Managing your wedding invitations like a pro can be somewhat tricky if you are not sure where to start, how to start, and how much to budget. There is so much to know that we needed to break this up into two posts.
Yesterday, we discussed when you should order and send out your invites and how much should you budget for them. We also went over the fact that postage is a separate cost outside of the actual invitation itself, so we went over how much you should budget for postage and what elements of your invitation can cause postage to increase.
Today is Part 2 of our guide to wedding invitations. We’re going to talk about the type of wording you should have on your invitations, what enclosures go in your invitation, how you should address them, why you should be ordering your invitations locally rather than through online shops, and the perceived difference your guests might have about your wedding if they receive an electronic invite rather than a traditional paper one.
Now, if you read down to the bottom of yesterday’s post, you would have seen that we’re going to be offering you a very special gift. Stephanie McHoul and Amy Eddy, co-owners of Graphic Nature LLC. in Fishkill, graciously provided us with an awesome invitation cheat sheet. Their infographic, “An Unofficial Guide to Wedding Stationery: The What, How, When and Other Tips,” is a great resource for you to easily see what trends are, common invitations terms are, what proper invite etiquette is and an ordering/mailing timeline that we spoke about in yesterday’s post.
Click the photos for a larger, printable view, then keep scrolling for Part 2.
What’s usually included in a wedding invitation (wording and enclosures)?
Frankie D’Elia, owner and creative director at Fitting Image Graphics, Inc. in Carmel, says, “Whether you are going for a more traditional or modern style, your wording should reflect your motif. It should include the names of who is getting married, who’s hosting, and when, where and what time the ceremony will take place.”
In terms of enclosures, D’Elia says, “You will also want to include enclosure cards for your hotel accommodations (with your group name), reception, and RSVP. Although not necessary, some couples want to give their guests notice of transportation times to and from the reception and a card highlighting things to do in the area, after party information, or breakfast details.”
We mentioned in Part 1 that RSVP cards need to be weighed separately because you will need postage for them as well. D’Elia says, “Providing your guests with a self-addressed and stamped envelope for the RSVP card is customary.”
How do you address your invitations?
There are so many ways you can address your invitations. Every couple is different, every style is different, and every wedding has a different vibe. My advice is to go with what is comfortable to you so it doesn’t sound like you’re trying too hard. I opted for handwritten, not super formal, not super casual addresses (Mr. & Mrs. for couples, dropped the title for friends, not in a ‘couple’). Kristal Walden, owner of Kristal Walden Graphic Design in Beacon says it all really depends on the type of wedding you want. Is it casual and laid back, or is it formal?
McHoul says, “If you want an ultra-formal wedding, do ultra-formal invites and addresses, otherwise no one is really going to notice.” However, Eddy says the names on the address label is really what’s most important. “The envelope does indicate who is coming to the wedding, if they can bring a guest or not, and if kids are invited.” McHoul says that when you order invitations, the couple provides the addresses. ”We give them (the couple) an Excel spreadsheet template to follow and we ask them to follow that and then we always ask them to please spell out everything they want to be spelled out.” For example, if you put “St.” but want the word “Street” spelled out, you need to submit it spelled out not just the abbreviation.
D’Elia agrees that the way you address your invites it totally up to you. “Some couples hire calligraphers while most of our clients ask us to print their guests’ addresses directly onto the envelope saving time, effort and money,” he said. “The formality of addressing the outer envelope is typically more traditional with the appropriate corresponding title of your guest followed by his/her full name. Using colloquial names or nicknames are uncommon, but of course, it’s your wedding so you can be as creative and individualistic as you want.” He does note that with growing families and blended families, the wording can get a bit tricky, so he suggests always reaching out to your stationer for help with whatever questions you have.
Why is it best to order local rather than from an online shop?
You know I’m all about supporting Hudson Valley businesses, and that being said, nothing beats speaking to someone face-to-face rather than someone from a different part of the country through email. It makes all the difference.
The first benefit is that you all can work together face-to-face and have a real-time conversation. McHoul says, “We always want to see their Pinterest board because they normally have one, and they will often times bring a swatch from their bridesmaid’s dresses, and we literally just talk.” You can’t really do that over the phone.
Second, Walden says doing your own invites is a lot of work, especially if something goes wrong (I can vouch for that). Having someone local take over that part of planning for you is priceless. You don’t have to worry about running out of ink, formatting issues, misspelled words or needing to order more of your invite only to find out that the store or online shop discontinued that design.
Third, D’Elia, says a local stationer, through your conversations and getting to know you, can really customize something personalized and true to your vision. He also says you could actually end up spending more money ordering online. “If you notice a price online that’s too good to be true, it probably is,” he said. “There are also usually hidden costs that you won’t recognize until after your order is ready to be processed. Also, the quality of paper and ink used are usually not optimal for representing a high-quality wedding invitation.”
He even says sometimes the online companies will put their logo on the back of the invite and has even had several of his couples come to him after having done the online route first and being disappointed with the product they received. They come in angry and frustrated that they are now spending money twice and doing double work.
Lastly, D’Elia says, “There is an added value of working with a small company which is they can give you time and attention to detail and that can create pretty much anything you can think of. We want our clients to actually see our invitation samples and interact with it. It makes a difference knowing exactly what the end result will look like.”
What are the perceived differences guests have between paper and electronic invitations?
Many couples may want to save money and the environment by sending electronic wedding invitations. Not that there’s anything wrong with that at all; but if that’s the decision you want to make, there are things you need to know.
D’Elia says, “Besides the fact that your invitation will lack the traditional feel, you run the risk that not all your guests will respond to you. Not everyone has email, access to the Internet, or reads all their email. Your evite might even end up in spam mail.” He says that while you might start off thinking it’s going to be very efficient, you may actually spend more time tracking RSVPs.
Another risk D’Elia says to watch out for in online wedding invitations is the perceived value guest have about your wedding. “You want your guests to think your wedding is the wedding of the year, not an afterthought. If you want to have your wedding details online, we suggest creating a wedding website instead. A wedding invitation is meant to not only inform, but also to get your guests excited and pumped for your wedding, and there’s no better way than receiving an exquisite invitation in the mail.”
We want to know how your wedding invitation process is going. Share with us your struggles or, if you’ve already sent out your invites, any tips you may have for those currently in the process.
Featured Photo Credit: Fitting Image GraphicsRead More