No wedding is perfect, we all know that. Wedding invitation mishaps are pretty common. But you would want to avoid some mishaps more than others (how about misspelling your mother-in-law’s name..). We have assembled a list of 9 wedding invitation mistakes to avoid.
1. Sending out the invitations too late
You should start shopping for wedding invitations 9-11 months prior to your big day. This might sound like too much, but you have to keep in mind that your invitations need to be picked by you or custom designed by a stationer, edited, printed and shipped! Order your invites no later than four months out, so you have them ready in time.
To save time, you can choose to go for a printable wedding invitation template that you can customize and print yourself. And if you do not have a printer at home, you can always order your invites at a local or online print shop. You will be certain of the print quality and they even might have a large collection of beautiful card stock to choose from.
Also know how far in advance you have to send out your wedding invitations. Your wedding guests need to have the invites 6-8 weeks before your wedding day. If you are having a destination wedding, you even have to send out your wedding invitations 4-6 weeks earlier than that. So start early!
2. Not ordering samples
It happens to a lot of couples: you order the invites and when you receive them, you are not happy with the print quality, the colors are not what you thought they would look like or the card stock is not what you expected it to be. To avoid disappointment, always purchase a sample of your invitations first before placing your order.
3. Too much information on your wedding invitation
There are a couple of etiquettes for your wedding invitation wording and one of them is that you do not want to have too much information on your invites. Do not mention gift registries or “no gifts, please” on your invitations. If you would like to inform your guests of your gift wishes, include a registry card to your invitations.
If you are having an “adult-only” wedding, address your invitations to the parents only instead of “The Brady Family”. Your guests will know that their children are not welcome at your wedding when they are not mentioned on the envelope. Do not mention anything about it on your wedding invitations, as this is not the place for the details. If you are still nervous about guests bringing their children, include a line on your rsvp cards that says “number attending: ___”. This way you can follow up with your guests if you notice that the attendance number is higher than the number of guests you were inviting. Another option is to mention on your wedding website that you are happy to help connect guests with babysitters.
Also do not include any dress notations on your invites, unless the ceremony and reception invitations are combined. If not, then indicate the dress notation on the reception invitation in the lower right corner.
Your guests also do not want to see any references to the menu or alcohol service. Menu choices may be listed on the response cards.
Typos are commonly overlooked and can be very pricey to fix once your wedding invitations are printed. So make sure you and several other people have triple-checked your invites to avoid this common mishap.
5. No rsvp instructions
Do not forget to add a “kindly respond by” date on your rsvp cards. Give your guests 3-4 weeks to let you know if they will be attending or not. Set the response date to at least three weeks before the big day, so that you can give your venue a more exact number of guests attending. Do not give your wedding guests too much time to reply, as this could result in losing the response card or forgetting about it.
If your caterer would like to know what food to pre-order, add a menu choice to your rsvp cards. Add a pre-addressed envelope to your wedding invitations, so that guests can easily return the rsvp card to you. Another option is to direct them specifically to your email address, phone number or website URL for them to give you their rsvp’s.
6. Forgetting postage on the response envelopes
Do not forget about the little details that go into each component of your wedding invitation set. Forgetting about the postage on the response envelopes will result in fewer responses and it will take longer for you to receive them. Also, asking your guests to pay for the postage on your rsvp envelopes is a wedding etiquette no-no. To avoid this mistake, ask your guests to rsvp to you by email or phone.
7. Use stick-on labels to address your invitations
Although it might seem that using stick-on labels is the easy option, it can leave a bad impression for your beautiful wedding invitations. Choose to hand write the addresses yourself, hire a calligrapher well in advance or print the address in a sophisticated font directly on the envelope. This will make your invitation more personal and the recipient will know that you have taken the time to invite each of them personally.
If you choose for a calligrapher to write your addresses, book him or her at the same time as you start shopping for invitations. A calligrapher may need weeks to address all of your envelopes and they book well in advance.
8. Not ordering enough invitations or ordering too many
Rush-ordering 15 extra invitations at the last minute is going to cost way more than ordering a few extra up front. Therefore, we suggest to order an additional 25 invitations for the unexpected situations that might come up. Extra invitations might be helpful if you need to resend an invitation, if you plan to add more guests to your list and you would want to save some as beautiful keepsakes of your wedding day. If you know in advance that a guest cannot attend your wedding, etiquette says that you should send him an invite anyway. Every guest that received a save the date card from you, should also receive an invitation.
While a handful of extra wedding invitations is good to have, you do not want to have an overload of extras. Not every guest needs to receive an invitation. For example, a couple or a family with children under the age of 18 only need to receive one invitation. Keep that in mind when ordering your invites to safe some money.
9. Not enough postage
Nobody wants to have more stress added to their wedding. So when your invitations are sent back with insufficient postage, nothing is more frustrating. Before sending out your invitations, assemble one complete suite with every component in the envelope and take it to the post office to be weighted for the correct postage. Remember, even a little ribbon can suddenly cause the postage to go up. So wait with the weighing until you have the complete suite assembled to save time and money in the long run.
Now that you know what wedding invitation mistakes to avoid, get started on finding your perfect wedding invitations and inserts. If you need help on picking your invites, read our blog post with 8 tips for choosing your wedding invitations.
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