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Owner & designer of Northern Vine Design. I'm a Minneapolis-based stationer creating authentic designs that reflect your unique story.


Hello, there!

Are you wondering when to mail out your wedding invitations? Or, perhaps you’re wondering what kind of information you need to include on your Save the Date. Don’t worry, you’re in the right place. We’re going to walk through timelines, appropriate information, and some helpful etiquette tips.

Let’s dive in. 




There’s a wide timeframe where it’s appropriate to mail out Save the Dates and this is anywhere between 6-12 months prior your wedding day.

At this point, there are probably still a lot of unknowns about your wedding, and that is okay! The most important information to include on your Save the Date is the date (don’t forget to include the year), city and state, and I recommend to all my couples to include their wedding website especially if many of your guests will be traveling.

Even for your Save the Dates, proper envelope formatting is important. Follow these basic guidelines when addressing your envelopes:

  • Include your guest’s full name. However, if your guest goes by a shortened name, it is appropriate to use it in the Save the Date and reserve their full name for the formal invitation.
  • Be sure to include each invited guests name. This becomes especially important for families with children. If you are throwing an adult-only affair, this becomes crucial for those parents who need to arrange childcare for the evening.
  • Ampersands are also appropriate to use on Save the Dates, but typically omitted from the formal wedding invitation.




Wedding invitations can be as simple, or as intricate as you’d like. In addition to understanding the elements, there are many ways to assemble the suite.




Invitations can be mailed 6-12 weeks prior to your wedding date but 8-10 weeks is the sweet spot.

A traditional wedding suite includes an invitation, details card, and reply card with envelope. The invitation will include information specific to the ceremony such as the couple’s names, date, time and location. The details card will include information about the reception, accommodations, and any transportation you will be providing. The reply card offers your guests the opportunity to reply by a specific date and select their meal choice. Important, be sure to include postage on the reply envelope if you are asking your guests to mail-in their responses.

Looking for a simple and modern take? Omit the separate reply card and use the details card to steer your guests to your wedding website to RSVP and to find accommodations and additional details.

Tips about wording:

  • Think about parent’s names and if you’d like to include them on your invitation. Traditionally speaking, the bride’s family is listed as the host and the groom’s parents are left off the invitation. If the groom’s parents are contributing as well, add their names underneath the groom as “son of…”  If you’re looking for a modern style, use “together with their families” and do not make mention of parent’s names.
  • On the details card, be straightforward and simple. You want your guests to arrive confusion-free. Avoid using abbreviations and consider using your wedding website for your guests to gather the finer details.
  • I always recommend coordinating your stationery to your wedding vibe. For example, if you are throwing a modern wedding, try omitting any graphics and avoid your items from being overly wordy; less is more. If you are having a destination wedding held on a beach, introduce blues or neutral sandy hues to match your seaside ceremony.


Finally, here is some food for thought while addressing your formal wedding invitation envelopes:

  • Use your guests’ full names, omit nicknames.
  • Avoid abbreviations for items like:
    – State Names
    – Apartment or Unit
    – Street Names such as Street, Road, Lane, Circle, Court, etc.
    – Avoid ampersands (&); default to “and”
  • If a guest receives a plus one, do what you can to gather their name. If they are not set on a guest, you may reserve “and Guest.”




Keep in mind, postage is an important finishing touch to any wedding invitation suite, and many times this is overlooked in a couple’s budget. Before purchasing postage, bring a finished invitation to your post office and have them confirm required postage. Many times, a USPS first-class stamp is not enough. If your envelope weights more than one ounce, it’s square, or thicker than .25″ then it will require more postage.

In addition to weight, if your suite is bulky due to a wax seal or heavy paper stock, it may be in your favor to hand cancel the stamp to avoid your stuffed envelopes from being torn by the post-office’s machine. The hand-canceling service requires an extra cost (currently $0.21 per envelope) but some post offices will allow you to do this yourself. However, it’s always best to check with them first.

Tip: If you are asking your guests to RSVP by mail, it’s proper etiquette to include a stamp on the return envelope (a standard stamp will do the trick here!)




Save the Dates and Invitations have been sent, and finally you’re ready to start thinking about the items you’ll need at your ceremony and reception.




Common day-of stationery items include:

  • Ceremony Programs
  • Welcome Signage
  • Menu
  • Bar Menu
  • Seating Chart with Place Cards
  • Escort Cards
  • Reception Signage (cards and gifts, sign the guestbook, in loving memory)
  • Table Numbers
  • Order of Events Signage
  • Welcome Bags for your Guests

You can even spice things up with cocktail napkins, coasters, or even matchbooks! 




Thank you cards are the finishing touch on your wedding. It’s important to stay up on your thank you cards and for that reason, you can absolutely send a thank you prior to your wedding! If you received a gift during your engagement, a note should be sent within three-weeks.

Thank You cards should be mailed within three months of your wedding day for those in attendance. 



megan bauer // northern vine design


"Working with Megan was a fantastic experience! She created a beautiful design for my Christmas cards, professionally printed them on quality card stock, and most importantly addressed all my envelopes, which saved me valuable time during the busy holidays. I highly recommend her for any of your invitation or printing needs!"

"Working with Megan was a fantastic experience!"


"Megan has become my go-to source for every stationery need, whether it be save the dates and invitations for my own wedding suite, or stunning baby shower invitations and gift tags with custom watercolors. Megan always delivers beautiful, creative, unique, and thoughtful designs. She goes above and beyond with everything throughout the production process and is AMAZING to work with! Can't wait to work with Megan for all of my special events to come!"

"Megan always delivers beautiful, creative, and thoughtful designs."


"We could not be happier with how our save the dates turned out! Megan is a joy to work with and has an amazing way of turning your ideas into reality. The process has been fun, easy, and stress-free - couldn’t ask for more!"

"Fun, easy, and stress-free -
couldn't ask for more!"