Here's everything you need to know about invitation etiquette:
How should we organize our list of addresses? Make sure you have a complete list (or lists) of everyone you are inviting to your wedding, including their formal names with titles and full addresses. When you book with Tenn Letters you will receive a template to plug in your names and addresses! Staying organized is VERY important in this process!
How do I address each person's title? Leave that to us! Please state the relationship of the person to you on the spreadsheet, along with their marital status. If one of your guests is dating someone/married/single/a Doctor/divorced/widowed please note that on the spreadsheet so you don't embarrass your guest if their invitation is addressed with the wrong suffix. (Mrs. Johnson might be offended if her invitation is addressed to Ms. Johnson)
What about postage? Pick pretty stamps! Your invitations are the first element of your wedding your guests will see, so make sure they stand out and go with your theme! The United States Post Office has a variety of stamps to choose from, or Zazzle is a favorite of mine - you can even upload your engagement pictures and put them on the stamps! (Be mindful of the size of your stamps - we recommend you choose the smallest ones because the calligraphy will take up most of the envelope!)
What about the return address? This usually goes on the back flap of the envelope. We suggest getting the address printed on all the envelopes before you send envelopes to your calligrapher, or getting a stamp. It is very important to have these done before the envelopes are addressed, in case there are any mess-ups or there wasn't enough ink on your stamp. Etsy or Paper Source are great places to find return address stamps. Or create a file in Word or Photoshop with your address, and have your local printer create them for you.
T I M E L I N E
When should I get started with my calligrapher? Send your calligrapher your envelopes (including 15-20% extras!) at least a month before you want them to be back in your hands to mail out to your guests!
When should I mail out my invitations? Mail out your invitations 6-8 weeks before your wedding and get excited when the postman comes with those RSVPs! This will give your guests enough time to clear their calendars and make travel arrangements. The earlier the better is what we say, especially if a majority of your guests are traveling from out of town. If you are having a destination wedding, give guests more time and send out your invites 3 months out. If you are sending save-the-date cards, those need to go out 6-8 months before your big day.
When should we make the deadline for the RSVPs? Make your RSVP date 2-3 weeks before your wedding date. This will give your caterer, venue, and other vendors enough time to order the right amount of everything and for you to create your seating chart. Be prepared: some people will forget to RSVP and some invitations may get "lost" in the mail. We suggest texting or contacting everyone you haven't heard from and asking if they are coming. It's possible a guest gave you an address that was a number off and never received your invitation.