wedding invitations & Etiquette
The invitations you choose should reflect the style and theme for your wedding.
Traditional or contemporary, this is your way to request the presence of your family and friends to attend your wedding nuptials and share your special day.
After finalizing the guest list, your personalized invitations should be ordered approximately four to six months before your wedding day. Before you make your final selection, consider your budget and the degree of formality you wish to portray.
look at samples
Where to start? It's overwhelming with all of the options you have for paper, printing and embossing. Stores will have samples you can see and feel to give you an idea which printing method is right for you. Online stores will often send you free samples upon request or offer you ones at very reasonable prices. You can also see examples of proper wording to help you decide how formal or casual you want your invitations.
Wherever you decide to place your order, you need to know the exact pricing, how errors are handled, costs for additional invitations and when your order will arrive. Look for special discounts and sales to save money. How many to order? It's your call but generally, it's a good idea to order an extra 25 or more to allow for additions to your guest list.
This is a good time to order respond cards, luncheon invitations, rehearsal party invitations and thank-you notes so you can have all of your wedding stationery consistent with the theme. Look for accessories and wedding favors to save time.
Keep in mind that paper and printing methods vary widely in price. For example, thermography is cheaper than embossing and still gives you an elegant invitation. Foil stamping on rich paper will add to costs, so try to understand each method and why the prices vary.
how to address the invitations
Ideally, formal invitations should be handwritten, using a pen that won't smear. The outer envelope should be addressed formally, such as Mr. and Mrs. or Dr. and Mrs. The inner envelopes can be more personal and include the first names of the guests invited. Guests over the age of 18 in the same household should receive their own invitation.
Use the invitations to make it clear who's invited. If children won't be included, you can keep their names off of the inside envelope. For single guests, it's perfectly alright to let them know they can bring a date. Simply put their name "and guest" on the inner envelope or include the name of their significant other, if known. If your invitations don't have inner envelopes, put the names on the addressed envelopes.
when to send
You should send your invitations approximately 8-10 weeks in advance of your wedding day. This gives adequate time for out-of-town guests to request time off with their employer and make travel arrangements. It's very helpful to include hotel information and a map of the area to make their trip as easy as possible.
Follow etiquette procedures. Generally, it's not a good idea to pin wedding invitations on bulletins boards at work, church, etc. because it can mess up your seating and catering count. Consider inviting special people with their own invitation and posting a notice on the board when your reception and/or dance is so others can attend.