Wedding planning is extremely exciting – and just as stressful! There are many things to do and almost as many rules to follow. Save the Dates and wedding invitations are no exception, but don’t feel overwhelmed. I’ve gathered the most important do’s and don’ts to get you hitched with less fuss.
Rules for Save the Dates:
Do: mail them early. If guests will need to make travel arrangements to attend your wedding, they’ll appreciate extra time to plan.
Do: collect accurate guest names and addresses. If you get it all right for the Save the Dates, you likely won’t have many changes when it’s time to mail your wedding invitations and thank-you notes.
Don’t: send a Save the Date to someone you might not invite to the wedding. As you get into the thick of planning, you could be faced with venue space restrictions or budgetary woes. Erring on the side of caution saves you from disappointing would-be guests.
Don’t: be afraid to have some fun with it. While your wedding invitation will likely be formal, the Save the Date is a chance to indulge your playful side. Show off your special romance, and use outgoing photos of you and your husband-to-be.
Rules for Wedding Invitations:
Do: use correct wording. Phrasing depends on factors like religion, who is hosting, and simply personal preference. Martha Stewart Weddings has easy-to-follow guidelines for getting it right. If traditional isn’t your style, just be sure to include all of the pertinent information your guests will need to know.
Do: address and stamp the reply envelopes. Guests have come to expect this gesture of convenience, and it helps you in the long run. If it’s a cinch for guests to reply, you’ll be less likely to receive late responses.
Don’t: have a B-list. According to The Emily Post Institute, an etiquette organization formed by the famous manners maven Emily Post, 10 to 20 percent of invited guests send regrets. This gives you a little wiggle room when choosing invitees. If you set aside a standby list, you could end up mailing invitations late – a blunder that tends to leave people with hurt feelings.
Don’t: use address labels. Though it’s tempting for simplicity’s sake, this faux pas distracts from the formal look of your invitations. If hiring a calligrapher isn’t in the budget, write out addresses by hand with a nice pen. Delegate this task to a friend with impeccable handwriting if you’re known for your chicken scratch.
Former brides, feel free to add your advice in the comments!
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