When planning a wedding, there are about a million things that come up that you never thought you'd have to think about. From the flowers to the table settings to all your stationery needs, couples have a lot of things to consider. One of those important things is making sure your guests are well informed so that on your big day you're surrounded by all the people that bring light to your eyes and warm your heart. Your crazy uncle that always has a story to tell, that coworker who shares your passion for anything with fur, or perhaps an old friend you haven't seen in years but who will always have a special place in your heart. People will make your day unforgettable. The decor and fancy clothes are great, but without the special people in your life, none of it will matter. Make sure they can make it and plan your save the date cards and wedding invitations ahead. Save the Date Cards (Seed Paper Save The Date Cards from Botanical PaperWorks shown above) Save the Dates are an important courtesy to your guests so that they can plan ahead. They are typically sent out 6-8 months before the big day, but it's a good idea to send them as soon as you have set the date. Some people plan vacations and other important family events far in advance, so it is your best chance at securing their attendance. In the case of destination weddings, up to one year in advance is recommended. They are also a great way to share the news of your engagement. While news often travels through the grapevine or gets shared on social media, there is just something so special about making it official and sending out a mailed announcement. What goes on them? Typically, you'll want to keep your save the dates simple. You should include your names, the date, the general location (state\/province and country) as well as mentioning that the formal invitation will follow. This makes it clear to guests that this is not their invitation and they aren't missing information. They'll know that the invite will come with the fine points. Who do I send them to? Sometimes guest lists are tricky and you might need months to get it set in stone. When sending save the dates, you'll want to make sure you only send them to those people who are guaranteed to make the cut. So if you aren't sure if you can fit a few distant relatives, hold off on sending them a save the date and only send them the formal invitation when you are sure you can include them. Put simply, everyone that receives a save the date will also get an invitation. Wedding Invitations (Seed Paper Wedding Invitations from Botanical PaperWorks shown above) Wedding invitations typically go out 6-8 weeks before the wedding. They aren't just beautiful, but they are a formality that holds a special significance and a very important purpose. How often in your lifetime do you get to send something so special in the mail? While their main purpose is to inform, it's also to set the tone and get your guests excited to attend the event. What goes on them? Weddings are never the same, so when it comes to wedding invitations there are no set rules on what you should include. There are a few standards though. Generally, they should include all the details that your guests need to know to attend the big day and how they should RSVP. \tYour names (may include parent names or "Together with family...") \tThe date \tCeremony time and location specifics, including address \tReception time and location (often just a hotel or hall name is used rather than listing the exact address. Use your judgement, if it's a well know place then the specific address may not be needed.) \tDress code (guests often want to know how fancy to dress so it's a good idea to add casual or formal attire.) \tRSVP instructions or reply cards to mail back Who do I send them to? Everyone on your final guest list should receive your wedding invitations, including your bridal party who may already be aware of all the details. You may have some guests that you want to invite to the reception only. In that case, they should receive an invitation that has the reception details only. Ask your stationer about creating two layouts for these cases. READ MORE about Wedding Invitation Etiquette! Make it extra special with seed paper! If you want to send more than just your wedding details with your save the dates and wedding invitations, consider seed paper. Embedded with North American wildflower seeds or a blend of herb seeds, plantable paper gives a gift that grows to each and every guest. Perfect for green weddings, the biodegradable paper is made from post-consumer material and doesn't leave any waste behind! Just plants that will actually benefit the environment. Happy Planting! Like what you see on our blog? Join our mailing list to receive emails with freebies, projects, coupons, green living tips and decor ideas and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.