Part 2 of our All About series is here! You probably think we talk a lot about wedding invitations, so why do we need a blog about it? But often when we say “wedding invitations” we’re referring to the whole suite, so today we’re actually just focusing on the Invitation itself. In the next few weeks, we’ll cover all the other pieces so you can put all this knowledge together for one full suite - but today, it’s just the Star of the Show!!!
What is a Wedding Invitation?
Well, umm…I’m gonna assume you’re here with at least a little knowledge, and skip this question!
When Do We Send Wedding Invitations?
You should send 8-10 weeks before your wedding, assuming you sent a Save the Date. If you did not send a Save the Date, then send Invitations as early as possible (3-4 months out) to allow your guests time to arrange travel.
Usually you need your headcount and meal counts by 1 month before the wedding for your calligrapher (hint hint!), caterer, florist, and other vendors. This helps you arrange the seating chart and finalize all of your details in that last month. So assuming about 1-2 weeks for mail delivery and 1-2 weeks for guests to send their replies back, sending invites 8 weeks out will be perfect! If many of them need to travel internationally, you should probably allow a little extra time.
DIY-ing your invitations can take longer than expected, and custom designers often require 2 months (or more) for design and production, so start this process early!
What Information Goes on the Invite?
The invitation should focus on the wedding only. If the ceremony and reception are in different locations, then the invitation traditionally focuses only on the ceremony, and a separate card is used to invite guests to the reception.
The most important thing to remember is that this is 100% up to you and your preferences as a couple. You have to include date, time, names, and location, but for the rest, we’ll tell you what’s typical and you can choose to follow or break the rules as you like.
We start with the hosts. Historically, this has been the families of the Bride and Groom (typically the Bride). The hosts are technically the ones inviting each guest to the wedding, so we put them first!
Your Names - DUH. You can use first only, first and middle, or first middle and last, whichever you prefer.
Wedding Time - The ceremony start time
Wedding Location - Again, go with the ceremony location only. Typically, we include a street address as well as a city and state (no zip code is necessary).
Attire - Optionally, you can include the dress code on the bottom of the invitation.
Reception Information - This part is optional as well, and typically short and simple. “Reception to Follow” works, or you can make it unique with whatever wording you like!
Obviously, this is just historical information and doesn’t account for LGBTQ+ weddings, or those where families are not hosting. Go with what makes sense for you as far as hosting, family inclusion, etc.
Who gets an Invite?
Everyone who got a Save the Date deserves an Invitation, even if they already let you know that they aren’t coming. You can send an invitation to someone who didn’t get a Save the Date, though, so if you have B-list invites, you can order extras for them based on anyone who already RSVP’d no. Make sure you send a separate invitation to everyone over 18, even if they live in the same house.
How To Design a Wedding Invitation
Again, the most important part is that you can do whatever the heck you want here - we’ll just give you some pointers for the typical invitation.
Start with the names: You and your partner are the most important part of the day - you want your guests to have no doubt about that from the first time they see the invitations. Make the names big, use unique script fonts, or even calligraphy if you can!
Highlight Other Important Info: I often complement calligraphy names with another calligraphy line - perhaps the Venue name or the “Reception to Follow” line.
Keep It Simple: Don’t mix too many fonts or design elements, and leave enough white space - I use size 10-11 font for my print fonts all the time, and it’s perfectly legible.
Use Personal Touches: The day for wedding trends is slowly winding down thanks to social media, so weddings are becoming more and more personalized all the time. We recommend thinking about things that are special to you and your partner (pets, nicknames, places you’ve been, shared interests/hobbies) and trying to incorporate those into the design of your invite.
Check out this blog post for more Invitation Wording etiquette and tips!
Budgeting Tips for Invitations
The invitation is the star of your entire suite - let it shine! This is the one place you want to splurge - we often use luxury printing on the invitation itself, such as foil stamping or letterpress printing, and digitally print the other pieces to cut costs. If that doesn’t strike your fancy, then you could always print on double-thick paper for a more cost-effective, yet impactful upgrade. You can make a statement without by using more dramatic details on your invitation, and keeping the other pieces simple.
These tips are dedicated to the Invitation specifically, but we have a whole other post that shows you similar invitations at different price points, so you can see where some of that budget goes and make an informed decision! And shamelessly, we always recommend our Collections Suites if you’re looking for a boutique invite experience at a slightly lower cost.
The Invitation may be the Main Event, but next week we’ll chat about a piece that can actually save you time, money and whole lot of headache in the planning process - the RSVP card! Stay tuned and let us know your questions about Wedding Invitations below!!!