A MOMENT WITH LAURA ELIZABETH DESIGN - Everything you need to know about wedding invitations, including how to (politely) uninvite guests due to COVID restrictions
Wedding stationery not only provides your guests with essential information, but it also sets the tone of your wedding day celebration. Whether you have planned an intimate elopement or festive party, send your guests a thoughtful invitation that they can treasure long after the date. Talented designer, Laura Elizabeth sheds light on modern wedding day stationery etiquette to make your planning a breeze.
What is the difference between save the dates and wedding invitations?
As the name suggests, save the dates notify your guests of your wedding so they can save the date and mark it in their calendars. You don’t need to include a lot of information - just your date and location so that guests can book accommodation close by if needs be. I recommend sending save the dates for out-of-town weddings where people may need to travel or if your wedding is in the peak wedding season. Wedding invitations are a formal invitation that gives guests all the necessary information ahead of your wedding, like venue and arrival time. Our tip is to provide as much detail as you can on your details card or set up a wedding website that will answer any questions your guests may have, to avoid being inundated with queries in the lead up to your wedding day. More on details cards, later!
What details do we need to include on save the dates and wedding invitations?
For your save the dates, include your wedding date and location and keep it simple. Some couples like to give a discount code they have organised for hotels close to the wedding so their guests can book ahead. Your wedding invitations are for everything else. Some couple’s like to invest in a wedding stationery suite that includes the details and RSVP card. Your details card (or wedding website for digital versions), will include every detail such as parking/transport information, accommodation, wishing well and registry, notes on children and details for any pre or post-wedding events you may have planned. Have some fun with your stationery - it sets the tone of your wedding day and serves as a little keepsake for your guests.
How far in advance should we send our save the dates and wedding invitations?
As a guide, send your save the dates between 9-12 months out, and wedding invitations around four months prior.
Can we send out wedding invitations without save the dates?
Yes, definitely! It’s a great way to save on costs too, be mindful of the timing and plan to get your invitations out a bit earlier.
Can we send digital/online invitations?
I’m a little biased; I prefer physical invitations! I think it’s the one occasion in your life where you can send out a beautifully printed invitation, so why not! I think with the number of things people get sent via email each day, it can easily get lost, but they can’t miss your invite when it’s stuck on their fridge! However, if physical invitations aren’t high on your priority list, digital invitations are a great way to save on costs and can be personalised.
How much should we budget for our wedding invitations?
It depends on a few things: whether you will include a details or RSVP card and whether you would like any embellishment such as foiling or letterpress. As a general guide, my invitation suites cost between AUD 10 – AUD 15 per suite.
What is a details card?
A details card notes all your wedding information on it. Keep your wedding invitation minimal and beautiful (as essentially this is what your guests will keep forever). Your details card will have information about parking, transport, accommodation, children, wishing well, dress code etc. Send your details card with your wedding invitation and RSVP card.
Should we include dress code information on the invitation?
Yes! A dress code is essential for your guests to know what to wear, or they will be asking you days/weeks out from your big day, so to avoid the questions, always make sure to include it on your details card.
Can we add our wedding website information to the invitation?
Yes, include your wedding website link on your invitation or details card if you have one. There are so many free wedding website platforms that you can use. Especially for RSVP’ing, it’s great to have it all in one spot, so you aren’t relying on people to post back an RSVP card.
How can we include wedding gift information?
Include gift information on your details card. We know it can feel awkward, but it’s standard wedding etiquette for guests to bring a gift or money to your wedding. If you don’t include gift information on your details card, you’ll get asked countless times, or you will receive wine glasses you already have!
How can we include a plus one on our invitations?
If there are only certain people you want to give the option of a plus one to, you can address their envelope and invitation band as ‘guest name + partner’. Alternatively, you can include a note on your details card for your guests. Our tip is to include a request for your guests to respond with their partner’s name when RSVP’ing for planning purposes.
What if we don’t want to invite kids to our wedding?
You are not alone, there a plenty of couples who feel the same way, and let’s be honest, parents need a night off too! We can help you with wording options, from a super simple “this is an adult-only event”, to something a little more personalised: “although we love your little ones, for a relaxing and fun evening for all, we kindly request that this is an adults-only occasion”.
How soon should we make the deadline for RSVP’s?
First, I would check with your catering and venue suppliers to see when they will need final numbers and work back from there. Also, keep in mind that your on-the-day stationery, such as seating plans and place cards, will depend on your final numbers. I usually suggest having a deadline two months before your wedding to give yourself enough time to follow up with guests who haven’t RSVP’d.
What to do if we have already sent out invitations but now need to postpone?
Unfortunately, I’ve now done several of these! You have a few options depending on your budget; you can have a digital image created with your new details that can be sent via text or email to your guests or post a small postcard style card with your new information. (This is the option I’d go for, but I am a little biased!)
How do we politely uninvite guests who have RSVP’d, now that we have to reduce our numbers?
Fortunately, people are aware of the current situation, and that it’s entirely out of your hands, and in most cases are very understanding. We suggest wording along the lines of: “unfortunately, due to circumstances out of our control and limited venue capacity, we have had to reduce our numbers for our wedding to just our close family and friends. We will be live-streaming our ceremony, and you can find the details here”. If relevant, you can add, “we will be having a larger celebration once restrictions lift”.
As a self-confessed wedding stationery lover, Laura balances the tradition of stationery with fresh, modern nuances to beautifully reflect each couple’s authenticity and set the tone of their wedding day vision. Connect with Laura and browse dreamlike inspiration at @lauraelizabethdesign or reach out via Laura’s website to begin your one-on-one design journey.