Organize your guest list (if you haven’t already) all in one place.
Make an alphabetized guest list which includes your guests’ full names with their complete addresses. Depending on which program you use, would highly recommend separating each field (so you may sort as the need arises) by:
- assign a “special” number to each guest as a “couple”* (see #1 below for details on why you will thank me a billion times for this tip)
- first name
- last name (easy to make an alphabetical list by last name of each guest) and title (if any)
- zip/postal code
- phone number (in case they don’t RSVP and you need to call them)
- # RSVPed for reception
- # RSVPed for brunch (the day after your wedding)
- dietary restrictions (if any, especially if you are having a choice of beef, fish, vegetarian, etc.)
- table number (if you are having assigned seating at your reception)
- thank-you sent
- make brief notes of relationships (“Andrew’s mom’s best friend,” “Elena’s fiancé”)
NOTE: as you assemble your list these details will be helpful when you greet guests, arrange table seating, and when you write your thank-you notes.
Read through these tips to make it easier for you:
1). Make an assembly line so you do each step one by one (one task at a time will make sure you don’t forget to do it for one invitation)!
2). To keep your sanity once you receive your RSVPs, use your “special” assigned number to each guest on the back of their RSVP card. Many of your guests will forget to write or fill in their name on their RSVP card when they see the M________________. When this happens, you receive their RSVP with the number attending, yet you do NOT know who they are! Easily solve this by being proactive and printing the guest’s “special” number lightly in pencil oran invisible ink pen on the back of your RSVP card. If your guest forgets to write their name on the line, you will know who is responding. If you choose to not do this simple tip, you may have multiple guests who live in the same area, so then you have to narrow it down by handwriting and city/state, which may not be easy.
3). Consider hiring a calligrapher, or ask your wedding planner for a recommendation of someone who has nice hand writing to address your invitations. Depending on your envelopes, they may fit into your printer if you are a DIY, check one before continuing this so you don’t damage multiple envelopes.
4). Do not abbreviate streets, cities, or states.
5). Write the guests’ full names on the outer envelope (without abbreviations). Traditionally invitations are inserted into two envelopes, an inner envelope and an outer envelope. The outer envelope is the one that is addressed and stamped, while the inner envelope has only the names of the people the invitation is addressed to. For example a married couple’s inner envelope is addressed to “Mr. and Mrs. Anderson” with neither first names nor address. You may want to write the names of intimate relatives and lifelong friends in informal terms such as “Uncle Tom and Aunt Sadie”.
6). Avoid writing “and guest” or “and family” so everyone invited feels the invitation is especially for him or her.
7). Before mailing, take an assembled invitation (don’t forget all of your enclosures such as your maps, RSVP cards, etc.) to your local post office to have them measure and weigh your assembled invitation and confirm you have the correct postage on your invitations. (The last thing you need is to have your invitations returned for improper postage or even worse having them delivered to your guests with “postage due”).
8). In addition to your invitation you may have other enclosures such as response cards, maps, and tissues. Make sure everything is assembled one by one so you don’t omit an important item from your invitation mailing.
9). Stuffing the envelopes:
- When 2 envelopes are used (inner and outer envelope) put all the enclosures in the inner envelope facing the back.
- The inner envelope is placed unsealed in the outer envelope with the flap away from the person.
- When there are insertions, they are placed in front of the invitation, so they face the flap (and the person inserting them).
- In the case of a folded invitation, insertions are placed in the same direction but within the fold.
10). Mail invitations eight weeks before the wedding (especially if you are inviting many out-of-town guests).
11). Make sure your return address appears on the invitation on the upper left-hand corner, or on the envelope’s flap. This lets your guests know where to send replies and gifts to in case your return address does not appear on the invitation.
12). Expect that not everyone will attend. 25 percent of those you invite will not be able to attend. You will receive your “yes” RSVPs before the“can’t make it”.
13). A and B list etiquette. If you have a “wish” list or “B” list, try to mail all your invitations on the same day regardless of their “list” category. Remember your “B” list may know some of your “A” list, and vice versa. You don’t want to hurt the feelings of others by thinking they are not invited to your wedding.
Kim M. Horn, MWP
Master Wedding Planner | 1 of 75 in the World
2016 Couples’ Choice Wedding Planner | WeddingWire
June 7, 2020 & January 9-10, 2021
Phoenix Convention Center | South Building
Call | Text 602.418.9089
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Arizona State Coordinator | Assoc. of BridalConsultants | 5/2003 – 3/2012
ABC 2010 Conference Chair | Worked with David Tutera | 350+ Attendees from 6 Continents were Wedding Planners