Wedding Invitation Etiquette In A Post-Covid World ⋆ Ruffled

With travel restrictions being lifted and vaccinations becoming accessible to more and more people, we’re seeing lots of light at the end of the tunnel! Even so, health precautions and safety measures won’t be going away any time soon for gatherings as cozy as a Mamma Mia chapel ceremony or as large as a Crazy, Rich, Asians destination bash. So what does that mean for your wedding in 2022 or 2023? And who gets to decide anyway? It’s only fitting that we’re joined by the globally-renowned Minted today to chat all things wedding invitation etiquette in a Covid era, that (like my addiction to Chipotle) just won’t quit. Together, we’ll discuss what that means for topics like invitation wording, date changes, Zoom wedding and beyond. Leggo.

Wedding Save-The-Date & Invitation Timeline

The good news is, there’s no need to sweat the small stuff. Literally! You don’t need to adjust your paper good design, production and mailing timeline all too much now that we’re seeing in-person celebrations become possible again. That being said, newly engaged are facing some unique challenges as they embark on their wedding planning journey… namely, vendor availability. Many independent stationers, calligraphers and graphic designers are so totally swamped right now from postponements, a sudden influx of new inquiries and extra production for things like Change-the-Date cards. It’s wonderful that their workload is on the rise again! But couples today should be prepared for turnaround times that frankly don’t work for their desired dates.

I promised you wouldn’t need to sweat though, so let me make like Stevie Wonder and deliver. You can still get yourself some impeccable custom or semi-custom designs for your wedding suite, website and day-of-stationery from these same independent artists using a source like Minted. Their MO is making a designer aesthetic more accessible, at a lower cost and with a shorter turnaround time. If that doesn’t sound like deliverance for couples engaged during the age of Covid, then I don’t know what does!

Side note: We shared a handful of our favorite invitation suites with matching website designs from Minted in a recent post here, so be sure add a bookmark for later!

After 15+ months of putting life on hold, your guests are going to need a bit more notice than traditionally recommended. In the past, Save-the-Dates would go out between 6-8 months before the wedding date, but these days, we’d recommend anywhere from 8-12 if you can swing it.

Trust me, it’s already started happening – probably to you too! Invitations for other postponed events, beyond weddings, are starting to hit your mailbox. Changes with childcare, job requirements and even personal travel with friends + family are becoming regular challenges to navigate. And have you noticed how much the prices for flights, rental cars and lodging have gone through the roof all of a sudden? I’m not even sure the same kids who starred on MTV’s My Sweet 16 back in the day could justify it… And that’s saying a lot.

Bottom line, you’ll want to send your Save-the-Dates as soon as you can. To do so, you’ll need to know your venue and/or destination AND have a wedding website up + running. Your wedding website is going to be the #1 place for ongoing communication with your guests, so it’s a link you’ll want to share on the Save the Dates. More on this later!

A bit of a pseudo curveball for the invitation itself…. you can actually stick to the traditional etiquette of 6-8 weeks before the wedding date! The longer you wait, the more accurate your RSVPs will be, and it gives you a bit more flexibility in case of any sudden changes due to government regulations/travel restrictions that while unlikely, could still be a possibility considering other variants starting to show up.

Wedding Invite Website Etiquette Covid CopyPhoto by Olivia Marshall

How To Address Your Wedding Guests’ Health Concerns

Do you still need to acknowledge Covid-19 for your 2022 or 2023 wedding? Yes. Absolutely. When it’s a matter directly related to the health and safety of your loved ones, you can never provide too much communication. In fact, they’ll be thankful for your transparency and the opportunity to know what to expect. There’s no right or wrong way to do it, as long as you do it in the first place. So don’t get caught up in the etiquette of something so, dare I say…. unprecedented (I know. I hate myself.)… that you assume all your guests feel comfortable at this stage or know what precautions you’ll have in place because they “know you.”

There are a couple things we’ve seen couples do this year that have worked quite well regarding this subject:

Wedding Website – Having a page on your wedding website that’s dedicated to FAQ’s surrounding Covid-19 is a great way to share information in real time. We all know, and have been frustrated by, the guidelines and recommendations that evolve by the day. So keeping things digital allows you more flexibility to update your guests as those changes take place, without having to send a card every time. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Insert Card – A dedicated insert card in your invitation suite is another great way to address your guests’ health and safety concerns surrounding Covid. With invitations going out a bit closer to the wedding date, you should have a better idea of what precautions you’ll have in place that you can share with your guests, whether it be temperature checks, sanitization stations, socially distanced tables, etc. Minted’s Buy Now, Personalize Later option is a great example of how you can create the pieces of your invitation suite that aren’t likely to change earlier on, but save the actual production until closer to when those more variable details are finalized.

Batch Updates By Email – Consider sending batch updates to your guests every once in a while that reassures them that you’re keeping an eye on things, and that you’ll let them know as any updates or changes are made. It might sound superfluous, but trust me, it’s better than receiving dozens of texts and calls from individual guests asking for status updates so they can a) check-in, b) book travel, c) work out their own personal calendar d)…. you get the gist.

