The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Invitations
There are so many details that come into play when deciding on what type of invitation you would like for your wedding. Your wedding invitation is one of the most important things during your wedding planning because it is the first design that is presented to your guests and give them a preview of what to expect on your wedding day and set the tone for the wedding. Below is a complete guide for everything you need to know for designing and choosing your wedding invitations. Here is everything you need to know...
Start out by planning the style of your invitations. Below are questions you should ask yourself:
1. What style are you going for? Minimal, elegant, sophisticated, fun, rustic, modern, art deco, cultural, etc, etc.
2. What color palette do you want to use?
3. What designs and icons would you like on the invitation? Florals, couple monogram, flourishes, etc, etc.
Here is a quick glance to possible styles:
Save the Date
Sending out Save the Dates is optional. However, it is recommended to send them out for the following reasons:
1. You are having a destination wedding.
2. You will have a lot of guests who are coming from out of town and need earlier notice of your wedding date so they can plan accordingly.
3. Dibs! Even if all your guests are nearby, they will probably appreciate getting advanced notice so they can put it in their calendar and you don’t run the risk of them booking some thing else like a vacation or even another wedding.
4. Build up excitement! Most importantly, this will have everyone talking about your wedding and getting ready for it!
TIP: To save money, have your guests RSVP online or make your RSVP a postcard!
Your wedding invitations aren’t just pretty, pretty cards but they supply all the information your guests need to know to attend your wedding. Below is a breakdown of all the possible insert cards you may need to include.
The main invitation card should include your names, wedding date, location name and address, start time, and dress code (optional). Anything else that you would like to share in more details should be placed on additional insert cards.
RSVP Card and Envelope
The RSVP card and envelope are standard to an invitation suite. An RSVP card can vary in information for each couple. You can leave the guest names and number of guests blank for your guests to fill in or you can fill in the number of seats reserved for them. This approach is usually taken if it is an adult only event, per se. You may also include a space for your guests to include entree selections. Be sure to always put a date that your guests need to reply by and include postage and a return label on the envelope for them to easily send back. Many couples also include their wedding website for guests to have the option to RSVP online with much more ease.
Use this card to include any additional information such as the reception address if it differs from the ceremony. This can also be a separate Reception Card as noted below. You can also include details about blocks of rooms you may have reserved at a hotel for those guests that are coming from out of town or if you are having a destination wedding. Remember to include the reservation code if your hotel requires one. Including specifications about dress attire can be inserted here too. You can also include your wedding website here to direct your guests to all the additional information and any changes that may occur. If you have a registry, we would suggest not mentioning it on any insert cards but you can include it on your website.
Reception/Ceremony/Special Events Card
This card will be beneficial for those who are having the reception at a different location than the ceremony. This card can also be used if there are any special cultural ceremonies, pre-wedding or post-wedding events that your guests need to know about.
A custom map is a really beautiful touch to share any favorite locations and how to get to your wedding ceremony and reception with ease. You can choose to do a map or detailed explanation of how to get from one venue to the next or a combination.
There are so many extra details you can add to your Invitation Suite to give it that extra character. Below are some but not limited to these:
Booklet Folds: There are so many options of ways you can package your invitation suites in a booklet fold or pocket to give it that extra accessory.
Envelope Liners: A sheet of paper that is cut to fit the inside of the envelope and folds down with the envelope flap. They add an extra design element to your invitation suite even before your guests pull out their invitation. They also help protect your invitation through the mail by giving an extra layer of sturdiness to your envelope.
