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Wedding Paper Timeline and Etiquette Every Bride Should Know

Laura Platt

After becoming engaged, designing our save-the-dates and seeing our names together in print certainly made our wedding plans feel real. Personally speaking, creating our wedding paper suite has been one of the most special (and fun!) elements to our celebration. As a new bride-to-be, I turned to expert Margaret Jones at Scriptura, who kindly guided my questions regarding wedding paper etiquette and timeline. Continue reading for a helpful Q&A session with Margaret covering common questions, like when to send save-the-dates and how to properly communicate the desired dress code. Q: WHEN SHOULD WE MAIL SAVE THE DATE CARDS? A: Save the dates are issued six months before the wedding. They inform family and friends of your plans and allow them to take your wedding into consideration when making their own plans. Save the dates are sent when out of town guests are invited and when the wedding will be taking place in a destination other than the bride or groom's hometown. Many weddings are held in a resort area, and some guests might like to plan a vacation around your wedding. Save the dates may be sent to all guests, but it is especially important for out of town guests to receive them, as they will have to make travel arrangements. Q: WHEN SHOULD WE MAIL WEDDING INVITATIONS? A: Wedding invitations should be mailed six to eight weeks before the wedding; overseas invitations may be mailed twelve weeks in advance. Q: WHERE DO WE INCLUDE INFORMATION ABOUT OUR WEDDING WEBSITE? A: Wedding website information is most commonly included on the save the date. A small wedding website insert may also be included in the wedding invitation to ensure guests can access additional information about accommodations and weekend itinerary. Q: CAN WE INCLUDE OUR REGISTRY INFORMATION ON OUR INVITATIONS OR SAVE-THE-DATES? A: The best way to let guests know where you are registered is by word of mouth. Putting in writing where you are registered on the save the date or wedding invitation is considered to be in poor taste, as it suggests you are asking for a gift. The best place to include registry is on the wedding website. Q: WE'RE HAVING AN ADULTS-ONLY WEDDING. HOW CAN WE COMMUNICATE THIS CLEARLY (AND POLITELY) TO OUR GUESTS? A: The traditional method of letting guests know children are not invited is to leave their names off the inner envelope. For example, when "Mr. And Mrs. Phillips" is written on the inside envelope, it means that only Mr. And Mrs. Phillips are invited, not their children. When children are not invited to the wedding reception, the last line of the invitation may also state adult reception to follow instead of the more typical wording - reception to follow. The preferred solution is to talk to your family members and friends with children and let them know that, although you would really love to invite their children, circumstances prevent you from doing so. Q: HOW DO WE INFORM GUESTS OF A DRESS CODE? A: Dress code for most evening weddings is assumed to be cocktail attire unless otherwise specified. If the wedding attire is black tie, this is noted in the lower right-hand corner of the invitation. Outdoor weddings often specify garden attire, letting female guests know to wear flat or wedge heels, as walking on grass may be involved. Q: WHEN SHOULD WE SET A DEADLINE FOR RSVP'S? A: Reply cards are typically dated two to three weeks before the wedding.

Photography: Aimée Mazzenga | Floral Design: Alicia Kiewitt | Stationery: Scriptura | Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Jewelry: Lester Lampert | Venue: Spiaggia Private Events | Agenda, Pen Holder: White Elephant Designs | Blouse: Astr | Pants: Nordstrom | Ribbon: Illume Silks | Wax Seals: WaxSeals.com | Wax Seals: Maurelle Calligraphy