Ask a Planner: “Confused about Invitations”
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I’m so excited that you offer this support service! I actually have a few questions about my invitations. Answer whatever you can and I’ll be most grateful. My wedding is on August 17th. We are having the ceremony at a church and the reception at a hotel downtown later that night. It seems there are many possible options as far as extra cards to include and we are feeling a little confused. Must we have a separate reception card or can we include all the information on one invitation even though there are two locations? Also, do we need to have mailed RSVP cards or can we ask guests to RSVP by email? Lastly, if we do have paper RSVP cards do we need to include postage stamps on the return envelopes? Thanks for your help!
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Wow Natalia! These are terrific questions and we are happy to say easy to address (haha! we just couldn’t help ourselves!). First of all your timing is perfect with regards to tackling invitations as it’s suggested that you first begin dealing with Invitations around 4-5 months before the wedding to allow enough time for research your options, place orders, and edit proofs without feeling rushed as that’s when mistakes happen! i.e. wrong date, wrong venue address, misspelled names, etc. By staying on top of the suggested timeline you will also avoid the need to pay higher fees to turnaround the order in a shorter period of time — certainly helpful to those couples who “left it too late”, but avoidable if you give yourself enough time. So good for you!
With regards to whether or not to include a separate reception card it’s really a case of personal preference (and also size parameters of your invitation). If the invitation is large enough to accommodate all the details on one card then there is no reason why you can’t do so. Traditionally, the main Invitation includes the ceremony details and a Reception Card is included separately, but there are many traditional steps that couples choose to eliminate or modify to better suit their needs, budget, or wedding style. Some people choose to invite less people to the ceremony than the reception or vice versa so having the cards as two separate entities allows them to control the guest lists more easily.
These days paper RSVP cards are still quite common, but some couples (who may be dealing with a late send out of invitations or perhaps are eco-conscious) are choosing to eliminate this inclusion and simply asking guests to email (and/or phone in) their RSVP. Including a phone option is a good idea if you choose to go this paperless route as there may be some guests that are not active on email. For the record, the RSVP reply date is commonly 4 weeks prior to the wedding date. You should be prepared to assign someone the role of contacting guests after this date to obtain missing RSVP confirmations. A great job for an Auntie or Cousin that wants to help!
Proper etiquette guidelines suggest that you include postage for all national invite RSVP envelopes. It is acceptable, however, to forgo postage on the RSVP envelope for overseas or international invites as it’s difficult to confirm the exact postage that might be required.
Good luck with your invitation homework and congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Send us a photo of your Invitation Suite if you remember!
Wedding Planner signing off! Keep those questions coming in! Submit your questions by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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