So, a very common question I am asked is when should I send my save the dates and invitations. There isn’t a right or wrong answer to this really but there are better and worse times.
* Invitations by Ivory Sky Design
Save the dates can realistically be sent up to a year in advance, it depends on a number of factors such as if you’re having a wedding that people will need to travel or a weekday wedding where people will need time off work. You may even decide that you see the majority of your guests on a day to day basis and actually don’t need to send them. Don’t feel like you have to. It’s a waste of money if you’re having an intimate wedding and can speak to the guests regularly.
As for invitiations, I have never yet worked at a wedding where invitations haven’t been sent. Even if they are something you print at home. They need to contain information like –
The names of the hosts, whether thats you or your parents (if this is someone other than yourself, the full name including title of both the bride and groom should also be added)
Time of your ceremony
Date of your ceremony/reception
Venue, including postcode or directions
Date of RSVP and contact details for them to reply to
Gift list or request for money/honeymoon vouchers, whatever you decide to ask for
Menu and menu choice card if you're offering one, make sure you ask about dietary requirements even if you aren't offering a choice on the menu.
Other information should you wish to include it such as whether you have a dress code or whether you're inviting children.
The majority of venues will require your final numbers around 2-4 weeks in advance. It is dependent on your venue so make sure you check with them when booking on the requirements.
Always allow time to chase those who have not replied to you at the agreed time. So if your venue requires numbers 4 weeks before ensure you get your RSVP date 6 weeks before. Thus giving 2 weeks to contact those who have not returned the RSVP.
Guests will need time to arrange things such as babysitters, hotel stay and transport so it is best to give them around 6/8 weeks to reply. Adding this time onto the already proposed 6 weeks means you will need to send your invitations around 14 weeks before your wedding.
Again this in not a must and you know your guests better than anyone else. If you think they need longer then add time on. If you think they’re efficient then take time off.
Things to avoid –
Don’t send them out too early, your guests may RSVP but then forget as they’ve been busy with other things.
Don’t send them too late, your guests may not have time to make arrangements and will therefore have to decline the invite.
Having just got over the craziness of Christmas I can honestly say avoid any time in December to send out important documents such as invitations. Especially if you require additional information such as menu choices. People just aren’t in the right frame of mind to worry about your wedding on top of their own Christmas and you’ll end up chasing them in the New Year to which you will likely get the reply “oh I forgot about that’ or “oh did I get an invitation”.
One of the services I offer in any of my bespoke packages is dealing with guests lists and RSVP's so if the thought of organising this and chasing people when the time comes is enough to give you sleepless nights then give me a call and I'll happily deal with this on your behalf. Having gone through this on my own wedding and assisted on many others I know exactly how stressful it can be.