What Do I Need to Know About Wedding Invitations?

Updated: Nov 1

Though invitations may seem to be just a piece of paper, it is so much more than that. Invitations are a preview into your wedding day! They are your first wedding related interactions with your guests. Yes, it tells them the necessary details (time, date, location) but it also gives them a glimpse of the overall theme and vibe of the day. Invitations and in turn, RSVPs dictate all those final details like catering and chair counts. All this to say, it’s a pretty important part of your wedding planning process. But where to start? Let’s go over all the details!

Shelbi DeMartino Photography

Timing is Everything: Let’s talk about when to send all the things because you want to be sure to give your guests time to decide if they can make it to your nuptials or not. We’ve specified for a local wedding or a destination wedding because there’s a certain level of planning that goes into local versus destination. For example, your friend with the two kids (and let’s say you decided to have a kid free wedding) do they need to get a babysitter for the night or do they need to have grandparents pinch hit for two nights while they travel out of state? A Local Wedding is when guests won’t have to travel far enough that they will have to stay the night. So, if most of your guests have to travel far enough that they will likely be needing to spend the night - we’re throwing you in the destination wedding category.

Local Wedding: (These dates are pretty standard and give local guests plenty of time to plan.)

  • Save the dates - 4-6 months.

  • This can be as simple as a postcard with just the date and location. If you want to include your website you can but it doesn’t necessarily have to be completed. You can have some sections of the website still say “More Info Coming Soon”

  • Invitations - 8 weeks

  • At this point you are giving ALL information needed for your wedding. If you’re not including all of the information on paper, be sure to have your website completed so that any and all questions can be answered. I promise you this will save you a lot of time from answering guest’s questions - “It’s on the website!”

Destination Wedding:

  • Send out Save the Dates 6-8 months in advance or start telling people.

  • Treat it as a pre-wedding invitation with lots of info included that way guests can start making plans.

  • Alternatively, make sure your wedding website is completed with alllll the info so that you guests are well informed. Set up your RSVP too so that guests can start RSVPing and you can start getting your numbers together

  • Include a schedule of events so that your guests can plan how long to dedicate to your wedding festivities

  • Have your room blocks ready to go so that guests can start booking (Want to hear more about room blocks and transportation? Check out our blog here!)

  • Invitations

  • Start sending out invitations about 12 weeks in advance. At this point your guests should have started planning their travels and this should really be a formality. You can include details that are important but also weren’t necessary for planning like attire requests, timeline of events, gifting details (registry or asking for just monetary gifts).

  • Again, consider having your website ready to go with all the deets.

Anna So Photography

Let’s talk about what your Save the Dates and Invitations could look like!

Save the dates

Save the dates ideally land on all of your guest’s fridges and bulletin boards. They’re a little something that your guests can look at as a reminder and daydream about your epic wedding-to-be. Save the dates are typically less formal than your invitations. This opens the door to so many fun possibilities. From printed fans, magnets, pencils (“Pencil us in!”), bottle openers, to strip photos. The possibilities are endless! Did you take some gorgeous engagement photos? Now’s the time to use them!

Information to include:

  • Names

  • Date of wedding

  • Location of wedding

  • Venue Name

  • Website - optional but if you include it be sure to fill out the basics on your website too before sending them out.

🔥HOT TIP🔥: For sending anything other than a printed piece of paper, don’t ship it as a letter, you will likely need to ship it as a package. Take your Save The Date to the post office and ask them how to best ship your unique item. They will likely weigh it out and suggest the best method for shipment. Most of these bulkier items can’t go through the processing machines. More on that later…

Electronic Save the Dates

  • For about a dollar an invite you can save money on printing and postage

  • You can keep your guests updated with “newsletters” filling them in on more details as they go.

  • Guests can pull it up anytime instead of looking for a piece of paper

  • Downside: sometimes it can get lost in junk ):

Jeny Roc Photography


Wedding invitations can be so simple these days because you can put so much onto your wedding website. But some people prefer to go all out on invites and include everything. You choose how detailed your invitations will be. Overall, your invitations should be a preview into the overall theme of your day. Match colors and textures to really give your guests a hint of what’s to come.

Let’s talk about the different parts to an invitation; the actual invitation, response cards, reception cards, directions, and other information. These cards deliver important information to guests and dictate the style and overall vibe of the celebration.