Mailing Wedding Invitations Too Early

Why Mailing Wedding Invitations Early Isn’t Always a Good Thing

Your wedding invitations make everything seem so real and tangible. It’s the first detail of your big day and you can’t wait to share them with your guests. You carefully choose the perfect pretty paper and the thought of holding onto them before mailing is dang near impossible.

I get it. I’m a paper lover myself – my excitement comes from shipping your invitations to you, ‘cause I’m just dying for you to see them in person. So I know you’re feeling the same way about getting them to your guests!

But there is such a thing as mailing too early. Wedding invitations are typically sent 6-8 weeks before the big day. You can send earlier if you’re having a destination wedding, holiday weekend wedding, or didn’t mail save the dates. (Wondering if save the dates are necessary? Read this post!)

If you’re planning to mail earlier than about two months, I really recommend reconsidering! Here’s why mailing wedding invitations early might cause problems:

You’re no Longer Flexible

Signed, sealed, delivered has some finality to it. Once you put that invitation in the mail, you’re sealing the deal and lose a bit of flexibility. 

From the details to the guest list, waiting until the two month mark to mail invitation can give you some control if changes are needed.

Maybe your ceremony time moves up an hour after talking to your photographer who does convince you to do a low light first look. Maybe your hotel room block moves for an unforeseen circumstance. 

These scenarios aren’t to cause fear, but wedding planning is fluid. Things are constantly changing and having every single detail finalized six months or more before the big day can be pretty unrealistic.

I’m not even going to address the unique situation Covid left wedding planning couples with, but I think it’s fair to say we have all learned a lot about pivoting plans during a global pandemic. 

Guest List Changes

Along with changes within wedding details and logistics, there are bound to be changes to the guest list. Maybe your guest count changes after deciding you really don’t have the budget to invite your coworkers. Maybe you move your outdoor garden ceremony to the ballroom and have the space to include more people than originally planned.

Not only do the actual guests invited change, but also addresses. You’ve put a lot of thought into your pretty paper – it needs to get to the right place for the right people! Doing a final check through your address list before sending everything to print will help reduce any reprints for envelopes.

RSVP Timeline

People aren’t great at RSVP’ing, so make it as easy as possible for them. A narrow window of time is best for actually getting responses back.

Ideally, you should mail about 8 weeks before with a reply date of about 4 weeks before. This is ultimately determined by when your venue needs a final headcount. Here are some tips on choosing an RSVP date.

For the sake of simplicity, let’s say your wedding is June 1 with a May 1 RSVP date. If your friend get an invitation in January or February, they’re going to open it, see a May reply, realize they don’t know yet about their plans but will reply when they do. (Obviously this friend needs to check their priorities, but you get the idea!) The card gets tossed in that mail pile never to resurface again.

In the same situation, if the friend gets the invitation April 1 – they’ll likely have a better grasp on their calendar, work schedule, and other obligations so they can appropriately respond quickly.

Save the Dates

Save the date cards are the perfect buffer to give a head’s up without sending the complete invitation to your full guest list. You can choose to send save the dates to everyone, but if you want more flexibility with your guest list – mail only to your VIPs. 

As their name implies, the save the date will give your most important (and definitely invited no matter what) family and friends the opportunity to begin their planning in advance. 

I spend a lot of time educating on ordering invitations early, because I don’t want couples to have a stressful paper process or pay rush fees. On the flip side, there are some cons to doing it too early as well – it’s a balance, but I’m happy to advise each couple I work with on a timeline depending on their unique situation. 

Along with mailing too far in advance, ordering too far in advance can not always be the best idea for many of the same reasons. You can start working with your invitation designer in advance, but I wouldn’t recommend printing or finalizing your guest list any more than six months in advance. Read my full post on when to order and when to mail your wedding invitations right here!

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Minimalist Wedding Invitations

This year, minimalist weddings are having a moment – and I couldn’t be happier about it! Less is more and when it comes to design, these are some of my shining star minimalist wedding invitations. 

Modern vibes, clean fonts, and lots of white space are the recipe for a perfectly simple, but stunning paper detail.

Clean and Simple Wedding Invitations

This design was originally created for a friend who got married on St. Patrick’s Day (it is her favorite holiday!). The couple wanted to incorporate green, but didn’t want the invitations to be holiday cheesy. Her inspiration was modern, but also classic. 

Simple Minimalist Wedding Invitation

I love how this design turned out and it has been used as a semi-custom design for many couples over the past few years!

Mixed Minimalist Wedding Invitations

Inspired by my favorite, local kombucha bar these mix and match invitations are great for a minimalist wedding. Featuring a rose gold + digitally printed combination invite, matching RSVP card, and a details card printed on recycled kraft paper with mustard thermography. The best news? All colors, including the foil, can be changed to fit your wedding vibe!

Casual Monogram Wedding Invitations

Since moving to San Diego, my aesthetic of more casual and minimalist design has grown. This design was inspired by one of my favorite Bachelor couples and their laid back vibe. The “monogram” at the top is different from the traditional monogram idea and the wording is kept super simple.

I love the taupe letterpress for a neutral, minimal wedding!

Modern Thermography Wedding Invitations

Single color designs are the epitome of minimalist design. These gold thermography wedding invitations have tons of white space, giving a very modern feel.

Gold Thermography Wedding Invitations

Thermography raises the ink and creates texture on the invitations. I love it because it’s an affordable way to upgrade the look of your invitations, since no investment in a custom die is required. Wondering about invitation printing methods? Take our quick quiz here

Printing Method for Wedding Invitation Quiz


Interested in working together for your minimalist wedding invitations? Get your custom quote and more information.

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Why do custom wedding invitations take so long?

We live in a world where we can order pretty much anything our heart desires and have it on our doorstep within 2 days. (Or at least it worked this way before Covid-19 was a thing! This post was outlined earlier this year.)

The last few months, I’ve had so many couples reach out that didn’t have enough of a timeline to order wedding invitations from me. Although they had the budget and a vision I vibed with, it just wasn’t possible for me to turn something around so quickly.

I’m not sure if paper gets forgotten, or people don’t realize how long they really take, but I’m making it my mission this year to educate couples on when to order their wedding invitations. You can see a full post and breakdown by month right here!

You can order online from many of the popular wedding invitation websites and receive in about two weeks, which includes shipping time. Most have rush fee options to upgrade printing and shipping where you can receive is less than a week! 

So why do my wedding invitations take “so long”? Actually I don’t think they take as long as many other stationers, we’re just accustomed to getting things much faster.

The Wedding Invitation Ordering Process

After you fill out the questionnaire, I put together a custom quote and timeline for you. I’m usually able to work up your quote within one day, but sometimes need to reach out to my printer if you need something I don’t currently have pricing for – like a special paper or custom item.

Once you receive your quote, you’ll probably have some questions and we’ll exchange a couple emails back and forth. Often, couples need some time to think about it, consult another family member, or get their wedding planner’s approval before paying a deposit. It gets me really excited when couples are ready to make it official immediately, but usually it takes a couple of days!

Green and Navy Wedding Invitations

The Wedding Invitation Design Process

After you’ve paid your deposit and signed the contract, you’ll send over your wording for the invitations. For semi custom designs, I have proofs ready in about 2-3 business days. For custom designs, I typically allow about a week to create your proofs.

Sometimes my couples don’t need any changes and are ready to go to print, however that isn’t the norm. Most of the time, there’s a back and forth of a few edits, tweaks, and changes. Again, you might want some time to review with your parents or planner before moving forward. With every round of edits, it adds a few days to turnaround. I include about 2 weeks for design and proofing when I create your timeline to allow for this.

The Wedding Invitation Production Process

Once you have approved your design proofs, it’s off to the printer! Because I offer a few different printing methods, I partner with different printers – literally located all over the US! 

I set up and format the files, which is fairly quick for digital printing but can take a little longer for thermography, letterpress, and foil stamping. Once they’re officially sent to print, I typically don’t hear from my printer until the order ships. However, there are sometimes instances of an issue, like a particular paper being out of stock, which forces an adjustment of the production time. 

Invitation suites with digital printing have a much quicker production that the other methods of printing. This is accounted for in the timeline of your original quote, usually with a little buffer – just in case! The three main printers I work with all ship the printed orders to me directly.

At the same time your invitations are sent to print, envelopes and any other materials are ordered. Often from multiple vendors, again located all across the country. There is some coordination that goes into getting all the supplies for your suite together!

The Wedding Invitation Assembly Process

After I have both your invitations and supplies in hand, I get to work on assembly! Most couples opt for some sort of upgrades – envelope address printing, envelope liners, and belly bands just to name a few!

I try to get all assembly done as quickly as possible once I have everything I need to make that happen. This is one of my favorite parts of the process because I’m getting to see everything come together as a physical piece, too! Depending on the quantity of invitations and upgrades added, assembly can take anywhere from 1-12+ hours. With the orders that require more work, I break this into 2-3 hour chunks. So there’s potential for assembly to take as long as a week or more.

Rose Gold Wedding Invitation Sample

I’m not proud to admit it, but my least favorite part of the whole process is packaging the order for shipping. There is a lot of counting, followed by playing tetris to see which box fits everything perfectly! The suites are carefully packaged so that they make it to you in pristine condition, wherever you may be.

Boutique Wedding Invitations

When you’re getting something that isn’t “off the shelf”, you can expect it to take a little longer. But I promise, it’s worth the wait! 

It’s never too early to get a quote, so get in touch here if you’re interested in working together!

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Why Your Wedding Invitation Matters: A Professional Wedding Photographer’s Advice

Does your wedding invitation actually matter? Is it a detail worth investing in? A lot of couples consider their invitation as just a piece of paper during the planning process and only realize it’s value once the wedding day has come and gone.

As a professional wedding photographer, I’m sharing why you should think about the meaning behind your invitations and the importance of how it all comes together on your wedding day, especially with your photos!

I’m Shari Anne, a San Diego wedding photographer serving the undeniably romantic at heart. I have a heart for service for serving couples with genuinely timeless and eloquently classic imagery, but my heart of service doesn’t stop there. As someone who appreciates education (and let’s be honest, life hacks too!). I’ve wanted to serve couples with more than just photographs. And over the years I’ve spent working in the wedding industry, I’ve noticed more and more that many of you have so many questions throughout the planning process. And I’m sure at times, it all makes you feel a bit overwhelmed in how and what to plan for.

So that’s why I’m here, to be a beacon of light, by sharing my knowledge and experience in the industry, alongside great Professionals that I have the amazing opportunity to work and collaborate with, in hopes of helping you navigate and answer some of those questions and providing reasoning behind their importance. Because again, let’s be honest here, we don’t know what we don’t know… right?

So without further ado, let’s dive into the in’s and out’s of why that extra invitation suite is SO important! 

Making sure to order an extra suite

Let’s start with an example. In registering for your wedding, when it comes to dining sets and other gadgets and gizmos to complete your home, it might be suggested to you that you “order an extra one, just in case” (am I right!?!) Well I’m sure you’re wondering then, so why the extra invitation suite? Is it just a backup for the just in case? Well the answer to that is, no.

That extra invitation suite isn’t meant as a backup or just in case, it has a purpose on your wedding day, and here’s why…

Your extra invitation suite is utilized for styling some of your wedding day details into a cohesive image, sometimes referred to as a layflat or flaylay (what i’m referring to are those beautiful inspirational wedding images that you’ve been pinning on Pinterest since the minute you got engaged!). 

Dusty Blue and Grey Wedding Invitation

Well, photographers like myself, will include an image like this in your gallery to begin the storyline of your wedding day. So, when placing your order with your stationer, it’s a good idea to ask for an extra set that you can give to your photographer to capture with your special wedding heirlooms and other wedding day details like your perfume, jewelry and shoes! (I don’t know about you, but I seriously love all the pretty details!)

How/when to get it to your photographer?

Okay, let’s talk wedding day timeline details! I’ll preface this by saying that every photography brand will vary, so this will ultimately depend on who you’ve booked and it’s a good idea to talk to your photographer on the best time to have your invitations to them by. 

When I work with a couple in planning what your photography coverage will look like on your wedding day, we have several check-ins and planning sessions leading up to the big day. One of these sessions is a details call, where we go over some of the finer details of the day such as what photos are important to you, if there are any special family heirlooms to be photographed and so on. And then comes in the request of putting together your “Wedding Day Details Box”. You may be wondering what that is, so let me explain…

Your wedding day details box is a designated box where all of your details (including the groom’s!) are kept. It’s best to have this, so that your details are easily accessible the day of and your bridesmaids aren’t frantically running around your getting ready space trying to find your details for the photo and video teams – or accidentally leaving it behind in the midst of all the celebrations and gatherings happening before your wedding day. 

Modern Letterpress Wedding Invitations

Pro Tip: Grab a glass of wine (or beer!) and spend an evening setting aside all of the special details and heirlooms that you would like photographed on your wedding day. Once you have all of your important details gathered, pop online to Target or The Container Store and grab a fun details box to keep everything in. So that day of, you can just hand the box over to your photographer and know that’s where everything is, including that extra invitation suite that you ordered from your stationer!

Why is having an image of my invitation suite important?

Ultimately, the celebration of your nuptials is something you’ll be looking back on throughout the years and chapters of your life that unfold long after you spend the day celebrating with all of your closest family and friends. 

As I mentioned before, at the beginning of the day, as a photographer, I will typically start by styling and incorporating all of your special details into an image that shapes the storyline of the two of you and your invitation suite is the anchor of what ties all of these details together. 

Many of these details that get incorporated into the image are heirlooms, old and new that have or will be passed down throughout the generations of your family. Documenting them, just like documenting people, is just as important on your wedding day, as an image like this serves as a way to honor your family heirlooms. And your invitations, just like photographs eventually over time become one of those heirlooms that you’ll be looking back on and sharing, as they are the details of the day that documented the story of your two families becoming one and the start of your life together as Mr. and Mrs. 

Learn more about Shari Anne on Instagram + Facebook

http://www.shariannephotography.com

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“No Kids” Wedding Invitation Wording

So you’ve chosen to have an adult-only wedding. Whether it’s a cost concern, spacing issue, or just your preference – it doesn’t matter. Having no kids at your wedding is becoming increasingly popular for various reasons.

Couples are concerned about how to say “no kids” on the wedding invitations without offending anyone. This question comes up again and again, even during initial consultations with couples. 

No Kids Wedding Invitation Wording

It’s a Tricky Situation 

The Proper Way: Envelope Addressing

By the way the envelope is addressed, guests should know exactly who is, and who isn’t, invited to the wedding. This is also applicable for inviting “plus ones” – allowing single guests to bring a date. No children’s names listed means they’re not invited. No “and guest” means your friend should fly solo. (I met my boyfriend by attending a wedding solo and highly recommend it, just sayin!) 

That being said, not everyone knows and understands this rule of etiquette. The still polite workaround? Put a “number attending” line under the Accepts wording on the RSVP card. If someone puts a number higher than what they were allocated, reach out and let them know the situation. This is something a wedding planner or close relative can handle – so you don’t have to feel awkward. Read more about handling the number attending on your RSVP card here

Getting More Explicit

Out of your entire guest list, you might only have a small percentage of families with children and the above options work well. If you feel that a majority need clearer instructions (hey, you know your guests better than I do!) you can get a little more explicit.

Adult Only Reception

At the bottom of most invitations, there is some wording around the reception to follow. In the case of a no kids wedding, you can simply list “Adult Reception to Follow”. This gets the point across, however there could be some confusion on if children are invited to the ceremony only. It seems unlikely parents would bring their children to a ceremony knowing they weren’t invited to the reception, but hey – I’m sure it’s happened. 

Adult Reception to Follow

Wedding Website

Your wedding website is the perfect place to announce that your big day is child free, along with your other important wedding details. That being said, not everyone will visit your website so adding it somewhere within your wedding suite too isn’t a bad idea.

RSVP Card for Child Free Wedding

Along with the number attending line, there are a few ways to address your child free wedding on the RSVP card itself. Keep in mind people do send this back, but I think a statement like one of the below would be memorable for anyone considering bringing their little ones.

  • Although we love your children, this is an adult only event.
  • In order to allow all guests, including parents, a night of relaxation, we have chosen for our wedding to be an adult only occasion. We can’t wait to celebrate with you!
  • Due to space limitations, we’re celebrating with adults only.

Stay in the light hearted and positive mindset without just straight up saying NO KIDS, YO!

Modern Watercolor Wedding Invitations

Dealing with Backlash

I hope no one you’re inviting has an issue with your decision and/or your communication of it. If you feel like there’s someone who might really be hurt, reach out prior to mailing the invitations so they don’t feel blindsided by the announcement.

That being said, stand your ground for anyone who reacts negatively. It is the choice of you, your future husband or wife, and your families. Weddings are a time to celebrate your love and if you’ve chosen to do so without kids – that is your right.

Are you having a child free wedding? Let me know in the comments what made your decision! Check out this post for invitation wording on other sticky situations! 

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Monogram Wedding Invitations

I hail from the south (born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia) and monograms are just a part of life. From baby blankets to car decals, you can monogram just about anything these days! 

The uniting of two lives, and likely a name change, makes weddings the perfect occasion for using a monogram. Wedding invitations with monograms are my best sellers, proof that couples love incorporating them into their big day designs!

Favorite Monogram Wedding Invitations for 2020

Although I am from Georgia, I don’t consider myself to be traditional with design. Your monogram doesn’t have to be standard or boring – I love finding new ways to get creative!

How to Use a Wedding Monogram

The best part about monogram wedding invitations is that you can use the design itself throughout all of your wedding day stationery. From save the dates to thank you cards, and everything in between, add your monogram to create a sense of cohesion. If your wedding was a brand, this would be the logo!

You can add the monogram from your invitations to your ceremony programs, menus, weekend itineraries, and more! Don’t overdo it though, I wouldn’t recommend including it with everything – but having an alternative option could work well if you want to mix things up a bit!

