Your Guide to Preparing Your Wedding Invitations to Be Sent

Your invitation timeline, how to stuff, and why you need two envelopes for your big day.

Your Guide to Preparing Your Wedding Invitations to Be Sent

Invitations & More
Photo: Mary Rosenbaum Photographs

So, you’ve completed the difficult part – you’ve written your wedding invitations per etiquette and now you’re ready to send them. Unfortunately, your job isn’t entirely completed: stuffing your invitations and sending them properly is pertinent to keep the decorum of your event elevated. Don’t know where to begin? Here are all the facts you need to know about sending your invitations:

The all-important “when?” We know you’re eager to get the information out, but the timeline you should stick to is as follows: order your invites four to six months in advance to allow ample time for any mistakes that could be made, and send the finished products out six to eight weeks before your big day. This is enough time to give enough notice to your guests, but not so long that the date might slip people’s minds. Set your RSVP date to be about three weeks before your ceremony: this is also something that needs to be discussed with your venue and caterer for head-count purposes.

How to stuff. Once you have all of your invitation elements together, here is how you assemble them:

-  Start with the invitation itself face-up (if you so choose, place any tissue paper that came with the invites on top)

-  Place the reception card on top of that, face-up

-  Place any additional cards (directions, hotel information, etc.) in descending size order on top of that, face-up

-  Place the reply card face-up inside the flap of its envelope and place that on top

-  Place the invitation suite (all wording face-up) inside the inner envelope

-  Place the inner envelope inside the outer envelope with the front of the inner envelope facing you, and repeat. Guests should see their names when the outer envelope flap is lifted.

The purpose of two envelopes. The inner envelopes are to denote exactly who is invited to your celebration – this can prove difficult to get across. The inner envelope has the simplest wording: just the title and last names of the invitees is necessary. The outer envelope, however, is more comprehensive – it requires all of the typically mailing information you need to include for any and all postage. Titles and last names should be accompanied by first names and a full address as well. State names can be abbreviated or written out. If you are inviting a family with children under 18, the kids’ names should appear on the inner envelope, but are not required on the outer – usually, in this case, it’s best to put “The Jones Family” on the outer envelope.

Read more on invitation etiquette here, and see themed invites for your destination nuptials as well as invitation suites featuring blue details.

Opening photo by This Modern Romance