During the planning process I get a lot of questions around wedding etiquette. Tradition has taught us to follow suite, however I always advise that couples do what make sense for them. No two couples or two weddings are the same, nor should they be!
Couples tend to want to check this off early in the process, however, it is one of those things that should be completed closer to the wedding day itself. Click here for a check list of items to consider when putting together your seating arrangements. Made by yours truly!
Invitations should be sent between 6-8 weeks before the wedding date. If you are hosting a destination wedding, be sure to send out a save the date about 5-6months in advance and a formal invitation 8 weeks prior.
Your guest list will vary in size based on a few factors: think budget, venue, relationships. If you have already chosen a venue, you need to check what the space limitations are and consider the layout. If the venue has not been selected, you can put together a large list of everyone you want to celebrate your day and then scale back once you know your venue capacity. I suggest taking the list and breaking it down into three sections: Must, Wants, and Hopes. Your "must" list is all of the people that you couldn't imagine not having there beside you on your big day (mother, brother, best friend, grandparents). Your "want" list is all of the people that you care about and would want to be there providing they can make it (college friends, co-workers, cousins, etc). Now the "hope" list is made up of those individuals that you hope can come if you have enough space but you aren't willing to move your BFF out of his seat for them (Boss' boss, 3rd cousin, friend from childhood you speak to every 3 or so years).
Take the venue capacity and fill up every seat with an RSVP (providing your budget allows for a full house) and send out the first set of invites. As guests decline, you see how many open seats you have and you can send your second round of RSVP's out. Be sure to send out invitations in enough time that guests can respond/decline and you can still fill up their seat with another guest!
Wedding Tips & Gratuities
Not all services are the same and some vendors truly are worth more than they cost. If you are satisfied with a service, show them a little love! Here is a helpful tipping cheat sheet to refer to.