as soon as save-the-dates are in the mail. Sure, it means you’ll have to start ironing out the hotel room block and transportation information sooner than you’d expected, but you’ll be happier in the long run. Those overseas guests will have all the information at their fingertips, and you’ll have even more crossed off of your to-do list.
When To Send Wedding Invitations: How Early Is Too Early
When youre planning a wedding, timing is an important consideration. Its hard to know when to book vendors, when to throw engagement parties and bridal showers, and how early to send out your wedding invitations.
Once youve booked your venue and set a date for your wedding, you may be wondering, how soon is too soon to send out the invitations? You dont want to wait too long and have guests unable to attend due to prior commitments, but is there a rule for how far in advance you can send out the invites?
Well break down wedding invitation etiquette and common practices for timing your wedding invitations.
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How Big Is Your Guest List Do Your Guests Know And Are The Invitations A Formality
You might not have sent formal save the dates, but theres a good chance that your A list family and friends will know about your wedding and will have marked the date on their calendars already. If you have a relatively small guest list and you are confident that this is the case, again, you dont need to go too early with your wedding invitations. If you have a bigger guest list, where you are not in regular contact with many of them, it might be harder to communicate with via word of mouth. In this case you could send wedding invitations a little earlier to ensure everybody is aware.
How Early Is Too Early For Wedding Invitations Are You Getting Married In Wedding Season
Typically in the UK, the spring and summer months of May to September are wedding season. If your big day falls in this peak time then think about sending your handmade wedding invitations earlier rather than later. As this is also holiday season it would be a good idea to give your guests plenty of notice so that they dont get double booked. Of course you might already have this covered with a save the date .
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Should We Include Our Registry Info On Our Invitations Or Save
Including registry info on the wedding invitations or save-the-dates is considered impolite because it can give the impression you’re asking for gifts. But go ahead and put your registry info directly on your wedding website . If you’re planning on having a wedding shower, you can put your registry info on the bridal shower invitations . You can also tell your wedding party, parents and close friends where you’re registered, and let them fill guests in.
How It Worked Irl
For her 2018 wedding in Blaine, Washington, Lilia, 28, went the online route and used Greenvelope. Not only were digital invites more sustainable, but Lilia was able to make changes to her list on the fly, giving friends plus-ones at the last minute. Lilia loved how she could add links to the digital invitation, directing guests to other important information, like the coupleâs wedding website, the venue, and their registry. Because the invitation was in an email, she felt it allowed guests to ask questions immediately and encouraged easy and open communication. âA lot of time and money and effort goes into the paper invites, and I totally understand it’s a beautiful touchpoint, but I think it’s not the most valuable area that I wanted to place effort,â Lilia says. âFor us, we wanted to be more sustainable and didnât see the value as much and digital seemed way easier.â
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Formal Or Casual: What To Include
First, decide what will be written on your invitation and how it should be worded. You and your fiancé may feel that since committing to one another is a very significant event, you would prefer to use formal phrasing on your wedding invitations.
This formal phrasing can work for any style of wedding. Its particularly appropriate if you will be having a more traditional wedding with a religious ceremony, followed by formal reception. It can give your guests a heads up to the fact that your event will be classy and elegant.
However, if you and your fiancé are hosting a more casual event, the phrasing on your wedding invitations can likewise be more casual.
Regardless of how formal or casual the phrasing on your wedding invitation is, there are some basics that always must be included: who, when, and where. This means the invitation should give the full names of the couple, and the full names of the hosts if youre using formal phrasing. It should clearly list the time, date, month and year of the wedding. Dont forget the full address of where it is being held! If you are requesting an RSVP, this should be written on the lower left corner of the invitation.
When Should You Send Out Bridal Shower Invitations
Overall, the best time to send out wedding shower invitations is anywhere between four and eight weeks before the event. That said, the six-week mark is a widely accepted sweet spot, with an RSVP deadline at least two to three weeks before the event. This time frame gives guests ample time to book their calendars and find a gift, but still affords the host time to prepare for the final headcount.
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When Should I Order And Send Out Thank You Cards
Many brides like to order their thank you cards at the same time as their invitation. It saves time after the wedding, which helps you get your thank you notes out faster. This also allows you to write thank you cards for presents and help you receive in the lead up to the wedding as they arrive. You can, however, order thank you cards post-wedding, as etiquette states that you have three months to send them out. Just dont underestimate how long it will take you to handwrite personalised thank you cards for all your guests! It can be a big undertaking, and probably isnt something you can get done in a single afternoon.
What To Include On Save The Dates Vs Wedding Invitations
Curious about what to include on save the dates? Save the date cards are not meant to be super formal or full of information, unlike wedding invitations.
Treat your save the dates like a sneak peek of whats to come. Its like your own little teaser for the big day!
When crafting your save the dates, youll want to include:
- you and your partners names
- your wedding location
- your wedding date
And if youre really ahead in the planning process and have already created your wedding website when youre sending out save the dates, drop that link on the card, too!
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When To Send Your Wedding Invites
As previously mentioned, youll want to give your guests plenty of notice for your big day. So around the three to six-month mark is a good time to send out your invitations.
This gives them time to RSVP.
Also ensures theyve got time to arrange days off work, baby sitters or whatever they may need to do to make it to the day.
But, there is a fine line between giving enough notice and sending your invites too early. You certainly dont want to be sending them out a year before your wedding. Dont be mistaken. Its OK to send your save the date cards out 6 -12 months before. However, if you send your invites as much as 4-6 months early, you risk them getting lost or your guests actually forgetting the date as its so far off in the future.
While there is a lot to remember when planning a wedding, its always best to stay ahead and ensure you leave yourself and your guests plenty of time.
For more detailed advice, check out my timeline for stress free wedding invitations.
This Is When You Should Send Out Your Wedding Invitations
If theres any wedding timeline you should definitely pay attention to, its when to send out wedding invitations, and even save the dates if you have any guests coming in from out town .
Sticking to a timeline for when to send out wedding invitations is important because it not only lets your guests know not to schedule any other plans for that date, but in a way it makes you put a firm date on when you need to make OTHER wedding decisions by, most importantly your wedding venue. Once you get your wedding venue and date nailed down, trust me when I tell you the hardest part will be DONE .
This handy infographic will hopefully help you keep the dates straight for when to send out wedding invitations, which Ive also outlined below. Let us know if you have any questions in the comments section!
Wedding Invitations Timeline
3-4 Months Before Wedding
- Mail your Save the Dates
- For destination weddings, you can send out STDs as soon as you have your wedding date nailed down. This will give guests as much time as possible to book travel, babysitters, etc.
6-8 Weeks Before Wedding
- For destination weddings, try to mail your invites out 3 months beforehand
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