Photo Credit:  The Tarnos

Photo Credit: The Tarnos

You’ve set a date. You’ve chosen a venue. Things just got real.

We’ve got your essential and practical tips on creating a guest list, sending save-the-dates and invitations, and keeping track of your RSVPs.

Guest List: According the The Knot’s 2015 Real Weddings Studythe average number of guest attending weddings in 2015 was 139, down from 149 in 2009. Today’s couples are choosing more intimate celebrations which can be appealing in a number of ways: friendlier budgets, extravagant guest experiences, and more time to devote to interacting with your guests the day of the wedding. Large weddings are certainly not out, but ensure your budget adjusts accordingly to your social circle. Try your best to not step on anyone’s toes as your families come together to create your guest list. Having an open conversation (or two or three) with your parents and in-laws about essential invites will be critical.

Save-The- Dates: Save-the-dates typically should be sent 4-7 months prior to your big day. While these may be tempting to send out soon after your engagement, refrain from sending these puppies prematurely. The details of your ceremony may change slightly and your guest list may evolve through several revisions. It’s wise to include the URL of your wedding website on this announcement. Budget tip: Explore electronic save-the-date options from sites likePaperless Post.

Invitations: Plan on sending your invitations 8-10 weeks prior to your wedding.  Vendors for custom invitations are endless. Want something uniquely your’s? Inquire to a local print designer. We recommend Touies Design from Norman, OK. Need a little more structure, but still want the ability to customize to your style? Check out an online vendor like Wedding Paper Divas. Be sure to include a note regarding the style of the reception following the ceremony. We also recommend including an enclosure card with essential details such as: directions and accommodations. It is also courteous to include a pre-posted response card with the invitation (we’ll talk more on RSVPs soon). A huge no-no is listing registries on your invitations. Bed, Bath, and Beyond is certainly going to try to convince you otherwise, but let your guests ask around for your registries or visit your wedding website for such information.

RSVPs: Ask your guests to RSVP 4 weeks prior to the wedding. Doing so will allow you extra time for those late responses to roll in before you finalize the headcount with your vendors likely 2-3 weeks prior to the wedding.


 Photo Credit: Tammy Odell Photography

Photo Credit: Tammy Odell Photography