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A Guide to Wedding Invites

One of the biggest questions I get is about the timeline for sending out save the dates, invitations, and requesting RSVPs. So, let's dive into the details and ensure your guests have all the information they need right on time!

1. Save the Dates: The Early Bird Special

When to Send: 6-8 Months Before the Wedding

Think of your Save the Dates as the first exciting hint of what's to come. This is your chance to give your guests a heads-up so they can mark their calendars and start making plans.

Why This Timing?

  • Destination Weddings: If you're planning a destination wedding or a celebration during peak travel times, give your guests a full 8 months' notice. This allows them to book flights and accommodations without breaking the bank.

  • Local Weddings: For more local affairs, 6 months is typically sufficient. This still gives your guests plenty of time to arrange their schedules.

Pro Tip: Make your Save the Dates fun and personal! Use a favorite photo from your engagement shoot, or get creative with a unique design that reflects your wedding theme.

2. Wedding Invitations: The Main Event

When to Send: 6-8 Weeks Before the Wedding

Now it's time for the main event—the official wedding invitations. This is where you provide all the essential details your guests will need to know.

Why This Timing?

  • Detailed Information: Unlike Save the Dates, your invitations should include specifics like venue details, ceremony times, dress code, and meal options.

  • RSVP Management: Sending invitations 6-8 weeks in advance gives your guests ample time to respond, and allows you enough time to finalize headcounts and seating arrangements.

Pro Tip: Include an RSVP card with a pre-addressed and stamped envelope to make it as easy as possible for your guests to respond. Alternatively, you can include a link to your wedding website where guests can RSVP online.

3. RSVP Deadline: The Finishing Touch

When to Set the Deadline: 3-4 Weeks Before the Wedding

Getting those RSVPs back in a timely manner is crucial for your planning. You'll need final numbers for your caterer, venue, and other vendors.

Why This Timing?

  • Final Counts: Caterers and venues typically need final numbers at least two weeks before the event. Setting your RSVP deadline 3-4 weeks before the wedding gives you a buffer to chase any stragglers.

  • Seating Arrangements: This also gives you time to finalize your seating chart, a task that can take longer than you might expect.

Pro Tip: Follow up with guests who haven't responded a week before your deadline. A gentle reminder can work wonders in getting those last few RSVPs in.

Bonus Tips for a Seamless Experience

  1. Digital vs. Physical RSVPs: Consider using an online RSVP system. It's faster, easier for guests, and automatically compiles responses for you.

  2. Thank You Notes: Start writing thank you notes as soon as you start receiving gifts. This makes the task less daunting post-wedding.

  3. Communicate Clearly: Ensure all your communications are clear and concise. Double-check all details before sending out your Save the Dates and invitations.

Planning a wedding can be a whirlwind, but with this timeline in hand, you can stay organized and ensure your guests are informed and excited for your big day. Remember, the goal is to enjoy the process and create beautiful memories along the way.

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