by Robbin Montero
Always, always proofread carefully before you place your final invitation order

The pleasure of your company is requested . . .

            Your wedding guest list is compiled; the wedding date, time and place is set; you have a reception site secured. The invitation is the first step in proclaiming to the world your upcoming celebration. It also hints as to the style and formality of your wedding.

            Prepare a timeline (working backward from the wedding date) to establish a proper sequence of dates for ordering and mailing your invitations, as well as scheduling an RSVP date. Invitations should be ordered at least four to six months in advance of your wedding. Allow an additional four to six weeks if you have chosen calligraphy invitations. Mail invitations at least two months prior to the wedding date. If a destination or holiday weekend wedding is planned, allow two and one-half months advance notice to provide guests ample time to comfortably incorporate a vacation into your wedding celebration or book hotel rooms.


Respond, please!

            Confirm with your caterer when a final guest count is required, typically two weeks before the wedding, and adjust the RSVP deadline seven to ten days prior to that date. The additional time will enable you to contact guests who have not responded to assess a more accurate guest count. Charges imposed by the caterer are based on the final count provided. Any reduction in guest count after the final number has been given will not reduce the cost.

            When your guest list is larger than your reception site or budget, consider formulating an “A” list and a “B” list. The “A” list is comprised of guests you absolutely and positively must invite. Mail “A” list invitations eight to ten weeks prior to the wedding. As regrets start arriving, commence mailing “B” list invitations (in numbers equal to regrets). “B” list invitations can be mailed up to three weeks prior to the RSVP date.

            A personal note here: If you have an opened wedding invitation from a friend or relative in a desk drawer, please respond promptly. You’ll save the busy brideto-be time and money.


Ordering invitations

            Is it “the pleasure of your company” or “the honour of your presence”? Full-service invitation salons can assist you with the correct wording for your invitations. Books have also been written on the subject if you care to research the best phrasing for your invitations.

            Always, always proofread carefully before you place your final invitation order. Check dates, times, street numbers, as well as spelling. Opening your beautifully printed invitations to see your name spelled “Roxanne” instead of “Rosanne” would be quite disturbing—to say nothing of being costly and time-consuming to correct!

            Carefully count the number of invitations required based on your guest list, keeping in mind that you are counting one invitation per couple, not one per person! Avoid this common (and often costly) mistake. Everyone (or every couple) on the guest list should receive invitations, including the parents of the groom, members of the wedding party, and the officiant. Always order twenty-five additional invitations to account for potential errors or for guests you may have forgotten. Tuck away a few invitations for yourself as wedding mementos.



            The wedding announcement list should include those you did not invite and others unlikely to attend but who have an interest in news of your marriage, such as long-distance relatives, friends, colleagues, or acquaintances you haven’t seen in a long time. Announcements are not invitations and the recipients are under no obligation to send gifts. Announcements should be addressed, stamped and ready to mail within two weeks after the wedding.


            Once the invitations are signed, sealed and delivered, you have formally proclaimed your intention to marry. You’re on your way!

 “Stress Free, Leave the Details to Me,” is the tried and true philosophy of Robbin Montero, California Wine Country wedding planning expert and owner of A Dream Wedding.  Robbin is the premier wedding planner in the Northern California Wine Country, transforming any vision into the perfectly designed wedding creation. Robbin and her weddings have been featured in The Knot, Brides, Elite Magazine, Your Wedding Day and Vine Napa/Sonoma magazines, and Travel & Leisure magazine calls Robbin, “The expert wedding planner in the California Wine Country.” 

©2009 Robbin Montero


This article cannot be reprinted without Robbin Montero’s expressed written permission.

Robbin Montero is a wedding coordinator and special events planner in Northern California.

©2006 Robbin Montero
This article cannot be reprinted without Robbin Montero's expressed written permission.