When to Send Your Wedding Invitations, Save the Dates, and Everything Else!

Save the dates, invitations, thank you cards, oh my! At first, all the stationery involved with wedding planning can be overwhelming – but don’t worry, we’re here to help. Here’s our recommended guide for when to send all the gorgeous mail for your wedding.

 

Save the Dates

Save the dates are a fun way for your guests to mark your wedding on their calendar and are typically sent out 4-6 months before the wedding. For destination weddings you may want to send your save the dates our earlier, about 6-12 months in advance, to give your guests ample time to plan their travel arrangements.

Invitations

Wedding invitation suites usually include the main invitation, a response card, and any other enclosure with helpful information for your guests – such as reception location, travel and accommodations, attire, wedding website, etc. All of these details are helpful for planning and attending your big day and your guests will be excited to receive them!

Traditionally, wedding invitations are sent out 6-8 weeks before the wedding. Whether your celebration be classic, whimsical, rustic, or modern, invitations are typically the first opportunity to share the look and feel of your wedding with your guests.

If you plan on sending additional invitations as you receive “no” RSVPs, move your original invitation mail date back an additional 2-3 weeks so that guests whose invitations are sent later still have time to reply. This will ensure your “B-list” guests don’t feel like they are receiving an invitation at the last minute.

RSVPs

Your RSVP date should be about 3-4 weeks from wedding date. This will give you enough time to finalize your seating and give your caterer a final head count. There are bound to be a few missing, so don’t be afraid to follow up with a text or phone call to those you haven’t heard back from in time. And although it may be hard to believe, sometimes reply cards come back to you without guest names or return addresses. To combat this, we recommend penciling a little number on the back of your RSVP cards or inside the envelopes that corresponds to your own numbered guest list. This makes the task of managing and tracking down RSVPs less stressful!

Bridal Shower

The bridal party is usually responsible for organizing and hosting the shower. Invitations should go out 6-8 weeks before the event. To keep things organized, RSVPs should go to one person, the maid of honor or mother of the bride, for example.

Rehearsal Dinner

Close family members and anyone participating in the wedding ceremony is typically invited to the rehearsal dinner. It usually takes place the night before the wedding and is a time for guests to meet each other, celebrate, and toast the couple. Invitations are sent 3-6 weeks in advance of the dinner. Some couples opt to include the rehearsal dinner information on an insert to be sent as part of the main invitation suite for those guests who are invited.

Thank You Cards

Wedding gifts will likely come during different times of your wedding planning and celebrations. For gifts received during the engagement party and shower, send a thank you within 3-4 weeks of the events. For gifts sent before the wedding a date, send a card as soon as possible, ideally before the wedding date. For all other gifts given at the wedding or shortly after, mail a thank you note with in 3-6 months.

At a Glance

Save the Dates: mail 4-6 months before wedding (6-12 months for destination wedding)
Invitation Suite: mail 6-8 weeks before wedding
RSVPs: due back 3-4 weeks before wedding
Bridal Shower:
mail 6-8 weeks before shower
Rehearsal Dinner:
mail 3-6 weeks before dinner
Thank You Cards:
mail 3-6 months after wedding (3-4 weeks after other events)

We hope these timelines give you a helpful guideline for when to send out all of your beautiful wedding snail mail. Don’t forget, each event is different, so your timelines can vary. Use these timelines as a reference and adjust to suit the needs of your wedding. And don’t forget to add in time to actually have your stationery made! We recommend reaching out to us at least six weeks before your mail dates so there’s ample time to nail your vision and perfect your stationery.

All designs shown here were created by We’re Into It. All photography is our own except where credit is given.

Welcome! We’re Amelia & Natasha and we’re into it

We love hand lettering and graphic design and we’re here to share some of our favorite things!

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Escort Cards versus Place Cards – What’s the Deal?

Although the terms escort cards and place cards are often used interchangeably, they are actually technically quite different. When planning an event or wedding reception, it’s helpful to understand the difference, so we’ve put together a quick synopsis of when to use each.

Escort Cards

Place Cards

What’s the difference?

Escort cards are used to assign guests to specific tables, but not to specific seats. These cards are usually displayed at the entrance to the reception area for guests to easily see and pick up themselves. They can be elegant folded tent cards, but escort cards are also a great place to get creative and match the theme of your wedding with unique materials.

Place cards are used to assign guests to a specific seat at a table, and can indicate formality — they are almost always part of a black-tie reception. They are placed at the guest tables before the reception is open and can be traditional tent cards, attached to favors, or tucked into a decorative little stand.

And don’t be afraid to think outside the box! Even folded tent cards can be unique by incorporating a variety of design elements, or even by utilizing meaningful places or objects in place of traditional table numbers.

When using place cards, it is helpful to have a seating chart on display in order to avoid guests wandering around tables looking for their specific seat. Sometimes seating charts are used on their own to display table assignments, but their purpose is the same as escort cards – for guests to easily and quickly find their assigned table.

Photography by Ali + Julie

Photography by Eve Event Photography

What do I need at my wedding?

Choosing to do escort cards, place cards, or both is entirely dependent on the size and formality of your wedding, and your individual preferences. Most wedding receptions have escort cards or seating charts, while place cards tend to be optional for less formal gatherings.

If you have a specific place you’d like your guests to sit, you might want to think about having place cards in addition to escort cards or a seating chart. However, if you’d just like to direct guests to a certain table and let them choose their seat from there, then escort cards are the way to go. For intimate weddings with only a table or two, escort cards can be unnecessary if guests can easily find their seat without confusion.

Although it’s not usually recommended, skipping both escort and place cards can work if you are having a truly informal wedding where seating is ample and scattered. Assignments help to avoid confusion and the problem of guests wandering around stressing to find a seat.

Photography by Lily Events

Photography by Ali + Julie

Do I have to use paper tent cards?

Not at all! Both escort cards and place cards are an opportunity to be creative with unique materials to match your wedding style or theme. Think sand dollars for a beachside bash, polished stones for a garden party or driftwood for a lakeside soiree. You can also choose something that can do double duty, and have an escort card that’s also a favor, like ornaments or mini succulent plants. Your guests are going to love something special with their name on it and will guarantee they’ll remember your big day!

We’d love to bring your escort cards and/or place cards to life! Contact us for a custom design, or order directly here.

Photography by Zac Wolf Photography

All designs shown here were created by We’re Into It. All photography is our own except where credit is given.

Welcome! We’re Amelia & Natasha and we’re into it

We love hand lettering and graphic design and we’re here to share some of our favorite things!

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