You’re engaged and you’ve started the wedding planning process (YAY!) So how far in advance are save the dates sent out and when should wedding invitations be ordered? I’ve complied a basic wedding stationery timeline to answer these questions!
Keep in mind, every event is different! If you are planning a destination wedding, getting married over a holiday, or inviting a lot of out of town guests, it’s advised to send out your pretty paper even earlier than this timeline recommends!
Have questions? Want to share some advice? Leave a comment below or get in touch!
This year I had the opportunity to make wedding invitations for so many wonderful couples. Four of these couples were extra special to me as they were close friends who allowed me to be an even bigger part of their day than just their pretty paper gal. As a token of my appreciation and to celebrate, I created wedding invitation ornaments for their first married Christmas!
I absolutely love the way the ornaments turned out! The wedding invitation ornaments are not only adorable and clever, but give a gift of a lasting memory. These make great client gifts from a wedding planner, photographer, etc. They are super easy to make, the most difficult part is remembering to keep an extra so far ahead of Christmas!
Materials Needed: a clear glass ornament (I purchased mine from Target), an invitation, colored envelope or accent paper (you can purchase scrapbook paper in almost any color from Hobby Lobby), paper trimmer or scissors
Using the paper trimmer or scissors, cut the invitation into thin strips. It might feel weird cutting up such an important piece of paper, but it’s ok! You’re just reconstructing it to a new form. I like to cut so that the specific details remain in tact – the names, date, venue, etc. Repeat with envelope or colored accent paper.
It’s good to have a variety of pieces to make the ornament stand out. Next, take a pencil and curl the paper around it tightly. This reminds me of wrapping my hair around a curling wand. Hold in place for about 20-30 seconds.
Put the curled paper in the ornament. Repeat with the variety pieces. You can use the pencil to somewhat manipulate how the pieces fall.
That’s it! You can add a coordinating ribbon to use for hanging on the Christmas tree.
I think the wedding invitation ornament could be modified as a keepsake for any special event. If you make your own, please share a photo of the result!
The venue has been chosen, the dress has been found, the flowers have been picked, and now it’s time to start designing your wedding invitations! Piece of cake, right? Cue finding the perfect stationer to assist you in creating the pretty paper for your big day! A stationer can guide you in formulating the wording so that no etiquette rule is broken – so choose wisely. In the moment of typing up your wording for your wedding paper pro, you realize you have a tricky situation and although you want to advise your guests, you feel a little awkward adding this to the invitation. Although explicitly mentioning an uncommon situation might seem complicated, it will save your guests from surprises and from an even more awkward conversation later.
One of the most common of these situations is the “no kids” request. The debate on including or excluding children is a different discussion, but this decision is ultimately up to the bride and groom. Giving the request with the invitation is imperative so that guests with kids can make preparations. Listing “adult only reception” on the actual invitation piece is the simplest way to get this message across. Adding a blurb to the RSVP card reminds guests again and makes this request extremely clear: “Although we love your children, this is an adult only event.”
If you don’t plan on serving dinner at the reception, you should be upfront and let guests know this beforehand. Concluding the invitation with “cocktail reception to follow” should allude to the fact that guests shouldn’t expect to receive a full meal. Use one of the following statements on your reception cards to be explicit in making sure guests are prepared to not eat dinner.
“Hors d’oeuvres and cocktail celebration to follow the ceremony”
“Please join us for cake and dancing after the ceremony”
Addressing your envelope should be clear on who exactly is invited, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes a guest might bring a plus one, even if you haven’t allocated space for an additional person. To be explicit, state on the RSVP card: “We have reserved X seats in your honor; number attending X.” You fill in the first blank, which makes it very clear on if the guest is allowed to bring a date.
Being upfront about this seemingly “awkward” information will be beneficial and less awkward in the long run.In addition to making the statement on your invitation pieces, it’s also a good idea to add it to your wedding website as well. Overall, being clear and explicit about these tricky situations is your best bet to a wonderful wedding day!
What better way to shower the bride than with a champagne themed bridal shower? Brunch themed showers are perfect for the girly bride or mommy-to-be. If you search Pinterest for bridal shower inspiration, the bubbly bridal shower is sure to be a favorite.
Brunch, bubbles, and mimosas are just a few of my favorite words so I enjoyed creating these blush shower invitations for the bride-to-be. These invitations are totally customizable and could be modified for a brunch baby shower as well! You can place an order for these bridal shower invites here!
A bubbly themed event isn’t complete without a mimosa bar! As a host, creating a mimosa bar is actually pretty simple – I love this post on Always Me with the steps to a budget friendly DIY mimosa bar!
Maybe you’re the couple who met studying abroad in Japan or got engaged while vacationing in Spain. Maybe you’re the couple who is planning a destination wedding or an international honeymoon because you know how important it is to travel every chance you can get. You are definitely the couple who has a sense of adventure, a love of maps, and an urge to explore.
These invitations were created with a couple like you in mind! The world map envelope liner printed on a metallic card stock is the focal point of these travel themed wedding invitations.
