It seems like such a silly question, but it is not, here are a few things you will need to know (and have) before you can invite your guests to your wedding!
A checklist so you know you are ready to send out invitations:
Who is Inviting the Guests
Who is Inviting the Guests
Traditionally, it’s the parents of the bride that would be inviting the guests. No, it doesnt mean they are delivering your invitations to the guests, it’s a formality and it’s in the form of the wording of the invitation. It would start with “Mr. and Mrs. Smith request the honor of your presence…”
However, in the 21st century, it is completely acceptable to now have either the parents of the grooms (especially if they are paying a significant portion of the wedding), both sets of the parents (if they are both paying a portion of the wedding, it’d be nice to honor them both), or just the couple inviting (they are both paying for it, or if you just want to dodge all the family politics).
It’s a bit of a touchy subject, but before you send out the invitation, determine whose parents are inviting, and that would determine the starting “wording” of the invitation.
Your Wedding Date (and Time)
Once you have booked a venue for your ceremony and reception (It could also be the exact same place), you have a wedding date! More importantly, you also have the ceremony time, and reception time! On your invitation, you will most definitely need to indicate when they are coming to your ceremony, and when they are going to the reception.
Some reception is exactly the same place as the ceremony, then things are a bit easier, then a simple “Reception to follow” would suffice, no actual starting time is needed. As they just need to stick around. But if your reception is at a different venue, then a starting time would be nice so they know how much time they have to travel in between.
The middle portion of your invitation wording is mostly about the time and location of your ceremony, and optionally you can include Reception as well, or some invitations may include a “Reception Card” which guests can then bring with them so they can travel to your reception site.
Your Guest List
Now that your wedding invitation wording is ready, you can start designing, printing, folding or at the very least, sort out the invitation company that would be all of that for your beautiful new invites.
While that’s being done, which generally takes 4-6 weeks, you will want to get your guest list together. Before you order your invitations, you will want a ball park number of guests already anyhow, actually when you secure the venue, you would already have been asked for your ballpark so Im sure you already got a short list going, however, you are only ready to order, buy and send out your invitations if you have your final list together.
How many people are you able to fit in your ceremony venue and reception? If the two are separate, some ceremony venue are smaller and more intimate, and you might choose to invite less people to the ceremony, ie just family and close friends. Others might have the same ceremony and reception venue which means you can probably just invite the same people to both, then you dont have to worry – one invitation fits all!
With these 3 things secured and decided, you are ready to send your invitations out. Usually couples send out their invitations 3-6 months before their wedding dates. If your wedding is a destination wedding, or if you will have a ton of out-of-town guests, it’s always nice to give people more notice so they can scout out cheaper travel options, so 6-9 months ahead would be nice.