Wedding Invitations are at the top of your priorities list after. Although there is quite a bit of preparation and consideration that must happen before you ever order them. If you are getting married next summer you should be thinking about invitations right now (since you’re 9 Months + out). There are SO many great resources, suppliers, artists, print shops and paper “pressers” to choose from. Every bride has a different message she is trying to convey through her wedding invitations. I am simply going to organize this post into the most crucial TOP 4 elements you need to know about wedding invitations.
First, let’s start by explaining all of the “jobs” invitations have so you make sure you remember all of them when drafting your invites: Convey the Date, Time & Place. This message it crucial to guests because it tells them, obviously where and when to be there, but also the time explains to them how they should expect to plan their day. Should they eat dinner before they come? Should they wear sunscreen? And all those other little pieces that affect them, the guests, which you don’t worry about.
Second, Convey Formality. This message is VERY important, and the most often overlooked. The formality of your invitation depicts the formality of the entire wedding. I often see invitations sent out that are WAY formal with lace and black ribbon and sequins, but the venue is a barn with mason jars… the problem here is that when you get the invitation you plan what you are going to wear. This invitation essentially “asks” me to wear heels and a black dress, which would be too overdressed for the actual wedding. This has actually happened to me before… We received a very frilly and pressed invitation for an evening wedding, to which I wore a satin dress, but then guests were supposed to sit on hay bales for the ceremony… Argh! So not happy as a guest. Bottom line- Invitations should match formality.
Third, Control your guest list! The best way to control your budget is to control your head count. When purchasing invitations remember that you are addressing one invitation to 2 guests, if not more, so when you have a guest list of “150” you don’t need to buy 150 invites, at most 75. Also, and this gets tricky because the guests themselves don’t always know this rule: Whomever you are inviting, their names only go on the addressed envelope. So, if you send an invitation to a household of five people, and only want the 2 adults to come, you only put their names on the address line. If you intend to include the whole family then it is appropriate to put the “Smith Family,” but if you only mean the 2 adults and you address it to “Smith” be prepared to see all five walk into your reception!… Don’t worry, I have an entire Powerpoint presentation that walks you through addressing envelopes…
Fourth, RSVPs, which are connected to the third point. Make sure that you include an RSVP card in your invitation. But here is the key that most people miss: Put a DEADLINE on the RSVP so that guests know when you have to know. Make it for 2 weeks prior to the wedding date. You’ll still get a few that roll in late but at least you’ll be able to call those who haven’t sent one in yet and get a number. Also, make the respond a check box for YES or NO, not a blank line where they fill in a number, otherwise you get the same problem mentioned above; an invitation meant to invite 2 people comes back with a 5 written in… Yikes!
Using your GEG Guest List Manager Excel Spreadsheet, use Column A and then after sorting your guests alphabetically give each row, invitation, household a designated number. You will write this assigned number on their RSVP card before slipping it into their invitation envelope. Why?
Here is why
1) Some of your RSVP cards will come back without any name written on them if they are a post card. Some guests just completely forget, you cannot read the handwriting or they simply had no idea what that M_____________ was for.
2) When the cards do come back in you should file them like recipes in a recipe box by number, which will also coincidentally be alphabetical. when it comes time to call those you haven’t heard form you can easily find which numbers are missing instead of trying to remember who sent theirs in. NEVER throw them away before the wedding day!
|Rustic Invitation Suite– Found at Northwest Design Co. on Etsy|
I prefer this style shown above that actually has hand written how many guests you’re inviting using the language, “We have reserved ____ seats in your honor” on the RSVP card. Mind you, we did this for our wedding and some still had the audacity to cross out their number and write in a bigger one… Yet another reason to track your RSVPs… you’ll know who said no early on so you can accommodate for those excited folks who think you just miscalculated….. Silly You!
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