Wedding Help

Wedding Timeline

Invitation Etiquette

Invitation Wording Help

Photo Guidelines

 

Wedding Timeline


 

Twelve Months or More In Advance

  • Set the date and begin looking into save the date magnets or cards.
  • Get organized. Whether it’s a three-ring binder, a hardbound book available at bridal stores, or an excel chart on your laptop, you will need to keep a lot of information orderly and handy.
  • Announce your engagement.
  • Keep open the lines of communication with your fiancé and your respective families; discuss the wedding budget as early as possible, as well as the style, theme and location of your wedding.

Six to Twelve Months Before the Wedding

  • Interview and sign contracts with your cater, photographer and videograpaher, band or DJ, and florist.
  • Set your guest list.
  • Select and ask your attendants.
  • Shop for your dress.

Three to Six Months Before the Wedding

  • Register
  • Send out save the date magnets or cards.
  • Select your and purchase your invitations.
  • Finalize your floral arrangements.
  • Select your wedding cake.
  • Arrange your rehearsal dinner, if planned.
  • Plan your honeymoon.

One to Two Months Before the Wedding

  • Mail invitations.
  • Apply for marriage license.
  • Start working on your seating chart.

One to Two Weeks Before the Wedding

  • Give final guest count to the caterer and/or wedding planner.
  • Pick up your gown and groom’s attire.
  • Write your vows.
  • Send out thank you cards for your gifts.
  • Call your bridal party to thank them personally for their time.

 

Invitation Etiquette

 

Who do I need to send a save the date magnet or wedding announcement to?
You should send a save the date magnet or announcement to each household that is going to receive an invitation. Don’t use the total amount of wedding guests as the total amount of save the date magnets, announcements, or invitations to send. You only need to send one per household.

When should I send my save the date magnets?
You should have your save the date magnets in the mail 6-12 months before the date of your wedding. Consider sending them 9 – 12 months ahead of time if the wedding is out of town or if you have quite a few guests coming from out of town.

When should I send my wedding invitations?
Typically, wedding invitations are sent approximately 6 to 8 weeks prior to the wedding date. This gives your guests time to make travel arrangements if they are coming from out of town.

Etiquette Tips for Destination Weddings

  • Make sure to send wedding invitations to guests well in advance of the typical eight week deadline. Your guests need time to make the necessary travel arrangements.
  • Be sure to include directions cards or maps in each wedding invitation to help your guests navigate the destination city.
  • Create a wedding website to keep your guests informed of your plans, including any additional information you can find about hotel and travel deals. 
  • In general, you should not invite people to your engagement party unless you are also inviting them to the wedding.

Selecting the Perfect Wedding Invitation

The right wedding invitation is like the sublime appetizer at an impeccable dinner party.It sets the tone, whets your guests’ appetite and lets them know what to expect from the rest of your event (great things!). 

Of course, the wrong invitation is like the appetizer that has been scorched beyond recognition at a meal you would rather forget. 
So, how do you make sure the invitation to your wedding hits the mark – and not the floor (or the trash bin)? 

First things first: take a step back and think about your wedding itself. A wedding should be a reflection of the bride’s and groom’s personality and panache. For some, that might mean an uber formal, black tie gala, complete with champagne flutes and doves released just as the couple says their I Dos. For others, it means a hoedown with BBQ ribs and beer from a keg. In either case, the wedding invitation should be like the illustrated book jacket of a great novel – and in this case, you should be able to judge the book from its cover! 

There are a countless number of styles – from super serene to completely kitsch – in wedding invitations and even a great number of choices for paper and ink. The important thing as you navigate your choices is to remember that your wedding invitation should suit the wedding you will have. A hoedown doesn’t require – and really doesn’t fit with – a hand-engraved invite on sumptuous silk. Consider instead a cute inlay with red and white gingham over a navy blue embossed font.

The wording on your wedding invitation can also range from super formal to way laid-back. Whatever you chose, you will be helping to tell your wedding story – so choose carefully. Of course there are family politics that may influence things; the invite of a young couple with financial support from both parents will and should read differently than that of a more established couple sponsoring the affair on their own. Whatever you end up with, just remember that grammatical and spelling errors are never a good thing!

A few other tips as you work to select the perfect wedding invitation:

  • Don’t forget to include (and double and triple check) the date, time, and location of your event on the invitation.
  • Calligraphy is still the preferred method for addressing invitations, but if penmanship isn’t your strong suit, rest assured that computerized labels are coming into their own vogue. Whatever you go with, legibility is of utmost importance.
  • Plan to have your invitations at the post office no later than 4 weeks before your wedding date; double that (6 to 8 weeks) if you are inviting guests from overseas.

 

Invitation Wording Help

 

Download our wedding invitation wording guides and worksheets:

Wedding Invitation Wording Guide in Microsoft Word format
Wedding Invitation Wording Guide in PDF format 
Wedding Invitation Worksheet in Microsoft Word format 

Invitation Wording Guides organized by Family Situation

Please use this as a guide to writing your invitation text. There are many different ways to word a wedding invitation. We recommend finding as many examples as you can that match or are close to your family and sponsor situation.  Once you see a few examples you will be able to write your text in a way that fits your personality and wedding style.  Please also download the wedding wording worksheet so that you can fill it out and attach it to your order.  Feel free to cut and paste from this document to your wedding invitation Worksheet.

