Your No-Regrets Guide To Declining Wedding Invitations
Declining wedding invitations should be done with politeness and tact, so read on to discover how to send regrets without sacrificing your friendship.
After checking your mail, you find a beautifully decorated wedding invitation addressed to you. Or maybe you received the invite in your email. Yet you find yourself in a predicament. You can’t attend due to schedule conflicts, distance, or matters that take priority in your life. You need to let your friends know, but you don’t want to sound rude. How do you communicate your regrets with finesse? Read on to find out.
Reasons for Declining an Invite
You may naturally be concerned about hurting or offending your friends by not attending. As you’re mulling your decision, an August 2014 Brides article may offer some guidance. It’s important to weigh the impacts carefully when it comes to declining an invite from a close family member or friend. Of course, he or she will probably understand if you can’t attend a destination wedding due to travel or financial concerns. The same holds true if the wedding conflicts with events that you can’t cancel, such as a prepaid vacation or critical school and work obligations.
These are somewhat cut-and-dried situations, but it can get a little sticky if you’re considering opting out for other reasons. For instance, you may wish to steer clear of a volatile ex or an abusive family member. It’s easy to feel obligated to attend in these cases, but you should offer regrets if encountering those individuals would compromise your mental health.
How To Deliver the Regrets
Etiquette guidelines are good resources to follow. The Knot urges readers to fill out their RSVP cards and drop them in the mail as soon as possible. If you received an e-invitation, you should observe the couple’s guidelines. With the available wedding-related services and technologies, that means you can likely use their wedding website’s online RSVP feature.
At the same time, you need to use your best judgment when determining how to convey your regrets. The level of your relationship to the engaged couple should dictate your response. With a wedding of your closest loved ones, Brides suggests that you deliver your explanation in person if at all possible. This is especially true if you’re citing emotional issues as your reasons. The Knot recommends including a politely worded note with your RSVP or calling the couple. Wedding Wire’s Alice Prendergast echoes this advice, then adds that emails and texts are too impersonal to use in these cases.
No matter how you communicate the bad news, all experts agree that a simple and concise explanation is enough. In this way, you’ll avoid making the couple uncomfortable and casting a shadow on their special day. Venus Wong also emphasizes the importance of a timely response in her Refinery29 piece. It’s important to meet the couple’s RSVP deadline so you don’t add to their last-minute stress.
However, make sure you call or meet with them in person around the same time you send your regrets. Both Wong and The Knot recommend getting together with the couple either immediately before or after their wedding to spend some time with them. You’ll not only keep the friendship going, but you’ll also help them celebrate in your own way.
Don’t Forget To Follow Up
You’ve done your due diligence by getting in touch with the happy couple. Your next step now is to send them a gift. Prendergast stresses that what you select needn’t be expensive or fancy, but you can’t go wrong with items on their registry.
Turning down a wedding invite may not be an easy decision, but you can handle the situation with savoir faire. It’s wise to RSVP immediately and explain your regrets in a polite, concise way. Meanwhile, let them know you’re thinking of them. Their wedding may be a one-day event, but your relationship with them can last a lifetime.
Considering DIY Invitations? Follow These Tips for Success
Taking on a task like DIY invitations requires a bit of forethought. Look over these suggestions and find the best possible way to do your invites yourself!
Weddings can cost an arm and a leg. For this reason, plenty of couples search for helpful ways to cut corners and save money throughout the process. Over the last decade or so, the idea of the “DIY wedding” has become somewhat popular. While you might not be able to do everything yourself, there are certain key elements that you can easily take on. Your wedding invitations, for example, might be an ideal DIY project, as creating them yourself can both help save some money and give you total control over what your invitations will look like.
Taking on a task like DIY invitations requires a bit of forethought. Look over these suggestions and find the best possible way to do your invites yourself!
Know All the Details
Invitations are important for a number of reasons. For the happy couple, they help to keep tabs on how many people have been invited to the event and how many people plan on attending. For the guests, however, they are responsible for providing a great deal of vital information related to the event. This includes the date, location, directions, and anything else the couple would like to share. Before you can make your invitations, you need to be sure you have all of these details set in stone and ready to share.
Figuring out the specifics takes a little time, but you should have them solidified somewhat early in the planning process. Beyond the information presented, you also want to have a few aesthetic ideas locked and loaded. Most couples opt to have their invitations reflect the “design theme” of their wedding. For example, if you plan on having the color blue featured in the decor at your venue, try to work this particular shade of blue into the invites to help create a more cohesive visual theme.
Space and Design of the Invitations
While being able to design your own invitations can be a huge help when it comes to your finances, there is also a good amount of work involved. After you’ve decided on a theme and have all your information ready to go, you need to think about how you would like to word the invitation. This can be tricky, especially because you only have so much space to work with. In order to avoid overcrowding the card with text, print out a sample on your home computer and see how the text reads.
