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  • Writer's pictureSTP Weddings

Wedding Invitations- Preparing to Send

Whether you ordered your invitations from an online website or worked with a designer, it can still be very time consuming taking the steps that are needed to get them out the door. Your invitations usually get sent out 6-8 weeks prior to your wedding. That doesn't mean you should wait until that time to start prepping.

.[Photo by NikoBella Photography; Invite by Lace and Belle]

Address List

While you most likely already had your list in a pretty good spot from your Save the Dates, the invitations are often addressed in a more formal manner. With the being the case, some revisions might need to be made. For more on how to address envelopes, we asked an expert: the talented designer Meghan Shaughnessy, Owner of Lace and Belle. Here is what she had to say:

"How to address and when to send invitations is an etiquette question that I get asked quite often. And, rightfully so! It’s these last details that bring your invitation suite full circle right before they land into your guest’s mailbox. First things first. According to etiquette, your envelopes should be formal. Include titles and full names, as well as writing out all street names and the state. While I love a formally addressed envelope, more and more couples are ditching

tradition to a certain extent and addressing envelopes a bit more informal, especially if that’s their style. For example, if you’re hosting a backyard wedding, a rustic barn soiree, or even a tented wedding under the stars, you can address your envelopes to fit that aesthetic. Keep the titles, but feel free to abbreviate the state name instead of spelling it out. If you’re inviting an entire family (including children), you can even address that specific invitation to “The Smith Family”, for instance. Keep in mind if the child’s name or the word “family” of that particular household is not included on the envelope, it is implied the children are not invited. For example:

FORMAL - NO Children

Mr. and Mrs. Zachary Taylor

123 Love Lane

North Bergen, New Jersey 07047

FORMAL - Inviting Children

Mr. and Mrs. Zachary Taylor

Miss Sofia Taylor

123 Love Lane

North Bergen, New Jersey 07047


Mr. and Mrs. Zachary Taylor

123 Love Lane

North Bergen, NJ 07047

INFORMAL/CASUAL - Inviting Children

The Taylor Family

123 Love Lane

North Bergen, New Jersey 07047"

Printing on The Envelopes

You'll also need to decide how you are addressing the envelopes. Will you be hiring a calligrapher? Can your invitation designer handle this? Will you have the envelopes printed through the website that you ordered them? All of these are great options but it is important to have a plan and find out how they need your invite list formatted. Some websites ask you to upload them into their forms, which can be a process, so again, make sure you allow time for this step!

Number your RSVP Cards

If you are sending out RSVP cards (vs doing it online) it might be a good idea to put a tiny number on the back of your card to correspond with the person being invited. That way, if the person doesn't write their name on the card or put a return address on the envelope you won't have to play a guessing game of who it belongs to.


Before you put postage on your invitation, you'll want to weight it to make sure that one stamp will cover it. It is worth the trip to the post office to double check.

You can take a look at the USPS website to browse their whole collection of stamps, if you are interested in finding a stamp that matches your invitation style. You can also check out sites like Etsy and Little Postage House for vintage stamps. Unfortunately, as of June 2020, custom stamps have been discontinued by the USPS. Even if you don't use any special postage for mailing your invitations it is still fun to get something unique for your photographer to use when photographing your invitation suite on your wedding day.

Don't forget that you need postage for the RSVP envelopes too!

Hand Canceling

You will likely want to have your envelopes hand cancelled, which means that the envelope will be marked used with a hand stamp, rather than run through a machine where there is the potential to rip the envelope (especially bulky ones). Those with a wax seal will automatically need to be hand cancelled. Call your post office (or ask when you go for a weight check) to find out if they charge extra for hand cancelling.

Getting them Out the Door

While 6 to 8 weeks is the "normal" timeframe, you'll want to decide what makes the most sense for your wedding and guests. Meghan from Lace and Belle gave us her advice:

"Don’t give guests too much time to respond as they are more likely to forget to send their response card

back, leaving you to track those guests down later. Destination wedding invitations should be sent out sooner, approximately three months in advance, especially if the wedding will be abroad. This will ensure

guests have enough time to make travel arrangements."

For more on mailing out your wedding invitations, check out Lace and Belle's blog post!


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