There is proper etiquette when it comes to sending out invitations and all sorts of fancy fonts… but you can Google that. What’s really important, is how to make your life easier for you and your guests by remembering a few key additions:
1) Add a visual timeline
A timeline people can hang onto the day of or post on their fridge is much more beneficial than the invitation that is crowded with calligraphy and fancy words. Either add this to the top on your formal invitation or include it as a separate card in the envelope… maybe even make it into a magnet.
2) Children or No Children
If you are inviting everyone and their kids, make sure to include a choice of a children’s meal on the reply card. If you do not want guests to assume their children are invited or only certain children, make sure you DO NOT add a children’s meal choice on ALL the reply cards. If you address the invite to “Mr. & Mrs. Turner” and not “Mr. & Mrs. Turner and Family”, you will almost certainly get a phone call from them asking, “I see a children’s meal on the reply card…are the kids invited too?”. AHHHH O NO! Then you have to explain to them how only certain kids are coming and not theirs…that’s added stress you don’t need.
Avoid most of those inquiries by only adding a children’s meal choice with the invites who have children who are invited. It might seem like a lot of extra work, but it is well worth it.
3) Include postage on the reply card
Not only would it appear to be tacky, you might not get many replies back. Make sure to budget for the extra couple hundred dollars in postage for the reply cards because you might be shocked after you spend all that money on your dream invitations. Most people will assume postage is added and drop it in the mail without even checking. This creates a chance for reply cards to be lost or returned and never re-sent…then you will have 50 extra people show up who RSVP’d, but you didn’t know.
4) Make meal choices clear, but not too clear
If you decide to offer plated meals, remember to have guests let you know which meal they would like so you can mark the place cards accordingly. You do not need to tell them you are having “Seared Sirloin with a light demi-glaze and a side of asparagus and twice-baked garlic potatoes”…just tell your guests it is BEEF! You will avoid endless phone calls asking what you mean by “demi-glaze” and if they can get chicken strips instead.
What you should do is allow for a place to:
-accept or decline your invitation
-initial or circle a meal choice for each guest invited
5) Number the back of your RSVP Cards.
This is such a good idea and you’ll thank me later for it 😉 because some people write a no where they should put their name and you have no idea who it is! Once you get them back in the mail, go into your excel spreadsheet and mark them coming or not coming. Then you also don’t have to worry about losing the cards and you can easily tell who still owes you one.
6) Most importantly… DO NOT include registry information with the formal invitations
As much as you would like people to know where they can buy you all sorts of goodies, it is rude. Call me old fashion, but a wedding is a celebration of love, not gifts and money. You should be happy to be blessed with your guests’ presence and you do not want them to think anything other. Registry information should be common knowledge to your bridal party and they can spread the word, posted on your wedding website, or only spoken of if asked. If people really want to know, they will ask.