Hi Offbeat Bride! I'm getting married to my partner in a few months. We are hopeful that we will be able to have some sort of reception in May, but we're also realistic about covid-19. It's just pretty impossible to predict. Will we be able to invite 4 people, 20, 50 ? If any?!
I would love to hear some ideas on wording a “you may or may not, possibly, be invited to our wedding, but we would like you to save the date, for now”-invitation.
Dear Pandemic Planners,
Navigating this new terrain of pandemic wedding planning is certainly no easy feat, raising plenty of new questions around age-old etiquette. Historically, sending a save-the-date card guaranteed that the recipient would also receive the formal invitation.
However, as 2020 weddings showed us, flexibility is paramount, and making sure that you have an open line of communication with your partner, your family, your vendors, and of course, your guests, is imperative to reducing your stress and making sure everyone is in-the-know.
With all that said, how can you make sure you are openly communicating with guests about your potential celebration, while centering respect and empathy? How the heck are you supposed to handle wedding invitation wording during covid-19?
Pandemic or no-pandemic, no one wants to feel like they are on the D-list and the first to get cut from your guest list, nor that they got invited as a backup once you received your first round of RSVPs. To navigate this tricky situation, we offer a few pieces of advice and some examples:
- Avoid phrases that will confuse guests
Regardless of what the subtext is or what you really mean, anything that says “save the date” or “you’re invited” or “please join us” is going to get an immediate reaction from guests of “I’m being invited to a wedding.” But in this instance, you don’t know the details of the day. So, to avoid putting your guests through a rollercoaster of emotions or confusion, lead with more subtlety and clarity than the common “big statement” wedding invitations.
- Set Expectations for Communication
Understandably, you want people to know about your wedding date, yet the specifics are undetermined. Say that clearly and right away, and let them know when they should expect to know more. Using online invitations that offer built-in messaging will make it easy to send follow-ups or subsequent mailings to guests. While you of course want to celebrate this momentous occasion with all of your loved ones (and they want to be there with you!) it’s important to realize we all have hectic lives (particularly right now). With that in mind, you don’t want to ask people to save the date indefinitely or start planning travel if at the end of the day they won’t be able to attend. This brings us to our third and final point:
- Be Understanding and Empathetic
While you want to be clear and honest, you also need to approach this with empathy and love. You can even give people the option with your initial message to opt into a virtual livestream or to let you know up front they’ll be unable to attend. With digital services like Greenvelope, you can easily include a survey asking such preferences, that may help shape your future communications and plans. And keep in mind that in addition to local health and safety restrictions, every person has their own willingness to socialize right now, and we all deserve to have those boundaries respected. Remember that you’re all in this together and offer the love and support that you hope to receive in return.
Now that we’ve set a few simple tips to help you navigate, here are some examples of wedding invitation wording during covid-19 that you can use and edit to fit your situation!
We’re getting hitched!
Carlos and Ijeoma are getting married on May 20th, 2021.
With unknown health and safety precautions, we are tentative but hopeful that we will be able to celebrate our marriage in-person. We will continue to update you as the date is closer.
Marlee and Tim are getting married
September 2nd, 2021
While we are uncertain what our wedding day will look like, we are hopeful that we will find a way to celebrate with our loved ones, whether in-person or online. Please keep up-to-date at our wedding website here.
If you know you will be unable to attend, please feel free to let us know at your earliest convenience.
Love is Patient
We've set the date to say “I do,” but our plans are still uncertain. We will be getting married on May 22, 2021, but what the celebration will entail will be determined by local guidelines. We hope you can join us either in-person or virtually, so please save the date and we will follow-up as we have more information.
Not even a pandemic can stop the wedding of Jen and Alex
Jen and Alex are getting married June 15th, 2021, and COVID-restrictions allowing, hope that you’ll be able to join them. While our plans are currently tentative, we will be in touch with details as they arise.
Shania Malone and Jackson Carter are getting married.
While we cannot wait until the moment where we can have the large celebration we dreamed of, we simply did not want to wait to begin our lives together and thus have formally set our date for September 17th, 2021.
However, due to ever-changing COVID restrictions and wanting to ensure the health and safety of all of our guests, vendors, and community members, we are uncertain what this year's celebration will look like.
Whether from near or far we cannot wait to share this special moment with our loved ones. Please respond to the attached survey if you know whether you will or will not be able to attend to help us plan accordingly. We love you all so much, and we so appreciate your understanding during this time.
As always, you'll need to adapt these wedding invitation samples to fit the specifics of your situation. Heck, even if you're not looking for wedding invitation wording during covid-19, it can be helpful to have examples of wording to use when your date is unclear… whatever the reason may be! For some of us that could be military deployment, for others it might be health issues. The idea is just to be articulate and clear with your guests.