Without invitations, there would be no guests and without guests, there would be no wedding. Or at least not a fun one, anyway. Invitations are not only a crucial way to notify guests of the wedding, they’re also the first glimpse that friends and family get into your upcoming nuptials. Here are a few basic guidelines to live by when it comes to wedding invites…
Plan Ahead: Invitations should be mailed out six to eight weeks before the wedding to give guests ample time to plan for the festivities, but not too much time that they’ll forget all about it. Get started early on selecting invitations to give yourself plenty of time to have them ordered, printed, and shipped, so you can get them properly addressed and in the mail. If you’re having a long engagement or your wedding falls on a popular weekend, consider sending out a save-the-date card to notify guests of the impending nuptials.
Keep It Simple: Your wedding invitations set the tone for your entire wedding so they should accurately reflect the color scheme, design, theme, and level of formality of the event. Since invitations are often one of the first things that brides and grooms settle on, it can be easy to overwork the design and, as a result, create busy invitations that are muddled, confusing, or just plain unattractive. Choose an invitation that reflects your unique style and the feel for the day to give guests something to look forward to.
Proofread, Proofread, PROOFREAD: Save yourself the embarrassment of a typo or the headache of ordering new invitations by carefully proofreading the invites to make sure names are spelled correctly, dates and times are accurate, and addresses are right. Ask a few grammatically astute pals to proofread the invite as well to pick up anything you might have missed.
Proper Postage: Since wedding invitations often come in unusual sizes and weights or contain several inserts, a standard postage stamp won’t always do. Avoid the stress of returned invitations by taking a sample into the post office to have it weighed to guarantee each envelope is properly stamped.
Address In Style: What’s on the outside of the envelope is just as important as what’s on the inside, so make sure the invitations are carefully addressed in style. Hire a calligrapher to label the invites, or save cash by recruiting a few pals with good handwriting. Either way, be sure that names are spelled correctly and addresses are accurate before slipping envelopes in the mail.
Don’t Forget the RSVP: Regardless of the size, location, or theme of your wedding, it’s imperative that guests RSVP. Make sure the invitations include directions on how to RSVP (whether by mail, website, phone, or email) as well as a date that a response needs to be received. Guests should have three to four weeks to respond to your invitation; any more time and they might forget, any less and you might not get an accurate count.