06 Feb Wedding Invitations ~ 9 Handy Tips
Handling wedding invitations is an easy part of the planning process if you know what to do and what not to do. Here are 9 tips I give all my clients to help guide them through the process.
Give yourself plenty of time to get your invitations ordered. You want enough time to look through samples and styles (which there are a TON of) and to gather a couple of estimates from trusted vendors, so you feel good about the investment you are about make. It’s important for your invitations to fit the style and look of your wedding. They are the first impression or glimpse of what your guests can expect from your wedding day.
Before signing off on the proofs of the invitation, response card and corresponding envelopes, recruit some extra eyes to help you proofread them. Having someone one step removed from the task of working directly with the stationer provides extra insurance all details have truly been looked over.
Order extra invitations and envelopes. Trust me, you will forget to put someone on the list and there will be mistakes made during the addressing process. I usually suggest 25 – 30 extra invitations and 10 – 15% of your total invite number dedicated to extra envelopes.
Strongly consider sourcing the addressing out to a professional calligraphist. Not only will they be more beautiful, the stress and time saved on your part is very valuable. If your budget will not allow for a professional, ask a good friend with beautiful handwriting to help you out. A nice dinner out with their significant other is the perfect thank you for such a wonderful gift of time and talent.
Create an electronic version of your guest list… the days of pen and paper are over people. You need to know exactly how many invitations to order, track who all is coming, and to be able to know who gave you what gift. Being able to share a file with your fiancé and parents to include their invitees easily is important. So get organized. I use and supply my clients with an Excel-based spreadsheet for tracking their guests, but our friends at WeddingWire.com have a perfect guest list template and it’s free to use when you register for all their planning tools.
Number your response cards. Trust me when I say, there will be those guests that return the reply card that do not write their name down or it is so illegible that you cannot make out who it is (bless their hearts). By writing, in light pencil on the back in one of the corners, the corresponding number on your list that represents that invitation, you will be able to easily solve that mystery. BAM… you’re welcome!
Stuffing takes time and patience… make sure you are ready for that. Don’t plan on sitting down and getting this process done in 30 minutes or less. Avoid exposure to anything too distracting during this exercise. This would include trying to watch The Blacklist or Scandal if you are me. You want to be able to proof the addressed envelope to the list, record that guest’s number on a corresponding response card, and put the invitation together with all enclosures in the correct order. If you can recruit some assistance with the various parts of the equation it will be an even better experience for you. And speaking of invitation and enclosure order, I have provided a nice little graphic for you below. And yes, you’re welcome!
Don’t seal anything until you have finished stuffing all the invitations and everything matched up perfectly. Trust me again on this one. It seems intuitive to go ahead and seal everything up once an ensemble is complete, but as sure as you do this, you will inevitably find yourself messed up in someway down the line. It happens… we get to talking and laughing and someone misses something along the way. You’ll then have to ruin some of those beautifully handwritten envelopes when you have to tear into a few of them.
Take a complete invitation set (assembled and stuffed) to the nearest post office to be accurately weighed and examined. Most invitations end up weighing just over an ounce and having the incorrect postage affixed to them is not a fun mistake. They will either be returned to you all marked up or in some cases delivered to your guests with a collection notice from their postal carrier. So embarrassing! Also, keep in mind that the postage for square invitations costs more because they will not go through the postal service’s machines, resulting in the need to be hand cancelled, thus the extra cost.
Bonus tip… put away a couple of leftover invitation ensembles. You’ll want a keepsake for yourself (your moms will probably want one too) and make sure to give a set to your photographer on wedding day.
Hope this helps! Feel free to chime in with any tips you might have or have heard of… I’m always open for new ideas.