I’m not a fan of the word etiquette when it comes to weddings! I firmly believe you should be able to have the wedding you want regardless of tradition.
However, ordering Wedding Stationery can be a bit of a minefield, and it’s useful to know a few hints & tips to make ordering your Wedding Stationery that little bit easier ….
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1. When To Send Your Stationery
Generally the advice is to send your wedding invitations to your guests approximately 3 months before the date of your wedding. I personally think with people’s busy lifes these days that 4-6 months is more appropriate so people have time to book off holiday etc.
This can however depend on your wedding … you may be having a wedding abroad and in this case you will need to send out your invitations much further in advance as your guests may need to book flights etc.
If you’d like your guests to know the date of your wedding much further in advance I’d advise sending out Save The Date cards. This can give your guests advance warning so they don’t book holidays that clash with your wedding and can book time off work if needed.
2. When To Order Your Stationery
This can depend on your stationer, but I generally advise my clients to start the booking process at least 2 months prior to the date you need to receive your invitations. This is especially necessary if you are ordering handmade stationery, as it allows time for proofs to be sent and changes to be made. You also need to take into account many stationers will only be able to take on so many orders a month so it may be worth putting a deposit down much earlier to secure the services of the stationer you really want.
Also allow extra time if you require a bespoke service as you need to allow a little bit longer for the design process.
I often have to advise couples on their RSVP dates, as sometimes they will put a date which is far too close to the wedding.
You need to allow time to chase up stragglers! No matter how well you think you know your guests there will always be a few who will reply to you weeks after your RSVP date… or not at all!
Also take into account the date your caterers and venue will need to know final numbers by, and if you are ordering reception stationery allow a month for this to be made.
A great idea is to provide a rsvp postcard in with your stationery .. I often create postcard style ones for my clients … making it as easy as possible for your guests to RSVP quickly and in the correct way.
Many people these days will think sending you a message on facebook or by text is enough … and if you are ok with that and can keep track of all the different types of reply you are getting that’s fine! However I’d definately advise trying to keep all of your rsvps in one format if possible .. it will make it much easier for you.
You may love to have children at your wedding, but there are many couples out there who could think of nothing worse! There are ways of wording this on your stationery so you don’t end up offending any of your guests who are parents!
Generally I advise not having a short sharp line stating “Children Not Allowed” … the text I usually use is something like … “We would love you to enjoy a day off and so respectfully ask that there are no children at our wedding”.
5. Extra Information
I’d always advise a separate information card to be included with your stationery. These days there is often so much extra information you would like to let your guests know about your day.
This can include directions, maps, guest information, food requests or even asking your guests to bring something with them to your wedding.
A lot of my stationery ranges include an information card and RSVP card as a pack price, which can save you some money.
When it comes to wording, I personally don’t think the rules are as strict as they used to be, but generally invitation wording will be either Formal or Informal.
Formal invitations are generally for weddings being hosted by the parents of the couple and will be addressed as such … “Mr. & Mrs. G Robinson request the pleasure of the company of Mr. & Mrs. Joe Bloggs at the marriage of their daughter Jessica Anne to Mr. James Smith ….”.
Many couples, however, now host their own weddings and so an informal wording is more appropriate … “Jessica & James would love the pleasure of the company of Jane & Joe Bloggs at their wedding …”.
I personally feel these days anything goes! Be as informal or as humorous as you want depending on the style of your wedding!
7. Final advice … Have fun with your wedding stationery and remember to order a few extra just in case!