Invitation Etiquette with Wined and Designed

Pure Luxe Bride had the opportunity recently to interview Lindsey Amerault, owner and creative director of Wined and Designed, a wedding stationary “Trunk Show” that specializes in offering clients unique and creative work. We are so grateful for Lindsey’s advice on invitation etiquette, as well as the inspiration she offers for brides looking for non traditional type invitations. We can’t wait for all you Pure Luxe brides to read her advice and to become inspired! jacs_a

When should Save the Dates be sent out?

The lengths of engagements vary, as does the answer to this question. Generally speaking, Save The Dates are sent out anywhere from 6-8 months prior to your wedding date. If you are having a destination wedding, or anything that requires your guests asking for time off of work, on the 8 month side would be ideal. If you are having a short engagement, just send them out as soon as you can as a courtesy.

What are some unique save the dates that you have produced/seen?

The most unique printed Save The Dates that I have done involved a typographic poster, temporary tattoos & magnets. They were so much fun to design and what a great couple to design for! In the end, the elements became a novelty and the couple received lots of photos back of their guests rockin' the temporary tattoos. Great interactive Save The Dates! I also have seen the Video Save The Date become very popular. It's a fantastic way to show off your engagement photos, all while introducing your wedding! The videos can live on  your website and I usually promote them to be sent out with a program like Mailchimp, it's free and  you can customize your email template with your wedding colors.

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What is the basic information that should be included in a wedding invitation?

At the very least, you need to let your guests know:

- Who: The full names of the Bride & Groom

- What: It should be obvious, but make sure your guests know that the invitation is for your wedding! With so many other invitations being sent out on your behalf around the same time (engagement parties, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, etc.) ensure that everyone knows this one is the grand daddy!

- When: Be sure to include the date & time of your wedding. If there are more festivities than just the ceremony and reception, you may include these on a separate card or use your website as a resource

- Where: Absolutely include not just the venue name, but the city and state of your celebration as well. Guests need to be able to plan for travel and accommodations!

- Response Date: This is for your benefit! While you probably won't include this on the actual invitation, it is key that you have a response card/postcard, or at least offer an email address for your guest to provide a response to. Make sure they know what date they should reply by and any other information you may need to help your planning run smoothly (how many guest in their party, what meal choice, etc)

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When should the bride and groom send out their wedding invitations?

6-8 weeks prior to their wedding date. If it is a destination wedding, or if complicated travel is involved (especially for those traveling from overseas), you may want to allow 10 weeks.

How do you determine when the deadline for RSVP’s should be?

Sometimes this will depend on the vendors you are employing for your event. Most require a certain lead time prior to your wedding date. At the very least, you should request the responses be returned one month prior to your wedding. If you have not heard from your guests at this time, you may have to start hounding them via email or phone.

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On what invitation should the couples wedding website be listed on?

If you are on the ball, it is really nice to include your wedding website on your Save The Date. That way your guests can view your site early on, read your story and start to get excited about planning for your wedding day. If you choose to include it again in your invitation, it should be included on an insert, perhaps with an accommodations card or reception card so guests know they can access the site for more information regarding these important aspects.

Is it appropriate to indicate dress code on the invitation? If so, where should this information be placed?

If it is not obvious what dress code may be required based on the location of your wedding, there are ways to cleverly suggest your ideal dress code. For example, on a reception card where the reception is being held at the beach, you may write "leave your stilettos at home and enjoy the sand between your toes.” However, if you want to make a simple note about a wedding requesting formal attire, a short note at the bottom of the main invitation is perfectly okay.

Is offering a ‘plus one’ an absolute requirement for all weddings?

A plus one is not required, but I would advise being sensitive to this. Some couples make rules on how to address this, such as "if a couple has been dating for over a year" or "if the couple is living together" then they may bring their 'plus one.' But what happens if someone begins dating during your engagement? If you have notified them of your rules prior and they do not approach you about it, then they should not expect to bring anyone. However, what happens if your Maid of Honor enters a relationship and she asks you separately if she may bring a guest? Basically, consider special cases. If someone in your bridal party would like to bring someone, if someone is traveling an exceptional distance, or anyone who has been very generous with any events pertaining to your wedding, it is courtesy to allow them a plus one.

Is it appropriate to ask guests to your wedding after taking a count of your RSVP’s to see if there is additional room to invite more guests?

Certainly, but this is another sensitive issue. If you have talked to guests that are on that "B" list, make sure they know the reason they may be invited late. They are your guests and you may be able to gauge their level of sensitivity to this dilemma. Most are very understanding and know that weddings come with a budget and that you have to draw the guest list somewhere.

Is there specific destination wedding etiquette that you have too offer for invitations?

Before the days of wedding websites, destination wedding invitations often included local points of interest or activities for guests traveling for more than just the weekend or guests who were not familiar with the area. This is still common practice, but much of the heavy lifting can be done by the website. If you want to avoid having too many inserts, the most important information to include with a destination wedding invitation is travel information and/or accommodation details.

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Pure Luxe Bride would like to extend a special thanks to Lindsay Amerault with Wined and Designed for providing this information. The photos included in this post also come from past Wined and Designed projects.