Posts in Planning
Sending RSVPs

A crucial part of any wedding is knowing how many guests will be attending. Here are a few suggestions to help make getting those responses a walk in the park.

INCLUDE STAMPS - Trust me, I understand trying to save money, but make sure to budget for stamps on your RSVP's. Not everyone has stamps lying around on a regular basis. Heck, I design snail mail for a living and rarely have them. Including a stamp on your response envelope is a must in my opinion. 

GIVE OPTIONS - It may seem like a no brainer that a guest would respond when they have a pre addressed RSVP with a stamp already on it, but you'd be surprised. An easy fix for this problem is to include a wedding website to RSVP on or list a custom email address. You can set up an email specifically for your wedding using a free source like Gmail or Yahoo (doing it separate from your personal email will help keep everything "wedding" in order). Giving your guests options definitely helps cut down the number of phone calls later on.

NUMBER ATTENDING - Requesting the number attending isn't a must, but it does help you finalize your head count a little easier. If you aren't solely inviting couples to your wedding consider adding a place to list the "number attending." Or if you get a discount on dinners for children, you could add a place for "children attending." 

TIMING - There is a special balance on timing for getting RSVP's returned. Give a guest too much time and they may push that response card to the side and completely forget. Don't give them enough and they can't come because they're busy already. My suggested time frame for sending out invitations is 8-10 weeks in advance. Most wedding vendors need a head count of guests about two weeks prior to the wedding date, so having an RSVP deadline of 3-4 weeks prior gives you ample time to hunt down those stragglers and get your seating charts ready. 

Basically you want to cover all your bases in the beginning to make sure the time spent leading up to your wedding day is as stress free as possible. When meeting with my couples, I make sure to go over all the little details that come with such a simple piece of the invitation puzzle. 

A Sweet Thank You

At a reception there are a million things that need to be pulled together. A bride could easily get overwhelmed with floral arrangements, food options, and seating charts. Something simple and sweet directed at each guest individually might be all you need to tie everything together. This little thank you note is a sweet and easy way to acknowledge every person, and won't break the bank.

Transient
Time to get started...

The average engagement is one year, which seems like all the time in the world to plan. My best  advice is to have a solid guest list and set a budget from the beginning. These two things need to be known and followed at all times. Without a guest list or budget you wont be able to pick a venue, order food, or plan seating. I feel that everything falls around how many people will be there and how much money you are able to spend. So don't underestimate their importance. 

But when do you start your invite planning? You can start as soon as you know these five things.

  • Ceremony and Reception Venues
  • Time
  • Date
  • Guest Total
  • Guest Addresses

Most of these things you will know from the beginning of your wedding planning, It's that last little bit that people forget. And in a time where address books are on your cell phone, you might be realizing that you don't have many mailing addresses for people anymore.

If you are wanting to send save the dates you should get all of your addresses in line 6 months before the wedding, to send those out.

Invites should be sent about 6-8 weeks before the wedding, but if you sent save the dates you could shorten that a little to 4-6 weeks.

You'll need to get in contact with your invite printer at least a two months before you plan to send them out. If you are handwriting the addresses then don't underestimate the time that will take. I personally need a full month for proofing, printing and adding all the little special details. This isn't something you want rushed through. An invite is the first thing a person will see and it's not very often you get time to plan a first impression... So make it count!