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General Wedding Etiquette PDF Print
  • Save the Date


We recommend sending save-the-date cards to everyone on your guest list. Everyone who receives a save-the-date notice must also receive an invitation to your wedding celebration. The cards should be mailed as soon as your wedding date is official (i.e., once you have finalized your ceremony and reception location bookings). This will give guests time to clear their calendars and make travel arrangements.


Invitations are the first glimpse your guests will have of the nature of your event. Your invitation sets the theme and mood for your wedding. When picking out styles of invitations you need to remember the invitation may be the only clue your guest will have in deciding how to dress, what to bring and what to expect of the grand affair you dream wedding to be.


  • Working with your Guest List


Make sure you count the addresses and not the guests when budgeting for your invitations. For instance, only one invitation should be mailed to a couple. Children under the age of 18 may be included on the invitation mailed to their parents; children older than 18 should receive their own invitations, even if they are living with their parents What special arrangements need to be made for your out of town guest? Should you send them their invitations earlier than local guests? The best thing to do is send your out of town guests a "save the date card" which contains information about the wedding as well as information about any special accommodations that have been reserved for them. This card should be mailed out as early as one year before the wedding so that your guests have time to plan and make flight reservations if necessary.


  • Sending out your Wedding Invitations


Wedding Invitations should be sent out 6-8 weeks before the wedding. The response cards must always be sent with postage. Make sure you have the right amount of postage on the response cards. You should never assume you are putting the correct postage on your invitation. Take one of your completed invitations to the post office and have it weighed. The correct postage will ensure prompt delivery with no postage due. Enclosing gift registry cards with wedding invitations should never be done...your family can get the message out about where you are registered.


Hand canceling your invitations is also a nice touch. It looks nicer and the envelopes tend to not get as damaged in the mailing process. Your local postal worker will frequently assist you with this. During the week mail gets set aside and sometimes misplaced so it best to mail invitations to your local guests on a Thursday. By doing this your guests receive them on a weekend and will be more likely to take the time to read and enjoy the invitation. Send invitations to out of town guests earlier in the week to allow for the extra mailing time. Always include your return address. This will guarantee that you know if your guest has not received their invitation.


  • Give guests a date by which to reply.


We recommend setting your "reply by" date at least two weeks prior to your wedding day. This will give you plenty of time to tally a total guest count and inform your caterer of the final attendance number.


  • Tracking Your Invitation Responses


Often one of the biggest headaches for brides is keeping tracking of who is coming, are they bringing a guest, are their kids tagging along, have they even responded?When you mail your wedding invitations, set up a card file of the guests’ names and addresses so you are ready to record their replies and keep a record of their gifts as they come in. The best way to do this is with one note cards and a file box. Make out 3-by-5-ich card for each guest and file it alphabetically. As the guests reply to the wedding invitations, note their acceptance or regrets on their cards. When a gift arrives, pull out the card of the guest who sent it and note in detail what the gift is and the store from which it was sent it and note in detail what the gift is and the store from which it was sent, in case you find you must return it. As you write a thank-you note, make a notation on the card, along with the date the note was written. Whatever you do, don’t leave this organization to the last minute, or you may never know who sent what gift and who has responded to your wedding invitations.


  • Sending Thank You Cards


Social etiquette says that you should always mail out a thank you note, regardless of if there was already a verbal thank you. A written thank you note should be sent out as soon as possible after receiving a gift. This is normally within 2 to 3 weeks of receipt. You do have up to about three months to send them all out.


  • Be Yourself!


Remember that these etiquette tips are traditional suggestions. Always feel free to follow your hearts and your personal style when choosing and wording your invitations. Your wedding should be an expression of you!



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