Wedding Invitations: Tips, Creative Planning Ideas and Inspiration for the Modern Bride
Guide to Wedding Invitations
Many couples spend so much time focused on planning their wedding and trying to make it look perfect that they neglect the single most important factor in letting guests know what is in store for them.
A wedding invitation, no matter how simple or elaborate, is the first impression guests get to experience in connection with your wedding. A wedding website or idle chit chat is not going to be what really drives guests to know what to look forward to.
If done right, a wedding invitation will be so much more than just a wedding announcement.
Don't Forget: Important Tips
Everyone planning a wedding is bound to forget something. Even the most neurotic bride can find herself forgetting the simplest things (like wedding stamps) and if not kept in check, it's all downhill from there.
Keep these important tidbits of information in mind when working on your wedding invitations:
- Names. Of course you are going to remember YOUR names, but are your parents hosting the wedding? Is there divorced parents involved? Will your mother in law blow a fuse if her name isn't there? These are important things to think about when you prepare to avoid hurt feelings and family breakdowns.
- Wedding Postage. I can NOT stress this enough. Keep the shipping weight in mind when choosing your invitation - 150 pocket fold invitations can easily reach 10 pounds according to Cards and Pockets and their shipping chart.
- Get samples. You do not want to pay for 200 commercially printed invitations and then when they arrive you find out you put 2013 and the wedding is in 2014, or worse yet... the wrong address! Proofread that sample! It can get expensive if you have to reprint an entire set.
More Wedding Planning Tips!
- Create a Wedding Day Checklist
Having a handy wedding day checklist can really keep the stress down and keep the chaos organized. By delegating the starting wedding planning tasks to others you can do FUN things like cake tasting!
- How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Date
Choosing the perfect wedding date is one of the first things done after becoming engaged. There are many other things to consider in your wedding planning when it comes to the perfect wedding date.
Types of Wedding Invitaitons
Couples today are opting for more extravagant invitation suites and styles than they did in the past.
Years ago (and of course some still today) you would just stop over by a local store and grab a pack of white invites with a generic design that has probably been used by 300 other brides across the country and print your wording on it and there you go, $40 spent for tons of invites.
Though at least nowadays you have retailers who are stepping up the dime a dozen wedding invitation game.
Wilton invitation kits are a prime example of getting something nice for a fair deal.
Some modern brides go all out and spent thousands of dollars on luxury wedding invitations.
Adding items like RSVP cards, Thank you cards, Insert and Accomidation cards, Maps and more can really send the budget through the roof.
Don't forget the extra additions like ribbons, rhinestones and belly bands! Those additions are kind of like the fine print of wedding invitations.
There are many different styles out there for wedding invitations; here are just a few:
- Pocket Fold Wedding Invitations - These are great for the couple who have lots to say and want to put it all in one neat little package. A standard pocketfold invitation holds a reply card, reply card envelope, an insert card (or two), the invitation itself and beautiful colored cardstock layers.
You'll find them sometimes wrapped in ribbon, sealed with a monogram, or even closed with a wax seal. -- Budgeting for one of these with all the bells and whistles mentioned above can run a couple $10-14 per invitation. With all that is included, it is easily worth the investment for the wedding couple that is planning something nice. This might be a bit much for a simple affair.
- Glass bottle invites. This is something very unique and none-too-cheap but it can make quite an impression when a guest receives a "message in a bottle" invitation. Shipping on these can be something to behold.
- Glossy Photo Invites. Lots of couples are opting to either include a photo from their engagement session into a Save the Date card or their wedding invitation. It's a great way to make a personal statement with your family and friends.
- Flat Invitations with or without colored card stock panel cards to mount invitations. These can be on cotton, linen, standard heavy card stock. You can get letterpress, thermographic cards, digital flat print cards - just about anything you can think of! The prices for these vary by the quality cardstock you go with and the type of printing you choose.
Are you planning on going with a special invitation like glass bottles or pocket folds or keeping it simple and sweet?
Wedding Invitations - How to Choose the Right Invites for your Wedding
Additional information besides your standard wedding invite is often forgotten. In the quest to have the newest thing, many brides go for the custom wedding invitation - or even hand painted wedding invitations. There are many things to take into account when planning your plan of attack on your wedding announcement. Here a few additions that are seen time and time again:
- Envelopes - there are many different types out there: Standard white, Colored, Lined with patterns, color or glitter. - You can get these stamped, hand calligraphy added, or even painted on. For standard wedding invitations that are 5" x 7" you would purchase A7 Envelope sizing. They will hold your invitation, rsvp, and any other cards. You can even fit pocket fold invitations into these envelopes.
- Save the Date Cards - these are typically used with destination brides and weddings that are a long ways off or where many people have to travel. They are becoming more popular with recent years for all wedding couples though.
- Insert Cards - these cards can contain any information you want and typically go well as fillers for pocket fold invitation suites. Typical uses are for accommodation information, registry information (though keep in mind that some consider it a taboo and tacky to include this information), directions and announcement of wedding party and wedding websites.
- RSVP Cards - reply cards are great if you don't want a ton of people calling you at all hours of the day and night to let you know if they will or will not be at your wedding. You have enough to worry about without Aunt Patty on the phone yammering on about why she was invited but not your cousin by marriage's stepchild and his wife when you didn't even invite the cousin! Don't forget reply card envelopes too! These are often forgotten.
- Ribbon - couples will sometimes choose to close their invitation pocketfolds with ribbon, or tie them around the top or side of an invitation card for that added touch of class.
- Rhinestone embellishments - Can't live without the bling? Many brides want everything to sparkle on that special day. Why not the invites too?
- Glitter Paint - Continuing with the bling theme, for many couples who get handpainted invitations, having the wedding invitation artist apply a light dusting of glitter mist or paint can bring something special to your invites.
Wedding Invitations : Etiquette on Addressing Wedding Invitations
Final Things to Consider
- When to mail your invites. It is said to not mail them no earlier than 4 months, and no later than 2 months to give guests ample time to get an RSVP back to you. It is wise to give a deadline for when you get your reply cards back; typically keep this to a month to a month and a half before the wedding since you will need final head counts for catering and other wedding vendors.
- Invitation counts. Just because you are having 200 guests doesn't mean you need 200 invites. Save a few bucks by sending one invitation per couple or household family you are inviting... you might end up nearly cutting your prices in half! Regardless, make sure to have a few extra if you're DIYing it or think there might be some extra people you will invite last minute. A good rule of thumb is having 15-20 invites extra for the overflow and DIY practice.
- Budget. Don't break the bank if you can't afford to. Those pocket invitations are pretty, and the glass bottle is something unique... but if you end up giving up your linens because you had to have the works you will regret it. When it comes down to choosing between making a statement with your invites vs. making a statement with your venue, go with the venue.
It's All About You
In the end, make sure you focus on you and your special spouse to be.
Plan ahead and things will run smoothly and your invitations will be a hit, no matter if they are elaborate or simple. This is your day and everything from your invites to your venue should reflect that. Don't forget to relax!
- Eleni Dona - Wedding Photographer in Greece
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