Being that planning a wedding or any type of major event can be stressful enough this page is to help you with the time tables in which the proper etiquette is to send your information. From the Save the dates, to the Invitations, Thank You notes & if you need those extra enclosure cards.


Level 1 – Save the Date

When do I send it?

Normally the Save the Date is sent 8-12 months in advance.

When do I order it?

You should order your save the dates 12-14 months in advance (if you have that amount of time).

What’s is it?

The save the date is to let people know that you recently got engaged and for your out of town guests, it gives them proper notice so that they can make travel plans to make it to your wedding. If your wedding is a destination wedding or if it’s at a popular venue, it also gives your guests the opportunity/ Heads up to book their trip as early as possible. You can also put your wedding website on your save the date so that your guests can get more details as time goes by.

Do I need it?

If you have a lot of out of town guests or if your location is going to require quite a few folks to book a hotel, it’d be nice to make sure your guests know the date as early as possible.

Level 2- The Invitation Suite

When do I send it?

Normally the Invitations Suite is sent 2-4 months in advance; so you should order them 4-9 months in advance.

When do I order it?

You should order your invitations 4-10 months in advance of your wedding.

The Invitation

Your invitation is your guests first glimpse & impression of your fabulous event. It sets the tone for how your guests should dress, who exactly is invited and what to expect when they get there. Your invitation will represent the style of the event (black tie, fun & casual, formal yet fashionable), it gives your guests all the information they need to get to your event (The Who What When & Where) AND it’s your opportunity to formally announce your event/marriage.

Do I need it?

Well, the easy answer is umm…. YES!!! I mean unless of course you don’t want any one to be there than no… you won’t need them, but if you would like your guests to show up, then YES, Yes Yes, a Thousand times Yes. You NEED invitations.

The Response Card

The response card is the formal way for your guests to let you know whether or not they’ll be able to make it to your event. The letters “R.S.V.P” literally mean “Réspondez S’il Vous Plaît” (Respond if you please). When you send your inivtations, it’s tradition to send the response card with a S.A.S.E. (self addressed stamped envelope) so all your guests have to do it fill it out & drop it in the mail. Remember a lot of this was designed waaaaaay before e-mail & facebook.

On your response card, you have your “reply by” date, menu options if it’s a plated dinner, and the name of those who are invited. If the reception is Adult only, this is once place where you can politely spell that out by identifying exactly who the reply card is for on the “M” line and how many seats are reserved for them.

Do I need it?

If your event is more on the formal side, then Yes, you need it. If it’s more casual it will help you get an estimated head count of how many people to expect so you can properly plan out several other details of your event. (seating chart, ordering the cake, ordering food, programs, etc.)

The Website Card

The website card is a bit new to event etiquette but it’s found it’s place & it’s nice to have. If you’re more “new aged” than formal & traditional, the website card is a good addition to have so that it won’t interfere with the overall design of your invitations.

Do I need it?

Well, if you’re sending your invitations out to your older relatives than it’s a great addition. You don’t want to confuse anyone with the website on your response card. But no, it’s not needed, just nice to have.

The Reception Card

Tradition is that if the ceremony is at a different venue than your reception, then yes there should be a reception card included in the invitation suite. It’s a formal way to let your guests know that they’re not just invited to to ceremony, but they’re invited to the party as well.

Do I need it?

If the reception is immediately following the ceremony and everyone is invited, then No, you don’t need one. If the ceremony is in the morning and the reception is later on in the day or if you only have selected guests invited to the reception, then Yes, you’ll need one.

The Directions Card

The directions card is included if the reception is in a different place than the ceremony. It tells your guests how to get there.

The Accommodations Card

Normally this card is included if you have a lot of guests coming in from out of town and you’ve decided to identify a hotel for all of them to stay. If your wedding is a destination wedding, or just a good ride away, an accommodations card lets your guests know the name of the hotel, how to get there, the contact information, and the group name that your event if under so that they can get the special rate.

The Belly Band

The belly band is a nice addition to any invitation suite that helps to hold everything together. It can be paper, fabric, ribbon, lace, twine, wood, anything at all that can “tie it all together”

The Envelope Liner

The envelope liner is just an elegant way of adding a little more security to your envelopes. The Liner can be as simple as a metallic silver inner foil, or as elaborate as a water color painting symbolizing your event.

Level 3- The Ceremony & Party

When do I order it?

These elements of the wedding are normally ordered 2-4 months before your event. You want to make sure you give room for needing possible extras, & that your stationer knows your “need in hand” date (should be no less than a week before the wedding).

Ceremony Program

It helps your guests know who is who and what’s coming up in the ceremony.  It’s nice to have if you’re having a big ceremony with a lot of guests and a decent sized bridal party, but if your event is small and intimate (just you your honey & your families), you won’t really need one.

Place Card

It lets your guest know where at the table their seat is reserved for them. It’s a great way to get family members and guests who don’t know each other to meet. If you’re having a formal event or a plated dinner, Yes, you need one.

Escort Card

The escort cards are usually placed at the entrance of the reception venue. It has your guest’s name and table number/name on it & it lets your guests know what table has their reserved seat(s). In lieu of escort cards, a seating chart sign is also very nice to have at the entrance of the venue. Your guests can see at what table they’re seated as well as who else is seated with them!

*Sorry, but place cards  & escort cards are only available in flat print if you want the names on them. If you want them letterpressed or engraved, I can design them to have a beautiful border, but I suggest hiring a calligrapher to write the names in.

Menu

The Menu sits at the place setting of each guest. It’s a beautiful way of informing your guests of what the options are to eat if you’re having a buffet style ceremony and if you’re having a plated dinner, it also falls in line with tradition. The Menu may also serve as a Place card with a space reserved for the name of each guest.

Thank You

All of your guests came to your Wedding/Birthday Party/ Mitzvah/ Anniversary  and you should send them a thank you. whether they brought you a gift or not, it’s proper and polite to let them know that you’re thankful that they came to celebrate with you.

Vow Holder

It’s not a “must have” but it’s a “great to have” and “a good idea” to order a vow holder, especially if you decide to write your own vows. It can be totally customized to be a keepsake or just formally designed to flow with the ceremony itself. You can order these with your other stationery items, or afterwards to have for memories.


Please Note:  For etiquette’s sake, place your gift registry on baby shower invitations only. You do not; I repeat, Do Not place your wedding registry on your wedding invitation. You can send the information on your bridal shower invitations & the folks hosting your wedding (if your family is hosting the wedding) should be spreading the word, but you don’t want to come off as *expecting* something from your guests aside from them coming to celebrate this special time in your life.