Invitations, RSVPs Save-the-Date Cards and Wedding Websites

Getting ready to tie the knot can be pretty stressful at times, so anything you can do to eliminate some of the pressure is a welcome relief. Fortunately, wedding invitations have strict etiquette guidelines that can help you navigate through the process. That’s especially true if, while searching for the perfect wedding invitations to share the event of your life, it suddenly dawns on you that you have to figure out how to invite your mom’s two ex-husbands, one of whom is your dad married to someone new, and her current boyfriend. You have to decide if your half-sister whom you haven’t really seen for years, but who is still family should be invited.

Once the “who and how” part of your wedding planning is settled, there’s the question of “when-to-send.” So here are a few tips to help you get past those sticky situations and some general etiquette tips on the invitations, save-a-date cards, and wedding websites! Before you read on, why not grab a cup of hot tea, let out a deep breath and simply relax.

Tip #1: Remember that it is your wedding. That means you get to call the shots and others should have the grace to play by your rules.

mlQxku4Tip #2: What kind of day do you really want to have? Are you looking for a big extravaganza or a more intimate setting? If it’s the first choice, you can probably invite nearly everyone on your list and give them an open “plus one” option. If it’s the second choice, then you want to be very clear that your intent is for adults only, or close family and friends only. That means you truly keep the invitation list to those you personally have a relationship with.

Tip #3: If your parents are divorced, ask them to work out any differences that might need to be addressed before the wedding. After all, they both love you and they both want to be there.  They can work out any sense of awkwardness. If there’s more than one ex-spouse for one of your parents, invite only the ones you have a relationship with. This is not about your parents; this event is all about you.

Tip #4: Thought it’s typical to send invitations six to eight weeks before the wedding, you should send “destination wedding” invitations at least three months in advance of the date. RSVP cards should have return dates that are two to three weeks before your event to allow enough time to notify your caterer of your final number of guests and to plan your seating chart.

Tip #5: Prior to sending out the actual wedding invitations, you might consider sending “save-the-date” cards to everyone about 6 to 8 months ahead of your all-important date. This gives all your guests (especially those who live some distance away), plenty of time to clear their schedules, think about travel plans, hotel stays, etc.) Your “save-the-date” card is also a great way to include the address of your wedding website (see below). You can view sample “save-the-date” cards at
wedding 5.22Tip #6: Set up a temporary website with
all the details of your wedding, including directions to the church from the airport
or other main routes, area hotels for those who might need to book one, the dinner menu in case anyone has special dietary needs, the dress code, and the gift registries. (By the way, this is the only place where gift registries should be mentioned. They should not be included in your invitation or “save-the-date” card. ) Make your website as detailed as you want and include a photo
of you and your fiancé. You can view sample wedding websites and set one up, too, at

Tip #7: If someone special to you cannot attend the wedding, be sure to send them an extra note expressing your regret. Tell them you’ll post wedding photos on the website that they can see later.

Tip #8: You’ll probably have your Thank You notes printed at the same time as your Wedding Invitations. Remember to mention each gift specifically when you send your thank you notes after the wedding and should be sent out within two months of your big day.

For more help with wedding invitation etiquette, take a look at these sites:

Wishing you the most memorable day of your life!