When you’re deep into the wedding planning process, it goes without saying that you focus a lot on the little details, but when it comes time to create your wedding invitations and provide details, how much should you share with your guests?
On one hand, sharing more details with your guests will keep them from pestering you with questions all the way up until your wedding day. On the other hand, divulging too much can make it more likely for the most important details of your wedding day to become lost in a sea of information.
The solution is to find a happy medium. By including only what they need to know and perhaps a helpful tip or two, you can save time and money without bogging your guests down with useless information. Here is what you should absolutely mention to your guests before the big day:
Time, Date, Location
Even the most overwhelmed and forgetful couples will usually remember to include the three most important details of their big day. When making your invitations, be sure to check and re-check the time, date and location to ensure that they’re accurate.
One key detail that many couples commonly forget is where the reception will be held. If it’s going to be held at the same place as the ceremony, consider using the corner copy of your invitation to say “reception to follow.” Otherwise, include detailed reception information on a separate reception card.
The Dress Code
While many seasoned wedding guests can decipher the dress code based on the venue and the time of day the ceremony will be held, it’s best to be upfront about what guests should wear to your wedding. For example, you can state on your invite that you’ll be having a black-tie affair, which will tell guests to wear long formal dresses and tuxedos or up-scale suits. You can also give the ladies in your crew a heads up on the wedding color scheme so they don't make the faux pas of wearing the same dress color as your bridesmaid dresses.
Transportation and Directions
How will guests get to your wedding ceremony? Will their hotel have transportation provided? If so, state this on the wedding invitation.
If guests are expected to drive themselves, be sure to include detailed directions on your wedding website. This is especially important for older folks who are used to following written directions over Google Maps.
You want that new food processor, don’t you? To increase your chances of guests buying things off your registry, you need to make it super easy for them to do so.
Modern couples usually include their registry information on their wedding website. If you don’t have a website, you’ll need to rely on word-of-mouth to clue people in to your registry. It’s considered tacky to put your registry information on your wedding invitation.
Inside your invitation should be a separate envelope for guests to RSVP. On the RSVP card, include a place to accept or decline the invitation. Also, be sure to indicate who can come—can they bring a plus one? —and allow them to choose their preferred entrée if applicable. Consider leaving a space to mark if they have special food allergies as well.
Last, don’t forget to give a deadline for guests to respond! You’ll need to tell your caterers and vendors how many people you’re expecting so that they can prepare accordingly.
Hotel Information and Additional Activities
If you’ve reserved a hotel room block for the duration of your wedding, let guests know how they can book their hotel by providing the name of the hotel, the number to call and the location of the hotel.
Consider sending this information with your save the date cards. The sooner guests can book their hotel, the better. You can also send out an additional accommodations card that provides essential details regarding their stay.
Let Guests Know That You Received Their Gift
There will be many guests who send their wedding gifts far ahead of the wedding day. They might be anxious wondering whether you received their gift, so let them know you got it safely by sending them a thank you card within two weeks.
For any gifts that arrive on your wedding day, the rules are more relaxed. The general rule is to thank guests for day-of wedding gifts within three months.
Additional Tips for Pre-Wedding Communication
No matter how detailed your wedding invitations may be, you can always count on at least one guest to miss something important in your invite. Here are a few additional tips to help you further streamline your communication prior to the big day:
Make It Easy to Read — Go easy on the elaborate fonts. Choose a stylish font that doesn’t require a magnifying glass for people to read.
Make Your Website Easy to Navigate — This is especially important for older guests who aren’t as adept at technology as your younger guests. Make sure that your website is easily navigable for all ages to ensure that everyone can access your information.
Email Blast — Need to send out a message to your guests in a hurry? Create an email blast that will give people a heads-up about wedding details. For instance, you can give them an update on the weather or provide a warning about mud puddles at your venue.
Give Close Relatives a Call — Your close family and friends have had a significant impact on your life and deserve something better than a generic email blast. Give them a call and relay important information personally. It will make them feel special—because they are.
Share The Love
When sharing details with your wedding guests, it can be difficult to keep things short and to the point. The good news is that you don’t always need to keep things to a minimum.
Not to harp on the idea of a wedding website or anything, but it truly is the perfect place to share everything that doesn’t make sense to include through the mail. You can share your love story and give guests a better sense of you and your betrothed, offer tips for wedding day attire or share anything else that you think your guest might be interested in knowing before your big day.