 

When the bride's parents sponsor the wedding

Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Waterman 
Smith 
request the honor of your presence 
at the marriage of their daughter 
Carol Ann 
to 
Mr. William James Clark 
on Saturday, the fifth of August 
Nineteen hundred and ninety-four 
at two o'clock in the afternoon 
Saint James by-the-Sea 
La Jolla, California

 


 

When both the bride and groom's parents sponsor the wedding 

Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Waterman Smith 
and 
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Burdell Clark 
request the honor of your presence 
at the marriage of their children 
Miss Carol Ann Smith 
to 
Mr. William James Clark 

OR

Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Waterman Smith 
request the honor of your presence 
at the marriage of their daughter 
Carol Ann Smith 
to 
William James Clark 
son of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Burdell Clark

 


 

When the bride's mother is sponsoring the wedding and is not remarried 

Mrs. Julie Hurden Smith 
requests the honor of your presence 
at the marriage of her daughter 
Carol Ann

 


 

When the bride's father is sponsoring the wedding and has not remarried

Mr. Alexander Waterman Smith 
requests the honor of your presence 
at the marriage of his daughter 
Carol Ann

 


 

When the bride and groom sponsor their own wedding 

The honor of your presence is requested 
at the marriage of 
Miss Carol Ann Smith 
and 
Mr. William James Clark 

OR

 Miss Carol Ann Smith 
and 
Mr. William James Clark 
request the honor of your presence 
at their marriage

 


 

When a close friend or relative sponsors the wedding 

Mr. and Mrs. Brandt Elliott Lawson 
request the honor of your presence 
at the marriage of their granddaughter 
Carol Ann Smith

 

 


 

When the bride's father is sponsoring the wedding and has remarried 

Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Waterman Smith 
request the honor of your presence 
at the marriage of Mr. Smith's daughter 
Carol Ann

When the groom's parents sponsor the wedding 

Mr. and Mrs. Michael Burdell Clark 
request the honor of your presence 
at the marriage of 
Miss Carol Ann Smith 
to their son 
Mr. William James Clark

 


 

When the bride's mother is sponsoring the wedding and has remarried 

Mrs. Julie Hurden Booker 
requests the honor of your presence 
at the marriage of her daughter 
Carol Ann Smith

OR 

Mr. and Mrs. John Thomas Booker 
request the honor of your presence 
at the marriage of Mrs. Booker's daughter 
Carol Ann Smith

When the bride's father is sponsoring the wedding and has not remarried

Mr. Alexander Waterman Smith 
requests the honor of your presence 
at the marriage of his daughter 
Carol Ann

 


 

Military

In military ceremonies, the rank determines the placement of names.
Any title lower than sergeant should be omitted.
Only the branch of service should be included under that person's name:

 Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Waterman Smith 
request the honor of your presence 
at the marriage of their daughter 
Carol Ann 
United States Army 
to 
William James Clark

 

Junior officers' titles are placed below their names
and are followed by their branch of service

 Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Waterman Smith 
request the honor of your presence 
at the marriage of their daughter 
Carol Ann 
to 
William James Clark 
First Lieutenant, United States Army

 

If the rank is higher than lieutenant, titles are placed before names,
and the branch of service is placed on the following line

 Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Waterman Smith 
request the honor of your presence 
at the marriage of their daughter 
Carol Ann 
to 
Captain William James Clark 
United States Navy

 


 

Less Formal or a more Contemporary Wedding 

Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Waterman Smith 
would like you to 
join with their daughter 
Carol Ann 
and 
William James Clark 
in the celebration of their marriage

 

Photo Guidelines


 

Here are some simple guidelines to follow when selecting your photo. 

  • The higher the resolution the better. We recommend at least 300 dpi for the best print quality. Most thumbnails or smaller images that you save off of a photo storage site are not high enough resolution to provide a good quality print. As a rule of thumb, the larger the picture opens up on your screen, the better it will be for printing.
  • If your photo is not clear or is “rough” on your computer monitor you can expect your printed product to have the same effect.
  • If your picture appears dark on your monitor it will also appear dark in print.
  • We can make minor adjustments to pictures, including red-eye reducing, converting to black and white or sepia, etc, but we cannot improve the overall quality of the image.
  • Please send us the original photo, uncropped and unedited, as we can make those adjustments for you.

We accept the following file types:   .jpg, .gif, .png,  and .tiff. We cannot accept links to photo storage sites.  We will not be able to access your photo.

Some basic digital photo tips:

Lighting is everything!  Make sure your photo is taken with the possible lighting.  As with all photography, natural lighting is the best. Most digital cameras allow you to edit the lighting setting depending on your situation. Be sure to take advantage of these settings. Make sure you or your subject remains perfectly still!  Motion will cause blurriness, and this will only lead to blurred prints! Take your picture with the highest resolution setting possible on your specific camera.  The higher the resolution, the larger the photo file and the better the print quality you can expect.  The best tip of all?  Want the best photo and print possible? Make friends with a photographer!

 

 

 

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