“How many invitations will you need?” is one of the first questions I ask my clients when beginning the wedding invitation ordering process. It isn’t unusual to get a blank look in reply to this question (or blank answer on the questionnaire I use to determine pricing for a quote). It can be difficult to know exactly how many wedding invitations to order so early in the planning process. I’ve put together some tips on finalizing a number.
Count number of addresses rather than number of guests. Early in the planning process, clients request a quote for 200 invitations since they have a guest list of 200. Since many of your guests live with each other (couples, families, roommates) think of the number in terms of addresses rather than people. If sending save the dates, use this list as a test run to get an idea of the number of addresses on your wedding guest list. Typically, the number of invitations is 40%-60% of the number of guests.
Include a few for keepsakes. Did you realize that the invitation is one of the only things you can actually keep from your wedding day? Other than the wedding dress and photography, your invitation is something that remains after the vows have been said, the flowers have wilted, the food has been eaten, and the music has been played. When ordering wedding invitations, include some extras as keepsakes – at least one for yourself and for each set of parents.
Plan for extras. In the case of forgetting someone on your list, it is good to have extra invitations on hand. If you have more guests RSVP “no” that originally planned, this might leave open some spots for friends who weren’t on the original guest list and it’s a good idea to have extra invitations for this. Many wedding invitation companies require a minimum order, which can make it extremely expensive to order a few extras after the original order has been processed. Avoid any stress by adding 5-10 extra invitations with your order.
“How Many Wedding Invitations Should I Order?” Formula Number of Addresses + Keepsakes (3-4) + Extras (5-10) = Final Quantity Needed
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.
Grownups only 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.”
Dinner-less Reception 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”
Unwelcome Extras 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!
I’ll be the first to admit, I love my hashtags. One of the newest wedding trends is the Wedding Hashtag – giving your guests a specific tag to include on their social media posts so that you can view all the photos later, in one place. WeddingWire.com even has a Hashtag Generator if you aren’t able to come up with your wedding hashtag on your own!
As with everything, there is a time and place for the wedding hashtag and it is not the actual ceremony. During the wedding ceremony, guests taking photos is not only distracting but can potentially ruin a shot that the “actual” (also see “hired”, “professional”, and “really amazing”) photographer is trying to capture. As a guest, you should be present during this special moment and save your Instagram skills until after the ceremony.
One of my favorite wedding photographers, Tessa Rice, gives her opinion on the unplugged ceremony: “As a photographer, nothing is more frustrating and distracting during the ceremony than guests holding up (or worse yet – standing or leaning in the aisle) with their devices and even large tablets! I’ve had many images ruined because of this. It makes me giddy when I see brides request an unplugged ceremony – it shows that they value their photographer and trust them to ultimately capture this moment in their lives, and help their guests enjoy it “live”, versus viewing it through a screen.”
The Unplugged Ceremony is suggested by the couple and asks guests to put their phones away until the reception. I’ve created an unplugged ceremony printable that fits perfectly in an 8×10 frame to display as guests arrive. Download it here!
I’m also offering the matching wedding hashtag sign for purchase in my Etsy shop to display at the reception. This is the perfect way to invite your guests to share the love and post away.
Comment below with your thoughts on the unplugged ceremony!
Sometimes a wedding invitation will explicitly request the guest attire: “black tie” or “beach casual”. Guides for dressing these events can be found online, including here on TheKnot.com. Often invitations don’t include this specific information, leaving guests to make the fashion decision.
The wedding invitation sets the tone for the entire event and should give the guest an idea of theme in order to “fit in”. A traditional, formal, black and white invitation would suggest attire of the same. An invitation with florals and fun fonts could hint at a more relaxed environment. Rustic invitations give feelings of sun dresses and casual attire for men, while invitations with lace might lead to a more romantic fashion choice.
Taking into consideration the venue, as well as the weather, will ultimately determine the guest attire, but the invitation is a perfect starting point when looking for your perfect wedding outfit.
Accessories are a great way to dress up a more casual outfit and Rocksbox is the ultimate in curated designer jewelry. Their pieces are perfect wedding guest (or wedding party!) accessories. At $19 a month, it’s the perfect rotating rental for the girl who can’t make up her mind. There are also options to purchase the pieces, often for a discounted price and ways to earn reward points.
Sign up using my Rocksbox promo code “ohmydesignsbystephxoxo” and get you’re first month FREE! You’ll receive goodies like these Margaret Elizabeth earrings (valued at over $150!) that I think would pair perfectly with a pastel summer dress to attend this garden wedding.
Custom invitations designed by me! Please contact me for more information.
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.
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!