When you’re engaged, you become a wedding advice magnet. Who needs Google when you have a network of past brides to turn to? People will offer it to you even if you don’t ask. Personally, I loved the fountain of knowledge, but I’m sure it gets old for some people. I do giggle a little when common themes start to surface. My favorite? “The wedding planning process is such an emotional roller coaster!”
I laughed at first, because I figured I would be different. Sure the first few weeks are stressful. You’re trying to pick a date and a venue and decide on a budget. But the rest would be a piece of cake. And truthfully, it had pretty much been smooth sailing for me … until the 100 day mark.
… Invitation time!
Maybe it’s because the invitations come at a very pivotal moment of the planning – the guest list is finalized, all the big plans have been set – now it’s time to send out the official paper that makes this whole wedding thing really real!
Since I have gotten a ton of advice from past-brides, it’s only fair that I pay some of it forward. So today I’m sharing my tips on navigating the potentially overwhelming invitation process. Fortunately, with the help of Minted, I was able to cruise through the design process with ease, and hopefully after this you will too!
Start the Process Early
Designing the perfect invitation takes time. I scrolled through hundreds of designs on Minted, ordered samples with different colors and fonts, and toyed around with 2-3 different designs before landing on a winner. That whole process takes time, and you want to make sure you don’t wait too long. Invitations should go in the mail 6-8 weeks before you big day, so I recommend ordering your invitations about 3-4 months in advance.
Be Mindful of Formality
My wedding coordinator gave me some really great advice: “Your invitations set the tone for your event”. Take a moment to think about the vibe of your wedding, and gravitate to designs that broadcast that message. Are you having a formal church wedding with a ballroom reception? Stick to a classic template with more traditional wording. How about a barn wedding with a short and sweet ceremony? Think about relaxing the language a bit. Regardless, you should still plan to spell out all the details on your invite, including the full location address and time of day.
Channel Your Wedding Style
Much like I mentioned in my save-the-dates post, your invitations give your guests a taste of your style as a couple, and what to expect at your wedding. Consider incorporating your wedding colors, different fonts you like, or even your new monogram. Whatever you decide, services like Minted make it easy to carry that aesthetic throughout your wedding paper suite, including escort cards, programs, and menus.
Decide What’s Important
You can include as much or as little information as you’d like, but remember, each additional piece of paper adds weight and postage! We chose to include three inserts along with the main invite: a reception card, an RSVP card, and a details card. The details card was a catch-all, directing everyone to our wedding website (www.becomingbukowski.com), but also listing our hotel accommodations and gift registry information.
If you and your husband-to-be are getting some financial help from your parents or other loved ones, you should consider their opinions on the invitations wording. Maybe they want to be mentioned by name, or would like to be addressed more formally or informally. Something that doesn’t seem important to you may be important to them. It’s not worth risking the hurt feelings, plus it ensures that everyone feels appreciated in the planning process.
Choose Recipient Address Printing
I don’t care how good your handwriting is, no one wants to address 100+ envelopes. Minted offered the option of uploading your address book and personalizing the envelopes. This was a major time saver, and the text perfectly matched the design of our invitations! To keep with wedding tradition, make sure to use formal naming convention, and fully spell out each recipient’s address. We also chose to print OUR addresses on the return envelopes, which will make life even easier for our RSVPing guests.
Weigh Before You Pay!
Like I said, all these inserts add weight to your envelope. The worst thing you can do is order some fun, customized stamps, and mail your invites without enough postage! You should assemble a full invitation suite and weigh it before ordering any postage. Anything over an ounce will need extra postage (we used 70 cent stamps).
Don’t forget to stamp the return envelopes as well. You want to make the RSVP process as seamless as possible for your guests. Lastly, you should do your research for any international guests. Outbound invites will need extra global postage depending on the country, and return envelopes will not work with U.S. stamps (so leave them blank).
Be Sure You Count
Double and triple check your invitations to the master list before sending them out. You would hate to accidentally leave out Grandma Mae’s invite! This also serves as a great last minute check of all names and address spellings.
Once your invites are in the mail, pop the champagne and celebrate! Your wedding is right around the corner, and this final stretch is going to fly by.
Major thank you to Minted for partnering on this post. As always, all opinions are my own.
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