You have been asked by the man of your dreams to marry him and you said yes. There are so many details to plan, so many things to arrange. One of the crucial things you need to do is send out the invitations.

Once you have decided on your wedding date, time and location, you will want your guests to be informed. You should mail your invitations a month before the wedding date, so they arrive at least three weeks in advance. There are several things you have to do before you can start sending out invitations.

First you need to compile your guest list. Your budget will determine how many guests you can invite, both to your wedding and your reception. This number should be divided between you and the groom. You should sit down with the groom, his parents and your parents to decide who should and shouldn't be invited. Be firm when you do this. Don't allow anyone to pressure you into inviting more people than you can afford. You want the people who have been part your life to be part of your special day.

Once you have your list, you will need to order your invitations. A good rule of thumb is to order at least 25 extra invitations and envelopes than you need. There are going to be mistakes made in addressing envelopes and last minute invites to contend with. Having extras on hand is cheaper than having to order more at the last minute.

If you are a creative person and have a personal computer and good quality printer, you might consider making your own invitations. Paper companies have wonderful do-it-yourself kits to make your wedding invitations and it could be a fun afternoon for you and your bridesmaids. Also, making extra invitations as needed is much easier and can be done at any hour of the day or night without waiting for delivery.

Now that you have your list and invitations, it's time to address your envelopes. But how should you go about doing this?

First off, be sure you know the correct title for each of the guests. Beside the standard Mr. and Mrs., there are other titles people go by as well. Dr., Ms., Reverend, Captain, Honorable are just a few of the different ways people can be addressed. If you are uncertain, ask.

There are going to be some guest's invitations that will require a little more finesse when addressing.

1. If one of your guests is a widow you can address the invite Mrs. Sam Jones. If she is divorced either Mrs. Carla Jones or Ms. Carla Jones is acceptable.

2. If a guest is 18 or over and still living in their parent's home, you can either send them their own invitation or you can list them on their parent's invitation below the parent's name on the outer envelope.

3. If your guest is living with another person without being married or they are a married couple with different last names, address the invite with both names on its own line.

4. If you are inviting guests and their underage children, you can either place "and Family" after the parent's names or list the children's names under the parent's names on the inside envelope.

5. If you are allowing your single guests to bring a friend, then place the invited person's name and the words "and guest" on the inside envelope.

Once you get your invitations addressed and ready to send out, you will need to find out how much postage you will need to send them. Take a finished invitation, with everything you will have inside it, and have it weight at the post office. They can tell you how much each invitation will take in postage to send. Do not forget you will need postage for the reply envelope, so have one of those with the reply card inside so you will know how much that postage will be. Purchase enough postage for both complete invitation and reply envelope. The post office has many beautiful stamps to choose from.

If you are sending invitations to foreign countries, the postage will be higher than US destinations. Also, do not place postage on the reply envelope for foreign invitations. Each country has its own postage rules. The guest will have to put postage from their country on in order for it to be mailed from their country. If you really want to pay for the postage, consider purchasing International Reply Coupons for the reply envelope.

Planning a wedding can be a wonderful, hectic time. But with a little pre-planning, sending out your invitations can be hassle free and fun to do.