Pre Wedding Journals | All you need to know about the invite process
So, it's finally happening - you're getting married WOOHOO!! But, how do you let everyone know the details of your big day, and of course how do you go about inviting them? And what details do you need? So many questions, but luckily for you I've given you some time back in today's post.
Save the Dates, and do you need to send them?
The simple answer is no, but again it's totally up to you and can really come in handy if you are having a destination wedding or if guests are travelling. We sent out save the dates very early on in the piece as our big day was out of town and coincided with other local events so we wanted to ensure guests made accommodation plans. What I didn't realise however was that over the course of a year you can lose touch with people and a small handful of those we sent save the dates to, we didn't end up inviting which caused a little bit of drama so my words of caution here are to either just send save the dates to family and closest friends or make sure your guest list is solid before doing anything!
If you do decide to send save the dates, you can do this any number of ways. I'm big on websites at present, they can be a huge money saver and as a resource are so easily accessible by guests which can save a lot of headaches if travelling. If you go down the traditional path of paper, be sure to include your names, the rough location and date. Anything else is a bonus! I would tend to send these anything from a year to six months out from the day. Depending on what you do, you could just send these via snail mail to closest friends and family, to everyone, or to nobody at all - it's totally your call!
Invites, and what should they include?
Again, as little or as much as you like! In this day and age, we know a lot of couples are paying for the day themselves, which means the old formality of 'together with their families' can be thrown out the window if you wish. Obviously, the details such as your names, the date, specific location and time are a must for the main invite. You could pop in what the dress style is, whether it's black tie, formal, all white - you get my drift, a basic RSVP line, or a website URL if you have one. As a rule of thumb, depending on the size of the wedding and who's going I would be sending invites anything between four to six months out from the big day. If guests are travelling long distances you could send them earlier if you're not doing save the dates. See what I mean about doing it however you like?
I would tend to lean towards an info card for other details. Of course, if you opt for a website or make a Facebook group this can be easily sorted, but think about these things:
Accommodation | Have you struck a deal with a local hotel or the likes and have a special rate to offer your guests that you might want to tell them about? Or maybe you just want to recommend some of your favourite places to stay? Put it all down here.
Transport | Are you offering transport? If you have booked any kind of transport services, you'll be wanting numbers of guests jumping on board. Let them know the pickup and drop off points, and also if there is specific information you need to pass on about parking at the venue.
Gifts | I know, it's such an awkward subject to broach but the fact of the matter is that you're going to get a tonne of gifts on your wedding day so let your guests know if you have a registry somewhere, or if there is a big ticket item you're saving for that they can contribute to as opposed to leaving them in the dark. They will want to gift you something you will love and cherish forever.
The Rehearsal | Whether it's a family and bridal party only event (in which case you could print special cards for the specific people) or drinks for everyone the night before, this is information that can be included.
The Aftermatch | What's happening the next day? Let your guests know when and where.
RSVP | Naturally you're going to include the attending/decline aspect for the big day, but also think about the same for the surrounding events. Leaving a space for dietary requirements, transport and accommodation confirmations, maybe song requests too.
Location | If your venue is in a top secret location, or just hard to get to, you could pop directions or even a map into your information.
Without going overboard, these really are the most common elements you would focus on letting guests know about for your big day. Feel free to include as much, or as little information as you want to give away, but try not to get caught up on it - People will be stoked enough to be invited that it won't be the end of the world if a small detail is missed.
Here are some of my favourite stationery designers if you're finding yourselves a little stuck - invites can really help shape the theme and style of the day too!
Firstly, the CW Faves: