invitations 101Wedding invitations seem to give brides the most stress because there are so many etiquette rules associated with sending your invitations. While it may seem simple to just mail a letter, with the common use of the Internet and eMail, most young brides are unfamiliar with the proper etiquette surrounding this important aspect of your wedding. We have gathered the most frequently asked questions surrounding your wedding invitations and have compiled all the answers in one place.

1. How do I decide on my guest list?
This is a decision that will need to be made by you, your groom, and your families. Your budget will also greatly influence how many people you can invite. One of the fastest ways to cut your wedding budget is to decrease the size of your guest list. However, it may not be easiest. If you find yourself with more friends than funds, consider going with a DJ over a live band or serving a less expensive entree. Morning and early afternoon weddings also tend to cost less.

2. Do I have to send Save the Dates?
A save the date is an optional, although popular way to let your guests know about your date. If you are concerned about cost, consider doing just a cute postcard. It’s also a great first test to work out any mailing list kinks before it’s “go time” on the invitations.

3. How do I organize my guest list?
Fortunately, there are a lot of great new tech solutions to make creating and managing your guest list a breeze. Weddingwire and The Knot have some great tools to manage your list. There are also a number of apps for your smartphone such as Guest List Organizer or Wedmate. If you or a friend is computer savvy, you can create a spreadsheet yourself using Office. However, it is nice to be able to access things on the fly from your phone or tablet.

4. Where should I purchase my invitations?
This is where the number of options can excite you or quickly overwhelm you. Local stationary shops are perfect if you would like to sit down with a representative, feel the papers, and have them guide you through the process. There are also a number of great designers on Etsy that you can work with who can also be very helpful. Minted, Cardstore, and Vistaprint offer many beautiful templates if you prefer to DIY.

5. How should I address my envelopes?

Traditionally, wedding invitations are addressed by hand in blue or black ink. You may consider hiring a calligrapher to hand address the envelopes. For example, the envelope would read Mr. and Mrs. John Smith. You should not abbreviate streets, states, or city names. Be sure if the entire family is invited to have the invitation to include “and family.” If it is a someone who is single, and they are invited to bring a date to include, “and guest.” This will indicate to the individual exactly who is invited.

Now, brides love using Cardstore and Minted’s new feature which will address your envelopes in a beautiful calligraphy using their printing systems. It is easy, cost-effective and will prevent a mean case of writer’s cramp. You should address the invitations using the same guidelines.

6. How do I word my invitations? 

Traditionally, wedding invitations are issued by the bride’s side. Like the envelopes, abbreviations should be avoided, spelling out names, numbers, times, dates, and states. You should also include a request for a reply using R.S.V.P., Kindly Respond, or the favor of a reply is requested. However, your invitation should be appropriately represented to match their unique situation. If your parents are divorced, deceased, or remarried, this can affect how you want to word your invitations. Remember, there is not a “right” or “wrong” invitation. Have wording that appropriately conveys the message and describes the hosts.

Traditional Wording:

Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their daughter

Jennifer Lynn

to

James Thomas Brown

Saturday, the sixth of June

at half past six o’clock

Ashelynn Manor

Magnolia, Texas

7. What else should I include?

You may want to include a response card. This is a small card, pre-stamped that allows the guest to RSVP with the number of guests and drop in the mail. Some brides are also including additional information such as accommodations and maps or directions to ceremony and reception sites.

Wedding invitations should go out to guests eight weeks prior to the wedding day. This will give guests plenty of time to make travel arrangements and you plenty of time to collect those R.S.V.P.’s and make final preparations with a more solid guest count.

Our preferred stationary vendors are some of our personal favorites for wedding invitations and the ones we can count on to guide our brides through all the invitation etiquette rules with grace. They will be happy to help you create the perfect invitation for your wedding day!