Wedding Invitations 101 – A “How To”, “What To” & “When To” Guide

by | Stationery Wisdom, Wisdom


Erin of The Rustic At Heart
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Image via The Rustic at Heart

Sending out your invitations can often be left to the last minute becoming a little rushed and unplanned. But the invitation itself is a little window or preview into the mood, vibe and excitement of your most planned and thought about event. It should reflect all the love, style and flair that you are planning for all your elements on your wedding day. It should tell a story, your love story, show your style and celebrate the quirky parts of your relationship that make your relationship unique.

Spend some time planning this part of your wedding to ensure your ideas and creative style is visualised in your stationery. Our guide to effortless stationery is below and will hopefully make planning this part of your day a breeze.

Images via Kaitlin Maree Photography

When to send:

We recommend Save the Date cards to all our couples. This allows your guests to think ahead and start planning around your date. Whether you send this to all your guests or just the close family or guests travelling long distance, it can save some tricky date juggling down the track. We recommend sending your save the dates a minimum of 6 months before your wedding day and ideally up to 10 months in advance for weddings with overseas guests.

Knowing when to send your invitation is important. Your wedding venue will advise you of the date they require your final numbers. This is the date you will work back from, not your wedding date.

Image via Bonnie Jenkins Photography

My little cheats guide is below for different wedding types:

Weddings with overseas travellers: Save the dates – 10 months out. Invitations – 12 weeks out.

Destination weddings: Save the dates – 6-8 months out. Invitations – 12 weeks out.

Local weddings: Save the dates – 6 months out. Invitations – 6-8 weeks out.

Small weddings: Invitations – 6-8 weeks out.

When to Order:

Depending on the style of printing for your invitations and whether you would like some DIY stationery elements, the best time to order will vary for stationery order times. Most print yourself invitations will be ready for download within a few days to a week and ready for you to start your own printing and preparing.

Standard printing may only take a few weeks however the more intricate printing styles of engraving, letter press or acrylic printing will be up to a month. It is best to research this in advance, to ensure you have enough time to achieve the stationery look and style you are dreaming about.

Image by Fig Tree Pictures & Calligraphy by The Pleasantry

Choosing your Style:

The best weddings we go to as guests are the ones that show a couples love and story that has lead them to that day. An invitation is the first place to start telling that story. Do this, and your guests will come to your day ready for fun, love and excitement.

Your venue will provide a little clue to your guests of the style of your wedding. Eg. Beach side venue will suggest a coastal theme. Your invitation style, texture and colours will also help to get your guests ‘vibing’ your wedding day mood. In addition to choosing a style and colour, you can also choose a printing style. There are so many options on the market for paper alternatives that if you wish to buck tradition you will be spoilt for choice.

Images by Kaitlin Maree Photography

RSVP Management:

No longer are we stuck with waiting on guests to call with their RSVPs. Today we have options like websites and online RSVP options to help us with managing our replies. Wedding websites are a fantastic way to keep guests up to date with small wedding day detail changes, travel and accommodation options and RSVP management.

Most guests will be quite happy to click a quick button and update their RSVP status online. Let’s be honest, who has time to chase up guests the fortnight before the wedding. Wedding websites can be easily added to the RSVP line on your invitation, saving you the trouble of Reply cards and return stamps.

If a more traditional RSVP is your style, or you have some older guests who would feel more comfortable with a traditional RSVP card and envelope, we would recommend sending these with return stamps and your address on the envelopes. An invitation can include envelope liners, RSVP and info cards all with matching colours and prints, or it can be simple and sleek and look just as incredible. The key is to make it a little personal, a little unique and keep it in line with your other wedding day plans.

Get Pinning on Pinterest. Create your own mood board in Powerpoint. Search wedding blogs and Instagram. Allow enough time and make them look WOW!

Image by The Rustic at Heart

Ms Zebra Says: I love the incredible designs that people are now choosing for the invites and wedding stationary. There are so many great options that will truly reflect the look and feel of your day – thank you to the Rustic at Heart for sharing these great tips with us!
At The Rustic at Heart it is our passion to tell love stories through event stationery and signage that is created out of materials with texture and elegance. We offer Wood, leather, acrylic and linen paper all laser engraved with modern designs to create unique stationery packages. Any theme, colour or style. We love to create packages to suit all our couples stories.


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