As you dive headfirst into the world of wedding planning, it’s time to start thinking about the importance of wedding guest communication. Look at it this way: Your guests are like the supporting cast in the epic love story that is your wedding. Staying in touch with them throughout the planning process isn’t just polite. It’s a way to make sure they’re in the loop, feeling appreciated and ready to join you in the joyous countdown to your big day.
Following proper etiquette when it comes to wedding guest communication will help ease any tension during the planning process. You can also address questions up front that could leave you and your partner exhausted. Sharpen your communication skills with these tips for keeping guests up to date on all your wedding news, from your engagement to “I do.”
- Announcing Your Engagement
- Sending Save the Dates
- Wedding Guest Communication Tips for Invitations
- Sharing Your Gift Registry
- Reminding Guests to RSVP
- Inviting Guests to Pre- and Post-Wedding Festivities
- Sharing on Social Media
- Saying Thank You
Announcing Your Engagement
Ready to share your big news? This is your first opportunity to put your wedding guest communication plan into action. Here are three things to remember when making this important announcement.
1. Do tell your nearest and dearest the good news first.
Avoid hurt feelings by making phone calls to your closest friends and family before telling the world. They’ll appreciate the personal outreach and you’ll have a chance to receive their warm wishes one-on-one.
2. Don’t spill all the details on social media.
We know you want to shout every detail of your celebration from the rooftops, but think about the feelings of your acquaintances. Not everyone on the internet is invited, obviously, so keep that in mind if you must tell your social media following. Consider keeping details you share about the big day, like your wedding date, to a minimum. Instead, focus on the happiness of the milestone!
3. Do limit what you share until your guest list is finalized.
Feel free to brag to your inner circle about the plans for your big day — just remember to keep it to your tight-knit crew. A good rule of thumb is to only tell details to the people who are definitely invited to your big day, like those you plan on including in your wedding party.
Sending Save the Dates
There’s nothing more exciting at this point in the planning process than telling your friends and family members to save the date for your special day.
4. Do send a digital invitation with a link to your wedding website.
We love getting creative save the date cards in the mail, but paperless communication is also perfectly acceptable. An electronic version makes it super easy to guide your wedding guests to the holy grail of info: your wedding website. You’ll be saving the environment and your loved ones will appreciate having all the information they need at their fingertips.
5. Don’t hound your guests for an answer before the invites go out.
Once you’ve sent out your save the dates, it’s fine to chat with those people (privately) to see if they can make it. Just don’t expect that everyone will have an answer right away. Save that for the formal invitations.
6. Don’t send a group text.
We all know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of an endless group chat. While it might not seem like you are telling that many people, when the responses start flowing in you’ll immediately regret pressing send. Trust us. Skip the group text messages or your phone (and your guests’ phones) won’t stop dinging.
Wedding Guest Communication Tips for Invitations
Not so fast — before you seal and stamp those wedding invitations, make sure all the etiquette boxes are checked on your communication plan.
7. Do send an invitation to anyone who received a save the date.
From the second you send out a formal announcement of your wedding date, your guests are already clearing up their schedules to boogie the night away with you and your partner. In some cases, travel plans may already be underway. This is especially likely if you’re hosting a destination wedding or inviting out-of-town guests. It would be a major wedding guest communication faux pas to rescind the invite at this stage. Make sure you have a formal invite at the ready so they can get their plane tickets and accommodations squared away!
8. Don’t send your formal invitations too late.
Sending out your invitations at least two months in advance allows for your guests to make arrangements, save money and sort out plus-ones. If you are having a destination wedding, consider sending your formal invitations out earlier so guests can get a head start on travel plans.
9. Don’t over-communicate on your wedding invitations.
A wedding invitation can seem like a blank canvas for sharing everything guests need to know about your big day. But squash the urge to include every last detail. Instead, create an FAQ section on your wedding website for all the miscellaneous information that you think is important, including dress code suggestions, directions to your wedding venue and nearby accommodations.
Sharing Your Gift Registry
Don’t be surprised if your family and friends are chomping at the bit to spoil you during this special time. Sharing where you’re registered, however, can be a delicate dance. Here’s how to navigate this wedding guest communication hurdle with ease.
10. Don’t include registry information on your wedding invitations.
You might be thinking, “Hey, isn’t that counterproductive?” Let us explain. Your wedding invitation should only include the key information about your event such as your names and when and where your wedding ceremony is taking place. Including registry information can leave a bad impression on guests and make it seem like your big day is all about gifts.
