Wedding Invitations & Paper

Sending Earlier, Less Formal Invites

Hello!

We are getting married in early September and recently sent save the dates. Our wedding is about two hours away from everyone (we picked a location that would force everyone to travel to keep it "fair"), and apparently some people are already booking hotels/cabins.  The problem with this is our venue has very limited parking, so we have booked a shuttle to transport people from the hotels (which we blocked rooms at) to the venue.  My mom suggested sending the invites sooner than the standard 10-weeks so people can adjust their bookings.  I am in agreement with this, but how early is too early?  I was hoping to send them at the end of April at the latest.  Please note that we only have the rooms blocked until 7/31, and we need RSVPs by 7/26 so we can get a headcount to our caterer.

Additionally, we created our own invites based on our sense of humor and who we are as people.  I didn't want to pay extra postage for multiple cards, so I included all the details on the back. Some of the details are "inappropriate" according to traditional wedding etiquette, but our save the dates literally said, "STD - It's Forever" and we had really positive feedback from family/friends.  Is it alright to just have fun with it and be blunt?  We included all the important information about hotels, transportation, requirements to check cell phones during the ceremony, etc.  The things I am now worried about are telling people to not bring kids (because when my partner's brother got married they relied on word of mouth and people still brought kids), and including registry information (we have no space for physical gifts at our venue and we didn't want people hauling gifts all the way there just to have to keep them under their tables all night, plus we have a honeymoon fund that we are asking for contributions to since we have been together 10 years and don't need anything physical).  

Any words of advice?  We're just not very traditional and want our day to be fun an quirky like we are.  

Re: Sending Earlier, Less Formal Invites

  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    No you can't mention gifts. If someone asks, you say you are saving for something. You also can't say no kids. Address the envelopes to the people who are invited. If they RSVP with their kids, call them and tell them you are sorry but the invitation is only for X and Y. I also hope that the wording of your invitation is clear that they are invited to a wedding and not a party. Sometimes "non-traditional" "fun" invitations are unclear and people don't know what they are attending.

    As for when you send the invitations, I would side-eye an invitation that came that early. It looks like you are B-listing. If you included all the info on your STD, your guests are adults and can book what they want when they want. Sending the invitations sooner won't make them book any earlier. Also, you need to push back with your caterer. There is no way they need a final count for a September wedding on July 26th. Suggest you can give  soft count a month ahead of time and a final count two weeks prior. They won't be ordering food until a week or so ahead anyway. 
  • Hello!

    We are getting married in early September and recently sent save the dates. Our wedding is about two hours away from everyone (we picked a location that would force everyone to travel to keep it "fair"), and apparently some people are already booking hotels/cabins.  The problem with this is our venue has very limited parking, so we have booked a shuttle to transport people from the hotels (which we blocked rooms at) to the venue.  My mom suggested sending the invites sooner than the standard 10-weeks so people can adjust their bookings.  I am in agreement with this, but how early is too early?  I was hoping to send them at the end of April at the latest.  Please note that we only have the rooms blocked until 7/31, and we need RSVPs by 7/26 so we can get a headcount to our caterer.

    Additionally, we created our own invites based on our sense of humor and who we are as people.  I didn't want to pay extra postage for multiple cards, so I included all the details on the back. Some of the details are "inappropriate" according to traditional wedding etiquette, but our save the dates literally said, "STD - It's Forever" and we had really positive feedback from family/friends.  Is it alright to just have fun with it and be blunt?  We included all the important information about hotels, transportation, requirements to check cell phones during the ceremony, etc.  The things I am now worried about are telling people to not bring kids (because when my partner's brother got married they relied on word of mouth and people still brought kids), and including registry information (we have no space for physical gifts at our venue and we didn't want people hauling gifts all the way there just to have to keep them under their tables all night, plus we have a honeymoon fund that we are asking for contributions to since we have been together 10 years and don't need anything physical).  

    Any words of advice?  We're just not very traditional and want our day to be fun an quirky like we are.  

    Quirky and individual is totally fine, but I’d stick with traditional etiquette when it comes to invites. I think it’s fine to send STDs whenever and to include all the hotel information so guests can make their travel arrangements. 

    You should still send invites at the proper time though (8-10 weeks out), any earlier and people may not know their schedules or if they can attend. You don’t need RSVPs before the room block deadline because, presumably people will book their rooms on their own, you don’t have to do that. 

    You should never put “no children” or “adults only” on invitations, you should only address them to the people that are invited. If people ask questions or try to include their children you can politely tell them the invitation was only for the adults. It’s not polite to tell people who isn’t invited. 

