I love receiving hand written notes in the mail. Love it! But what’s even more fun is sending cards to my friends and family. It’s such a rare thing these days that I know they will be just as excited as I am because it’s better than a bill, right? I recently received an invitation to my friend’s wedding, and I was so excited. I have it posted on my refrigerator and see it every time I refill my water. We should be flying out to Denver next month, but due to Covid, they have now postponed to 2021.
As a wedding planner, I have also been working with our clients on communication to their guests when they have had to postpone. Just like when they originally sent out their wedding invitations, there isn't one correct way to do it. Several couples are choosing to send out new save the date cards in the mail while others are updating their guests via their websites. While others are doing both. Before deciding, you should ask yourself, "how would my guests prefer to hear about our new wedding date?"
Now if you're earlier in the process and are at the point of your wedding planning that you have selected a date and are ready to share it with your guests, make sure you have a wedding website ready to give all the details to your excited guests. We are extremely passionate about sharing our couples' love stories, designing around a theme and ensuring they are shared with the guests in a beautiful way. And a website is the potential first and most often used form of communication that your guests will see. To kick that communication off right, there are several good, free options to create a website. One that our couples love to use is Basic Invite. The site offers address collection and works well on mobile devices which is important for most guests and you can have it all in theme to match your wedding invitations. They have over 900 sets to select from, so you are bound to find one that's perfect for you. And remember your invitation suite should all match the vibe of you and your fiance, your venue and wedding colors! If you are a bit lost, we always start by creating a mood board like this one below. We also really like that you can upload pictures of the two of you & your wedding party on the site introducing some of the most important people participating in your wedding to your guests, giving them a sense of comfort & familiarity before they even arrive.
Once you determine the style of your wedding, you can select your perfect design, input the important details and get your wedding website up & running. Don’t stress too much because you can always add to it and make edits later as you finalize more details. But for now, it’s time to send the save the dates. We typically recommend sending these anywhere between 6-9 months in advance. The earlier they are sent, the more time your friends will have to plan, save and prepare for your wedding. They can request time off work, make reservations and research some fun options for what to do when they are in town celebrating. If you are getting married in Malibu, we can recommend some amazing activities including SUP (Stand up Paddle boarding) off the Malibu Pier, relaxing on Westward Beach before having dinner at The Sunset Restaurant and hiking Solstice Canyon.
Some guests will also be able to share that they cannot make the wedding for one reason or another. We know it can be sad to get that news, but we encourage you to see it as a blessing as it helps you get organized. Whether that means determining you can add a few additional guests or that you can send a few less invites, it is helpful to know. When should you put these in the mail? Before we were encouraging our couples to send their wedding invitations about 7-8 weeks in advance in order to give you enough time to give your final counts, write your seating chart and make any last-minute adjustments. However, with all the unknowns right now, and the potential for additional or different sized rentals, tables and the need to shift funds around, we are recommending sending them closer to 10 weeks in advance. If you are using the Basic Invite website as we suggested above, you keep the guests in the mood you set from the save the dates. We encourage our clients to select sustainable options throughout their wedding planning process like selecting invitation suites that are made from or printed on recycled materials.
You’ll want to order thank you cards as well so that it will all flow really well from start to finish. And you will be so thankful at the guests who are present on your best day! My husband and I have been married almost 15 years and I can still tell you who was at our wedding. I wish there had been more of the amazing options that are out there now to select from back then, but c'est la vie. And we had just really started learning about our passion for story telling through event planning, so we didn’t know how fun it could be to bring the guests along for the full journey with us.
It really is an amazing time and it all starts with popping a card in the mail to share how excited you are for them to join you. When you are ready to start designing your wedding, please reach out so I can help you through the wedding planning process. It is a lot of work, but the payoff is so worth it for you and your guests. So whether you decide to host something more intimate like our small wedding package offering for 20 or less guests or wait until it is safe again to have a large blowout party, your friends and family will be so excited for you and it will be the best day ever!