Whether you’re having your wedding invitations custom designed or ordering from a catalog, purchasing invitations can be a detailed process. Between the timing, cost calculations and diction, it’s hard not to lose track of something and make a mistake. Below are five things you definitely want to avoid:
1. Have Realistic Budget Expectations
Avoid the wedding invitation “sticker shock” with proper planning and research. Before you get your heart set on the “perfect” invitation, determine your estimated number of guests as well as your bottom-line budget. Also, don’t forget to consider the cost of postage and any additional stationery you may need (such as thank-you notes, programs, menu cards etc) when making calculations. Most newly engaged brides are unaware of how much wedding stationery cost. Check out my post here on having realistic expectations for invitations.
2. Don’t Procrastinate!
A very common mistake in the wedding invitation process is not allowing enough time to choose, purchase AND print the stationery. Wedding invitations should be mailed six to eight weeks in advance, and production often takes up to 4 weeks for custom invitations and 5 – 7 business days for catalog invitations. So when should you order them? We say no less than six months just to play it safe. You will also avoid last minute stress and rush fees by planning ahead.
3. Order the Correct Quantity
When placing your order, be sure to account for late additions to the wedding, lost invites and keepsakes. It’s generally suggested that you order 10-15% more invites than you think you need. Quick tip: Avoid ordering too many invitations by organizing your guest list by couple and family rather than individually. There are so many guest list tools available on the internet eg. The Knot, GetMarried etc. Ordering fewer invitations can result in unnecessary stress and more money to get additional quantities. In most cases, it costs more to order invitations in smaller quantities than it does to order them in bulk. And it is almost inevitable that you would have last minute guest additions, lost invitations or forgotten guests. Make sure to start on your guest list early and order extra invitations.
4. Avoid Typos
Proofread, proofread, proofread! Ask your family members and friends to read over your invitation proof a gazillion times, and even when they have given you the thumbs up, look over it one more time. How embarrassing would it be to send out an invitation with your mother-in-law’s name spelled incorrectly? (Can you say mortifying times ten?!?)
5. Use the Right Postage
This one seems like a no-brainer, but don’t assume your invitations require the standard postage amount. Compile one complete invitation including any enclosures, and take it down to your local post office to have it weighed before placing postage on the envelope. You should also ask the post office about any upcoming postage increases as you may need to buy the Forever Stamp, which is good no matter how many increases are made through the U.S. Postal Service.
I hope this helps you as we prepare for the 2012 wedding season.
Detail credit: GetMarried.com and Elegant Custom Invitations