Wedding stationery can be daunting! So much to know, so much to do, so many eyes seeing it. Here is some of our best advice when it comes to creating the perfect stationery kit for your wedding!
Define 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, or glam and modern — before you start shopping for stationery, so you can choose an invitation style that hits the same note.
Know Your Colors
Think about your wedding colors too — you may want to incorporate your colors and a motif into your wedding invitations and then carry both through to the rest of your wedding paper (like the seating cards, menu cards and ceremony programs) for a cohesive look. While metallic or white card stock paired with a black or gold font is the classic choice for formal wedding invitations, you can also brighten your invites with colorful or fun fonts, paper stock, envelopes and liners. Just keep readability in mind when choosing your colors (keep reading for more on that).
Don’t Crowd the Card
List only the key points on your invitation: ceremony time and location, the hosts, the couple’s names, and RSVP information. Trying to squeeze too much onto the invitation card can make it harder to read — and it won’t look as elegant. Leave things like directions to your wedding venue and details about post-wedding activities for separate enclosure cards.
Your save-the-dates should go out six to eight months before the wedding. While your save-the-dates don’t have to match your invites, ordering everything from us can save you money and make the invitation process easier on you. Aim to order your invitations about four to five months out so they’re ready to mail six to eight 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).
Get Your Dates Straight
Include your RSVP date on your RSVP card, and be sure to make the deadline no more than three or four weeks after guests receive the invitations — check with your caterer first to find out when they’ll need the final headcount. The more time you give guests to reply, the more likely they are to forget, and you’ll need time to put together the seating chart. Plus, your final count may affect the number of centerpieces and other decor elements, which other vendors will need to finalize a few weeks before the wedding.
Triple-Check the Proof
Before your invitation order is printed, we will send you a proof. Don’t just have your fiancée 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).
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 us a count. Cohabiting couples get one invitation; for couples living apart, you can either send one invite to the guest you’re closer with, 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.
Order enough invitations for your guest list , plus 15-25 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 Suite
Order your menu cards, programs and thank-you notes with your invitations. That way, we can include all of the pieces in one order, which saves you money, time, and headache. 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. Also, don’t forget those little items like favor tags and welcome bag notes.
Remember Your Thank-Yous
Track RSVPs as they come in using a 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.
Put a Stamp on It
It may seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget: If you want guests to mail back their reply cards, include stamped (and addressed) envelopes. That way guests don’t have to pay for the postage. Traditionally, the return envelopes should be addressed to whoever is hosting the wedding; however, if your parents are technically hosting, but you’re keeping track of the guest list, you can use your address instead. Tip: Postage rates do change from time to time, so check the rate before you add those stamps to make sure you’ve got adequate postage.
Check for Increased Postage
While you probably can’t wait to drop those wedding invitations in the mail and check another thing off your to-do list, weighing a sample invitation (enclosures and all) at the post office first could save you many more to-dos later. Trust us, you don’t want to deal with the hassle of invitations being returned because of insufficient postage.