Choosing your wedding invitations can be downright overwhelming. Thousands of choices are available in the invitation books of stationers for you to review. The first impression your guests have of your wedding is formed by the wedding invitations you choose. Wedding invitations should reflect the personalities of the bride and groom and also the style of event you are planning.
Traditionally formal wedding invitations were always on ecru, ivory or white card (depending on the color of your dress) and engraved with black or dark-gray ink. This is still the most popular choice for a formal wedding, but today there are a tremendous variety of invitations available to suit your style, the level of formality you desire, and your budget.
Formal, semi formal, romantic, funky, kitsch, or relaxed the style is really up to the bride, groom and any relatives that are helping to pay for the wedding. Invitations today can include textured paper, in multiple colors, embedded flowers, recycled paper, gilt edges, photographs, and an endless variety of creative options to suit your wedding theme.
The place you choose to hold your wedding, be it a garden, hotel, beach or church will of course greatly influence your choice of invitations.
It is best to start planning even a simple wedding at least a year in advance and preferably a year and a half. As soon as you decide on your guest list and on the style of wedding you want, you should be ready to choose a professional supplier. You may want to obtain as many free brochures and information packs from suppliers in your area. You will want to choose a supplier who will not charge you for draft copies of your invitations. You also should insure that your supplier will not expect you to pay for a whole new order if you find you need more stationery than had originally been arranged.
A common mistake when ordering wedding stationery is when the bride and groom assume that because they are inviting 50 guests that they need 50 invitations. This is not the case. You need to remember that couples can be invited on the same invitations and so can children under the age of sixteen. For a wedding of 50 you should start with 25 invitations and then add on about ten to fifteen extras to cover any extra people you may have forgotten or mistakes made on the envelopes. You should also keep at least one invitation as a memento.
Do not forget to send invitations to your parents and wedding party. If you want to use place cards, you will want to remember to order place cards for every guest including your parents and bridal party. Be sure to check with your reception venue, as place cards are sometimes included with the overall reception cost. It is advisable to mail an invitation to yourself just to see how long it takes to arrive and what condition it arrives in.
If you need Order of Service cards for a church ceremony, be sure to add extra ones for the choirboys and the Vicar. You will need one Order of Service for each and every guest.
Aside from the invitations you will also need envelopes, reply cards, thank you cards and you may need Order of Service leaflets, menus, place cards, serviettes, book matches, wedding scrolls, gift registry cards, and seating plans. In order to save time, and money, it is advisable to order all your stationery at once from the same supplier. This will also help ensure consistency of design.
It is preferable to order all of your invitations at the same time, leaving ample time to have them printed and addressed. You will need to send them out two to three months in advance. Remember to gather and bring all the information you will need to create your wedding invitation. You need the date, time place of wedding and reception, names of parents and the full name of the bride and groom including middle names.
Formal wedding invitations are traditionally engraved which is the most expensive option. Engraving produces textured raised letters and in black or gray ink is ideal for formal weddings with large budgets. Thermography is a less expensive popular alternative to engraving that provides almost the same look. For a smaller guest list Calligraphy can be used, either computerized or by hand. If you want to use colored ink and/or highly textured paper then you will need to use offset printing.
Wedding convention dictates that you must write out the addresses for all your invitations by hand so be sure to order extra envelopes for the inevitable mistakes. If you wish you can hire a calligrapher to do this.
Engraved, embossed and calligraphed stationery are likely to be at the high end of the price range. Most professional wedding stationery suppliers provide a wide selection of local, imported and their own exclusive designs in a wide range of styles, colors and prices so that there is something to suit every budget.
The wording of your invitation is obviously important but today family relationships are much more complicated than in the past, and this may be causing you some anxiety.
Don’t worry. If you have chosen a good supplier they should be able to advise you. It may well be your first wedding but they have seen it all and can help you work out appropriate wording for any situation.
Most wedding invitations include the names of the hosts, which may be your parents, yourselves or both, your own names, and the date, time and location, and reception. You should also add RSVP cards and details. The trend these days is for the bride and groom to choose more creative and personal wording than the traditional formal wording of the past.
Thank You Cards
As soon as you start receiving gifts you need to start writing your thank you notes. You may want to order thank you cards along with your wedding stationery so that they match your wedding invitation. Thank you notes should specifically mention the gift, and how the bride and groom intend to use it. Thank you notes can be brief, but should be very personal. You should try to finish them no later than three weeks after the wedding. Everyone who gives you a gift should receive a thank you note.
Before mailing invitations you must proofread very carefully. Check and double-check the wording of all your wedding stationery. Have a friend check them over for you also.
To ensure your guests receive their invitations and are able to respond in sufficient time, mail them four to six weeks before the event. Invitations being mailed overseas should be mailed eight weeks in advance.
Remember your invitations do not have to cost a fortune to look gorgeous and delight your guests. All you need is a professional supplier and printer who has the knowledge and experience to help you choose stationery that fits in with the level of formality, style and theme of the wedding of your dreams.