Hello Oh Lovely Day Readers. It is Meredith from Love and Lavender. I am honoured that Chandra asked me to help her out with a guest post while she spends some quality time with her new little one. Oh Lovely Day offers great wedding planning tips, so I am contributing my advice on common mistakes couples make on their wedding invitations.
1) Budget: If you haven’t ordered stationery before then you may be shocked to see how expensive wedding invitations can be. When couples first set their wedding budget they may not factor in a specific amount for stationery. I think this is a mistake. Invitations are a great way to set the tone and look of your big day. Just make sure you are realistic about the expense of setting that tone. Stationery can range from $1-$10 per piece depending on type, paper, or embellishments (e.g., bows, embossing, foil, letterpress and thermography).
If invitations are not a high wedding priority, doing them yourself is always an option. One starting point is the free wedding printables at Love and Lavender.
2) Matching Theme: As I said above, invitation set both the tone and expectations for your guests. Do you envision a backyard, relaxed reception or a black tie, top hat and tails affair? Don’t stress out about incorporating every possible detail you can into your wedding invitations. Choose a stationery color scheme that matches your wedding colors. For themed weddings, try to incorporate one element of that theme into your design. A love bird themed wedding can easily include an image of two love birds on both the invitation and RSVP card. Don’t spin your wheels trying to find the exact wedding stationery.
3) Registry Information: A best practice is to leave the registry information off the invitation. Tell your wedding party, parents, and close friends where you are registered and let them inform other guests if asked. Including registry information on your wedding invitation is bad form and suggests that the wedding present is more important than the guest that will attend.
4) Wedding Website: A popular option is to create your own wedding website. Some couples choose to include the domain name at the bottom of their wedding invitation. A more traditional and formal approach is to exclude the URL from your invitation altogether. Instead, a separate information card about the size of a place card can show the added website information.
5) Order a Proof: Trust me, you will kick yourself later if you do not order a proof and meticulously examine for typos and correct wording. Been there, done that! Thankfully my mistake was only a misplaced comma. If you decide not to order a proof, then make sure you review the invite with a fine tooth comb. Some companies will actually email you a proof shortly after you place an order. Treat your wedding stationery like a final paper at university -read it over 10 times for mistakes or ask a grammar guru friend to check it for you!
6) Addressing an Invitation: Many companies offer an addressing service for a small fee or free of charge. A wonderful option because it saves you from hiring a calligrapher or doing it yourself. Feel like making an attempt to DIY? I suggest splitting up your addressing sessions into several sittings. Also, don’t use address labels – nothing will cheapen your invitation more than adding a big white sticker.
7) Mailing on Time: Normally, wedding invitations should be dropped in the mailbox 5 to 8 weeks before your wedding. If you plan on having your wedding during a busier holiday season then aim to send the save-the-date cards up to a nine months in advance. For a destination wedding in particular, you should send out save-the-date cards at least 6 to 7 months in advance, while Invitation for a destination wedding should be sent out 3 months in advance.
8) RSVP Time Length: It is exciting to receive a wedding invitation, but it is also easy to put it aside and forget about it. Don’t give your guest too much time between receiving the invite and having to reply. Set a deadline of three to four weeks after they receive their invitation.
9) Ordering Too Many or Not Enough: Unless you are having a match making wedding and all your guests are single, you don’t need an invitation for every single guest. A good rule of thumb is to count each household and order an extra 15 invitations on top of that number. Also, order an extra 25 envelopes in case of addressing errors. Children that are 18 and older, whether still living at home or on their own, should receive their own invitation. Children that are under 18 should be included on the front of the envelope with their parents.
10) Buying Postage Before Weighing: It is important to take a finished invite to the post office and get it weighed before you purchase postage. Multiple inserts or cards in an envelope can easily push the weight of your invitations over the allowable limit. You don’t want the headache of returned mail due to insufficient postage, especially if you are running late on sending out your invitations!
Thank you for reading and I hope I have helped you to avoid a few pitfalls when it comes time to do your wedding stationery.
Photos Credits: Peacock 1: Atelier Pictures / Peacock2: Atelier Pictures / Zigzag: Matthew James Photographers