Nobody can deny that they don’t love getting mail. And it’s even better when you sort through the mail and find an envelope that stands out above the rest – a wedding invitation! Since the invitation sets the tone for the wedding day itself, it’s up to you to WOW your guests with an invitation that will be making them count down the days till your big day. You can either stick to the traditional or go outside the box to think of ways to invite the special people in your lives to your big day. Here are the basics and some of the not-so-basics behind wedding invitations.
Save The Date
Save the date cards are the first peek that your guests will have into your wedding day. Although they are not a necessity, save the date cards help assure that you will get the best turnout of your friends and family on your wedding day. The save the date cards set the style and theme of your wedding and should showcase what guests can expect that day. 10-12 months before your wedding is the average time to start setting your date and thinking about what information you need to begin your save the date cards. The date, location of the wedding, travel accommodations if applicable and color scheme should all be chosen by 8-10 months before your wedding day, so they may be included in the save the date cards. After finalizing the details, the order should be placed and the cards should be mailed out 6-8 months in advance.
|Carley and Adam’s Save the Date
Paper by Proud
4-6 months before the wedding is when you should start finalizing the details and information that needs to be included in the invitation. The host or honored party, date, time and place of the ceremony and reception must obviously all be included along with all or some of the following, which are included and mailed out with the invitation itself: ceremony/reception cards, response/RSVP cards, and direction cards. All of the required materials should be ordered 2-4 months in advance and mailed out to guests 1-2 months before the set date. Remember that when stuffing the envelopes, all materials should be layered from smallest to largest and placed in the envelope that so that when guests open the envelope and pull the invitation out with their right hand, it is all in proper orientation.
|Paper by Proud|
|Paper by Proud|
|Paper by Proud|
Separate ceremony or reception cards may need to be included if a smaller group of select guests are invited to both the ceremony and reception and other guests are invited just to the reception. A separate reception card may also be included with the invitation if the invitation invites guests to the ceremony and the reception is in a different location. Make sure it’s clear to all of your guests if they should be attending both the ceremony or reception or just the reception and that the locations for both are clearly shown.
Traditional response cards are separate smaller cards that are mailed out with the invitation that allows guests to RSVP and mail their response back to the invitee. RSVP dates are usually set for one month before the wedding, giving the couple and planners time to organize guest count, seating arrangements and place cards. If your wedding includes a plated dinner service, you will need to include a section for guests to choose their meal of choice on the RSVP card. Also remember to allow room for those of your guests that may be bringing a date to include their dates name, to make sure you have the proper count. For those couples that are straying away from traditional, many invitations today are featuring a response card that allows guests to RSVP by phone, e-mail or even through the couples Web site – saving money and the environment!
Direction cards, also found inside the invitation envelope are a simple way to make sure your guests can find the venue or venue’s where your ceremony and reception will be taking place. Traditional direction cards are also separate smaller cards that give guests directions to the ceremony and reception from several surrounding areas. Besides directions to the area, you may also want to include restaurants and attractions nearby for guests who are from out of town.
Thinking Outside of the Box
Not going for traditional? There are many unique ways couples are inviting their friends and family to their wedding. Here are just a few to get your creative juices flowing.
For a unique save the date idea, create personalized M&Ms from the website that include your names and the wedding date. Your guests will be sure to remember the date but also enjoy a little treat!
Send a DVD of you and your fiancé personally inviting guests to your wedding in a mini movie. Include an intro of some pictures of both of you along with a personal greeting about how you met and what you are looking forward to on your wedding day. Also make sure to feature all of the information guests need to know – the ceremony location, reception site, attire, RSVP information, travel accommodations. Maybe even include video footage of the venue and what guests can expect! Don’t be afraid to get creative!
Print your invitations on anything but paper – and we mean anything! A rally towel, wine glass, t-shirt, sports item etc. As long as you include all of the information your guests will be prepared and will never forget your invite.
How about sending a message in a bottle? Get your invitations printed and simply roll them up and place into old wine or beer bottles (you can collect your own to save money).
Play around with unique invitation concepts, such as uses photo booth pictures, creating a wanted poster or writing out invitations by hand. Here are few concepts that caught my eye:
all other images found through google.com