So you and your partner have decided to get the ball rolling on your wedding plans. You’ve visited reception venues, found one you like, and you booked it. Then you spent hours agonizing over your guest list. Now it’s time to get those invitations in the mail! As you’re picking out different stationery elements and trying to figure out when to send them out, you may have a few questions. Don’t worry, we’re here to help. We went to wedding planner Crystal Adair-Benning of Distinct Occasions with all of your most burning wedding invitation etiquette questions. These five tips will help you to ensure that everyone you know and love will show up for your special day.
1. When do I send my save-the-dates and what should I include on them?
Save-the-dates are especially important for destination weddings or if you have many out-of-town guests. You should generally send out your save-the-dates nine to 12 months before your wedding, but for destination weddings, or if you have a lot of guests who are coming from out of town, you want to send your save-the-dates closer to 12 months in advance. “If the people you’re inviting will need to request time off for work, you want to give them ample time to do that,” Adair-Benning explains.
2. Is there such a thing as sending invitations out too early?
There is such a thing as sending your invitations out too early. Send your invitations three to four months before your wedding. “RSVPing is not most people’s forte,” Adair-Benning says. “The longer people tuck it away, the less likely they are to RSVP.” Expect your RSVPs back four to six weeks before the wedding, but expect them back a little bit earlier for destination weddings, where the venue may need a final count before you arrive.
3. Who should I give a plus one to?
You can give plus ones to some guests and not to others. “If someone has been in a serious, committed relationship with someone for awhile, or if you think they don’t really know anyone at your wedding and would enjoy it better with a guest, give them a plus one,” Adair-Benning advises.
4. How do I invite someone who lives far away, who I don’t think will be able to attend?
These are called optional invites. You wouldn’t include them in the final count, but sending them both the save-the-date and an invitation is important. “An example of this happening is if you have ailing grandparents in a different country who won’t be able to attend,” Adair-Benning explains. “You still want to send the invite to show them that they’re important to you.”
5. Is it okay to have some guests RSVP through mail and have others do it online?
For guests who aren’t comfortable doing it online, you could have them do it through mail or on the phone and have other guests do it online. “Any way is totally fine,” Adair-Benning says. “It’s becoming more and more accepted that you can RSVP through phone, email or on a wedding website.”