2.1. Save the dates
2.2. Wedding invitations
3.1. Save the dates
3.2. Wedding invitations
8.1. RSVP inserts
8.2. RSVP online
9.2.1. Magnet Save the Dates
9.2.2. Themed invitations
9.2.3. Pop the Cork!
9.2.4. Engraved wood
9.2.5. Mini book invites
9.2.6. Plant a garden
9.2.7. Unique paper
9.2.8. Acrylic invite
9.2.9. Practical invites
9.2.10. Ticket to the show
9.2.11. Map it out
9.3.1. The Queen of England
9.3.2. The President
9.3.3. Your local government
9.3.4. The Pope
9.3.5. Mickey and Minnie
9.3.6. Lin-Manual Miranda
There’s nothing quite as exciting as dropping your wedding invites in the mail and waiting for the RSVPs to arrive. Even if you’ve already celebrated your engagement online, sending your save the dates and wedding invitations announce your upcoming nuptials with style.
Designing and sending your wedding stationery also happen to be two of the most finicky steps in the planning process. At first glance, the process may seem confusing and time-consuming, but there are ways to make the process fun, playful, and reflective of your creativity. After all, everyone loves getting exciting announcements in the mail, so why not push the limits of tradition a bit to reflect your personality?
In this guide, we’ve laid out all the most frequently asked questions about choosing, writing, and sending your save the dates and wedding invitations. We’ll explore wedding invitation wording, addressing wedding invitations, and how to manage RSVPs. You can also find some fun ways to make your invite process unique and exciting with wedding invitation ideas for each style.
While it may sound labor-intensive to purchase, design, stamp, and send so much snail mail for one event, save-the-dates and wedding invitations set the tone for your big day. Here are a few of the main reasons wedding stationery is so important for your wedding:
● Save the dates encourage guests to mark their calendars for your wedding weeks before the official invitation is ready to go out.
● Wedding invitations cue your guests to provide an RSVP about whether they’re attending.
● Both pieces of stationery provide details on where, when, and how your big day will happen. With everything in one place—or on the wedding website—there will be far less confusion at the wedding.
These two important announcements also tell guests how to dress at your wedding, where to find your registry, and details about important travel information. In other words, whenever your guests need to know what to do or where to go next, the wedding stationery points the way.
It’s easy to confuse the save the dates with the wedding invitations. While similar, they do not technically service the same purpose. Here are the main differences between the two:
These initial announcements go out four-to-eight months before the invitations. They contain less information than the invites since their main purpose is to announce the date and location of the wedding. If you’re planning a destination wedding, this allows guests to book their flights and shift their work schedules.
Save the dates may come in the form of a folded card, a postcard, a magnet, or even an email. We’ll dive more into that below.
The wedding invitation marks the formal request of your guests’ presence on the big day. Invite suites include an RSVP date and instructions for replying, as well as information about the wedding website, hotel block, and the schedule of the day.
Wedding invitations are physically more elaborate than save the dates. They may include an invitation, an RSVP card and envelope, and additional stationery for travel or website information, though there are options to keep it simple as well.
This is always the ultimate question: when do you send save the dates and wedding invitations? Timely wedding stationery ensures that your guests have enough time to shift their schedules and plan travel for your celebration.
As we mentioned above, save the dates are typically sent anywhere between four-and-eight months before the wedding.
Why the large range? Let’s say you’re tying the knot on New Years’ Eve on a tropical island. Your guests will need more time to grab good flight prices and adjust their schedule. Local weddings with less planning can come as late as four months before your wedding, but this could lead to fewer confirmations. Find the balance that works for your guests.
Wedding invitations are almost always sent six-to-eight weeks before the big day, according to Brides.com. The closer date infers a sense of urgency to RSVP. The date is also far enough away for guests to receive the card and answer with a return card or online.
Most wedding venues require an approximate headcount about two weeks before your wedding day—with the final number confirmed a few days before. This six-to-eight-week heads up takes the pressure off you, your guests, and your caterer/venue.
Should something as formal as your wedding stationery show up in an email? As it becomes more commonplace to email your save the dates, wedding stationery brands are meeting demand.
