Wedding Invitations – Spreading The Word
You’ve set the date for the ceremony, you’ve found the perfect reception site. Now, after possibly months of fine tuning your budget and your guest list, you are ready to spread the word about the where, when, and possibly even the with whom will be a surprise to some! Selecting an invitation to announce your special day needn’t be another chore. With proper planning and thoughtful selections, your invitations will truly reflect the tone and style of your wedding celebration.
How many wedding invitations do you need?
First of all, determine how many invitations you will need. Just because you are inviting 150 people does not mean that you will need 150 invitations! Look carefully at your guest list, and count how many couples you are inviting, how many families of five, how many single guests. Guests over the age of 16 typically receive their own invitation. When ordering, it is best to order slightly more than what you expect to use, in case of late decisions on invitees, or even for errors on the envelopes! Usually invitation companies sell invites in increments of “additional 25s”. If you need to order 100 invitations for the people on your list, then get an extra set of 25 to cover yourself.
Don’t forget to send invitations to those in your wedding party as well as the officiant. Although they may already know when the wedding is, it makes a nice keepsake for them as well.
Tips and Discounts abound.
For quick reference, you may want to check out USA Bride’s list of Invitation Tips. This will give you a brief overview of the important aspects of invitation ordering.
Word to the wise: don’t pay full price for wedding invitations. There are numerous invitation companies, printers, dealers, and magazines where you can get invitations at less than list price. Manufacturers such as Carlson Craft can walk you step by step through the ordering process, offering a more personal service than what you may get from a mail-order company. For a list of the commonly known mail order companies, check out the Mail Order List. Remember, even though discounts are great and you’re trying to work within your budget, don’t jeopardize quality product or service just for a low price. Compare what each of the companies offer and how their prices differ. Does one offer free colour lined envelopes or free return address imprinting? Does one offer free shipping for orders over a certain amount? Shop and compare, and buyer beware.
How to say it.
Wording an invite is sometimes easier said than done, especially today. In our contemporary times, with divorced or deceased parents, self-hosted receptions, or just plain ol’ break from tradition, there are many ways to word your invitation. Some of the common methods of writing your invitations can be found and referenced here, giving examples of wording for both civil and religious ceremonies.
Getting the response time you need.
A wedding invitation needs time to get to its recipient with ample notice of your celebration. Six to eight weeks ahead of the wedding is the preferred time range in which to send an invitations. Four weeks cuts it close, although it is still within the traditional time frame, and eight weeks is best if your wedding falls over a holiday or summer vacation period.
Step two of sending your invitations is getting the replies! This is the number of guests that plan on coming, the number on which you will guarantee your food count and overall budget plans, so careful tracking is needed now.
For those of us today who rely on various means of telecommunications to stay in touch with the world, maybe the traditional reply card isn’t for you. Reservation services which can give your guests information on your wedding, including directions to the ceremony, may be something to consider. Instead of enclosing a stamped reply card, your guests will simply call a customized toll-free number. They can respond to your wedding invitation while getting the other information they need about the day. Welcome to the 90’s!
Speaking of keepsakes…
Of course, you will want to keep an invitation for yourself as just one of many momentos of the day. Possibly your photographer will take a picture of the wedding invitations for you, but isn’t it better sometimes to have the real thing? Aside from filing the card away in your wedding album, why not make a true keepsake of your invitation? A nice frame and some dried flowers from your bouquet makes a nice wall hanging. For something really unique, you can have your paper invitation recreated into a glass replica. An etched glass version of your wedding announcement will make a stunning conversation piece.
These quick notes should get you started in the right direction while planning out the wedding invitations phase of your wedding. Good luck!