Your Wedding Guest Communication Guide: Save-the-dates and More

    joy save-the-dates digital

    When you think about it, communication is super important when hosting any kind of event. At the very least, guests need to know the who, when and where of the event to be able to show up and have a blast. This is even more true when the event is something as momentous as your wedding. For your guests to be properly prepared for such an important event, they should have all the essential information about the wedding beforehand. From sending save-the-dates to posting info on your wedding website to emailing guests with questions, communicating with your guests can require a lot of organization.

    And all that’s just what comes before the most important part—your invitations and RSVP cards. With a plan and the right tools, however, wedding guest communication doesn’t have to be a hassle. Here are the first steps you should take and some guest communication tools and tips.

    First steps

    Before you make any formal wedding announcements, you should come up with a communication plan. How will you primarily communicate with your guests? Will you be sending save-the-dates early on to let everyone know when and where the wedding will be? When do you plan to send out invitations? You should have at least a general idea of the answers to these questions before moving forward.

    By this point, you’ve probably notified both sets of parents or any other family members who will be closely involved in paying for or helping out with the wedding. You may also choose to notify the people you want to be in your wedding party(bridesmaids, groomsmen, etc.) between creating a guest list and sending a formal announcement. That way you can base the size of your wedding party on the amount of guests you will have while still giving wedding party members some advance notice. For the rest of your guests, though, you should let them all know at the same time to “save the date” of your wedding.

    Get organized

    As we advised in our guide to creating a wedding guest list, using a wedding guest list manager or spreadsheet is pretty much necessary for keeping track of all of the details. Having all of your guests’ contact info in one place can make guest communication go much more smoothly every step of the way. If you’re going mainly with electronic communications, using a guest list can make sending out all of your save-the-dates and invitations remarkably simple as well!

    Save-the-dates

     

    Save-the-dates have become customary for letting people know when and where your wedding is going to be before you send out the official invitations. They aren’t absolutely necessary, but they can be helpful, especially if your wedding is during a busy time of year or guests will need to travel for the wedding. It’s a good idea to send them about six months to a year before the wedding date.

    Traditionally, of course, save-the-dates would be cards sent by mail. It’s increasingly common for couples to send emails or e-cards, however. When deciding whether to go with print or electronic save-the-dates, you’ll of course want to take your guests and their needs into account. But you can always send both if you have some guests who are more tech-savvy than others. (Joy makes it easy to send matching e-cards and prints for save-the-dates, BTW.)

    One thing about sending save-the-dates is that it tends to make your guest list more set in stone. This can be great, but remember that you pretty much have to send someone an invitation if you sent them a save-the-date. You can add more guests after this point, but decreasing your guest count will be really tough. To learn more, check out our guide to save-the-date etiquette and these awesome save-the-date ideas!

    Your wedding website

    So you have your guest list and you’ve let them know by sending out save-the-dates. Between now and sending your invitations, you may be able to get by without lots of direct communication with guests. You’ll be busy planning out a lot of the details, after all. It can be great to have a way to share information and set the tone of your wedding, though, and a wedding website is just the thing for that.

    A wedding website is the actually perfect way to simplify wedding guest communication. Your site should be an easy reference for guests to find essential info and learn about you two as a couple (the why of your wedding). Around the time you send your save-the-dates, your website should include your wedding date and location and answers to common questions people might have at that stage. This can be a way to set the tone early and make sure people know that your wedding will child-free, require formal attire, or be in some way non-traditional. Joy wedding sites include a Q & A section for answering any important questions guests may have at any stage of your wedding planning.

    Social media

    It’s almost inevitable that the issue of social media will come up in some way at some point, so you’ll want to have a plan for it as well. Social media can be great for sharing photos and following up with guests, but given that your wedding will most likely be a private event, it only makes sent to take care that communications about it are private as well. Whether you want photos of your wedding to be shared on social media or not, have a plan for letting your friends and family know your wishes.

    An alternative to public social media networks is to use your Joy wedding site to share photos. It can be a place for guests to easily share and comment on photos privately. Your photos will also help convey the atmosphere you want for your wedding, even if it is still months away.

    Contacting guests directly

    Ok, now you have all of the essential info on your wedding website. But there could still be situations where you want to reach out to guests to let them know something or ask a question. Once you’ve sent out your invitations, you may want to send a polite reminder of your RSVP deadline, for example. Again, having your guests’ contact information in one place will save you a lot of headaches. Joy even provides templates for reminders and general emails to make communicating with your guests even easier!

    Letting your guests know what to expect is the key to making sure everyone is on board and ready to celebrate. It’s your wedding, but if your guests are having fun it can only make it a better experience for everyone. With a great communication plan in place, you’ll be able to celebrate your wedding day the way you want and with all the right people!

    Get Started – Sending Save-the-dates

    If you send your save-the-dates electronically using Joy, they let your loved ones know the date and location of your wedding and they serve as an invitation to your wedding site.

    Sending save-the-dates with Joy:

    • To send save the dates, first navigate to your guest list.
    • You can select all of your guests by first clicking on the menu button on the top left:

    guest list left menu

    • From the menu, check the box that says “Select All Rows.”

    select all rows

    • Once all of your guests are selected, click “Send Invites and Messages.”

    send invite

    • From the messages menu, select, “Save the Date E-Card.”

    send save the date

    • You should see a screen that shows what your save-the-date email will look like:

    save the date email

    • You can click “Edit Email” on the right to change the email content. Click “Done” when you are through editing.

    edit save the date email

    • Back on the main save-the-date page, you can click “E-Card” or “Next” to see what your e-cards will look like.

    save the date e-card

    • You can also click “Edit Card” on the right to edit the details on your card.

    edit e-card details

    • The options on the “Edit Card Details” page, allow you to include a unique link for each guest. If you select this, the unique link will identify the guest and  it will them to access your wedding site without entering your secret event code, saving them a step.
    • Once you click “Next” or “Confirm” from the E-card page, you will see the confirmation page:

    save the date confirmation

    • You can also send a test save-the-date by clicking the link on the top right side of the page. This allows you to double-check that everything is right from your preferred email client.

    test invite

    • Once you’re satisfied with the content of your save-the-dates, you can send them out by clicking “Send Save the Date” on the bottom right side of the page.

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