When your friends and family open their mailbox and see their names written beautifully in a font you lovingly picked out, this is the first gust of wedding excitement for your upcoming big day. Invitations are a special introduction to you and your fiance joining together. One way to really personalize the invitation is to create your own.
We have had the honor of working with lots of DIY savvy brides who created some unique customized invitations. There are some important factors to keep in mind and At Your Side is here to share them. One bride advises, “Remember there are two envelopes! I made the mistake of printing on the interior envelope and should have looked through all the print items before enthusiastically pressing ‘print!’”
One of our favorite print vendors, Evelyne Peele of Bamboo Stars, graciously supplied us with some exclusive tips for this article. Here are just a few cues to keep in mind while working on this important piece of the planning pie.
1. Your wedding is a formal event, thus your invites should be formal
2. Be sure to let guests know that their attendance means a lot to you
3. Your invite sets the stage for what’s to come on your big day. The style can include a touch of your wedding colors (in the ribbon, for example), the font, or the paper stock, among other things
One detail to remember is to spell out everything on the envelopes; for example “Apt” should be “Apartment”, “St” should be spelled out to “Street”, and so on. Evelyn from Bamboo Stars says, “Keep in mind on the envelope, married couples should be spelled: Mr. & Mrs. John and Jane Smith or Mr. John & Mrs. Jane Smith. Non-married couples are spelled: Mr. John Smith & Ms Jane Doe or Mr. John Smith & guest.” For single friends, Evelyn advises: “The friend’s name only with appropriate title. For family with children: same as the married couple or non-married couple on the first line, and if the children are under 18 — followed by “and family” on a second line or each child’s name. Children over 18 should receive their own invitation.”
5. Response Cards
If you have a response card make sure the envelope is already stamped and addressed for the ease of your guests. Even though you address your response envelopes, some guests forget to write their name. So often you receive a response and don’t know which family sent it in–this happened to me for my own wedding! You can avoid this mystery by using an invisible pen to write a number on the corner and assign a number to each family. When you receive an RSVP card with no name simply shine a light where you wrote the number and you will be able to compare the number to your list! Voila!
6. RSVP Date
“A good rule of thumb for the RSVP date is setting it approximately one month from the wedding date. Not only is there a reasonable amount of time to follow up with guests who haven’t responded, but that also allows a solid amount of time to send final guest counts to all other wedding vendors who need that information. Aside from printing each guests’ names on their specific reply card, the only way to avoid the confusion of receiving a blank RSVP is to follow up with guests after the “reply by” date has passed,” says Evelyn.
7. Save The Dates
Many wedding sites suggest four months is the appropriate time to send out “save the dates” followed by sending your invitations eight weeks prior to your day. If you are requesting a response you will want to have a count two weeks before the wedding. That gives six weeks for your guest to decide and two weeks for you to submit a final count.
8. Adults Only
“A lot of people feel that including ‘Adults Only Please’ on the invitation is faux pas. Even so, it’s still done every now and then. The best way to accomplish this without spelling it out on the actual invite is by the way the envelope is addressed. Per the above points — if children are not invited you would address it to the parents only. If the recipients still have questions about whether or not children are invited, they can clarify it with the couple,” says Evelyn.
If you want to save time and money, today’s internet availability provides options for couples. You can create a wedding website that allows guests to RSVP online or click if they are interested in coming and then you can have an idea of how many invitations to print. Websites like The Knot allow couples to customize their own website so guests can be informed on wedding related details such as hotels in the area and other useful and fun facts.
I hope these tips assist you while planning your big day, and remember invitations are the first appearance to your wedding, so let it be a great first impression!