So, no matter the size of your wedding, you have a lot of invitations to write and send. 

It’s not as easy as stuffing envelopes and sending them out, though. You have to follow the wedding invite etiquette, which may not be as well-known as other must-dos on your big day. 

Here’s what you need to know. 

Do: Practice Wedding Invite Etiquette With Save-the-Dates

People have a lot going on these days, and their calendars fill up quickly. As soon as you nail down your venue and wedding date, let your invitees know. Send them save-the-date cards before the actual invites, so they have plenty of time to clear their schedules.

Doing this is great for your wedding planning schedule, too. Once you send save-the-dates, you will effectively have your guest list decided, which will help you prep table plans, budget and more.

Have fun with your mailers. Let’s say you’re having a rustic wedding. You could choose Mountain Save The Date Cards to give people an idea of your theme.

Don’t: Go Digital

It makes sense to consider digital wedding invitations, as opposed to physical paper ones. 

However, it’s easy for someone to erase your e-invite accidentally. Their email provider might file your message into spam, meaning they never get the information about your big day. 

So, send paper invitations to share the details about your big day. Your guests are less likely to forget the critical information this way. 

Do: Write Out Full Names and Times

You should be as detailed as possible when you fill out your invitations. Write out the bride and groom’s full names, as well as their parents’. You can abbreviate Mr. and Mrs., but you should spell out Doctor, for anyone with that title. 

Wedding invite protocol states that the bride’s name goes first on the invite.

You should also write out any number on your invite. For example, a wedding invitation might say that the ceremony will take place at seven o’clock on the ninth of September, two thousand twenty. This custom doesn’t apply to street addresses, though.

On that note, you should be as thorough with names on envelopes as you are on the invites themselves. Use the above title advice to address each invite. 

Be sure to ask guests who their plus one will be. Write that person’s name on the envelope — it’s a much more personal touch than referring to their invitee as “guest.” 

And, if your guests have kids, put their names on the invite if they’re invited, too. Be as clear as possible as to who’s invited to avoid confusion down the line. 

Don’t: Skimp on the Response Cards

Every wedding invite should come with an RSVP card. Your guests will fill it out and send it back to confirm that they’re coming. 

This card should come with a stamp. That way, there’s no excuse to fail in sending the RSVP back to you. They won’t have to buy stamps or confirm their attendance online or on the phone. 

Your response cards should include meal options, too. Some brides and grooms will forget this detail, and then they’re left scrambling to whittle down the menu. Let guests tell you what they want to eat to remove the guesswork.

Do: Number Your Invites

What happens when you get the invitation back? It can be time-consuming to tick off your guest list, as it’s doubtful that you’ll get your RSVPs back in alphabetical order.

You can fix this by creating a numbered guest list. Put the number that corresponds to each guest somewhere on their RSVP. So, when you get it back, you know just where to go on your list to record their response.

Don’t: Include Every Detail

You only have so much space on your wedding invitation.

You’ll put the basics — your names, your parents’ names, the location of the wedding and reception, the time and date. But you don’t need to include every single detail about your big day.

Instead, rely on your wedding website to fill in the blanks. You can put the web address on your invite, perhaps at the bottom. It won’t take up too much real estate on your invite, so it’s okay to include along with the must-know information.

Once you set up your wedding website, fill out the rest of the information your guests will want to know. For instance, you can reveal who’s in the wedding party. You can link to your wedding registries from the site, too.

Your wedding website can also include directions to the venue and reception location. Some couples will also suggest lodging for out-of-state guests. If there’s a hotel block available somewhere, explain how attendees can book a room under your umbrella, too.

Do: Give Yourself Extra Invites and Extra Time

No one’s perfect — you might make a mistake while you’re addressing your envelopes.

So, order extra copies of your invitations before you fill them out. That way, you can have peace of mind that a smudge or misspelling won’t completely ruin your invite-sending process. 

On that note, don’t put your wedding invites off until the last minute. Give yourself plenty of time to fill them out. In doing so, your guests will have plenty of time to return their RSVPs, too.

This step will make for a much less stressful experience for everyone. Send your save the dates early, then your invites between six and eight weeks before the big day.

Send and Start Preparing

Your wedding invites let your guests know the details of your big day. But they also help you to iron out the details of your nuptials and ceremony. In other words, they help everyone plan — and that’s your focus right now.

Wedding invite etiquette will ensure you send the right information to your guests on the proper schedule. So, follow the above tips, and you’ll all be prepared to celebrate your big day by the time it rolls around.