Wedding Invitations 101


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 [Photography by Dyanna Joy Photography | Elegant Script Invitation by Karly K Designs] 


Wedding invitations are one of the most important elements to your wedding because it tells your guests where they need to be and when. While I’ve designed many non-traditional invitations in my day, I’m a firm believer that there are a set of rules that every couple should follow! Not sure about your invites? Keep reading for more…

1. Can I get away with an invitation only (no RSVP or details card)? 

Traditionally, no. While every designer out there will tell you different, a traditional wedding set should come with an Invitation, RSVP card, and additional insert. Here is why I think all three are important (and what you can skip). 

Invitation: The invitation should give your guests a snapshot of the day on one card. The most important elements of your wedding should be included. Do NOT forget to put your names (first and last), wedding date, ceremony location, ceremony start-time, and a brief introduction about your reception.

What to skip: Save the RSVP information, wedding website, or other details for a different card.

RSVP: With all the time you are putting into your big day, you’ll need to know who’s coming. I think just as important as the invite is the RSVP card. Even if you’re working with a limited budget, there are plenty of affordable RSVP options. A popular choice is the pre-stamped RSVP postcard, which eliminates the cost of an envelope.

What to skip: This: “We have reserved _______ seat(s) for you”. People get it and if you address your envelopes correctly there should be no need to remind them they don’t get to bring a guest.

Don’t forget: THE STAMP! If you’re sending out an RSVP, PLEASE remember to include a stamp for your guest (I may or I may not have forgot a few stamps on my RSVP cards – big whoops).

Details: I’ve seen far too many wedding invitations that make the mistake of cramming too much information on the invitation itself. Enter the details card. This can be a crucial piece for out of town guests and you can really customize it to be whatever you want! As long as you’re covering the basics, less can definitely be more. Reception info, accommodations, directions, or a wedding website are popular additions.

What to skip: The wedding registry. It can be impolite and make it seem like you are begging for gifts. Also skip asking for cash with the cute little poem. Save the registry info for your wedding website and skip the tacky request for cash altogether.

2. When should I send out my invitations? 

Usually, you will send out a save the date first letting your guests know to keep your wedding date on their calendar. This doesn’t have to be elaborate. A simple postcard save the date will work just fine. Send these out 6-8 months before your big day. For destination weddings, giving guests 6 months notice with the invite is good etiquette. RSVP deadlines should be exactly 30 days from your wedding date.

3. Uninvited Guests 
To avoid unwanted guests, be sure to clearly define who is invited to your wedding on the outside of the envelope and address your invitations correctly — to each guest by name, not “and guest.”

Although, everyone should understand the etiquette of wedding addressing, some still choose not to follow the rules and will still respond with an un-invited plus one.

What to do if a guest RSVPs for two? Reach out to them personally and explain that you have a budget to follow. If they truly want to be there, they will understand.

What to skip: The stand-by guest list. A) because it’s rude and B) people aren’t clueless. If they aren’t good enough to be on the main guest list, it’s best to skip them altogether.

4. Dress Code
The easiest way to let guests know is to just say so! Include this in the lower right-hand corner of the invite or on a reception card; “black-tie,” “cocktail attire” or “casual dress.”

Your invitation style will also clue guests in. A super elegant script wedding invitation set can go along with an elegant affair, while a bright colored non-traditional invite can let your guests know that the event is more casual.

5. Your Parents Friends
This is touchy and really depends on who is paying for the wedding. If you are paying for the affair, it’s totally your call! If your parents are helping foot the bill, it’s best to leave some room for their important guests. This is an important day for them too! If their honored guest is way out of left field – like cousin Harry, fourth cousin twice removed, just have a level discussion with them. Just remember that BONUS…. this means more presents!

My name is Karly, and I’m the owner and designer behind Karly K Designs - a wedding stationery boutique located in the midwest. Feel free to keep up with the latest happenings at KKD, browse our posts for wedding inspiration, and more. I’m thrilled you are here!

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