Wedding Invite Website Etiquette Covid

Invitation Wording For Special Scenarios

While everyone’s situation is different and the exact verbiage will probably need to be tweaked so it’s fitting with your personalities and wedding style, we hope these ideas for common Covid-related scenarios will give you a good jumping off point!

A Ceremony Livestream

Dear family and friends,

With an abundance of caution and care for our guests, we have decided to marry in a small intimate ceremony on our original wedding date. We can’t imagine beginning this new chapter of our lives together without our closest loved ones, so we hope that you will join us virtually instead as we say ‘I do’.

Below, you’ll find all of the information you need to dial-in to our Zoom ceremony. Don’t be afraid to pop open a bottle of champagne as you watch us take our vows from the comfort of your home, and we hope to see you there for our special celebration on {DATE}!

We are forever appreciative of your love and support during this time.

With love,
Keira and William

A Change Of Date

Dear family and friends,

Love is indeed very, very patient. Due to the continued impact of Covid-19, we have changed our wedding date to June 4, 2022. We are hopeful you will still be able to join us for our special day!

Please continue using our wedding website as a resource for the most up-to-date information, and let us know if you have any questions we have not addressed.

With love,
Alexis and Ben

Wedding Invite Website Etiquette Covid

See some of our favorite Change-the-Date designs here!

See Also

Oldromanticsuite

The Un-Invitation

Dear family and friends,

In light of current circumstances and for everyone’s safety, we have decided to limit our wedding guest list to family members only. We sincerely appreciate the outpouring of love and support you’ve shown us during this time and hope you understand that as much as we feel this is the right decision, it certainly was not an easy one to make.

We hope that you’ll celebrate in your heart with best wishes from afar, and we look forward to when we can be together again.

With love,
Madeline and Wei

Changes In The Invited Number of Guests

Dear family and friends,

We hope this finds you in good health! Due to the current restrictions in our {country/city/venue) surrounding Covid-19, our wedding will sadly need to be smaller than originally planned. We have reserved # of seats for you and hope you can join us as we celebrate our wedding day. Please reply by (DATE) to let us know if you can still attend.

We hope to see you there and appreciate your understanding!

With love,
Hannah and Elizabeth

Wedding Invite Website Etiquette Covid

Using Your Wedding Website To Keep Your Guests In The Loop

If you’re still on the fence about having a wedding website, go ahead and read this. We’ll wait! Especially in the age of Covid, digital communication is crucial for setting both you and your guests up for success before the big day. And it’s not even something that needs to become another expense either! Minted is one company that offers free wedding websites using thoughtfully designed templates from independent designers all over the world. So much like the limit (and you know the one!), excuses don’t exist.

Leveraging your wedding website to address any questions about when, where, how, why. ( and the ever important, what should I wear??) is our go-to recommendation if you want to avoid endless guest questions and unsolicited opinions along the way. So it only makes sense to beat them to the punch as far as the Covid conversation goes. While it may seem a little superfluous if you already sent some printed material with a heads up of where you’re at, giving your guests a resource they can cling to for reassurance other than yourself will save you so many headaches.

Here are a few of the things we’d address on a Wedding Website’s Covid-19 FAQ Page:

  1. How will any changes be communicated before the day?
  2. How many guests will be attending?
  3. When is the last date guests can RSVP?
  4. Are the events taking place outdoors or indoors?
  5. The parking situation (I.e. some guests may be uncomfortable with shared transportation for the larger group and coordinate something for themselves if no parking is available on-site)
  6. How will food be served?
  7. Will there be temperature checks?
  8. Will the layout be socially distanced?
  9. Are you asking that they wear masks?
  10. Will you have sanitizing stations available?
  11. Will certain weddings events be livestreamed, and is it video format or interactive (I.e. Guests getting the opportunity to share toasts or greet the couple for a few minutes following the ceremony)
  12. Can the livestream be replayed after the wedding?
  13. Will there be dancing, or will it be a ceremony followed by a dinner only?
  14. Are you asking guests to only attend in person if they have been vaccinated?
  15. What happens if at the temperature check, it turns out they do have a fever? What does that look like for the guest?

I know. It seems silly to ask couples who have already been through so much to put themselves in their guests shoes, but it’s important to remember that while the climate is changing for the better, there are still major risks for any event. So as much as you can do to prepare your guests upfront, especially because every single couple will have a completely different level of comfort with various things listed above, will help them to arrive on your wedding day stress-free and ready to celebrate you!

Wedding Invite Website Etiquette Covid Copy

That’s A Wrap

We know it’s a lot to digest, but I hope you find these tips + tricks helpful as you continue to navigate the strange world of wedding invitation etiquette in a post-Covid world. Take advantage of Minted’s virtual concierge program next where you can connect 1:1 to get the lay of the land as far as the vast Save the Date, Invitation and Wedding Website offerings Minted has, and which might be best suited for the scenarios we talked about today. We can’t wait to see you kick some wedding planning butt!

This post was sponsored by Minted. All opinions are our own. Thanks for supporting our sponsors!