Just After you get engaged – the world of Weddings can seem like it has infinite possibilities – especially if your Pinterest board or Instagram feed is anything to go by!
The you and your partner sit down to start Wedding planning. The freedom of infinite possibility becomes the stress and weight of endless decision making. Now you’ve got questions – just example: Where do you start when it comes to creating the Wedding Stationery that will leave your guests’ jaws drop?
First impressions count and this invitation will forever live in your mother-in-law’s photo album! To help answer your questions and to ease the process of finding the perfect invite, we prepared a list of 5 tips that fro our experience, will make your life much easier.
1. Define Your Wedding Style and Wedding Colors
Your Wedding Stationery Suite should fit in with your Wedding’s overall theme. Ask yourself – what kind of event are your throwing? Whether it’s relaxed and casual, or an elegant Black-Tie event – you’re Wedding Stationery need to reflect that. It should also contain a little bit of your own personality – something that will make your guests say “Wow! This is just so them!” when they receive and open those Invites for the first time.
Your Invitation style should also reflect your color scheme. Normally, this also ties in with your Wedding Venue, and the Season that you’re getting Married. Common colors include a pastel or blush pink for Spring, moving towards a warmer coral color for those sizzling summer months. Jewel tones and orange/brown tones are strong for Autumn while pale, natural shades excel in Winter months. There’s no rule-of-thumb for colors though – give your personal preferences more consideration.
When choosing Ink and Paper colors – it’s always a good idea to ask your Stationer for a sample set – so you can physically see the colors and quality. It’s much easier to see the true tone in real-life, as opposed to on a screen!
If you’re looking for a little inspiration, you can check-out out Semi-Custom Stationery Suites.
2. Get your numbers right
It’s a common mistake to order the same amount of invitations as you have guests. This is nearly always WAY too much – and it’s an easy trap to fall into. Remember that some guests will be arriving as a couple, or possibly part of a larger family group. It’s easy to get your “real” invitation count though, don’t worry!
Some good advice is:
– 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). However, there are certain exceptions: Children who don’t live at home (like college students) or anyone over 16 who lives at home should get their own invitation.
Before organizing your Wedding Invitations (or at least before they are printed!), write a comprehensive guest list and get your families and partner to chip in with their guest lists too. Group everyone into couples/partners/households and count them up.
Personally, We recommend that you add 10% extra invites on top of your final count. These account for any that get lost in the mail, or any surprise additional guests that come up. You’ll also want a set to give to your photographer on the big day as part of their photos, and finally you’ll want a copy or 2 to keep as mementos of your most special day!
Remember: It’s a lot cheaper to order a few extra now, rather than ask for a 2nd print-run later!
3. Start Early
Regardless of the type of Wedding that you’re planning; your guests will need ample time to prepare. Give everyone as much breathing-room as possible – especially if it’s a destination Wedding!
Ideally your Save-the-Date cards should go out at least 8-10 months before the Wedding Day. Better yet – as soon as you’ve booked a venue and date – get those Save-the-Dates stamped and shipped! Your guests will all thank you for giving the, extra time to book flights, accommodation and vacation days from work.
A strong warning though – be wary sending them out at peak christmas holiday season – as they can easily get lost or waylayed with the sheer abundance of other mail that gets shipped at that time of year!
About 8-12 weeks before the wedding, follow your those Save-the-Dates with your Formal Wedding Invitations. This gives your guests plenty of time to clear their schedules and solidify their travel arrangements, if they don’t live in town. If it’s a destination wedding, give your guests as much time as possible and send the Invitations at least three months ahead of the big day.
A key, and often underestimated, part of your Wedding Invitation Suites is the almighty RSVP Card. They are amazing money-savers as they allow you to get an EXACT head-count of who is attending, and their choice of Entrée (Main Course).
We’ve heard of many cases from friends and clients who got married – where they spent 20-30% extra than they needed to, as they were catering to guests who didn’t show up. Without confirming the menus choices and head-count in advance, they ended up dramatically overspending on extra meals of each type, extra bottles of wine and their venues charged for extra waitstaff who didn’t need to be there.
All RSVPs need a “Respond By” deadline. If some guests still haven’t responded by your deadline (we all love these guests, don’t we?), give them a quick call and ask for their RSVPs – or at least get their answer over the phone. Your wallet will thank you later!
4. Get your envelopes Addressed
Out of all the time-saving tips that we could offer – this is one of the big ones.
Wedding Invitation, Save-the-Date, RSVP and Thank You card envelopes can all be addressed for you. You would not believe how much stress this can bring if you try to do it yourself!
This addressing can be done digitally and printed directly onto the envelopes, or can be done by hand in beautiful calligraphy. Both of these approaches are beautiful and are much more elegant and personal than *gasp* mailing labels!
You can see more of the possibilities of Envelope Addressing in our blog post: Addressing Wedding Envelopes.
When addressing Your main Invitation – we recommend the traditional format of 2 envelopes – and Outer and Inner. Why two though? Let us explain… The outer envelope is used to write the address of the household of the recipient(s). The inner envelope is used to indicate who exactly is included in the invitation.
You may be thinking this is something you could do at home on your own printer, but I cannot stress the amount wasted time, wasted envelopes and frustration you’ll experience by not letting a professional handle this. Don’t try this at home kids, it’s not easy!
To get the most out of your stationery and to make best impression when your guests receive the Invitation, we’ve compiled some quick tips for the information you’ll need to gather.
– Always use full, given names as opposed to nicknames (ex. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Watson).
– Use numerals for numbers higher than ten when it comes to street numbers, or otherwise, write out the number (ex. Nine rather than 9).
– Write out the words “Street,” “Boulevard,” “Avenue,” “Road,” and spell out numeric street names. For Example: Sixty-Eight Street, rather than 68th Street, etc…
– If children or families are invited, make sure to list their names under those of the parents.
– It’s on the inner envelope where you’ll include children’s names (under 18 years old) that are invited to the wedding or indicate “and guest or plus one” if this applies.
5. Double Check the Proofs. Then double-check them again!
It’s one thing looking at your Stationery design on a screen, and another thing altogether looking at them in real-life. To make sure there’s no surprises – always triple-check your design proofs. Even if you’re pressed for time (hence point 3 – start early!) – the time you put into this now means you won’t have an embarrassing misspelling forever immortalized on your physical invitations!
We would advise that you and your Fiancé take some time to review the proofs together and maybe even have a trusted friend or family member proof-read them too. We recommend that you pay special attention to the following:
-Names (especially Bride, Groom and Parents)
-Day, Date, Time
-Ceremony Name and Address (ProTip: Double-check in Google Maps!)
-Reception Name and Address (and Date/Time, if different to above)
-RSVP Dates, and Entreé Options
-Spelling, Punctuation and pay especially close attention to foreign or borrowed words!
We also highly recommend that you check them out on a large screen like a Desktop or Laptop computer so you can get the full effect! Mobile Phones and Tablets just don’t do them justice.