Keeping track of all the rules of wedding etiquette can be intimidating! In particular, there are a lot of traditional stationery etiquette standards that come with wedding stationery. Let’s talk about them! I’ll help you through some of the “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of your stationery etiquette!
DO: Send out a Save-the-Date
Save-the-Dates can be fun and creative, but they also have a lot of purpose for your guests. Save-the-Date cards should be sent out about 10-12 months before your wedding. They get your guests excited about your big day! These fun little cards (or even magnets — get creative with multimedia!) also improve guest turnout, as they ensure that your invitees can plan to take time off for your special day plenty far in advance. However, there is one caveat to this “DO”: While these cards are important when sent early, they are not as effective for shorter-term plans. If your wedding is within 6 months, stationery etiquette says that you should forego the Save-the-Dates and instead send your invitations early!
DON’T: Send an RSVP with your Save-the-Date
Frankly, this is just bad etiquette. RSVPs should always be a part of your formal invitation. If you want to have an idea of whether your guests will be able to come to your big day, reach out to them individually prior to sending your invitations. The purpose of Save-the-Dates is right in the name: Tell them about when a future event is going to occur. With that being said, all the other important information should be sent closer to the time of your event. Think about how many times you lost a piece of paper with important information like a doctor’s appointment on it. Don’t expect invitees to remember the details of your event too far in advance!
DO: Plan enough time to design and print invitations
When ordering custom stationery, you are getting a one-of-a-kind experience. But, your unique, customized design also takes time! As a custom designer, I highly recommend giving yourself at least a month in production (preferably more!) before your invitations need to be sent out to your guests. This allows plenty of time for you and your designer to sit down and truly hash out the perfect design for your special day. Waiting until the last minute may result in your stationery designer being unavailable to take on such a quick-turnaround project. So, be sure to book early!
DON’T: Send your invitations too late
Even if you already sent Save-the-Dates, people have a lot on their minds, so your formal invitation is the best way to remind them! Sending last-minute invitations can be difficult for your guests, especially if they need to arrange for help to care for their children or pets. And, you’re on a schedule! You’ll want to ensure that you receive your RSVPs for the final guest count approximately 4-5 weeks before the wedding, so be sure to send the invitations early enough to allow ample time for their return!
Your invitation suite should include all of the information needed to make appropriate accommodations, so getting this information out to your guests early is imperative! Necessary accommodations such as flights and hotels should be indicated far in advance. Last-minute scheduling may result in increased costs or less availability.
Overall, be considerate! This means you should send out your invitations no less than 2 months before your wedding, although proper stationery etiquette suggests sending these cards approximately 10-12 weeks prior to your event.
DO: Use the appropriate wording
If you are having a more upscale event, make sure that your verbiage matches the formality of the event. Formal stationery etiquette utilizes a classic format for your date: Day of the Week, followed by Day, Month, and Year of the event (ex., Sunday, the Twenty-Sixth of September, Two Thousand Twenty-One). In other cases, it is totally acceptable to use a more casual format (ex., September 26, 2021), such as for a shower invitation. Make sure your verbiage is appropriate for the style of your special day! Not sure how to determine the wording that is best for you? Ask your stationery designer! That’s what we’re here for!
DON’T: Include websites on your invitation
While we do live in the age of technology, putting a website URL on an invitation looks tacky and unprofessional. If you have a wedding website, feel free to share it on a “Details” card or another insert in your invitation suite. Prefer your guests to reply online? You should still include a separate RSVP card containing the website, instructions, and deadlines. The same goes for registries. Showcasing a registry link pulls the focus to the gifts, rather than the celebration of your love. If you want to include registry information, add it to your shower invitation or an additional insert in the invitation suite, but not on the main invitation itself.
DO: Check all your addresses and spelling
I cannot list all of the times that spelling or address errors have come up in my profession. Always have a second person read over your invitation and addresses (multiple times!) to ensure that there are no spelling mistakes. Providing incorrect information to your stationery designer can cause big delays in your invitation production and even additional costs if your mistake requires reprinting. Double- and triple-check, always!
When it comes to addressing your envelopes, stationery etiquette uses a formal format. Common abbreviations (such as Street or Avenue) should be spelled out in full. This is a common mistake that is often overlooked when inputting address information.
DON’T: Forget to stamp your RSVP envelopes too
An RSVP card requires that your guests send something back to you through the mail. It is very important that you provide them an addressed (to you), stamped envelope. Don’t require your guests to do extra work! Stationery etiquette provides a ready-to-mail envelope so that the invitees don’t have to spend extra time worrying about addresses and stamps. Not only is it more considerate, but it will also improve your RSVP return count!
DO: Listen to your stationery designer!
I am all for breaking the norms, but these stationery etiquette tips are here to stay. If you are not sure about proper etiquette, ask your custom stationery designer, that’s why you hired us!