Your save-the-dates and wedding cards are your guests’ first impression of your wedding day. It’s so important to set the tone of the event by choosing the right style of stationery, all the way from the save-the-dates to the thank-you notes. With wedding invitation trends constantly changing, it helps to turn to an expert in these matters to guide you through the process. Here, Savoir Flair talks to Reine Dahdal of Dubai’s The Card Co. for ten tips on wedding-card etiquette.
Define your wedding theme and colors.
From table settings to save-the-dates, there should be continuity of theme and color throughout each event element. For example, avoid sending out modern save-the-dates with bright hints of spring if you intend on returning to traditional Arabic calligraphy and gold foiling for the invitations and place cards.
Set a budget.
Being strict and upfront with all suppliers about your budget will lead to less drama along the way and less post-wedding stress when you’re supposed to be enjoying your honeymoon.
Choose your wording carefully.
Most weddings are split into various parts that take place in different locations, such as the vows, photographs, pre-reception drinks, and reception. Be clear and concise on the invitation to avoid receiving an endless stream of e-mails and messages asking for clarification on where people should be and when.
As an engaged couple, give yourself a head start by responding to pre-wedding cards as soon as you receive them and making a note of everything in a log to ensure you don’t lose track along the way.
Keep a log.
Know this: Excel is your friend. Keep a comprehensive log with all guest details, including names, addresses, and RSVPs, to be filled out as and when received. Don’t forget to record special meal requests or transport and accommodation queries to ensure you get back to everyone as necessary. Having a one-stop reference file will make planning and sending out cards easier.
Always have spare invitations.
Keep these on hand for any awkward situations. Whether you’ve bumped into someone from your past who you completely forgot to invite or you receive an extravagant gift from someone you’ve intentionally left off the guest list, these extras will come in handy.
Finalize guest list and addresses.
Planning documents are just as important as outgoing stationery. Make sure these are organized and comprehensive, so everyone is accounted for and no one arrives unexpectedly without an allocated seat on the big day.
Print extras of everything.
Extra menus, blank place settings, and thank-you cards will save the day. Ensure you have a stock of these available on the day in case there is an unexpected spill or a few missing name cards.
Send out thank-you cards.
There is nothing more ill-mannered than a couple that doesn’t thank its guests. The rule of thumb is that you’re supposed to send out thank-you cards for gifts received before the wedding within two weeks of their arrival and for gifts received after the wedding within a month of having returned from your honeymoon.
Don't crowd the thank-you card.
For those couples sending thank-you cards to their guests, make sure to include the important points, such as a reference to the gift given, a mention of a personal moment shared at the celebration, and a note on what the gift will be used for. Much more than that is overkill.