After the venue has been confirmed, the dress has been ordered and the guest list maxed out, comes the wedding invitations. Invitations set the tone and theme for your wedding and with the expansive amount of resources that brides and grooms have access to today, anything is possible. Below are a couple things to keep in mind when choosing or designing your invitations. Remember, almost all rules of wedding planning are flexible, so figure out what style and theme you want to go with and what you want to communicate in your invitations and create a piece unique to you and your big day!
- Style and Personality
This is the first formal touch-point with wedding guests. If save-the-dates were sent out, it’s likely they were created before the two of you really knew what your wedding style was going to be. Your wedding invitations will represent who you are as a couple. Are you a modern, elegant, eccentric, rustic, whimsical, or perhaps a free spirited bride and groom radiating with boho chic style? Let your invitations reflect that! First impressions matter so add some charm and character in your wedding invitations to get guests excited for the big day.
- Formality on the Big Day
Weddings are becoming less about ceremonial traditions and more about self-expression and individuality. Weddings can be very formal, very casual or fall somewhere in between. The wedding invitation is a good place to hint at (or to flat out tell your guests) how formal your big day is going to be. This will give wedding guests a heads up on whether they should plan on wearing a tuxedo and ball gown or just some nice slacks and a summer dress. Some helpful cues (i.e. black tie affair, maritime casual) can discreetly fit onto your invitations to help guests know how to dress.
- Acknowledging the Host
Traditionally the names of the bride’s parents appear on the wedding invitation, especially if they were the largest contributors to the weddings costs. Nowadays it totally depends on the couple. Sometimes both families contribute and sometimes neither family contributes. The topic of whose names should appear on the wedding invitation should be discussed between the engaged couple and then discussed with the parents – you might be surprised how much or how little it means to them to have their name on the invitation.
- Timeline for the Wedding
When you send out wedding invites let guests know if the ceremony and reception are taking place in the same location or different locations. Depending on whether the ceremony and the reception are held at the same venue there could be a long intermission period between the time of the ceremony and the time of the reception. Knowing ahead of time allows guests to decide whether they can make it to all of the wedding celebrations, part of the wedding, or will have to regretfully decline.
5. Sending Out Your Wedding Invitations
Before stuffing the envelopes, tying twine around all 250 invitations and slapping on all the postage stamps make sure to bring a sample to the post office for a test-run. The post office will help you determine how much it’s going to cost to send out each invitation and if each one fits within the size requirements. Keep in mind that unique, square-shaped invitations will require a little more postage. Also, if you have invitations that are bumpy or bulky you will want to inquire about ‘hand canceling’, a process in which the envelopes are stamped by hand rather than being passed through machines. This generally prevents the invitations from getting caught in the machine and being damaged.
Setting up a wedding website is another option to help open up communication with guests and to fill them in on details and pertinent information about the big day. They can even match your wedding invitations and be a fun little memento after the big day has passed. Let your personality and uniqueness shine through your wedding invitations – don’t forget, this should be fun!