Congratulations – you’re engaged! First things first, it’s time to set the date.

If you have already chosen your venue and put down a deposit, then it’s time to let your guests know! Of course, there is a lot of thinking, negotiating and compromising involved in selecting your guests and who amongst them will be invited to the ceremony, the reception, or both, but there is no harm in sending out a ‘Save the Date’ notice once you have a good idea in your head who will be on the list.

In the meantime, let’s take a moment to consider what should be on your official wedding invitations and when should they be posted.

What should a wedding invitation include?

The obvious things to include on your wedding invitation are, of course, the date (it may seem unnecessary but including the day of the week is a good way to avoid any unwanted confusion!), the time of the ceremony, when the reception will begin, along with details of the venue(s). You may choose to have two separate invites for day and evening guests and evening guests only.

One thing that could easily be forgotten is offering meal choices for your guests to choose from. If you are to offer different food options (including requesting special dietary requirements to be declared), then this is where you will leave checkboxes for your guests to fill out and return.

Whilst on the subject of responses, be sure to clarify how guests are to RSVP to your invitation. You might opt to include an RSVP card which your guest will complete and return to you, along with any information requested, or you may provide an email address, mobile phone number or website details for responses.

When do you send out wedding invitations? 

Wedding etiquette suggests that all invitations should be sent out by post, even your neighbour’s and your parents’ invites. The general rule is that wedding invitations should be sent out roughly 8 weeks in advance, but certainly no later than 6 weeks prior to the event if it can be helped. If you hope to have guests attending from abroad, take into account the postage delay and aim to have these sent out at least 10 weeks before the big day.

Suppliers in Essex

Some people like to add their own creative touch and make handmade wedding invitations. You may save a little bit of cash by popping to your nearest Hobbycraft for supplies but do take into account the amount of pressure this could put you under at a time when you really don’t need the hassle!

Finding the time to make them (and make them all look precisely the same as one another), write them out AND then knowing you’ll have to follow them up with ‘Thank You’ cards after the big day can be really disheartening.

To make your life a little easier, we recommend finding a local supplier who is experienced in producing wedding invitations and who can offer you a range of options to suit your budget and wedding theme.

One of our highly recommended stationery suppliers in Essex is Raw Invites. Go and check out their website:!