Everything you need to know about save the dates, RSVP and wedding invitations

The date is set but the planning is just starting! And I guess many questions are popping in your head, who am I going to invite? Where is it going to be? How long in advance should I notify my guests? And the list goes on and on, so in order to make your planning easier, we would like to give you as many insights as we can! So here is everything you need to know about save the dates, RSVP and wedding invitations.

If you want to know how to get the save the date etiquette right, the RSVP or how to address your guests properly, don’t stress! We’ve got your back.

So let’s do this in a timeline order. Once that you’ve got your guest list:

Save the date

The save the date card is literally a notice to save that date. Its purpose is more about telling people not to make any plans, not to buy concert tickets or go on holiday on that date cause it’s your wedding! Which is way more important than any other regular plans they could have (we would like to believe). So as mentioned before, it’s all about the date and not much about the details of the wedding, because sometimes those details are yet to be settled, still, you want your guests to add your big day to their agenda.

What to include?

Your save the date cards should include your names, the date (obviously), details of the location (if you have any) and some comment to let them know that a formal wedding invitation is yet to come.

When to send it?

The average time can swing between 6 to 12 months before the wedding and if you are having a destination wedding between 9 to 12 months prior, to give your guests enough time to do the proper arrangements.

The etiquette

  • Sending save the dates is optional.
  • Include only information that you are 100% sure about (if your venue is not 100% sure or any details are not confirmed don’t include it).
  • Send them only when your guest list is the final draw.
  • Include your wedding website if you already have one.

Wedding invitations

Once all the details of your wedding are more than confirmed and everything is ready to go, it’s time to get your wedding invitations done! For this one, all formalities are required and all the details should be included.

Chose your supplier and a gorgeous design that matches your wedding theme, remember that this will be the design line for the rest of your stationery (guest cards, menus and others) so choose wisely. Do your invitations with enough time in advance in order to fix any mistakes (get a sample first).

What to include?

Your wedding invitations should include all the information about your wedding:

  • Date and time.
  • Location (ceremony and reception).
  • Reception card (if your reception is in a different location than the ceremony).
  • Type of reception (formal, informal, cocktail or dinner).
  • Dress code.
  • Wedding website (in case you didn’t include this on your save the date you can include this info in a separate card).
  • RSVP (Include a stamp for returning the response or the link for the website if the response can be made online.)
  • Directions and map (this is a nice detail that would make everyone’s life easier).
  • Accommodation card (for guests who are coming from other cities or destination weddings). Include suggested hotel or accommodation and a deadline to book.
  • Itinerary (If your wedding goes for more than one day or includes multiple activities).

When to send it?

From 6 to 8 weeks before the event.

The etiquette

  • Be creative but very clear (the clearer the better).
  • Including your registry in your invitations can be perceived as impolite.
  • Address your invitations right. Avoid problems and extra stress by addressing to each guest by name, so guests can understand that the invite is just for the ones mentioned on the card (a great way to avoid writing “no kids allowed”).
  • Not every guest needs to have a plus one.
  • The proper way to point to the dress code is in the lower right corner either on the invitation or reception card.

RSVP

The RSVP (répondez s’il vous plaît) which translates from French as “please respond” is the response card that comes with the wedding invitation and its function is for guests to confirm their attendance at the wedding.

This card comes with a deadline and instructions on how to respond, which could be by returning the card with the response via correspondence or nowadays through email, website, text or phone call. Their role in your wedding planning is crucial in order to confirm with the vendors the number of guests, dietary requirements and to create the floor plan. It’s important that the RSVP card makes it clear who is invited.

What to include?

  • Names of the guest or guests (be very clear).
  • Envelope to return response (in case needed).
  • Email or website to respond.
  • Option to accept or decline.
  • Dietary requirements.
  • Deadline to respond.

When to send it?

This one goes with the wedding invitation, 6 to 8 weeks prior to the wedding, expecting guests to respond as soon as possible. But you can set your deadline for 2 or 3 weeks before the date, so you can have enough time to give the final number to the venue or caterer and to finish your floor plan.

The etiquette

  • How to address the RSVP:
    • Married couple: “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith” or “Mr. John and Mrs. Mary Smith”
    • Married couple with different last names: “Mrs. Mary Taylor and Mr. John Smith”
    • Unmarried couple: “Miss Mary Taylor and Mr. John Smith”
    • Single man: “Mr. John Smith”
    • Single woman: “Miss Mary Taylor”
  • Guests should only RSVP for those mentioned in the card.
  • Guest shouldn’t swap or add plus-ones

Now that you have all the insights, it’s time to put them into practice, happy planning!

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