Wedding Invitations Etiquette: Timing
If you're having a wedding close to home, and on a non-holiday weekend, you probably don't need to send out save-the-dates or extra-early invitations. Save-the-dates are usually only necessary if your wedding requires additional planning for your guests; if they have to take extra time off work, book flights, or make room on a weekend that usually fills up with family events, your guests will appreciate the heads up about five-to-twelve months in advance of your wedding. A destination wedding's invites should arrive two-to-three months in advance of the wedding, while local affairs dictate that invitations be sent out about six weeks before the wedding.
Wedding Invitations Etiquette: Lost in the Mail
Invitations will get lost in the mail. It's inevitable that someone will not receive his or her invite to your wedding. If you hear that a loved one or member of the bridal party didn't receive his or her invitation, follow up with each prospective guest to ensure everyone else's arrived. Delegate this task among close family and friends; while it seems like an inconvenience, it's better to confirm than risk some loved ones missing out on the opportunity to celebrate with you.
Wedding Invitations Etiquette: Wording Etiquette
Ensure that your choice of wording reflects the formality of your wedding. Your invitations not only present the logistics of your wedding, they reveal to guests what to expect come your big day. Giving a hint as to the religious or traditional observances as well as dress code will put guests at ease as they prepare to attend. While there are guidelines available as to how to word an invitation, be sure to choose phrasing that captures you as a couple. If parents are not involved in the wedding, it's perfectly acceptable to request the honor of your guests' presence at your marriage without mentioning parents' names. Instead of "the honor of your presence," consider using "the pleasure of your company" for nonreligious services. Use phrases like "semi-formal" or "cocktail attire" to help clarify dress code if you're concerned guests will be overdressed.
Wedding Invitations Etiquette: Printing Errors
Even after proofreading and editing your invitations, there's the risk that an error will appear on your invitations. Most printers will work with you and reprint if time permits. Unfortunately, if timing is tight, you may have to send out the misprinted invitations with an inserted supplement. A chic card-stock insert could state the missing information, such as ceremony time or location, or clarify an incorrect detail. If you don't notice the misprint or omission until invites have already been sent out, follow up with a postcard that corrects the information. If you have a short guest list or a pressing wedding date, have family and friends help you contact guests by phone. Be sure to update your wedding website with this correction as well. Don't let a printing error ruin your big day; be proactive and have a sense of humor about the gaffe.
Wedding Invitations: Last-Minute Invitees
If you forgot to invite someone, or only recently reconnected with an old friend, it's acceptable to send him or her an invitation despite the late notice. Omit the reply card, as the date indicated for replies will likely have passed, and follow up with a phone call. There's no need to make excuses for the late invite, just emphasize that you'd love to have him or her celebrate with you on your big day.