Last Updated on May 17, 2022
Weddings are stressful. Getting everything for the big day can be a tricky set of circumstances, and often, the bride and groom can have many questions. One of those burning questions is ‘What invitations do I need to send out?’. The other is ‘When do I need to send them out?’. This article will look to answer those burning questions, and the reality is, you will have a lot of separate invitations to send on, so it is essential that you know which ones to and when it is best to send them.
What are the Invitations that you have to send?
Let’s start with a little checklist. Here is a list of the invitations that you will need to consider sending out:
- Engagement Party Invitations
- Bridal Shower / Bachelorette Party Invitations
- Save the Dates
- Wedding Invitation
- Rehearsal Dinner Invitation
- Thank You cards
Engagement Party Invitations
Engagement parties may not happen all of the time, but generally, the bride’s mother or group of friends will want to throw an engagement party, where the couple can announce their news to everyone. A great idea for these invitations, especially if the bride and groom are planning it, is to send out unassuming invitations that do not convey the idea that there will be an announcement. That way, everyone there will get a big surprise, and it makes the moment that bit more special.
When it comes to invitations, I would recommend that anyone invited to an engagement party be on the guestlist for the wedding. It has happened before where a friend has been invited to the engagement party and then not invited to the wedding. It can leave the friend feeling left out. Ideally, you will want to send these invitations ASAP while the news is still fresh. This is because the longer you wait, the more likely that people are to find out the big news. Just be sure to have a good excuse for getting so many people in one place, particularly if it is not something that you do often!
Bridal Shower Invitations
When it comes to the bridal shower invitations, this is the job of the bridesmaids or the maid of honour. Ideally, you will want to send out invites about 4-8 weeks in advance, depending on how far away or busy some of the invitees are. Showers are simply a celebration of the bride to be.
Once again, anyone invited to the shower should have a wedding invitation sent to them too, especially if close family and friends attend. One top tip is for one person to take charge of the RSVP’s. There is nothing worse or more confusing than when lots of people are taking note of who is coming or not. Having the maid of honours (or main organisers) details on the invitation would be a good idea, that way everyone with an invite knows who to contact.
Bachelorette Party Invitations
The bachelorette party is the last hoorah before marriage. Whether you are planning something low key or insane, it is always best to send invites, texts, or emails about a month before the night of the party. A common method is creating a WhatsApp group or a Facebook Messenger group with the invitees. As for who can set up the group, that is usually down to the best man or maid of honour; typically, they will invite everyone (except the bride or groom) and make plans, get RSVPs and surprise the bride or groom to be!
Save the Dates
Generally, you should only send out save the dates to guests you wish to have at the wedding. Ideally, they should be sent anywhere from 4-8 months before the wedding. You will want to send these as soon as you get the date for the wedding confirmed so that you catch any potential guests before they have the chance to make other plans. The invitation does not have to be super fancy, but it is still highly advisable to send something.
Rehearsal Dinner Invitations
The rehearsal dinner is usually the night before the wedding and takes place after the couple have rehearsed the wedding. It is often an intimate affair with the closest friends and family getting together to toast the soon to be couple.
As a general rule, anyone involved in the ceremony (and a plus one) should be invited. You can also invite family or friends that have travelled a long distance as a thank you too. Generally, you should send out invitations three to six weeks in advance so that guests know when and where the dinner is. The invitation can also be a text or an email too.
The Wedding Invitation
This is it, the big one. There is usually etiquette attached to sending a wedding invite; however, as time goes on and the notion of a traditional wedding gets left behind, invites are becoming more casual. Generally, the writing should be a little formal because it makes the invitation seem more elegant. Regardless of what style you want to choose, the who, when and where is essential. This means, have the name of the person being invited, where the wedding is, the date and the time. You should also request an RSVP!
You invitation can also contain any dress codes, a map to the location, accommodation deals or details, and the plan for the day of the wedding (dinner times etc.). A top tip is to have an RSVP for about a month before the wedding date so that you can get a final headcount. You should also include a self-addressed and stamped envelope.
As a general rule, there are two kinds of wedding invitations:
Destination Wedding Invitations– This is if your wedding happens to be in a foreign country. You will need to send invites out around 3 months before the date so that guests have time to prepare and save for the big trip. Similarly, if you are inviting someone to a local wedding that lives abroad, it would be clever to send them an invitation 3 months in advance so that they have time to prepare.
Local Wedding Invitations: If your wedding is in the same country that you are based in, look to send out invitations 6-8 weeks before the date so that guests can have a few weeks to decide if they can make it and or book time off.
Thank You Cards
If you have received a gift from anyone during the wedding, it is always a nice touch to send them a thank you note. I would say that sending a handwritten letter thanking them is the classiest approach; however, it is advisable to do so within about a month, whether you decide to email, text, or write a letter.