Congratulations, you have found the love of your life and you are excited to get a jump start on planning your big day. Well buckle up buttercup you are in for one hell of a stressful ride. I don’t say that to scare you, I say it because it’s true. However, it doesn’t have to be painful or daunting. There are plenty of blogs out there and planning guides that will help you through this process.
QUESTION: WHAT IS THE MOST STRESSFUL PART OF PLANNING A WEDDING?
My #1 tip when planning a wedding is
HIRE A DAY OF COORDINATOR OR WEDDING PLANNER!
I promise you; this will be the best decision you make. Talk about a stress reliever! Having a professional such as a wedding planner or at the very least, a day of coordinator, to help guide you through this process and steer you in the right direction will be nothing short of a blessing.
That brings me to my next set of tips
Tip #2 WORK WITH A CUSTOM WEDDING STATIONER
This one is a biggie for me, probably because that’s what I do, duh! A custom wedding stationer can guide you and help walk you through the process of everything paper! From when to send out your Save the Dates to when to order your table numbers.
There are a lot of tips and tricks, especially when it comes to saving some cash that only a stationer can advise. You are definitely not going to get those from an online ordering invitation website.
Tip #3 BUILD YOUR DREAM INVITATION
This tip is one of the first things I do with my couples. I have them look at inspiration ideas and write down EVERYTHING they love. Is it a pocket enclosure, a wax seal or maybe you LOVE the look of a deckled edge wrapped with a silk ribbon held together with a custom organic wax seal? Building this DREAM invitation allows for your stationer help guide you in a great direction for your overall aesthetic. They can educate you on different options that fall inside your budget all while helping you make your wedding invitations unique.
Tip #4 DON’T STRESS ABOUT THE WORDING AND LAYOUT
As a wedding stationer, I will always work with you, so you know what to include on your wedding invitation, what to write on the wedding invitation as well as the proper etiquette for a wedding RSVP. Determine who is hosting the wedding, are you and your fiancée going to be contributing the money or maybe your parents. Rule of thumb: anyone contributing monetarily should have their name written on the formal wedding invitation. You can use phrases such as “Together with their parents” or “Together with their families” if you do not want to list everyone out.
There are plenty of examples out there to get this wording right, but my suggestion is to follow tip #2 on this list and HIRE A CUSTOM WEDDING STATIONER.
Tip #5 DON’T WAIT TO ORDER
I can’t say this one enough. Please do not wait until the last minute to order. Most blogs and planning guides will tell you to mail out your invitations 8-10 weeks before your event. My recommendation is 10-12 weeks to allow for more transit time across the country. If you plan on getting married in a destination wedding, plan for 12-14 weeks. Which means you need to start the process about 5-6 months before your wedding. This will allow for designing, redesigning and production delays. Sending out your invites a little earlier will allow enough time for you to tap into your B invite list. You know the list of people that you want to invite but you have to keep your numbers down. They will get an invitation if guests from you’re A list are unable to attend.
Tip #6 PRINT OUT YOUR PROOF TO CHECK, CHECK AND CHECK AGAIN
Looking at your completed wedding invitation on the computer screen is very different then printing it out and looking at a physical invitation. I defiantly recommend printing out your invitation and triple checking all the wording. Making sure names are spelled correctly, the year, this is a big one. When spelling out the year make sure you have the correct one. This is a common mistake when you are ordering your invites toward the end of the year and your wedding is the following year.
Tip #7 DETERMINE THE DIFFERENT HOUSEHOLDS
When determining how many wedding invitations to order, look at the number of households on your guest list. One invitation per household is all you need. If multiple couples are living under the same house, then you can include all the names on the invitation. You can do this by using an inner envelope or writing out both couple’s names on the mailing envelope. If you are inviting a family with children still living at home, you can address the invitation to the family name. (EX: The Bing Family). If you need help trimming down your guest list, check out How to create and cut your wedding guest list.
Tip # 8 ALWAYS ORDER EXTRA
If you have an A list and a B list, make sure you are ordering enough invitations for both lists. As your RSVPs start to come back and you get the regrets, you will want to start sending out additional invites to those on the B list. I always tell my couples to order an additional 10-15 invitations after they have determined how many they need to send out.
Tip #9 DON’T FORGET ABOUT POSTAGE
When you are designing your wedding invitation and determining your budget, don’t forget about the postage. Unless you are doing online RSVPs most wedding invitation suites will require 2 stamps. One for the RSVP envelope and one for the mailing envelope. Keep in mind, the more layers and embellishments you add to your suite, the higher your mailing cost will be. If you have an elaborate wedding invitation that has ribbon or 3D elements, you might want to look into hand-cancelling. This is a process where your invitation gets hand processed and doesn’t get put through the machine. There is usually a non-machinable charge for this service. Be sure to ask your local post office on their costs and process on hand-cancelling.
Whew, that was a long list! Trust me when I say it could have been a lot longer. This is why I always recommend working with a custom stationer. They will walk you through all of these tips and help give you ideas and options so it’s not so overwhelming.
Well good luck in your planning and as always, I am here to answer any questions you have. If you need to know when to order and send out your wedding stationery? Be sure to download the FREE guide.