The current COVID restrictions in NYS are ever changing and keeping up can be difficult! Here are some suggestions on how to handle ordering and mailing out invitations at this point in the pandemic.
Create two guest lists
When working with your venue, and current rules in your county, find out what your max number of guests will be. After that, create two lists. Say your capacity is 100- your “list one” would be those 100 names of close family members and friends that you cannot see your big day without. The ones you know will most likely be a “yes”. Your second list should be 50 new names of who you would like to invite if restrictions are lifted or some of your list one guests cannot make it. We know some families are big, so if you need to create a third list, and so on… you get the idea.
Order your invitations early
When planning your wedding during “normal” times, you would typically send your invitations out around 8-10 weeks before your wedding date. We suggest sending out your first round of invitations earlier, around 12-15 weeks, so that you have time to send out additional invites as restrictions are lifted.
Order multiple sets of response cards
Since you will be sending your invitations out at different times, you will need different RSVP cards. These cards will allow you to get your responses from your list one guests in before sending out your invitations for your list two guests. This is important for many reasons, the biggest one being that you need to know who from list two to fill in from list one declines.
This will allow you to manage this process easily, and never make anyone think they were “second choice”. The process should look like:
Invitations- 3 months out
RSVP due- 8-10 weeks out
Invitations- 8 weeks out
RSVP due- 4-6 weeks out
Keep in mind, your venue and caterer may also have dates they need final gust count from you. While this process works best for waiting out the government restrictions, you do have to keep your vendors timelines in mind as well. If you have a third (fourth..fifth…) list sending an invitation in the mail for courtesy purposes while nice, probably would not arrive in time to get a prompt RSVP. We suggest reaching out to those guests individually and getting their RSVP while popping an invitation in the mail so they still feel the love.
Be Patient, Take a Breath
Your guests know and understand that you are navigating uncharted water when it comes to restrictions and rules, most people are understanding during these times. Try to stay patient with the changing rules, and your guests. Everyone knows you are only doing the best you can to work around these limitations.