Wraparounds: Adding a paper band to your booklet fold to tie in the design on your invitation card creates beautiful packaging for your invitation suite. Choose from a variety of different ribbons like satin, chiffon or metallic to add depth, and added layer of style to your invitation suite
Cardmounts: Add a colored cardstock to the back of your invitation card to add depth and a pop of color
Monogram: Brand your event with custom monograms that you can use on your invitation suite, signage, and other items
Wax Seals: Add a wax seal to your invite card, booklet fold, or envelope for a touch of elegance
When working on your invitation, please keep in mind the style of the fonts you want. Do you have a preference in font? Calligraphy or Script? Block font that is serif or sans serif? All capitalized or regular upper case and lower case? Here is a quick glance of you options:
Please be mindful of the RSVP date that you put. It should be around 2 to 4 weeks before your wedding depending on when you need to give the final head count to the caterer and/or venue and to give yourself more time to finalize the seating chart.
Do not forget to add postage to the return envelope for the RSVP. On a budget? You can also change your RSVP card into a postcard to save on postage and envelopes.
I highly recommend having a wedding website with all the information and the option for your guests to RSVP there as well for quicker turnaround and for any changes that may occur. This will be a great place to put all the information that you can't include on the invitation.
Make sure you have a working spreadsheet with all your guests' names as you would like them addressed on the envelopes as well as their addresses for mailing the invites. You can use this spreadsheet to record RSVPs, entree selections, and seating arrangements, too.
Invitations that are standard 5"x7" size of 4"x6" and weigh one ounce or less require a regular standard postage amount at its current day value or a Forever Stamp. RSVP cards are typically in an A1 envelope (3.5"x5") and also require the regular first class letter postage or Forever stamp.
Want to save a little money on postage and materials? You can also make your RSVP card a postcard! This means you would not need to buy an envelope and postage is actually cheaper for postcards. You will also be able to conveniently print the return address onto the postcard rather than making labels or printing onto the envelope.
Please note that a square envelope will require additional postage as it is not a standard size. When in doubt, it doesn't hurt to bring your invitation in to the Post Office and have them confirm the weight and postage amount.
After all of the time and money you have spent creating your invitation suites, make sure that they are sent out in good hands. Hand-processing and hand-canceling are two ways in which you can prevent them from being bent or soiled via machine and dealt directly with a postal worker.
Hand-Processing means that your postmaster sorts your invitations by hand, rather than by a machine. This costs an additional 21 cents but also reassures you that your wedding invitation envelopes won’t be damaged in delivery.
Hand-Canceled: Most mail is canceled by machines which is what prints the lines and dates over postage stamps. Hand-canceling is when each stamp on your envelope is marked (or canceled) using a hand stamp instead of by a machine. Hand-canceling invitations prevents your envelopes from being torn and any interior elements you have in your invitations from being possibly damaged by the post office’s machine.
When to send
Invitations should go out six weeks to eight weeks before the wedding. Please allot more time if you do have guests that are coming from out of town and out of the country so that they have enough time to arrange accommodations and take time off from work.
If you have a destination wedding or have a lot of people from out of town, please consider sending out a Save the Date six to eight months before the wedding.
Why do you need me?
There are so many details that go into a wedding invitation suite design from the graphics and wording, to the printing and materials. It may seem like something that you can save money on and DIY but please keep in mind that on more intricate suites, the assembly may take longer than you think.
Here are 10 reasons why you should hire me:
1. CUSTOM DESIGNS: I offer custom, personalized designs to fit your exact style and vision
2. ONE-ON-ONE Service: I work personally with you throughout the design process
3. VARIETY OF PACKAGES: I offer three different packages to fit your budget
4. DIGITAL MOCKUPS: I send you digital mockups for you to review and edit until you are 100% satisfied and you will know exactly how the finished product will turn out
5. CONSULTATIONS: I work closely with you to go over all the options you have and can meet whenever you need to talk
6. EXPERIENCE: I have more than twelve years of experience in the wedding industry and graphic design
7. RESPONSIVENESS: I always respond quickly to emails and have quicker design and production times compared to others
8. COHESIVE LOOK: I can help you with your signage and stationary for the big day to match your invitation designs
9. STRESS RELIEF: I can take all the stress away from worrying about the invitations so you can focus on other details of your beautiful wedding
10. 5 STAR REVIEWS: Reviews from my clients are available on Google, Etsy, and Wedding Wire