Today’s guest post is by the fabulous Jackie from Sweet Little Thrills, an adorable design and life blog. When you’ve finally decided that it’s time to get wedding invitations, the process can be confusing as heck and scary, and Jackie has some great tips about invitations to make sure the process goes smoothly!
1) Start early
Most people greatly underestimate the time needed to browse, order, receive, address, and mail wedding invitations.
Sending your invites out approximately 6-8 weeks prior to your wedding is customary, so you’ll need to give yourself time to search, order, and assemble the invitations before mailing.
Start looking at least 4 months before your wedding to ensure you have ample time to get those little gems out on time.
2) Search within your budget.
There is nothing worse than falling in love with an invitation suite (or boots, purse, or house for that matter) that you simply cannot afford.
You will either: a) woefully settle on invites that you don’t love, b) start imagining strange ways of collecting extra money to spend on your invites, c) expand your budget again, or d) cry bitter tears until you have your fiancé select something else (a bit dramatic, I admit, but it happens).
3) Browse by color, theme, or style to match your wedding.
Your guests gain their first clues about your wedding from your invitations. Coordinating a color palette or theme pulls together the individual aspects of your wedding.
Wedding invitation websites, such as WeddingInviteLove, allow you to browse by several search fields so you can easily narrow down your choices.
If you’re working with a custom designer, show them photos or examples of other wedding choices you’ve already made. They will be able to tailor their designs to your preferences.
4) Order samples.
A fairly simple task to prevent These Don’t Look Like They Did Online Syndrome is to request samples of a few designs that you like. Samples usually cost a few bucks, but that money is well spent to avoid a rush-order invitation replacement fiasco.
Once you have the samples in hand, you can rest assured you know what you’re getting.
5) Decide on other stationary.
The standard invitation suite includes: the invitation, response card, reception card, accommodations card, and directions card. Decide which of these you’ll need first. If you aren’t having any out-of-town guests, you may decide to do without the accommodations card. Make the choices that are right for you and your wedding.
Many invitation designers also coordinate table numbers, escort cards, and thank you cards to match your invitation, so it may be worthwhile to browse the options when selecting your invites.
6) Determine how many you’ll need.
The easiest way to get an accurate number is to create an Excel spreadsheet. List each household, rather than each person, that you need to send an invitation to. The number of rows in your spreadsheet equals the number of invitations you’ll need.
The next step is to add roughly 15-20% to that number. It sounds a bit high, but trust me. Between the late guest list additions, handwriting mishaps, invites that get lost in the mail, and any you’d like leftover as keepsakes, you’ll be happy you ordered extra at the beginning.
7) Proofread, proofread, proofread!
Reread and proofread the invitation text with your crazy hat on. This is one time that you REALLY don’t want any errors. A sneaky way to catch spelling errors is to read it backwards.
Give it to your mom, bridesmaid, fiancé, or someone else you trust to proofread as well. The more eyes the better.
Make sure commas are in their rightful place, all names are spelled correctly, and please, oh please, make sure the date and year are right.
8) Place your order and breathe.
You’ve made a selection, proofread the text over and over, so the only step left is to place the official order! Pour yourself a glass of wine and take a deep breath. One step down.
You might second-guess yourself on your choice, and you wouldn’t be the only bride to do so, but the truth is: your gut reaction is the one you should trust.
Thank you Jackie! Check out her awesome blog, Sweet Little Thrills, for more awesome posts!
Photo Credit: Girl Metro, Inc. on WeddingInviteLove