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  • Danielle Frias

Wedding Invitation & Stationary Guide

Despite all modern forms of communication, physical wedding invitations are more popular than ever! Many couples do opt to go paperless, but those keeping it more traditional will find there is much consider when creating invitations.

Below is a guide to help you with the wedding paper goods process!

Invitation & Stationary Theme

The first thing to consider is deciding on a theme. This is an important decision because it’s the first look at the aesthetic of your wedding. Think of it as a preview to your big day!

To help decide on a design, think about things such as your venues style or the time of year your wedding is taking place. Will it be formal or casual? Do you like modern, boho, vintage, or rustic themes? There are no set rules about design, but it’s important to create something that reflects you as a couple.

Photo | Amy Maddox Photography

Save the Dates

What to include?

  • Couple's name

  • The date

  • The city or area

  • “Invitation to Follow”

  • Optional: engagement photo

  • Optional: wedding website

When to send save the dates?

  • The rule of thumb is to mail them 6 to 8 months out.

  • For destination weddings, it is customary to mail save the dates 8 to 12 months in advance.

Photo | Jason Smelser Photography

Wedding Invitations

When should I order invitations?

  • Start creating your invitations at least 6 months in advance. You want to make sure you have plenty of time to design and decide on them.

  • It’s a good idea to order extra invitations for last-minute invites, personal keepsakes, or any mistakes.

When should I send out my invitations?

  • The standard time to send wedding invitations is 6-8 weeks in advance.

  • For destination weddings, anywhere from 2 -4 months before - it’s polite to give as much notice as possible.

What should I include on the invitation?

  • Names of the hosts: Parents, other relatives, or the couple. The hosts are often the people paying for the wedding.

  • The couple's names: Traditionally the name of the bride always precedes the groom's name. Formal invitations issued by the bride's parents refer to her by her first and middle names, the groom by his full name.

  • Date and time: Even though a save the date has been sent, confirming the date it a must. Also, ensure you provide the hour and the time of day (a.m. vs p.m.) so there's no mix up.

  • Ceremony and reception location: If the ceremony and reception are taking place at the same location, you can write “Reception to Follow”. If your reception is at a different location, then a separate reception card with the start time and address is needed.

  • Dress code: Invites don't have to include attire since it can be added to the wedding website. However, if you do decide to add it, you can use terms such as: casual attire, cocktail attire, black tie optional, etc.

What insert cards do I add inside the invitation?

  • Wedding website card: The website is a great resource for your guests to find more detailed information about your wedding. You can include important details such as venue parking, hotel room block, wedding registries, and everything in between.

  • RSVP Reply card: You can either include it on the actual invite or on a separate reply card. If you're using cards, include a specific date by which you would like guests to respond. The RSVP deadline should be about a month before your wedding. If you are allowing guests to select their dinner entrees, you can also include this on the reply cards.

Photo | Patrice Papier Etsy

What other elements can I consider for the invitation?

  • Inner envelope

  • Map

  • Weekend activities card (common with destination weddings)

  • Accommodation card

  • Extra venue information


  • Guest Name: When gathering addresses, ask for preferred titles. Also, ask for last names since not all married couples share a surname.

  • Guest address: This is straight forward, just make sure to avoid abbreviations if you prefer a more formal invitation.

  • Return Address: Don’t forget to include your return address on both the outer envelope and RSVP reply card.

  • Postage: Heavier invitations will require extra postage so it’s important to know what stamps you'll need. Also, don’t forget the postage on your RSVP card.

Photo | Willow Lane Paperie Etsy

Thank You Cards

When to send a thank you card?

  • It is proper to send thank you cards no more than three months after the wedding.


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