Sometimes, you may feel compelled to invite “the entire world”…but costs won’t allow it. (Invitations can cost between 2% – 7% of your total budget.) Try to keep your invite list to those individuals that are a part of your lives now and will continue to be a part of your lives. Therefore, inviting co-workers may seem like a good idea now. But, will they be a part of your lives if you left your workplace? Here are a few tips to help answer your questions.
Ready, Set ~ Wed:
Even if you are planning on having a long engagement, the engagement can be announced and a party can be thrown as early as you would like. You may want to wait until about 6 months before the wedding date to start sending save the date cards or travel information to your guests.
Interested in announcing your engagement in the paper? Here’s a sample of what you could write:
“Mr. and Ms. Mark Thompson of Houston announce the engagement of their daughter, Jessica Lynn, to Tom Carter, son of William and Linda Carter of Austin. Ms. Thompson, a graduate of the University of Texas, is a teacher at Arrowhead Elementary Houston. Mr. Carter graduated from Texas State University and is a foreman for Kitchell Construction. They are planning a November wedding.” If your date has not been set, you may substitute, “No wedding date has yet been set” for the last line.
Save the Date cards are an excellent way of informing guests (especially those who need to travel quite a distance.) of your upcoming wedding. If you are worried that your guests will tuck their save the date into a bottomless kitchen drawer, create a postcard style Save the Date that will make for a decorative reminder. Attach an engagement photo or emboss with your last name initial for a personal touch. Another popular Save the Date is a magnet that most put right onto the fridge.
A new trend for today’s busy & cost conscious bride is to invite guests via e-mail (www.Evite.com). The “E – Save-the-Date” and the “E-Invite”, although not free is a very cost-cutting measure. However, this manner of inviting people can be perceived as just that…cheap.
Remembering that wedding invitations set the tone of your event will help you decide what kind of style to choose for your own. If you are planning a formal event, you will want to stay clear from invitations that appear too casual. Guests usually take the dress code cue from the formality of the invitation.
Want to coordinate your wedding invitations to match the color of your event, but can't find an invitation in the color you are looking for? You can always opt to use colored ink and a matching envelope lining to incorporate your event color in your invitation. However, if you are looking to keep costs low on your wedding invitations, stay away from the colors.
The return address option is well worth the money.
Engraving is the traditional standard printing process for formal wedding invitations, but thermography is the modern day version that is nearly identical at half the price.
If you want your invitations to be traditional on all counts, have a calligrapher address your inner and outer envelopes. There are surely some in your area and they should offer a variety of font styles for you to choose from.
Looking for a thick invitation? Most heavy cotton invitations are expensive, but usually panel cards are made of a thicker paper than folding cards and can be made available at lower costs. Save money and get the paper quality you're looking for.
Plan ahead and write your wording before you order your wedding invitations or announcements. Wording can take longer than you think!
Want to add something unique and personal to your wedding invitation? Add a quote to the bottom of your invitation wording. It doesn’t have to be long, but it can be the finishing touch that will stay in the minds of your guests.
Times and dates on wedding invitations should be written out in full and the date and year should be on two separate lines.
the twenty-third of July
Two thousand and thirteen
at half past three in the afternoon
is more appropriate than
July 23, 2013
When ordering your wedding invitations, you may wish to order your wedding programs. Often times you can put in the order all at the same time, providing your program wording (after you have met with your coordinator or ceremony officiate to plan the ceremony details) will save you time not having to make the decision as your wedding date approaches. ***(Be sure to check with your Wedding Planner first. The Wedding Program content design is sometimes included in their services. Plus, having this capability of service allows for any last minute changes to the program without a big expense.)
As soon as you know the time and location for your event and approximate number invited, you are ready to order your wedding invitations. It is always best to order them as soon as possible so you have time to make decisions and address your invitations.
You never know when you'll need to add another guest to your list. Be sure to order enough invitations to invite those on your list today and a few more tomorrow.
It is always a good idea to order extra envelopes. Humans and printers make mistakes and it will cost more to order extra after you've placed your order.
You can lightly number your response cards so if your guest's handwriting is less than perfect, you can still figure out who's attending your event.
You’ve Got Mail!
Assembling envelopes can be tricky, but it doesn't have to be. Just remember that you always want your wording facing up and situated so that it may be read immediately upon opening.
Postage adds up quickly when you are sending 100+ invitations in the mail. Invitations that are thicker, larger, square, have pockets and charms will weigh more than a standard invitation. Even though it may only cost a few more cents for one, it will add up quicker than you think!
Invitations come in all and weights sizes. We recommend weighing your invitation with all of its enclosures and inserts before buying postage. (You don't always need all of the enclosures offered for each wedding invitation. If your reception is at the same location as your ceremony, you can disclose that on your invitation. )
Save money on stamps by using a response postcard instead of a response card with an envelope. Postcards are always less expensive.
Ask the post office to hand cancel your wedding invitations, that way they won't have a bar code from the machine and they will arrive looking much cleaner. Especially, if you have an unusual size or thickness, you can prevent them from getting jammed in the machine.
Avoiding Sticky Situations:
Sibling’s in-laws are not required to be invited to the wedding. If you are close with your sibling’s in-laws, then you may invite them, however they are not your family and you should not feel obligated to invite them if you hardly know them.
Establishing a website for your wedding is an invaluable way to include all the wedding information and details (hotels, date, registry etc.) for your guests to reference.
Want your guests to know where you're registered, but know that it is poor etiquette to include that information on your invitation? Include your website on the directions or RSVP card; your guests will thank you for all the available information.
The best way to inform your guests that your wedding is for adults only is to spread that information through word of mouth. There are a few printed options.