For example, Paperless Post provides elegant and stylish lifelike cards that arrive by email. Track who has opened and even send responses to your card.
Not only does this save on time and labor, but it also allows you to reach guests more quickly and efficiently than sending them out by mail. Emailed save-the-dates are also a great option if you’re planning an eco-conscious wedding.
As for wedding invitations, we recommend sticking to the traditional route of popping them in the mail. Receiving a formal card by snail mail is still so widely expected that your guests may miss an emailed invite, especially older relatives unlikely to check their inbox as often.
Choosing your wedding invitation wording can be the trickiest bit of the process. Couples today are working to balance old-fashioned etiquette and modern creativity to write and save the dates and invitations that reflect their style.
Here are some quick notes about what should go on both pieces of stationery:
Your save the date should typically include:
● The announcement that you and your fiance are getting married
● A request to “save the date” for your upcoming celebration
● Date of the wedding
● Name of the venue
● Website address for more information (optional)
● Announcement that a formal invitation will follow
Your wedding invitation wording is a bit more elaborate and it’s up to you how much to include on your card and online. Wording may include:
● Formal invitation from the couple or the couple’s parents (for more traditional cards)
● Names of you and your fiance
● Date and time of wedding ceremony and celebration
● Location of wedding ceremony and celebration
● Contact email for more questions
● RSVP date
● How to RSVP
● Whether you’re welcoming a plus-one or children
● Brief registry information
● Website information
● Hotel block details (if applicable)
Clearly, this is a lot to put on one card. Details such as a registry, hotel block, and schedule for the day may all go online unless you have relatives that aren’t as tech-savvy as others.
Formal invitation suites also traditionally include an invitation card, a reception card, and an RSVP card. If the guest is invited to the rehearsal dinner, this may come on a separate piece of paper as well.
While this may seem like a small detail, addressing wedding invitations properly helps your guests know who is invited.
For example, not all weddings allow plus-ones or young children. Not sure if you should include plus-ones at your wedding? Check out Vogue’s etiquette guide on this matter for a detailed rundown.
Depending on your choice, here are a few proper ways to address wedding invitations:
● The Clifford Family
● Mr. and Mrs. Christina Higgins
● Miss Claire Smith and Mr. John Meyer
● Helen Miller and Guest
Note: Be sure to write your recipient’s address clearly below their names, especially if you’ve chosen to use a unique font or hand-written calligraphy.
Wedding invitations are traditionally sent from the bride and groom’s address unless you’ve chosen someone else to manage your RSVP’s. This may include your wedding planner, parents, or a helpful bridesmaid. If the return address is different than yours, however, be sure to note this clearly in your registry information so that gifts are sent to the correct home.
More and more, couples are choosing to switch from mailed RSVP cards to online wedding guest trackers. Whoever you pick, be sure to set an RSVP date at least two weeks before the wedding.
Some couples still prefer to include an RSVP card and stamped envelope. This option helps guests avoid online confusion with a new website. These cards typically include a line for the guests’ names, a response of yes or no, and meal preferences.
One common issue with mailed RSVP cards is when guests forget to write their names on the note. Keep track more closely by writing a small number on the back of each card in regular or invisible ink to ensure who it came from.
Fold a pre-stamped and addressed envelope with the RSVP card in the invitation suite to cut down on any extra steps for your guests.
Several top wedding websites today—such as The Knot and Zola—offer online RSVP options as well as wedding guest tracker tools. Ideally, we recommend choosing to design your wedding website on the same page that hosts your RSVP option.
Direct your guests to the site on your invitations with an RSVP date. Be sure to cross-check the data from the website with any responses by word of mouth, or if you choose both methods, ones that have come in the mail.
Despite our online world, physical stationery is still the popular choice for personalizing your invitations. In fact, the expansion of stationery websites at your fingertip means a larger variety of wedding invitation ideas.
Let’s start with the outside of the stationery. Deck out your envelope with personalized or wedding-themed stamps to add an extra level of charm. You can even purchase wedding stamps online directly from the post office to ensure you choose the right value for your stationery suite.
