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!
“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.
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!
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!