You are also going to need to take RSVPs into consideration. Many couples include self-addressed envelopes for guests to mail back with their RSVP information. If this isn’t in your budget, don’t feel like you absolutely must include this envelope. To save money and time, you may want to offer guests the chance to RSVP by phone, through email, or online. The RSVP information exists so you have an easier time knowing how many guests to anticipate at your event, so find a method that makes the most sense for you and your partner.
Get an Early Start
Finally, you want to get as early a start as possible on creating your invitations. The moment you have information like the date and venue ready to go, you can begin making a template of what you’d like the invites to look like. The sooner you begin, the sooner you can get the completed product in the mail and hear back from guests about how many heads to expect. Starting early also gives you plenty of room for trial and error, which can be a huge help when you have little or no experience with design.
Creating your own invitations for your wedding can be a great way to limit your spending and save a small chunk of change. Explore your options, and see what you can accomplish with your own creative mind.
Consider These Easily Forgotten Wedding Concerns
Keeping these wedding concerns in mind and planning ahead can help make your wedding run more smoothly and make both your guests and the vendors happy.
No one ever said planning a wedding would be easy. In fact, even the simplest and most intimate of gatherings can require a lot of work on your end. Though you’ve spent countless hours looking over all the details of your big day, there could very well be potential issues that you’ve not yet considered. Luckily, now is a great time to think about last-minute concerns and potential solutions.
From broke bridesmaids to disappearing guests, there are lots of issues you could be facing with your wedding. Explore these suggestions and find solutions that can help you keep your sanity, knowing all your effort will pay off in the form of a beautiful and seamless event.
Bridesmaids Who Don’t Budget
The members of your wedding party take on a lot of responsibilities for your big day. You’re likely asking them to help plan your wedding, run errands, throw small events like showers, and take on a million little duties that you can’t handle yourself. Unfortunately, your friends and relatives also have their own lives and can’t always rise to the occasion. This is especially true when it comes to bridesmaids or groomsmen who are dealing with money problems. Broke wedding party members can easily cause concerns or even derail all of your carefully laid plans.
You might not be able to pay for everything, but you can definitely prepare in advance for a bridesmaid who can’t foot the bill. Your best option in this scenario is to show compassion and be as considerate as possible. Don’t forget, you’re the one putting these demands on your friends. If your solution to a bridesmaid or groomsman who can’t pay is to cut them from the wedding, then you might need to do damage control on your friendships when all is said and done.
Among other concerns is the issue of RSVPs. Though you likely have given guests ample time to reply to your invitations, you’re still going to deal with people who forgot to respond or lost their RSVP cards and all sorts of other issues. In almost all cases, someone who replied “yes” to your invitation is definitely going to show on your big day. Unfortunately, you also are probably going to deal with guests who show up but never even bothered to respond to your RSVP.
The worst thing you can do is assume that anyone who didn’t respond by the RSVP deadline is not coming to the event. Give yourself extra time after the RSVPs are due, and you’ll notice how many late responses start flooding in. Since you might still have to deal with people who show up without responding to the invitations, the best way to handle this is by planning for more guests than responded. Account for a few extra chairs and meals, and you should have no problem fitting everyone into the venue without having to turn people away.
Feed Your Vendors
Finally, many couples forget to show proper thanks when it concerns the hard-working men and women who cater their weddings. While you might already be planning on tipping your vendors, you also should give these individuals a set time where they can sit and eat. You can even mention this to the caterers early so that they can prepare additional meals for the DJ, photographers, and anyone else working your event who will need to stop and recharge at some point. Typically, allowing the vendors to eat at the same time as the guests can keep the night flowing without any frustrating delays.
Try as you might to cover all your bases, there are always going to be unforeseen concerns that you didn’t anticipate. The best you can do to keep your wedding free from mistakes is to take the right precautionary steps and try to plan for whatever you think could be an issue.
Wedding Invitations in the Digital Age
Do a little research and planning to decide if digital wedding invitations are right for your wedding.
The vast array of available digital technologies includes many useful tools for planning and executing a beautiful, well-organized wedding celebration. You’ve got loads of options for contacting vendors, mapping out your ceremony’s program, shopping for essentials and more. With all these handy conveniences, it’s easy to wonder if the paper wedding invite is going the way of the dinosaur. Surprisingly, the paper versus digital wedding invitations debate rages on, with fans on both sides of the aisle emphasizing the benefits of each method.
A Quick History of Written Wedding Invites
During the Middle Ages, only upper-class families issued paper wedding invitations. With a mostly illiterate population in Europe, these major social events would usually be heralded by a town crier. Another common method of notifying a community was the banns, or public announcements within individual churches about upcoming nuptials. Their original purpose was to ensure that canonically or legally invalid marriages did not take place. Remember the “speak now or forever hold your peace” part of the ceremony? According to The Spruce writer Nina Callaway, that phrase is derived from the Christian “Book of Common Prayer,” but this may have been intended as a last-minute catchall for anyone who wanted to raise serious objections to an impending marriage.