Many weddings save the dates and invitations will come with a matching envelope, but be wary of darkly colored paper that could be hard to address. If the writing is too pale or illegible, it could hit a snag at the post office. If you choose the dark or patterned envelope route, you may be better off with an elegantly typed address label.
This is where your artistry can really shine. Explore this long list of creative wedding invitations to show off your theme, wedding colors, and your unique style.
One of the most popular choices for save the dates include magnet-backed announcements that can hang out on your fridge for the months leading up to the day. This is also an opportunity to show off your recent engagement photos in a way that displays in your friend’s homes.
Work with your wedding location or theme by thinking outside the box when it comes to creative wedding invitation shapes and designs. For example, a message in a bottle invitation, especially made by an independent artists on Etsy, is an eye-catching idea for a beach wedding.
Design your save the dates with a cork and magnet background for a rustic and celebratory design. Some sellers design these cork squares as helpful home items like coasters and trivets.
Transform a wedding invitation into a keepsake by working with a professional engraver. You may also choose to only send these special invites to close family and your wedding party as a unique gift.
With some much information to pack into one card, these miniature flipbooks are a classy way to keep everything in one place. Each card includes more details such as travel information, how to shop off the registry, and instructions to RSVP.
Reflect your eco-conscious or garden-themed wedding style with save the dates on plantable seed paper. After your wedding day has passed, guests can plant the paper and grow herbs or wildflowers. You can even include small pots for planting at your wedding.
Stationery companies also offer paper in a range of textures and styles, including sheer materials for layering your invitation. Vellum, for example, places a thin layer of paper atop your invitation for extra elegance and more room to design.
Forgo paper altogether by printing your invitations on a thin sheet of acrylic material. Choose a clear or lightly tinted sheet of acrylic to match your style. It’s important to note that acrylic stationery often requires special postage or packaging.
Sailing away for a destination wedding? Print your details on a faux airline ticket or a passport. Celebrating with an old Hollywood style? Design a ticket for the premiere of a classic film. Not only are these invites fun to get in the mail, but they also set the tone for your upcoming celebration.
Reflect your sense of adventure as you head into this next phase in life with a jet setting, map-themed wedding invitation idea. Use a map layout to show off a destination wedding, an outdoor celebration, or as a scavenger hunt for your guests throughout the day.
Once you’ve designed your wedding invitation and popped them all in the mail, it’s time to have a little fun with your “guest” list. Several celebrities are known to graciously respond to invites, and sometimes even send a special note or gift in the mail. While you can’t expect them to show up for the celebration, the response makes an excellent keepsake.
Here are a few ideas:
Receive a royal reply from the Queen’s staff by inviting Her Majesty to your big day. More details can be found on the Royal Family’s contact page.
Couples in the past have been reported to receive kind cards from former first families. Request the White House at your wedding by sending an invite to:
The President & First Lady
The White House
Greetings Office, Room 39
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20502
If you’re civically engaged and want to show appreciation for your governor or congressperson, send an invitation their way with a note of thanks for all they do.
Catholic couples will revel in a response and a papal blessing from the Vatican itself, which makes a particular special memento before a religious ceremony. You can send an invite to:
His Holiness, Pope Francis
Secretariat of State
00120 Vatican City
Why not welcome Disney’s favorite couple to your party? Mickey and Minnie Mouse are said to send back a “Just Married” badge for all the young-at-heart newlyweds. Address your invite to:
Mickey and Minnie
The Walt Disney Company
500 South Buena Vista St,
Burback, CA 91521
Hamilton fans will love to hear that Lin-Manual Miranda is known to write back a congratulatory note to engaged couples. Invites can be sent to:
New York, NY 10034
You can find far more celebrities for your invite list in the Facebook Wedding Celebrity Contact group or at fanmail.biz.
From floral envelopes to gold-foiled lettering, your wedding invitations can be as creative as the rest of your big day’s design. While classic invitations are always a hit, couples can branch out in all directions to match their wedding theme. No matter which design you choose, sending your save the dates and invites marks the next big step toward your beautiful celebration.