    You don’t have to have a registry, if people ask you can say you’re saving for a house/trip/whatever. People may bring physical gifts anyway and you should be gracious about that. HoneyMoon funds are generally considered rude because you’re specifically registering and asking people for cash (you don’t actually get the excursions/dinners/whatever) and that’s not cool. Plus you don’t actually get all the money people give you, the website takes a cut. 

    Non-traditional is fine, but keep in mind how you’re guests will feel about the choices you’re making. 
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I would be worried about a caterer who requires a final headcount in July for a September wedding. Have they never catered anything before? Professionals want soft numbers at the booking and at about 60 days, firm numbers 10-15 days out. This is a red flag that suggests that they don't really know what they're doing. 

    It's rude to mention anything about gifts on an invitation. Registering for money is rude whether you put it on the invitation or not. 

    8 weeks is still the norm for an invitation because it is far enough out that people can make arrangements to attend, but not so far that they lose track of it by the time the event rolls around. You've already sent the travel details with the STD. There is no reason to send invitations out early. 10 weeks is on the early side, but still ok, but you don't want to send any earlier than that. 

    On kids: put the names of those invited on the envelope and assume your guests are smart enough to read the envelope. Anyone who tries to add extra guests gets a call: "we're sorry if you were confused, but the invitation was just for Homer and Marge. Will you still be able to attend?" Do be prepared that travel without children is difficult for some, so you will likely have some declines. It's fine, just don't take it personally if they can't do it. 
    charlotte989875ILoveBeachMusicMairePoppylevioosa
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited March 2020
    Hello!

    We are getting married in early September and recently sent save the dates. Our wedding is about two hours away from everyone (we picked a location that would force everyone to travel to keep it "fair"), and apparently some people are already booking hotels/cabins.  The problem with this is our venue has very limited parking, so we have booked a shuttle to transport people from the hotels (which we blocked rooms at) to the venue.  My mom suggested sending the invites sooner than the standard 10-weeks so people can adjust their bookings.  I am in agreement with this, but how early is too early?  I was hoping to send them at the end of April at the latest.  Please note that we only have the rooms blocked until 7/31, and we need RSVPs by 7/26 so we can get a headcount to our caterer. 

    I'd do it at 10 weeks and not earlier. 10 weeks is just inside the appropriate window.


    Additionally, we created our own invites based on our sense of humor and who we are as people.  I didn't want to pay extra postage for multiple cards, so I included all the details on the back. Some of the details are "inappropriate" according to traditional wedding etiquette, but our save the dates literally said, "STD - It's Forever" and we had really positive feedback from family/friends.  Is it alright to just have fun with it and be blunt?  We included all the important information about hotels, transportation, requirements to check cell phones during the ceremony, etc.  The things I am now worried about are telling people to not bring kids (because when my partner's brother got married they relied on word of mouth and people still brought kids), and including registry information (we have no space for physical gifts at our venue and we didn't want people hauling gifts all the way there just to have to keep them under their tables all night, plus we have a honeymoon fund that we are asking for contributions to since we have been together 10 years and don't need anything physical).  

    The italicized information should not appear on your invitation.

    Invitations should never list who is not invited. The only appropriate way to "not invite" someone is to leave their name off the invitation envelope. This includes children. If someone tries to RSVP for their kids, then you will have to contact them and indicate that the invitation was only for those listed on the envelope and nobody else can be accommodated at the wedding.

    It is not appropriate to indicate on an invitation that cell phones must be checked during the ceremony. Your officiant can make a brief announcement that cell phones must be put on silent mode at the beginning of the ceremony, but you cannot force anyone not to use their cell phones. Those cell phones belong to them, not to you, and they may need them for emergency purposes.

    Gifts should never be mentioned in a wedding invitation -- not even "no gifts" messages. Such messages assume that one is "entitled" to gifts from the guests, which is incorrect -- gifts are always optional on the guests' part. If you don't want to receive boxed gifts at all, then don't register for them. That said, honeymoon funds and cash funds are also inappropriate because it is rude to ask for cash as a gift. Honeymoon funds do nothing but collect cash and give it, minus a take for themselves, to the couple. If someone wants to give you cash, then they can write you a check and you can cash it for the full amount.

    Any words of advice?  We're just not very traditional and want our day to be fun an quirky like we are.  

    See the bolded and italicized comments inside the quote box above.
  • What everyone else said, plus this: you have to have a place to put gifts that people bring to the ceremony, because they will bring them. It just happens. So think this through. Some of those gifts will be envelopes with checks in them, so you will need a secure place to keep them until the reception ends.

    And no, you can't "register" for money. Just don't register for stuff, and most, but not all, guests (see above paragraph!) will give money. 

    Sending the invites out early won't help, but spreading the word that lodging is limited will. My D had on their website that there was a major festival taking place the same weekend, and people booked early.
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