Wedding Invitations

You’re Invited!

The wedding invitation is the first look your guests will have as to the overall theme and feel of your wedding.  Whether you choose to go with an elaborate design or a simpler format, there are a few key things to keep in mind while selecting and wording your invitations. Think about what colors you will be incorporating in your wedding design.  Are you going for a modern elegant celebration, or more rustic and romantic? These are elements you may want to portray in your design.

To start the process of selecting an invitation, start on sites like Pinterest or Etsy.  Search based on colors, or style to see if you can narrow down a style you like.  Then, decide if you want to go with a DIY project where you’ll be printing and assembling each invitation yourself, whether you want to browse websites for something you like and can customize and have them print and ship to you, or if you’d rather the personalized attention in a store where you can touch and feel the papers you’ll be using.

Creating a detailed spreadsheet with the names and addresses of guests will be very helpful.  Remember, when ordering, you will not need one invitation per guest, it will be per couple or household.

No matter which method you choose to create your invitations, make sure you allow to plenty of time for the invitations to get to you.

What to include:

The wedding invitations you send out are a vital piece of your planning puzzle. It is important to include all of the information your guests will need to know.

The names of the bride and groom should be displayed prominently on the invitation, some couples choose to include parents names as well.  Next, include the date, time and exact location of the ceremony.  Also include the reception location if different, and the start time if it is not immediately following.  It should be noted on the invitation if you have a specific dress code, or if the reception will be adult only.  The main part of the invitation should be kept simple and clear.  If you are going the DIY route, you’ll be able to find templates and guides online that will walk you through formal or more casual wording etiquette.  Most important: Spell check and confirm details over and over again.  Ask friends and family to look over as well.  The last thing you want is for all of your hard work (and money) to be out the window for a typo.

The RSVP

While it is important for your guest to know the who, what, where, and when, the RSVP card will be the most important part of the wedding invitation for you.  With a few key inclusions, you can ensure a smooth tracking of who is coming and what they would like to eat.  Include a check box of whether guests can attend or not, and a space for them to designate which of the meals you are offering they would like.  If your venue or caterer wants to know which guest is eating which meal, you can ask guests to initial their meal choice.  Also check with your venue or caterer for how they would like you to handle special requests.  You may want to add a line under your meal selection for guests to please alert you of any allergies.

With formal invitations, a pre-stamped and addressed return envelope will be included in the invitation for the RSVP.  For a more green option, many couples are now utilizing an online RSVP’s site such as www.zola.com.  These sites are a great option if you want everything organized for you in one place.  If you choose to do this route, make sure to include instructions and an alternative phone or email for those who may not be tech savvy.  With either RSVP option, select a reply by date which will allow you ample time to get your final food count into the venue, but also time to track down any of those stragglers!

Keeping it Organized

Remember that spreadsheet you created with your guests names and addresses? Pull it out and add in columns for tracking RSVP’s and a few for meal selections.   As RSVP’s come in, make sure to enter these selections so you have them all in one place.

Accommodations/More Information

Traditionally, a separate card would be included in the invitation that would include accommodation information, registry information and any other tips for guests.  Most couples have eliminated this in lieu of a personalized website.  In creating a wedding website, whether through a site like zola.com or theknot.com, this gives your guests a landing page to get all the information they need.  Specifics of your ceremony and reception can be listed as well as information about any discounted hotel blocks you have set up for them.  Links to your wedding registry can also be included.  Add in personal touches with photos or the story of how you met, your engagement and your hopes for the big day.  To ensure your privacy, consider adding a password which you can include in your invitations for guests to log in.

Lastly – Make Your Wedding Invitation Express Your Joy

Most of all, your wedding invitation should convey – through its theme, language, and what it actually communicates – the joy that both you and attendees are feeling at the announcement of this exciting new phase of life for the two of you.  Your guests will be very happy for you – and with you.  The invitation is your opportunity to share your lives with your guests and announce your love for each other to the world …so it deserves your special attention!