Wedding RSVP

A Comprehensive Guide to Wedding Invitations

A wedding invite addresses the people you want to attend your wedding and it provides all the important information that you wedding guests will need. A good wedding invite provides clarity to avoid each guest coming back to you with questions and being discourteous on the day.

Wedding websites have become prominent in providing this information, however even with a website, a formal invitation should be sent to make it clear who you are inviting to attend. In this blog I discuss what to include in your wedding invitations and approximate timelines on when to get them sent.

Save the Date

Save the date’s are traditionally sent once a date and location has been set for the nuptials. This gives couples the time to gather all the important information and details to go into the invitation, while people keep the date free in their diary. All that needs to be included in the save the date is the names of the couple, the date, location and a note to say that further details will follow.

Some couples choose to skip the save the date to save money on stationery, or to save time. It is especially popular to skip for couples getting married abroad, or within 6 months as there is a need to get further information sooner.

Wedding Invitations

The invite follows the save the date once finer details have been confirmed. 6-9 months prior is a good time to send wedding invites with an RSVP date 3 months prior. This makes it close enough to the wedding date, while allowing people time to confirm their travel and accommodation arrangements.

While it is possible to leave it later, timing wise, it will leave your RSVPS too close to the wedding date which can cause unnecessary stress trying to follow up with people who haven’t responded while also trying to confirm final details with suppliers.

It’s worth noting that you can send wedding invites out earlier. This is especially useful for abroad weddings or weddings where detailed travel and accommodation arrangements need to be made.

Main Page

You want to start with a formal message inviting your guests. This could be ‘You are cordially invited to the wedding of X and X’, or ‘X and X request the pleasure of your attendance…’. There are different ways of writing this and there is no wrong way. Traditionally the invitation would come from the Brides parents, however times have changed and more modern invites state the invitation comes from the couple themselves.

Similarly to the ‘save the date’, you then want to include the date and location of both the ceremony and reception (if this is different). After the date, an arrival time should be added. This could be 30-45 minutes prior to the ceremony time, making it clear when people should arrive at. By putting the ceremony time, some people underestimate how much time it takes to travel, find a parking space or be seated, so adding an earlier earlier time to the ceremony helps to mitigate any late comers. What I like to encourage my couples to do, is having ‘Arrive by X‘ with ‘Ceremony at X’ in slightly smaller writing.

If your wedding is over more than one day, you may wish to include all the dates. Like the arrival and ceremony time, I suggest to my couples to make it clear what the wedding date is, and have the full dates smaller underneath such as ‘DD MMM YY‘ in big, then ‘DD-DD MMM YY‘ underneath.

As well on the main page, you want to include the RSVP deadline. For couples who have a website, I often recommend stating ‘Further details at…(insert website)‘.

Some couples could end with the website and ask guests to ‘RSVP and further details at … (insert website)’ but some couples prefer to physically receive an RSVP card in the post.

Wedding RSVP

The wedding RSVP card is what guests use to confirm their attendance and requirements that will provide you with the information to confirm final numbers and details with respective suppliers.

On the RSVP card, allow space for people to write their names and an option to either ‘accept’ or ‘politely decline‘ the invitation. Another important item to include in the RSVP card is ‘dietary & access requirements’.

Guests are particular about the food they receive, so accommodating to peoples requirements is important to ensure you do not have any disgruntled guests. A lot of wedding caterers pre order food, so accommodating for last minute requests can be very challenging, especially when the venue is rural in nature.

Other information you might choose to include on the RSVP is whether accommodation is required and whether they would like to book a room. If you are booking or allocating rooms on their behalf, you should request the type of accommodation required. This could be ‘single, twin, double, cot & extra bed’.

If you are providing transport, you can also request the guests confirm if they will be using the available transport provided. This will help you save money if you find a lot of your guests want to make their own way to the reception venue from the ceremony location.

To encourage people to return their RSVP’s sooner, adding a prepaid stamp onto the RSVP already, will help to speed things along.

Further details

To save on stationery, couples usually include further details on their website. However, for those guests who are not as tech savvy (thinking of the older generation here) it is nice to include a further details section. This could be on the back of the main page if it fits. Or this could be separate to the main page.

Travel and Accommodation

The type of additional details you want to include will depend on your venue. Travel and accommodation is always key. How do guests get to the venue? Is parking easy? Do taxis need to be pre-ordered? What time can they check in and check out of rooms? Are larger vehicles not suitable for the roads leading up to the venue? Where can guests stay? What amenities are onsite already? What do guests need to bring with them?

Put yourselves in the shoes of your guests and think about the questions they might ask.

Children and Plus 1’s

Children and plus 1s are always a tricky one. A lot of guests will assume their other half, or family members are also invited, even if the invite is specifically addressed to those you are inviting.

It’s useful to include a note about children and plus 1’s so people do not assume, or bring along any surprises on the day. Some phrases for this could include ‘We welcome you to bring your children and plus 1’s for our occasion‘, or ‘Due to venue restrictions, we are not able to extend the invite to children or plus 1’s .

Gifts

A note on gifts even if you are not expecting anything is helpful to your guests. It’s very unlikely a wedding guest will turn up empty handed, so a short message about what you would like will prevent people from asking the question. Something like ‘The best gift will be your presence, however if you wish to offer a little something, we would greatly appreciate a contribution to our honeymoon’ is always a popular choice. But you might opt for a link to a gift registry to direct guests on what you need.

Photos

Some couples prefer that people do not take or post photos on social media. While it is common place for this to be announced during the start of the wedding ceremony, not everyone gets the message. Adding a note about what you are happy for guests to do helps to eliminate any awkwardness around taking and sharing photos.

Dress Code

Dress code for a wedding is traditionally formal, but you might request guests to wear something specific. Perhaps you are the theatrical bunch and want everyone to be on board with the theme, or you might be having a black tie event where all guests need to where a tux. What ever it is, you can add this information on the further details card.

Order of Events

For those that are super organised, a dedicated page for the order of events is always a nice touch. This is particularly helpful for weddings over more than one day, or abroad. Listing the key times of your special occasion helps wedding guests to plan their stay. For those that have little ones, this is particularly helpful to work out nap times and food times. But equally for older relatives who want to see the first dance but need to organise a ride home earlier in the evening. But be careful! Providing too much information on the order of events earlier on can cause discrepancies when it comes to confirming times and details with your suppliers closer to the wedding day.

Wedding Website

As discussed earlier in my blog, a wedding website is particularly useful for sharing further details. All the further details listed on the invite, can be added onto the website for people to refer to.

On wedding websites, couples also use the freedom a website gives to include a story about how the couple met, dropping in engagement photos and a bit of information about the venue to get people excited ahead of the big day.

So there we have it. A comprehensive guide to wedding invites. If you need custom designs and prints for your wedding invites, or need an expert view on your own personal wedding invitations then get in touch with Kept Weddings to find out how we can help.

Share this post