To incorporate this couple’s wedding colors, we paired the map liner with grey envelopes. White paper was used with navy type and blush accents.The monogram was added to give a classic look which was continued throughout their other wedding stationery, including thank you cards. I’m a sucker for little details and this suite had two – I designed a passport “stamp” for the reply card to keep the travel theme throughout all the pieces. The bride had the idea to add the plane and wording as a small detail on the back of the invitation and adore the way it turned out!
When it comes to wedding planning, creating (and sticking to!) a budget is extremely important. Stationery, including save the dates, invitations, and programs, is calculated anywhere from 2%-8% of your overall budget. Paper is definitely not the highlight of the event (I would want to splurge on an amazing photographer and music). However, it is the very first impression of your big day to guests. The invitation sets the tone of the wedding and should give your family and friends an idea of what to expect.
So, how do you save a little (money and time) on your wedding invitations? No, I’m NOT suggesting an e-vite or to DIY (unless you REALLY enjoy that kind of thing)! However, I have a few tips to help you get the most out of your stationery budget.
1. Know what you want. Do your research and find a designer who is a good fit for you. If you find a person to create for you who has a style similar to yours, this will limit the number of meetings and emails. Have an idea of what you envision for your invitation from the beginning. Knowing what you want will definitely save you on time and stress, but also on cash. If you change your mind about colors, materials, or even quantity after the design process has begun, this can be costly.
2. Modify an existing design. Rather than opting for a custom, from-scratch creation, choose to pick a design and modify it to fit your needs. Most designers are happy to work with an existing creation and change colors, fonts, wording, etc. If you want something new and completely unseen, expect to pay a custom design fee and allow extra time for your from-scratch design to be born!
3. Pick a focus. Obsessed with those floral envelope liners? Then keep the invitation simple. Must have a metallic shimmer paper? Then skip the lace ribbon. Decide what is the most important and keep the other parts simple. I love that each invitation suite has it’s own focal point, but start adding too many and you’ll really begin to splurge. Liners and twine and postage, oh my!
4. Combine information to one insert card. Each additional insert card is an added cost. Instead of a directions, accommodations, and reception card, combine as much info as possible onto a single card.
5. Have a wedding website. Following the above, leave the details to the website. Do a “Details” insert with some general information on getting to the venue and add “for more information, please visit our website.” On your website, you can list extensive directions, suggested hotel info, and any other details your guest might need.
6. Order early. This hint will most definitely save you on stress, but also money. Ordering early ensures there will be no late or rush fees added to the bill. Invitations should be sent 6-8 weeks before the wedding and often need to be ordered 6-8 weeks prior to mailing.
7. Remove or reduce postage. The typical wedding invitation comes with a response card and mailing envelope. It’s polite to pre-stamp the RSVP envelope for your guests to use. Choose to forgo the card and envelope and have guests RSVP online. (See hint Number 5). This will not only save you on postage, but also from purchasing the envelope! Another way to save is to select an RSVP postcard. Postcard stamps cost slightly less than envelope stamps and this also saves on the envelope.
This couple gave guests a link to RSVP online and saved on postage and envelope costs!
For the invitation itself, the US Postal Service requires a $0.70 stamp for any mail weighing over 1 ounce. Many invitations are well under an ounce, but some are not. If adding liners, ribbon, and multiple insert cards you are setting up to purchase the costlier postage.
8. Limit the number of proofs. When you receive your proof, check over everything (spelling, grammar, information accuracy, spacing, etc) at one time. Then let the designer know what changes need to be made. Often, wedding invitation packages are set up with a specific amount of proofs. Additional proofs can be an additional charge, so make sure to make all necessary modifications in one swoop.
9. Ask! Find a suite you love, but think it’s out of your budget? Reach out and ask the designer if there is any way to customize it to fit your price point. There are possibilities to save in ways you may not even realize!
I would love to hear any hints on flexing a wedding budget, stationery or otherwise!
My friend Katie called me New Year’s Day. It was officially 2014 and she was ready to talk wedding invitations for her June ceremony. I had worked with her in designing her save the dates and she was hopeful that I could also create her wedding invitations. “Absolutely, I would love to!” I replied. After hanging up the phone, the pressure set in. I’ve done plenty of graduation announcements, shower invitations, and save the dates – but the idea of a wedding invitation scared me a little. It is possible that this invitation is the single most important invitation in a girl’s (or guy’s!) life.
I was extremely lucky in that Katie knew what she wanted and that her soon to be hubby, Alex, was in agreement. She had an idea in mind, but also allowed me to put my own spin on things. The teacher side of Katie kept mentioning that she wanted the information to be “organized”. She wanted bold and block-like fonts and her colors were navy and grey.
“The Katie” is a dark grey panel with a pocket on the back side. The response card and envelope slide into the pocket to create a bundled look. The invitation itself is navy with cream lettering and printed on a coated card stock with a hint of gloss. This was mounted on a cream puff mat to break up the layering of the dark colors. The cream was also tied in by using a cream colored mailing envelope. I hand assembled the invitations and printed the guest addresses on each envelope.
The final product was beautiful, if I do say so myself. I was thrilled with how these turned out and received a lot of great feedback on the invitations. They are classically modern, looking fresh and sleek. Taking the leap to the intimating wedding invitation was scary, but I’m so glad I did it. It feels amazing to create something for one of the most special days of a friend’s life. I can’t wait to embark on the journey of working with more brides to make their big day dreams come true!