Photo by: Erin S.

When to Send Invites

Michelle Nicole, wedding and event planner, suggests sending out your wedding invites 2-3 months prior to your wedding and requiring RSVP’s 3.5 weeks before your wedding. This helps you to plan your seating chart, favors, meals, and alcohol numbers. To me, these are just suggestions and if you think it’ll be better for yourself or your guests to send out invites sooner than 2-3 months, go for it!

Here’s how my timeline on save the dates and invites personally have gone (remember my wedding is in California and probably 90% of our guests are coming from one of these places: New Zealand, London, Spain, Minnesota, or Arizona). I had several guests asking specifics (where to stay, what to do, when it was, how to get there, etc) so I chose to send my invites out as soon as I could along with a wedding website. Our invites and save the dates were also sent via email because of the distance between all our guests. We also have a “backup” list of people we really want there but don’t have the budget for as of now. I told my guests that our RSVP date is just preferred but I wasn’t strict on it because it’s so far in advance.

Burke wedding date: September 14th 2019

Burke wedding save the dates sent on: around October 27th-28th 2018

Burke wedding invites sent on: December 10th 2018

RSVP date: June 14th 2019 (three months prior – but most of our guests will know by then anyways)

Number of yes’s as of today: 29

Number of no’s as of today: 0


When sending invites here are a few things to not forget:

  1. Brides name goes FIRST and then grooms name.
  2. If parents are contributing, it is traditional to include them in the invite (sample below). Not needed especially if mentioned on your wedding website instead (which is what we did).
  3. Check postage cost before fully committing to a style of card
  4. Proofread – over and over again!
  5. Get a custom stamp with your names/address to save time
  6. If you’re not putting in the guest’s names on the RSVP card for them, number the RSVP and keep track of who you sent it to (small in the corner or somewhere that isn’t visible to guests). I have seen SO many times that guests forget to label who is attending and then you have no way of knowing who sent that RSVP.
  7. Include a stamp on all your RSVP cards so guests don’t have to.
  8. If you’re having a wedding website, include instructions / the link to go check it out. This can also be a great way for guests to RSVP.
  9. Print extra invites (one for a keepsake, one to be photographed at your wedding with all your other little details, some for extra guests if you have a backup list like us, etc).
  10. If you’re not printing invites, still print one for yourself, your grandparents, and your parents.
  11. Stick to the style of your save the dates / style of your wedding.
  12. Be specific about who is invited (plus ones, just the named guests, children, etc).
  13. If you’re not having a wedding website or other place for guests to find out more information, include all other applicable information such as meal choices, dietary restrictions, guest accommodation, bar situation (cash bar, open bar, no alcohol, BYO, etc), transportation, dress code, parking availability, if it’s accessible by uber/taxi/lyft, gift registry, location/address, map if needed, ceremony time, brief schedule if reception doesn’t follow the ceremony, contact information, things to do in the area, etc. Most of this will go on a separate “details” card you’ll need to order/provide.
  14. Purchase matching thank you cards ahead of time (one less thing to figure out later) unless you want your thank you cards to use your wedding photographs. 
Thanks to everyone who sent me their invites to use for this blog <3 If you have images you’d like me to use for future blogs (whether you’re a photographer, other vendor, or bride) please contact me! 
Cover image provided by: Erin S. 


Signing off, 

Mary Taylor <3

mary taylor weddings, burke wedding
Our Invite!
Photo by: Aisha R.
Photo by: Ari J.
mary taylor weddings, wedding planner,

Who to Invite?!

You’ve got your date and your venue and now you need to decide who to invite! Is it feeling more real yet?

Depending on your budget/personal preference you may be having a small wedding or a large wedding. Budget to some extent inevitably determines how many people you can invite. Sit down with your partner and each write out a list of who you need to be there (these are your “for sures”). This could include your immediate family members, someone else who helped raise you, grandparents, and your best friends. Then, write another list of wants. Who do you really want to be there but if your budget / venue can’t handle this many, you would still be able to carry on. This could include extended family, other friends, and family friends. Lastly, write a list of those you’d like there but wouldn’t mind if you didn’t have the room/budget for them. This could include your parents friends, coworkers, and other friends that you’re not as close with.

Things to remember:

  1. If your parents are paying for or contributing to the wedding, confirm with them their expectations of how many people they would like to invite.
  2. This is your wedding! If there are certain people you don’t want there, stand your ground.
  3. Find out your venue’s minimum and maximum number of guest requirements.
  4. Do you want this to be a kid free, all kids, or some kids wedding? For example: Our wedding is kid free minus our niece, two nephews, and a friend traveling from England who is bringing their two year old son. I will address different ways to make it clear to your guests who is and is not invited in another blog.
  5. People that are married or in long term relationships should both be invited. It is not required that others receive a plus one. It is personal preference and depends on the size/budget of your wedding. 
  6. Do you want to allow everyone to bring a plus one or only allow named guests that you have invited?
  7. If certain people stress you out or give you anxiety and you think they may be trouble at your wedding, don’t invite them (unless you genuinely want them there). Some may think this one sounds obvious but the amount of posts I’ve read about this topic is astonishing.
  8. You don’t have to invite everyone all at once. You can send out your “for sures” first. Then, after you get some replies, see if you have enough no’s to invite more guests. This is a great way to stick to your budget.
  9. It doesn’t matter if your partner is inviting more people than you as long as you’re both happy with who you’ve both invited.
  10. Depending of who you are inviting, a lot may say no so be prepared to have a lot less than you invited. For those having a smaller wedding (under 50 guests), you may know that all those guests will show up and this may not be the case. Our wedding has a limit of 85 people and we are 99% about most of those guests – even the ones that haven’t RSVPed yet because they are almost all family members or long time friends that we know will do anything to be there!

Photo by Annie Gray on Unsplash