It’s Happening to Me! Your Wedding and Reception
There are countless rules on when and how to send out wedding invitations. Once you have decided what is right for you, you want to have them sent out about 2 months before the wedding if possible. You want to take into account when your vendors need information about how many guests you will have. Be sure to find out the absolute last day you can give your caterer a final count and set your R.S.V.P. date at least a week or two before that. Regardless of how clear you are and whether or not you include super easy postage paid reply cards, some people will simply forget or just assume you know they are coming. Make sure to contact these people. You want to add a handful to your final number for the caterer and other vendors then just don’t worry about it. Most caterers will be ready to handle a few extra people.
If your wedding and reception will be held on the same day try not to have to large of a time space between them. Schedule most of your formal photographs before the ceremony. Consider having the caterer hold a cocktail hour so guests aren’t sitting at the hall waiting for you to finish pictures so they can eat. Make sure your DJ or other entertainment is also present for the cocktail hour and there is someone ready to inform them that you have arrived. Usually an employee of the reception site will be happy to do this.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! Announcements and Thank You Notes
If you had a destination wedding and are having a reception for those who couldn’t make it you want to have it within a couple weeks of returning. If you are sending wedding announcements you want to send them no sooner than the night before the wedding. It was for a time customary for the couple to stop at the post office on their way from the wedding ceremony to their reception. The next day is also acceptable. You do not have to send wedding announcements but if you had a small wedding and want to announce it to your extended family and colleagues that didn’t make the guest list they are a great idea. You should not expect gifts from these people but if you do receive any you should send out a thank you note right away. Thank you notes should be sent to all guests as soon as you return from your honeymoon or no more than a couple weeks after the wedding. If you received a gift you should specifically mention it. Cash can be mentioned by thanking the guest for their contribution to your new furniture or honeymoon fund. If no gift is received you must still send a thank you note and just as promptly. You want all of your guests to know you appreciated them sharing in your special day.
There are many events and stages in planning a wedding and getting married. Stay relaxed about all of them and they can all be lots of fun!