1. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
We cringe a little when we hear "I don't want to waste a lot of money on invitations because people just throw them away." We agree, people will toss a crappy invitation in the trash, especially when a bride and groom put no effort into it. But think about what the invitation does. Not only does it tell your guests when and where, most importantly, it sets the tone for the event. This tone will help form their decision on everything from what they will wear, to what kind of gift they will buy you. Besides, what will happen to those flowers and that left over cake? They will get thrown away too.
2. Have a clear vision for your wedding and decide if it includes a symbol or a theme.
The invitation is the perfect place to introduce your wedding to your guests. Convey the type of event your throwing. Is your wedding more traditional or formal? Or maybe it's a destination wedding. Using imagery such as seashells can conjure a laid-back, beachy feeling, while a scripted monogram can evoke a more formal one.
3. Know your color palette for your wedding.
While you don't have to use your wedding colors in your wedding invitation, most couples choose too. It's another way to keep a cohesive look with all your wedding details. However, there are a few things to consider about colors. First, the more colors you add to the invitation the more expense you may add too. Also, be a little flexible on your specific hue. Papers may not come in the same shade as the bridesmaid's dress, but are often so close, no one will know. (and no-one will hold it up to the dress and fault you for it!)
4. Start early.
We suggest meeting at least six months before the wedding to start invitations. We can work with shorter timelines, but this will make the invitation process easier on you. In fact, most clients prefer to start a year before their date and we begin with their save the dates.
5. Determine the number of invitations you will need to send.
This number is not an invite for every guest, but the number of invitations per household. For example: if you are inviting 200 people and the majority is married or families, then you will probably only need to order 125-150 invitations. However, you should always order extra invitations, about 10%, since there are almost always additions to the guest list (and you'll want to keep one for yourself as a keepsake!) Remember, it is always less expensive to order more at one time than it is to place a second order for additional invitations.
6. Consider costs and have a rough idea of your budget.
The cost of an invitation can vary greatly. While we will be happy to explain different options and how they will affect the bottom line, it is important to do some research ahead of time. This will allow you to pick your priorities and have reasonable expectations of what will work within your budget.
7. Decide what other inserts you need to include.
This often goes hand in hand with the last question, since the more inserts you add, the more the invitation will cost. However, many clients want to make sure their guests are fully informed about their wedding and its subsequent events. A few insert examples are a RSVP card, map and directions, weekend events, and hotel accommodations. Some clients also order a limited number of rehearsal dinner invitations to include, or choose a RSVP postcard instead of one with an envelope.
8. Who will address them?
An important detail many brides do not think about is who will address the invitations. Do you have nice handwriting and lots of free time? If not, you may want to pay for a calligrapher to address your envelopes. However that can be expensive. Another option we offer is computer printed calligraphy that will match your invite and (our favorite) wrap around labels, that will bring your design to the front of your envelope. You may want to increase your invitation budget to include this detail.
9. Mind your P's and Q's.
When picking your wording to go in your invitation, it is important to think about a few details of the invitation. Don't overcrowd the card with too much information that makes it hard to read. Make sure to include the couple's names, ceremony date, time and location. Also include names for who will be issuing the invitation and hosting the event. Finally, remember to follow proper etiquette guidelines.