If you have just got engaged; congratulations!!!!
We know just how exciting it is to get engaged and to start thinking about your wedding. All your family and friends will be asking you about your wedding plans – after all, the phrase is “engaged to be married.”
If you are planning to get married this year you will probably be setting a date soon. Even if you are planning the date further ahead it is worth letting people know that too. Social Media is a great way to get out the informal message – something like “we are looking for a date in the summer of 2016” – but once the date is set you need to start thinking about when to inform guests more formally.
You need to start off by thinking about your guest list and who you really want to/have to invite to your wedding ceremony. Your closest relatives and friends will be on this list and you will need to give the as much notice as possible, particularly if you are getting married in the summer. In addition many people nowadays work weekends and they will need to book time off well in advance.
I recommend that you send save the date cards as soon as possible to help people arranging to come. Read this blog for wording ideas. We find the save the date magnets are very effective as recipients keep them on the ‘fridge as a reminder.
You will want to send out formal wedding invitations between 3 and 6 months before the wedding. Some people may already have said they can’t attend, so this will give you some space on the guest list.
Wedding invitations should be in the style you have decided on for your wedding and can be as formal or informal as you like. However, there is some information that must be there:
- The first name and surname of both the bride and groom
- The date, time and location of both the wedding ceremony and the reception
- Who to reply to and a date to reply by.
It is well worth getting someone else to proof-read the invitation – you know when you have booked so you are in danger of reading what you think should be there. Get whoever is proof-reading to check the date on a calendar and to double-check the time. (I have heard of people turning up to the wedding at 3:30 when it was all finished because the time had been wrong on the invitation!). Finally, if the reply is via phone or email, ask them to double check the phone number or address, it is so easy to get just one digit wrong.
You may want to make replying easy by sending reply cards with the invitation. This can save a lot of time in chasing up people who haven’t responded. You may also want to send out guest information with the invitations. This can include information about directions to the venue, accommodation, children, presents and dietary requests.
You can send out Evening invitations a bit nearer to the time. The numbers you invite to that may well be influenced by how many are attending the wedding and reception. Again it is well worth getting details such as date and time double-checked.
Read also How Many Wedding Invitations do I Need?
In the last couple of months before your wedding you will be finalising your order of service and your menu. These do not have to be personalised, so you can order them as soon as they are finalised. You will need one order of service per wedding guest to be handed out at the ceremony. Depending on the table size, one menu per table should be sufficient. If they are long tables, I would recommend 1 per every 6 guests.
The seating plan and name cards will need to be finalised in the last month and it will change! It may even change on the day due to ill health, so you need to be flexible. It is well worth either delegating this job totally or getting someone to help you set up all the names.