Announcing the details of your big day is one exciting task, as you can have your wedding invitations come in a design that sets the tone for the celebration. As you plan to send out your invites and other wedding-related stationery, make sure that you follow basic etiquette. Below are some common rules for printed materials.

Sending Out Save-the-Date Cards

While social media sites and texting make it easier to spread the word about your wedding date, it would also be a great idea to give guests a physical reminder of your big day. Send out your save-the-date reminders four to six months before the wedding--that should give guests ample time to block off your chosen date. Guests who are out of the country sometimes need up to a year's notice so they can book flights.

Sending Out Wedding Invitations

E-invites are quite popular nowadays, but do remember that not all your guests are tech-savvy. Ergo, sending out printed invitations is still the way to go, especially among elder guests. This should be done two months before the wedding date, so that guests still have time to respond to your invitation.

RSVP Deadline

Your wedding invitations should have a line that requests your guests to confirm their attendance. Included in the RSVP details are the contact person and contact number, and the deadline for responses. The deadline should be two to three weeks before the wedding. If you're worried that guests might not phone the contact person, have the contact person call the guests.

Including Gift Preferences

Traditionally, details of the gift registry don't make it to the wedding invitations--information is spread through word of mouth with the help of family and friends. If you think that your guests will frown upon including such details in your invites, you may just opt to post the specifics on your wedding website (if you have one). In the recent years, however, Filipinos have become more comfortable with including the gift preferences in the invites.

Announcing an Adults-only Affair

Having an adults-only celebration is one way by which some couples trim their guest list. If you're planning to do the same, let your guests know through your wedding invitations. As you address the envelopes, list down the names of the adults you're inviting. You may also state "Adult reception follows" in the main invitation.

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Indicating Number of Seats

It's understandable that you're keeping a close eye on the guest list, and to help you manage the headcount for the reception, let your guests know how many seats you've reserved for them. If your invitations will have just one page, you can put the RSVP details, along with the number of reserved seats, on the lower left corner of the invitation. Other couples allot a separate page for such information.

Announcing the Dress Code

Help your guests get ready for the party by indicating the dress code in your invitations. Among the common dress codes are black tie, formal, semi-formal, cocktail, and smart casual. Keep your reception venue and program in mind when determining your big day's dress code--you want to make sure that everyone will be comfy in their garb. Attire details are usually indicated on the lower right corner of the invitation's main page.

Sending Out Thank-you Notes

After the wedding, let your guests know how much you appreciate their presence on your most special day. A list of your wedding gifts may also come in handy, so that you can customize your message for each guest. You can say something like "We can't wait to have guests over in our new home, and use the dinner set you gave us." Don't wait too long before sending out thank-you cards. For the gesture to be considered sincere, finish this task before you celebrate your second month as a married couple.

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