Show Off Your Wedding Style
The invitation is your guests’ first peek at your wedding style. Along with listing the location and time of day, the invitation — and, more specifically, its style — hints to the formality of your wedding. You should have an idea of the type of event you’re throwing — classic and elegant, glam and modern or cute and casual — before you start shopping for an invitation provider, so you can create an invitation style that matches your personality. Then browse wedding invitation photos and announcement provider websites and gather inspiration so you can give your invitation provider an idea of what you like.
Match Your Colors
Think about your wedding colors too — you may want to incorporate your colors and a motif into your wedding invitations and carry your colors through to the rest of your wedding papers too (like the insert cards, menu cards and ceremony programs) for a cohesive look. When matching your colors from a piece of material that you have (maybe from a bridesmaid dress) you can use Pantone colors to tell your invitation provider the number of the exact shade that you are looking for to get a precise match. For a Pantone Color Chart, please visit: https://www.beautifulweddingannouncements.com/choose-your-colors
Shape and Size
A 5 inch by 7 inch rectangular card is the most common size and shape for wedding invitations. But couples are also channeling more playful or modern vibes with circular, scalloped and square invitations. Just keep in mind: Veering away from the standard envelope size can increase both the cost of the invitation and the postage.
Are Your Invites Easy to Read?
As you consider colors and patterns, don’t forget about the invitation wording — the information you put on the invitation is the whole point of sending it out in the first place. Your invitation provider can help with suggestions, but in general, avoid light ink on light backgrounds and dark ink on dark backgrounds. Yellow and pastels are tough colors to read, so if you’re going with those, make sure the background contrasts enough for the letters to pop, or work those colors into the design rather than the text. Also, be wary of hard-to-read fonts like an overly scripted typeface — you don’t want to sacrifice readability. Your invitation provider should be able to provide you with a proof of the invitations prior to printing all of them so that you can make sure everything is easily read. You may want to have a friend, who is not involved with creating the invites, look at the proof to make sure she can easily follow the information.
Choose Your Words Wisely
There are about a thousand different ways to word your wedding invitations, some might offend a member of a blended family. Traditionally, whoever is hosting is listed first on the invitation. Customarily, you should spell everything out, including the time of the ceremony. On classic wedding invitations, there’s always a request line after the host’s name — something like so and so “request the honor of your presence.” You can get ideas about wedding invitation wording from samples that you find online and your wedding invitation provider can help you with this as well. They have seen thousands of wedding invitations and have seen it all…from two divorced, remarried parents announcing the big event, to the couple’s children announcing that their parents are tying the knot. Your wedding invitation provider can walk you through it step by step.
Crowding the Card
For a more elegant invitation, list only the key points on your invitation: ceremony time and location, the hosts, the couple’s names, etc. Trying to squeeze too much onto the invitation card can make it harder to read — and it will look more casual. Leave things like maps, exclusive invitations to the ceremony or bridal registries for your insert cards.
Your save-the-dates should go out six to eight months before the wedding if you have that much time. While your save-the-dates don’t have to match your invites, ordering everything from one wedding invitation provider can save you money and make the invitation process easier on you. So start looking at wedding invitation providers months before the wedding. Aim to order your invitations about two months out so they’re ready to mail four to six weeks before the wedding. If you’re having a destination wedding or marrying over the holidays, send out your invites even earlier (10 to 12 weeks before the wedding).
Consider the Costs
When choosing a wedding invitation provider and comparing the costs, make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Some wedding invitation providers include custom design, envelopes and insert cards in their prices, while others just give you the invitation itself for the listed price, then charge extra for necessities like envelopes and inserts. Make sure you add up the cost of everything you’ll need and compare prices based on the whole picture.
Get Your Envelopes Early; Have a Pro Address Them
When you order your invitations, see if you can take the envelopes home immediately (or as soon as possible). That way, if you’re having someone other than your invitation provider (say, a calligrapher) print the return addresses on your envelopes (most invitation providers print the return addresses for a small fee), this is a great way to get a head start. Traditionally, addresses are handwritten, but unless you have impeccable handwriting (or have a few hundred to address), it’s best to leave the envelopes to a pro. If you plan to do them yourselves, tackle the project in a few sittings to avoid sloppiness or mistakes. While using printed labels is an easy (and affordable) option, handwriting each address is not only more formal, it’s also more personal. It shows your guests that you want them to be at your wedding so much that you took the time to handwrite their name and address on the envelope
Triple-Check the Proof
Before your invitation order is printed, your invitation provider will send you a proof (either a hard copy or an email attachment of the invite mock-up). Don’t just have your fiance and mom read it over. Ask your English-major friend or a grammar-savvy bridesmaid to check the proof before you okay it. You’d be surprised at the things you may miss (pay special attention to details like date and time and spelling). Borrow a tip from copy editors and read the proof word for word from right to left so you don’t accidentally gloss over any mistakes.
Count Your Households
You don’t need an invitation for every guest. Take a look at your guest list and figure out how many houses need invitations before you give your invitation provider a number — you might be able to cut your order in half. Cohabiting couples get one invitation; for couples living apart, you can either send one invite to the guest you’re closer with (and include both names on the inner and outer envelopes), or you can send out separate invitations. Families get one invitation (addressed to “The Smith Family,” for example). The exceptions: Children who don’t live at home (like college students) or anyone over 18 who lives at home should get their own invitation. If your invitation provider has a mailing service, they should have a software that will help eliminate duplicate household addresses if you have a large list
It’s expensive to go back and print more invitations after the fact. Order enough invitations for your guest list, plus 25 extra in case you need to resend an invitation, want to put some aside as keepsakes (trust us, your moms will want at least a few) or plan on sending invitations to a “B-list.” Tip: If you have a lengthy B-list, consider ordering a second set of invitations with a later RSVP date.
Don’t Forget the Rest of Your Printing Needs
Order your menu cards, programs and thank-you notes with your invitations. That way, your invitation provider can include all of the pieces in one order, which may save you money and time. It’s also a good way to ensure all your stationery has a cohesive look, even if you want to vary the design slightly for each element (by switching the dominant color or alternating between two patterns, for example). Also, don’t forget those little items like favor tags and welcome bag notes.
Remember Your Thank-Yous
If you get your Thank You Notes early, you can track RSVPs as they come in using a guest list manager tool or spreadsheet. Include a column where you can note what each guest gives you. Then, as the wedding gifts start rolling in, begin writing your thank-you notes so you don’t fall behind. For any presents received before the wedding, you should send a thank-you note within two weeks. For those given on or after the wedding day, give yourself a month.