May 032011

After you’ve announced your wedding, whether through save the date cards, save the date magnets, save the date emails, or save the date smoke signals, you will need to get ready for marriage invitation mail.  Sending your invites usually transpires six to eight weeks before the wedding date.  All the prep work that goes into that one mailing may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.  After all, your time will be precious as you look at tuxedos for weddings, gown ideas such as Maggie Sottero prices on dresses, and your wedding flowers bridal bouquet choices.  If you take copious notes leading up to the actual sending off of your invitations, you should be in good position to breeze through your mailing set set up. Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines!

marriage invitation mail, marriage invitation mail format, sample marriage invitation mail, marriage invitation mail sample, marriage invitation mail to friendsSave The Date Responses – 6 to 12 Months Out

What?  What is that?  Well, in all honesty, they don’t exist.  STD responses (that does NOT sound right to me) are not a “formal” RSVP’s but they do exist in a kind of techy and ethereal kind of way.  If you are a smart bride (which I know you are if you’re reading this!) you have sent out (or will send out) some kind of save the date.  What is going to happen is, you will get responses from people.  Some will call you with their congrats…many will email…a few will text.  When they do, your response should sound something like this:  “Thank you! We are so excited for you to be there!  Do you think you’ll be able to make it?”

When the responses come from your question, you will need to take notes on what they say!  Whether you are making a guest list spreadsheet or keeping track in a hand written binder, jot down what they say.  This is going to help you with your next step.

Marriage Invitation Mail Format and Set Up – 4 Months Out

marriage invitation mail, marriage invitation mail format, sample marriage invitation mail, marriage invitation mail sample, marriage invitation mail to friendsGetting your actual invitations designed and prepped is an entire process in itself.  Don’t get caught behind the eight ball and stress that they won’t be printed on time to be sent at the appropriate time! A marriage invitation mail sample will be needed so you can review all the components to your invitation.  This way, you can know that you are happy with the final product.  The sample marriage invitation mail piece should be an exact mock up of what you will be sending off to all of your friends and family.  Giving yourself and your designer 4 to 6 weeks to get the final product together, whether you’re doing something funny or matching your theme like fall wedding colors, will give you plenty of breathing room.  If not, you need a new designer/printer!

Use the information gathered from the save the date notes to help you determine a not-as-rough estimate head count!  If a friend has been adamant that they can not attend, they should not expect an invite.  If a family member states the same, still send them an invite!  You won’t want to offend your family.  You will be able to shave off a few of those from your total guests and have a more realistic idea of guest count…which means a better grasp on overall budget expenses.  Aren’t you glad you took notes now?

marriage invitation mail, marriage invitation mail format, sample marriage invitation mail, marriage invitation mail sample, marriage invitation mail to friendsThe Mailing – Six to Eight Weeks Out

The moment you’ve been waiting for!  Actually, there are a lot of those when it comes to planning a wedding (like changing your name after marriage!), but this is a very sweet one.  Once those invites go out, it’s an enormous relief.  It’s as if you are getting it out of your hands into those of your guests.  Hopefully, they respond quickly!

Please shoot for eight weeks out for the marriage invitation mail to friends and relatives.  Six weeks is usually “fine” but you might get people looking at it, saying, “OMG.  That’s next month!  Why didn’t they remind me sooner?”  As you get your responses in, track them in your spreadsheet or binder.  I recommend at exactly one month to go, you spend an evening calling those that have not responded just to touch base.  See if they are still on the fence about attending or if they even got the invite in the first place.  You can ask them to send the response card, but it doesn’t hurt to just ask, “Should I put you down for two?”

Another rare option you could offer your guests would be to ask for music suggestions.  Sure, you will be choosing your own wedding first dance songs, wedding processional music, and even the garter toss songs, but for dancing and dinner, you may need some ideas as to what your guests want.  Don’t forget you’re sharing the wedding with them.  It’s not like they are picking your tiaras for wedding or having a hand in choosing which of the modern engagement rings looks best on you.  Offer up a line or two for requests and you should see some interesting responses!

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