We’re huge fans of etiquette here at Invitations by R Squared. It really is just about being kind and considerate to one another. We all know the basic forms of etiquette, and that is a big, huge deal when it comes to Save the Date and destination wedding invitation etiquette.
Some of your relatives may have their own ideas about the way things are supposed to go. Your grandmother may be utilizing a set of outdated etiquette rules that are confusing everyone.
Our team has assembled the questions we hear over and over again, and they ARE important.
Should we send Save the Date cards? And when should we send them?
Save the Date cards are fairly new on the destination wedding scene. In fact, destination weddings are fairly new on the wedding scene. Ask your parents if THEY used Save the Date cards. The new etiquette may feel casual and informal, and maybe a bit confusing to some.
Lots of people say that Save the Date cards are completely optional. This might be true for a hometown wedding. For a destination wedding, people are going to need time to plan. In our opinion, it’s a courtesy to notify your guests-to-be six months in advance. More if it can be managed. There are some lovely Save the Date cards here, and magnets are gaining in popularity.
When planning your guest list, plan carefully. Destination weddings take time to plan, both for the couples and the guests. Send out your Save the Date cards to those you know you will actually be inviting. It’s difficult to uninvite a guest.
When do we send the actual destination wedding invitations?
The standard rule, which dates from back when weddings were mostly local affairs, is that wedding invitations should be sent out six to eight weeks in advance of the wedding. But the real truth is lots of folks won’t make travel arrangements until they get an honest-to-God invite. So if a lot of people are going to have to travel for your wedding, sending the invitations out three months in advance will be greatly appreciated.
What is the appropriate way to address the wedding invitations?
Here is the hard and fast rule: you should address people by the names they actually use. You can use honorifics or skip them. If you’re using them, children under twelve can be addressed by Miss or Master. Unmarried women, or women that kept their names can be addressed as Ms. Married women who changed their name can be addressed as Mrs. (Or Ms.!). Doctors can be addressed as Dr. or Drs. (if there are two). And men get addressed as Mr.
What information should we include on our invitation?
While it can be fun to get visually creative with your wedding invitations, you don’t want to get creative with communicating the information, because you want people to come. The key is just to remember to legibly communicate who, what, where, and when.
Do we include registry information?
Old school traditional etiquette insists that you never include any information on your wedding registry, because that should only be spread by word of mouth. However, all your wedding guests really like to find registry information on wedding websites, so do everyone a favor and put it there. And, with a destination wedding, people are making an actual investment to come share your day with you. Many couples forego a registry, and include instructions that there are to be no gifts. Some opt for a donation to a charity of the couple’s choice.
In general, however, you probably don’t want to mention anything about gifts on the wedding invitation. You want people there because you love them, not because you want an umbrella rack, so don’t confuse your guests with the message you send.
What is the best way to let people know about our wedding website?
If you’re sending out Save the Date cards, putting your wedding website on them can be a helpful way to give guests a better feeling for what your wedding will look like. When you send out your formal invitation, it’s helpful to include the wedding website information again. Typically, you don’t print the website on the actual invitation, but instead on one of the accompanying cards.
You don’t have to have a wedding website if you don’t want to. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Do we have to include a RSVP card?
If you want to get an RSVP card back, then – yes – you should send them with the invitation. If an RSVP via phone or email is acceptable, then be sure to either have that printed on the invitation, or send a separate enclosure card with instructions.
How do we plan for the RSVP deadline?
Remember that people will consider maybe kind of thinking about putting their RSVP card in the mail on the RSVP deadline you give them. Maybe. Make sure the RSVP date is at least a week earlier than the date you need to give your caterer a final head count, since you may spend that week calling around and chasing answers. Setting an RSVP deadline of three to four weeks out from your wedding will help keep you sane.
Really? How many pieces of paper do we need to include with the invitation?
You need to include an invitation and probably an RSVP card. You may want to include a variety of other materials if you so choose: maps, schedule of events, you name it. Whatever you include in your invitation should also be reflected on your wedding website, should you choose to have one.
Do we have to allow single friends a “Plus One”?
No, you don’t. That said, they might really want them. Particularly if you only have a few single friends, giving them a chance to bring a buddy (date or not), will increase the odds of them attending. If for whatever reason you decide not to offer plus ones, make sure that you take good care of the single folks. Seat them together, introduce them at any welcome parties you might have. Tell each of them who they should look out for, and maybe a little bit about them.
We’re having a wedding with no children. How do we make that clear without offending our friends with children?
The traditional way of letting folks know exactly who is invited to the wedding is simply by listing the names of the invitees on the envelope. No children? Don’t list them.
However, in reality, this signal can sometimes get lost in translation. Flights are booked before official invites arrive. New parents are not used to seeing their kids names on envelopes in the first place. Envelopes go straight in the trash. So you’ll need to be a little clearer, while keeping it kind. If you’re going to use a wedding website, this is a great place to note that you’re not having kids at the wedding. You can also call loved ones with kids to talk about it in person.
How do we let people know about appropriate attire?
Well, it depends. If you dress code is “Black Tie” or “Semi Formal” or “The ceremony will take place on grass, so please make footwear choices accordingly,” just put the information on your wedding website, or on an insert card in your invitation.
That about wraps it up with the common questions about destination wedding stationery. Still confused? Still have questions? That’s OK. We’re here to help! Get in touch with us and have a chat with the fabulous Fran. You’ve chosen a location, possibly even a venue, and a date, but you’re stuck on inspiration? Check out these fabulous inspiration boards the team has assembled for you right here at Pinterest. Don’t let this be difficult. We want your day to be special, magical, and the best ever. Don’t hesitate to let us help you untangle some of your questions.