When you have over five years of designing wedding invitations under your belt, you have a pretty good idea of the most common wedding invitation mistakes and how to avoid them! This is a great example of the type of information and guidance that you don’t get when you order your invitations online!
1. Mailing Your Invitations Too Soon or Too Late
If you have done any research regarding the correct timeline of when to send out your invitations, you may have heard 6 – 8 weeks prior to your wedding day is an ideal time. I’m going to let you in on a little secret….this is NOT an ideal timeline.
The first thing to consider is when does your venue need their final headcount? This could be anywhere between 1 – 3 weeks prior to your wedding day. Then you need to think about your RSVP date. Always allow at least one week prior to when your venue needs their final head count. Reason being, unfortunately you will have invited wedding guests that did not respond by the RSVP date. This one week lee way allows you to call those that haven’t responded and provide your venue with a correct final headcount. No reason to pay for guests that won’t be attending the wedding.
Therefore, the ideal time line to actually mail your wedding invitations is 6 – 8 weeks prior to your RSVP date. This allows the perfect amount of time for your guests to respond and puts your mind at ease.
Here is an example:
Wedding Day: 10/28/2017
Final Headcount Deadline: 10/21/2017
RSVP Date: 10/14/2017
Ideally you would want to get your invitations in the mail by the end of August 2017
2. Ordering Too Many or Not Enough:
Do yourself a huge favor and gather your wedding guest list before ordering your invitations. I cannot tell you how many times clients have ordered too few wedding invitations and then have to order 5 or 10 more. The cost per invitation goes up tremendously when you only order a few more versus just including the extras with your initial order. This is a huge money saver. The same goes for ordering too many! Why spend the money if you don’t have too?
3. Incorrect Etiquette:
There are so many ways to word your wedding invitation and how you word your invitation depends on who is contributing to the wedding. For example, if you as the couple and both sets of parents are contributing to the wedding, you would start the invitation with “Together with our families”. However, if just the bride’s parents are hosting you would start with the bride’s parents name. You can view several different scenarios by clicking here and viewing our “how do I word thee” page.
4. Misspelled Words or Missing Information.
I cannot stress enough how important proofreading is. Show your invitation to multiple people to proofread before printing anything! You will probably review your invitation repeatedly to make sure everything is spelled correctly and accounted for, but because you have been looking at it so many times, it is actually easier for you to miss something. When you show the invitation to someone new, they are looking at it with a fresh pair of eyes and will almost always catch something that you have missed. Designers and printers provide you with proofs for a reason. They aren’t responsible for re-printing your invitation even if there was a spelling error because you gave the final approval. Show your bridesmaids, your parents, your groomsmen or even a co-worker. The more eyes on the invitation the better!
5. Adult-Only Reception
This seems to be a very common request that I receive. Couples who don’t want children at their wedding think they need to stress that on their wedding invitation. This is considered poor etiquette. The way you address your mailing envelope will tell your guests who exactly is invited and your guests should know to pay attention to who the invitation is addressed to. If the wedding invitation doesn’t say “and Family” then little Johnny and Katie are not invited. However, if the wedding guests do respond with their children as attending, simply give them a phone call and explain that the wedding is adults only.
6. Registry Information
Putting your registry information on your wedding invitation is also considered poor etiquette. However, what you can do is direct your wedding guests to your wedding website instead. Link your wedding registry information to your wedding website. I tend to include my clients wedding website on their details insert.
Ex: “For further wedding details, please visit our wedding website www.theknot/jesanderic
7. Long Hotel URL’s
In more cases than not, the URL’s used to link to your personal wedding room block at a hotel are extremely long and tend to be eye soars when included on your wedding details or accommodations insert. And let’s be honest, who is going to sit there and type in over 60 different characters and symbols of that super long URL to make a hotel reservation? To avoid this, I would suggest also linking your accommodations information to your wedding website. I would include your wedding website on your wedding details insert or accommodations insert.
Ex.: “For further wedding details and information on how to reserve your room online, please visit our wedding website www.theknot/jesanderic
8. Forgetting to Include Entrée Options
Before you give the go ahead on printing your wedding invitations, find out from your venue or caterer if they need entrée choices ahead of time. This means you will have to include the entrée selections on your response card so that guests can choose what they want prior to attending the wedding. The last thing you need is having to call everyone on your list to find out what they want to eat!!
What is this? Hand-cancelling is the post office’s terminology for the elimination of using a machine when post-marking the date on your wedding invitations. Instead of putting them through a machine, they actually hand-stamp them to eliminate damage to the invitation. You will have to ask the post office teller to do this when you drop off your invitations at the post office. Unfortunately, there have been cases where the post office teller will confirm your invitation swill be hand-cancelled and then they put them through the machine any way. In an effort to avoid this, ask them for the stamp and you can hand-stamp them yourself. Or wait and watch them do it before leaving the post office. You spent money on your wedding invitations, probably more than you thought you would. Don’t let the post office ruin them before they even get into your wedding guests hands.
10. Not Enough Postage!
And the biggest mistake of all…insufficient funds! Just imagine, you spent a pretty penny on the most beautiful wedding invitations, applied what you thought was the correct amount of postage, stuffed and sealed them, only to find them back in your mail box for insufficient funds! Now all of your invitations are probably damaged and will all need new mailing envelopes and even MORE postage to be mailed out again. Do yourself a HUGE favor and take one whole invitation suite to the post office. Have them measure and weigh it and let them tell you exactly how much postage you will need. There are a lot of aspects that are taken into consideration when calculating your mailing envelope postage. Some envelopes are considered over-sized which require more postage, embellishments will require more postage and the overall weight will require more postage.