The Ultimate Wedding Invitation Guide by Carolina Irais Photography

Have you set a date for your wedding yet? If so, Congratulations!! Now comes the planning part!

If you are like me, then you know that every little single, miniscule detail matters! Down to the grain + I am here to tell you that it’s not rocket science to create and effectively send out your wedding invitations; but it can be a little time consuming + daunting at first. Now, before you start scratching your head in confusion on where to even begin, there are a few first steps that must be realized before jumping head in to start choosing colors and patterns for your stationery.

First thing’s, first.

Let’s start with the basics. Are you preparing to host a larger wedding party, or a smaller one? Your budget should be the very first thing that goes into the wedding planning process, it is the foundation of all of the choices that will be made under that budgeted number. 1K? 5K? 20K? Every wedding is different! That’s what makes it special.

Once the budget is set, you will want to sit down with your partner & choose how many guests from each family will be invited to RSVP + save the date. Try to keep it as fair and even as possible, although that is sometimes impossible for a lot of couples. Don’t fret, every wedding is meant to be different and special in their own way. Your day is exactly what you want to make it! The only thing that matters is that you are marrying the love of your life and your special day will be an amazing one.

A little tip: It is customary to add a plus one for non-married friends! A simple “and guest” on the invitation will let them know they are welcome to bring a plus one.

I recommend writing your wedding planning timeline down onto a planner or to-do list, it will help you put things into perspective and maybe not stress you out as much, and it is something you always have handy and can look to as reference!

When to send what.

Save the dates are usually sent out six to eight months prior, and the wedding invitations are usually sent out six to eight weeks before the wedding. This gives everyone plenty of time to make necessary arrangements and plenty of time for you to create them and mail out.

RSVP deadlines should be set for a few weeks prior to actual wedding date. And remember to include a stamp that way your family/friend can reply yes or no and send it right back in the mail.

With that being said, the colors of your invitations should be a reflection of the ceremony colors and scheme selected. Color combination is extreeeeemly important within the planning stages of a wedding just because everything will literally revolve around those colors.

One invitation per household, don’t forget to include the kids! Unless you’re having an ‘adults-only’ wedding. Remember, it’s YOUR day.

Let’s talk dress code.

When it comes to dress code etiquette, it can be added on the lower right or left hand side of the invitation. While there are so many types of wording out there, I’ll give you simple ones and what they can be and mean.

  • White tie is the most formal, gowns and suits (think Oscars).
  • Black tie is the next step below white tie, it’s a formal evening.
  • Formal wedding attire can be both white tie AND black tie.
  • Cocktail attire is even less formal, cocktail dresses allowed! No jeans, please!
  • Beach formal = you know the drill. Formal sundress + suit with linen shirt.
  • Semi-formal or dressy casual is a step below beach formal, it is the in between of formal and casual. Keep in mind it still has the word ‘formal’ in it, so stay sophisticated. Think casual family BBQ. No shorts, jeans or tees.
  • Casual/Daytime, Dress pants, maybe summer dress for her.
  • For more in depth explanations, visit

Last minute tips.

  1. Before you send out your invitations to be printed, be sure to double and triple spell-check the wording on everything!

2. Always order a few extras in case you forget someone last minute, it happens.

3.Start early.

4. Track RSVP + send thank you cards to those who reply.

5. Need help designing + choosing your invitations?

Check out my fellow amazing calligrapher at A Handful of Letters with Valentina, tell her we sent you!

Here’s her info:



Published by Carolina Irais Photography

Orlando, Florida Based Wedding and Family Photographer.

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