While the development of lithography techniques during the late 1700s laid the groundwork for our modern versions, announcements were still delivered by messengers on horseback. It wasn’t until the mid-20th century that printed invitations became standard practice, thanks partially to middle-class families borrowing traditions from the rich as well as the advent of etiquette mavens such as Emily Post. As these took root in American popular practices, they also quickly spread to Canada.
The Pros and Cons of E-Invitations
As engaged couples look for ways to streamline their wedding planning and cut back on their expenses, some eye traditional paper invitations as candidates for the chopping block. Huffington Post contributor Erica Laudon reviewed some of the typical benefits that digital versions offer:
- Low-cost or no-cost invitations
- Reduced paper usage for a “greener” wedding
- Enhanced design options yield beautiful visual layouts
However, Laudon cautions that several factors may necessitate the use of printed stationery instead. Most etiquette experts strongly suggest utilizing paper invites, especially for more formal affairs. Additionally, digital invitations may not be accessible for elderly guests, and the traditional folks in your crowd could consider the practice offensive. Furthermore, you lose the capability to address your invite to specific individuals, which makes situations such as child-free weddings much harder to navigate. Finally, the news of your blessed event might get lost in the almighty spam filter.
The Best Option for Your Wedding
Should you take the plunge and go paperless? That largely depends on the formality level of your event and the type of people on your guest list. If most of your crowd is computer-savvy, you have email addresses for the specific folks you want to invite, and you’re going for a semi-formal or casual feel, it can probably work well. Wedivite advises that you follow the same guidelines for paper invites, sending them at least six to eight weeks prior to your event. For destination nuptials, hit the “send” button at least three months in advance. If you don’t hear from your invitees after about two weeks, follow up with a phone call.
Modern technology has revolutionized many aspects of planning your nuptials. Wedding invitations are a trickier issue, with most etiquette experts promoting the use of traditional paper versions. Nevertheless, digital invites may still be an option if you’re trying to lower costs and make your wedding eco-friendly. For a straightforward, less formal event with a tech-friendly guest list, paperless invites might be a smart move.
Eight Money-Saving Tips for Your Wedding
Getting married is not cheap. According to Weddingbells.ca, a top Canadian wedding planning website, couples can expect to spend an average of $31,685 on their nuptials, including the engagement ring and honeymoon. Many people assume the cost will be less; two recent Canadian surveys concluded couples think they will spend approximately $15,000 to tie the knot. The huge discrepancy can lead to increased stress and large credit card bills after all is said and done.
Setting a realistic budget before you begin the planning can help you keep better control of the costs and avoid impulse purchases. If you have your heart set on a certain wedding dress that is more than you planned to spend, recognize that you may have to eliminate something else to make up the difference in your budget.
The location of your wedding can have a big impact on the price tag. According to Toronto Life magazine, Ontario is the most expensive province in which to tie the knot. Here is a complete list from most to least expensive:
- British Columbia
Toronto is the priciest city for nuptials, followed by Vancouver and Quebec.
Keep It Casual
Having a wedding that is more informal can be key to keeping costs down. A few suggestions are a more causal menu instead of a sit-down dinner, and skipping tuxedos and formal dresses for the wedding party.
Try an Alternative Venue
There is no rule stating receptions need to be in a hotel ballroom. Other venues to consider that are frequently less money are the homes of friends, parks, beaches or church reception halls. The same applies for the ceremony. Often, there are fees that must be paid for the use of a church and clergy to perform a service. It is very easy these days to get ordained online; a friend could do it and perform your ceremony someplace other than a church.
Narrow Down the Guest List
Taking the time to really scrutinize your guest list and only inviting people who are an essential part of your life is another way to cut costs. A good way to approach the task is to ask yourself if you think you will be close to this individual five years after the wedding. Also, don’t hesitate to make it clear to your guests if you don’t want them to bring their children along. There are many gracious ways to communicate this message.
Do It Yourself
Many couples are getting creative and finding ways do certain elements of their wedding themselves or are enlisting the help of friends, rather than paying for these services. Some examples are taking your own pictures, baking the cake, and making your own flower arrangements and decorations.
Postpone the Honeymoon
Waiting to take your honeymoon may also save money. Delaying it can give you more time to pay off wedding bills and save for a trip, rather than having to put it on a credit card and pay interest charges.
Deciding the most important components of your wedding in advance can help you stick to your budget. If there is a band you must have, or a reception venue you can’t do without, make a note of it. Eliminating items like over-the-top invitations or expensive goody bags for guests to take home after the party may make it more feasible to have what is really important. Most guests will not miss little extras (or even the big ones), even though they may seem necessary to you at first.
A wedding is a joyous occasion and does not need to result in a mountain of bills. Following these eight tips can help you avoid spending more money than you planned.