Wedding Invitation Monogram Options

Don’t just limit yourself to paper – I’ve had couples use the monogram I designed to create some really fun things! Turning it into the cover for a guest book, a cake topper, even using it as lighting on the dance floor! I provide a licensing options for my clients so that they can use the monogram however they’d like.

Modern Monogram Wedding Invitations

Wedding Monogram Set Up

So, how do you set up a wedding monogram? Well, if we work together (fingers crossed!) I will take care of this for you. 

If you’re designing your own monogram or are just curious: the traditional wedding monogram is bride’s first initial, shared last initial, and groom’s first initial. Note I mention traditional – it’s 2020 and things aren’t quite as traditional, which I’m here for. Two brides, two grooms, no name change – I’ve got you! 

More often than not, my couples aren’t using the traditional monogram. You can never go wrong with just you and your hunnie’s first initials!

Monogram Wedding Invitations with printed blue belly band

Monogram Wedding Invitation Designs

Good news! A monogram can be added to any of my existing invitation designs – or removed, if you aren’t feeling the monogram trend.

Monograms look great in letterpress (my favorite!), foil stamping, thermography, and digital printing. Wondering which printing method is right for you? Take our quick quiz to find out now!

Monogram Wreath Wedding Invitations

Ready to chat about your monogram wedding invitations? Complete the questionnaire here!

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Where do I start with Wedding Invitation Wording?

The wedding invitation serves two (pretty huge) purposes in your wedding. The invitation is the very first impression of your wedding and should really set the theme for the big day. Guests should see a glimpse of the tone of your wedding just from the invitation. Your wedding invitation should not only be beautiful, but informative. It’s kind of a big deal that everyone knows when and where it’s going down! Making sure your wedding invitation wording is clear, correct, and informative is extremely key.

Wedding Invitation Wording Guide

Once my bridal clients have signed off on my contract and paid the deposit, I’m ready to get started! Often, many reach out to me at this point with the same question, “do you have any examples of wedding invitation wording?” Well funny you asked, of course I do! The chance that this is a bride’s first time planning a wedding is pretty likely and the wedding invitation wording seems to be unfamiliar territory.

I typically begin by explaining that wedding invitation wording is truly customizable and open to interpretation. Cue the overwhelm. Let me break it down for ya!

Who’s hosting?

The wedding invitation typically opens with the hosts (aka who’s paying) inviting guests to attend. Traditionally, this was the bride’s parents as they were funding the operation and “giving away” their daughter to a suitable bachelor. I love traditional wording, as it really encompasses the overall idea of a wedding. However, many couples have moved away from traditional wording because there are hosts other than (or in addition to) the bride’s parents. I also think people choose to forgo traditional wording as it seems, well too traditional. To each their own!

Names

The names of the bride and groom are the focus of the wedding invitation wording. If including the bride’s parent’s full names, the bride’s name is listed as first and middle only. If the parent’s names aren’t on the invitation, the bride and groom can be listed with their full names (up to preference to include middle names!)

Printing Method for Wedding Invitation Quiz

The Ceremony

This is where you can get creative with your wording! A more traditional way to invite people to your ceremony would be along the lines of “request the pleasure of your company at the marriage”, but options to go less traditional are endless. One of my favorites is “invite you to join as they celebrate their love”, ‘cause it just sounds like endless happiness!

The When & Where

In my opinion, this information should be listed in the same way whether opting for something more traditional or modern. Bringing in design elements will allow you to get fun with this part. The date, including the year, and time should be spelled out. The location should be listed with the address using no abbreviations. And for the love of all things pretty, no zip code! Zip codes are for mailing, not for invitations.

The Closing

In literary class, this was known as the conclusion. Most ceremonies are followed by a reception and a short, sweet way to end the wedding invitation wording is with “Reception to Follow”. I love when couples choose to get creative with the closing! One of my favorites included “bring your dancing shoes!”

If you’ve read the above, my hats off to you! You’ve taken in a lot of information about wedding invitation wording. As a visual learner, I’ve provided some examples of wedding invitation wording in action. Click to open and feel free to modify from there!

Formal Traditional Wedding Invitation WordingInformal Wedding Invitation Wording

Casual Wedding Invitation WordingNontraditional Wedding Invitation Wording

Click your theme to open wedding invitation wording samples!

Check out my tips on wedding invitation wording for sticky situations here!

>> Click to learn more about our Steph, the wedding invitation fairy godmother, pricing, and the process <<

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Which printing method is right for your invitations?

Foil and letterpress and thermography, oh my!

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