Inviting more guests to the reception than to the ceremony is completely acceptable. You may be getting married in a small chapel or an intimate setting and your guests will understand. You can’t, however, invite more guests to the ceremony than to the reception. If it is important to you to have them at your wedding, then they should be able to join in the following reception celebration.
Who’s Who & How to Write It:
Formal etiquette is to address your inner and outer envelopes with proper name titles. Professor Robert Jameson or Robert Jameson, Ph.D. for the outer, Professor Jameson for the inner.
Children over the age of 18 should receive their own wedding invitations. You may include them on their parents' wedding invitations; their name should be written on the outer and inner envelopes.
Wedding invitations are often addressed to the invitee ´and guest´. To be more proper and personal, try to find out the names of the guests you are inviting to attend with your single friends and relatives, and include their full name on the envelope. If you can’t, sending one invitation with ´and guest´ will suffice.
If children are invited to the wedding, it is proper to address the outer envelope with the parents’ names (Mr. and Mrs. John Smith). You can then include the children’s names on the inside envelope.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Bobby & Sally
If you are addressing an invitation to a married couple in which the woman has kept her name, the outer envelope should read: “Ms. Mary Lane and Mr. James Campbell”. If the wife is a doctor, the envelope should read: “Dr. Mary Lane and Mr. James Campbell”.
To invite two people, living at the same address with different last names, list their names on separate lines on the outer envelope, in alphabetical order. For example:
Mr. Roger Sikes
Ms. Tamara Kinder
and the inside would read
To RSVP or Not to RSVP… that is the question:
RSVP or Reply Cards are often considered (to some) a waste of money because so many guests overlook or, for whatever reason, fail to return them.
My advice to you is to include them anyway. The cost and postage for one RSVP card is still much less than the cost for guessing about accommodating them at your wedding reception. Remember that could equate to a chair, plates, glasses, flatware, napkins, food, drinks, flowers & décor for the table, and so on…don’t you agree that spending about $2 on an RSVP is money well-spent in comparison? (Postcards are the least expensive.)
I have had a few brides that opted for an interactive RSVP postcard. Including having your guests color-in the number of pieces of cake they wanted or circle if they preferred beef or chicken. The guests found this “out-of-the-box” response idea to be fun and different. The best part was that my brides had an almost 100% rate of return because of it.
Tid Bits You May Find Helpful:
Rain cards are the perfect back up for a less than perfect day. If you are planning an outdoor wedding, you may want to consider a back up plan. The best way to inform your guests of this plan, is to include rain cards with the wedding invitation that describe where the event will take place if the weather takes a turn on your wedding day. Be sure to be specific and say, “In the event that it rains on the 24 th, we will be relocating to the indoor banquet room,” as bad weather to one person may be a walk in the park for another.
Weddings planned during a holiday or busy travel weekend need to be announced with special care. Save the date cards are a perfect remedy to letting your guests know in advance when to mark their calendars for your celebration.
You'll need thank you cards for more than just your wedding presents. There are many occasions where gifts are given before and after your wedding day, or people have provided a special service or favor. So be sure to order more thank you cards than invitations.
Wedding announcements should be sent out no earlier than the day of the wedding and it's okay if they don’t get sent until you return from your honeymoon. It may be confusing if they are sent too early and arrive before your wedding date since they are usually written in past tense.
If you are having a sit-down meal rather than a buffet, place cards are an excellent way to get your guests seated quickly and to inform your caterers who is having which meal.
If you are moving into a new home around your wedding date, add your “At Home” address to the back page of your Wedding Program or order “just moved” cards to announce to family and friends that you are no longer at your old address. People may still be sending wedding gifts and you want them to arrive at the right doorstep!
No more lick and stick envelopes: Stow your invitations, reply cards, and maps in a neatly packaged miniature box. These new creations beautifully show off your wedding day plan. A very popular, but pricey option… about $8 -$20 each. (www.ThaiSilkBox.com)
Cost-cutting Solution: Love the idea but hate what they'll do to your budget? Try paper boxes. These non-fabric models pack the same punch. Also, know that the bigger the box, the bigger the bill. Save this style for smaller, more intimate affairs. Or, love the fabric box idea? Get the boxes from a box or package supplier. (www.Uline.com) & Use another type of fabric. Order your papers, bulk, on-line (www.thepapermillstore.com or www.InvitationPaper.com) and print them yourself. Be sure to order a little extra for errors.
Brooches or other bejeweled accoutrements Add handmade/organic paper and a silk ribbon…this VERY elegant invite has become a very popular up & coming piece. A very pretty invite with a very pretty price tag….about $8 – $20 each.
Cost-cutting Solution: You can order handmade papers online (www.Handmade-Paper.us) and try a jewelry supply store for bejeweled pieces that can be perfect at a much lower cost. Also, scan the “junk jewelry” bins in the thrift shops. You may be surprised at what little treasures you’ll find!
Make it Your Own:
Customize the contents according to your wedding season. A collection of starfish will warm guests up to a summer wedding. Think straw willows for an autumn affair; paper snowflakes for a winter event; or tiny silk flower petals for your spring soiree. You can order special envelopes from local printers or again…online at (www.EnvelopeMall.com)
Factory Direct Wedding Invitations This is a very cost saving avenue in comparison to ordering invites via the Tux or Bridal Shops. Just be sure to check EVERYTHING to be sure all “i’s” are dotted and every “t” is crossed. Your oversight is your cost.
Other Noteworthy websites to make your invites special… www.LovePoemsAndQuotes.com
P.S. If you are interested in having your invitations penned in calligraphy or by-hand...just ask me...I have connections to some very talented writers! =)