11. Do include an insert in your invitations with a link to your wedding website.
If you want to make it easy for guests to give you a gift you’ll actually use, a good place to put that information is on your wedding website. A registry page is super easy to create through Joy’s registry tool and you can update it anytime. Share the info with your guests by including a separate enclosure card with your wedding invitations that directs them to your wedding website. There’s no need to call out your registry, as it will be an easy-to-find page on your website.
12. Do let loved ones share your registry by word of mouth.
If you’re still worried about coming across as rude, this is one of the safest ways to spread the word. Not only does this let other guests know where you’re registered, it’s also a great reminder to loved ones that your big day is right around the corner!
Reminding Guests to RSVP
It’s inevitable that some of your loved ones will drop the ball on getting back to you. Make this part of wedding guest communication as painless as possible with these tips.
13. Do designate someone to follow up with last minute RSVPs.
Collecting RSVPs can be super stressful, especially when you’re knee-deep in wedding planning! Hand this job off to a trusted loved one or wedding planner so you don’t have to exhaust yourself with the RSVP runaround. Just be sure to give them a reasonable grace period beyond the RSVP deadline before following up.
14. Do try different methods of communication.
People move, change email addresses or even phone numbers at the drop of a hat. If your deadline for responses has come and gone without a word from a few guests, double-check their contact information. Then, send a gentle email reminder to those who have not yet replied. That will usually get the majority of responses in hand. For stragglers waiting until the last minute (or if they did not receive your previous attempts for a response), a private text is okay as a last resort to get the information you need. If you have reached out by mail, email, and phone with no word, try asking a friend who might know of a better way to get in touch with them.
15. Don’t save space for nonresponders.
If you have a guest that’s ghosting you despite efforts to track down a “yes” or “no,” assume they’re sending regrets. It’s not fair to you and your partner to hold space for someone who isn’t communicating with you!
Inviting Guests to Pre- and Post-Wedding Festivities
Discretion can go a long way in avoiding hurt feelings. Here’s how to communicate with guests about all the events related to your wedding day, whether it’s a shower or your rehearsal dinner.
16. Do announce any all-inclusive events on your wedding website.
Whether you are planning welcome cocktails or a post-celebration brunch for everyone on your wedding guest list, let your loved ones know the schedule for these activities in one easily accessible place.
17. Do send out formal invitations if it’s an exclusive wedding event.
If you are having other celebrations such as a wedding shower or rehearsal dinner, it’s likely you’re only inviting your closest friends and family. Make these events extra special and send out a separate invitation communicating the details.
18. Don’t post details about your shower or other wedding events on your website if the guest list is limited.
Typically, not everyone on your guest list will be invited to your wedding shower. Avoid any bruised feelings by keeping any details about private events off of your public website. You can also use Joy’s Guest List Manager to create custom schedules for your loved ones based on the events you want them to attend.
Sharing on Social Media
When it comes to sharing on social, sometimes less is more.
19. Do tell your guests about your expectations up front.
There is nothing worse than your photographer capturing the perfect photo of your first kiss, only to have a guest trying to get the same shot with their phone. If you are jumping on the “no photos during the ceremony” trend, make sure you tell your guests! Not only should you include this information on your wedding website, you should also have it stated on your wedding program. Need to go a step further? Make a sign your guests can’t miss as they take their seats.
20. Don’t feel bad about communicating your boundaries.
Lots of couples want to keep their special day out of the public eye and that’s okay! Whatever your thoughts on social media are, never feel guilty about conveying them to your guests. Feel like enforcing a “no posting” rule? Do it! Want your guests to use a hashtag so you don’t miss one second of your big day? Plaster your own personal tag all over the ceremony and reception.
Saying Thank You is an Essential Part of Wedding Guest Communication
Don’t skip the most important part of wedding guest communication: expressing gratitude.
21. Do send thank you notes in a timely fashion.
After the confetti has settled and you and your partner are back from your honeymoon, it’s time to send a sweet note to all the loved ones who supported you on your big day. While you have around three months after your wedding to say thank you, according to etiquette experts, it’s best to get these thoughtful sentiments in the mail as quickly as possible.
22. Do send a thank you to guests who didn’t send a gift.
Some loved ones might only be able to give the present of their presence, and that’s OK! Don’t forget to show your appreciation for their attendance with a thank you card.
23. Don’t use a templated message.
You might be tempted to pump out your thank yous with the same generic note, but a little wordsmithing goes a long way. Try Joy’s Thank You Card Manager feature that integrates with AI to pull in details from your registry, spitting out personalized, digital thank you notes specific to the guest and item purchased. Spend a few extra minutes and pull out a personalized memory from the night to share; not only will this be a touching sentiment for your guests, but it will help you to relive the best night of your life!