First, consider the many purposes of a wedding invitation. The wedding invitation is an expression of the couple's personal style and can serve as a memento for family and friends to remember the wedding day. Most obvious is to announce the wedding and invitation to attend. Also important is the RSVP information, reply cards and other essential wedding details.
Information That Is Needed for Invitations
- First Name
- Middle Name
- Last Name
- First Name
- Middle Name
- Last Name
- Bride's Parents
- Groom's Parents
- Wedding Date Month, Date, Year, Weekday
- Wedding Time (seven-thirty in the evening)
- Location Name
- Zip Code (this will help people look up driving directions online)
- RSVP Date: Month Date & Year
Spell Out All Names and Places
Remember, if it goes inside the envelope to spell out all street names, street numbers, and states. Example: 486 Fourth Street, Springfield, Illinois. If it is an address on the outside of the envelope you need to use the USPS address (see below).
Who Should Be Invited to the Wedding?
The first step is to finalize the guest list. Determine how many invitations are wanted, simply count each couple and single guest, each attendant, parents, family, clergy and their guests. Make a chart and divide the chart between both of you (hers/his) and start your list of families, friends, and work, etc. Plan on adding to this chart as time goes. Order 25-50 extra invitations to handle last minute surprises, as well as guests from your secondary list. It is suggested to order an extra 25 blank envelopes for addressing mistakes in addition to your invitations. Having too many invitations is better than not having enough. Order more the first time will save you money than if you need to go back to order additional amounts.
Choosing Your Invitations
With thousands of invitations to look at how can one decide? Write down the theme of your wedding, the colors that you want, and go online or to your bridal stores with your list. When searching online use this tip and use quotation marks around what you are searching for. For example: Use a search engine like Yahoo and type in "Calla Lily Wedding Invitations" or "Tropical Wedding Invitations" with quotation marks to narrow your search. This will help speed up your search for your invitations.
Wedding Invitation Wording
Nicknames or abbreviations should be avoided when possible except for Mr., Mrs., Jr., etc. You may use an initial if you do not know the full name, or if the person never uses his given name. Cities, states and numbered streets are written out in full (with the exception of D.C.). In regard to addresses, the only optional abbreviations are for Saint (St.) or Mount (Mt.), which can be written either way.
How Much Should I Budget for Invitations?
In printing, the cost for each invitation normally goes down as the quantity you order goes up. The reason for this is it cost a certain amount to set a press up to print. This set up cost is the same for 50 invitations as it is for 450 invitations. That is why you will find the price per invitation lower as you order more invitations. At this point make sure you order enough invitations or you will pay the start up cost all over again. You can find invitations in all price ranges. On the budget side of the invitations you can buy 50 invitations for $50.00 and 125 invitations for $75.00. On the medium price you can buy 50 invitations for $90.00 and 125 invitations for $135.00. On the high end you can buy 50 invitations for $285.00 and 125 invitations for $425.00.
Use the Correct USPS Address
Make sure you have the correct mailing address for your guest. Having the right address will help your invitations arrive on time and not be delayed at the Post Office as they try to figure out if you wanted First St, or 1st Street both being two different streets in the same city.
ZIP Code numbers are extremely important in the processing and delivery of mail. Using the correct ZIP+4 code reduces the number of handlings and significantly decreases the potential for error and possibility of a misdelivery.
It is frustrating having a beautifully addressed invitation returned to sender with postage markings all over it because of an incorrect address. Please double check your addresses and zip codes. To check zip codes go on the Internet to http://zip4.usps.com/zip4/welcome.jsp.
Assembling Your Wedding Invitations
If your invitations are single fold and the wording is on the outside only, insertions are placed on top of the invitation. If your invitations are multi-fold and/or the wording is inside the fold then insertions are placed inside the first fold of your invitations
The insertions go in the following order (from bottom to top):
- Tissue paper
- Reception card
- Response envelope
- Response card (tucked under the flap of the response envelope)
This is all placed inside the inner envelope, printed side facing the flap. The inner envelope is then placed inside the outer envelope, flap side facing the front of the outer envelope. It also makes it easier if you place stamps on all of your response envelopes before you start assembling. Start assembling your invitations one at a time, but do not seal the outer envelope. Take one of these to the Post Office to have it weighed to verify the postage amount. Buy your stamps and start putting your stamps on the outer envelope. Look again to see if you have everything in the envelopes. Seal your envelopes after you have assembled all the invitations. Mail your invitations inside the Post Office. It will save them from being tossed around before they even get to the USPS.
When Should I Send Out My Invitations?
Invitations should be sent out six to eight weeks before your wedding date. If you have a large number of out of town guests, we suggest eight weeks to give your guests the courtesy of making reservations and securing travel arrangements more economically.