10 Things Your Should Know Before You Start On Your Wedding Invitations

Invitations are an imperative part of your wedding. It’s the first thing your guests see and will set the tone for your event, and, more importantly, they are the main form of communication to your guests! Meeting with a designer or starting your DIY online search can get a bit overwhelming.

So, take a breath: here are 10 things you need to know or have in mind before you start your wedding invitation search.

1. Know your budget.

I know it’s not the fun and pretty party, but you must know your overall wedding budget in order to know how much you can set towards your invitations. Knowing your budget for invitations, you will be able to make adequate style and paper choices.

A good wedding invitation designer will be able to guide your choices to help you stick to your budget. As a Nashville wedding invitation designer, usually my brides allocate 4-10% of their budget to paper details.

A quick way of determining price is: Divide your paper budget by the number of invitations you will be sending and that will give you a price per invitation. Don’t forget to include postage in your budget!

2. Know your wedding date.

You should start looking for invitations about six to eight months prior to your date. Traditional wedding invitation etiquette states that invitations are sent out 6-8 weeks prior to your wedding date. If it is a destination, you will need to send out invitations earlier – 8-10 weeks before the wedding date. Knowing when invitations need to mailed will help keep you on track for ordering. The average turnaround time is about, from start to finish, is about 6-8.

If you plan on sending out Save the Dates, those should be mailed 6-8 months prior to your wedding. If you are having a destination wedding, they should be mailed out 8-10 months in advance.

Once you and a designer determine the general style of paper you will have for your wedding, she can quickly send out a Save the Date first and then proceed to design the rest of the invitation suite in complimentary fashion.

3. Know how many you need to order.

The number of guests doesn’t always equal the number of invitations. If your guest list is 100 people long, you will usually need half that number, because many of your guests will be living in the same household.

All married or engaged couples should only receive one invitation and children under the age of 18 are included on their parents’ invitation.

Your guest list is a stressful part of planning a wedding, but if you have a “guesstimate” of your total number of guests, you can usually get a close invitation number by dividing the total guest count by 2, give or take 25.

Always order a little extra, you will want to save a few as a keepsake and you may forget someone who you’ll need to add while addressing. And always order extra outer envelopes to compensate for addressing mistakes.

4. Nail down the formality of your wedding.

If your event is formal, your invitation should be a little fancy. If it’s on the beach, it should have that casual look and feel.

The style of the invitation will be a huge indication for guests on how they should dress for the occasion.

Your other choices, like your wedding dress and your venue will also reflect that style and match the invitation. To help zero in on your design, choose 3 words to describe your style that are NOT colors.

Bring pictures that inspire you of things that you love and have already chosen for your big day. You may even bring images of invitations that you like (though we cannot make a replica) which can inspire us and give guidance of what you are wanting.

5. Secure your venue.

Obviously, the location will need to be on the invitation. But the venue will be the main thing to determine the style of your wedding. Are you having a traditional church wedding? Or would you rather an urban venue in the sleek part of downtown? Or perhaps a whimsical unity on the beach, in a garden or barn is more your style.

Each choice will set a different tone for your wedding, thus will determine the type and style of invitation you should order. Also keep in mind how intimate you want the ceremony to be and how many people your venue can accommodate.

6. Know your wedding colors.

There are an infinite number of paper and ink colors. If you have a good idea of what colors your wedding will, those will be reflected in your invitation. It may seem like a small, obvious thing, but paper and color choices will affect your invitation budget.

7. What pieces of a wedding invitation do you need?

Wedding invitations usually consist of more than just the invitation. If you need to know how many guests will attend, then you should include a reply enclosure. If you want to let your guests know where the best place to stay while they are in town, then include an accommodation card, and so on. The number of enclosures you include will increase your investment. We can guide you with what parts of a wedding invitation you may need without it being excessive.

8. Envelopes.

Envelopes are also an important piece of your wedding invitation. Even thought many will say “I don’t care if the envelope is nice. People will just throw it away.” Is that what you want your guests to think of your wedding? So think about your envelope choice.

Will you include a reply card in an envelope or as a postcard? Do you need inner and outer envelopes to imply +1′s and/or children are invited? There are also different styles and paper choices available.

9. Know how you will address your envelopes.

If you are addressing your wedding envelopes yourself or having a calligrapher address them, make sure to order extra for mistakes. With the thousands of font choices now, many brides are opting to have the invitation designer to print them and mail them directly, which we can do!

10. What other coordinating paper details do you need?

Wedding details always look more amazing if they are cohesive and matching; using the same fonts, colors and paper. Think of everything you may want and need besides just the invitation.

Do you want to use a save the date, have programs at your ceremony, seating cards, table numbers, signage, guest books, favor tags or boxes, reserved table signs, custom labels for food on a buffet?

Paper really does make a big difference in your event!

Make sure you discuss all the little details with your designer so your wedding flows in style and all costs are added up for your estimate.

With these tips in mind, you can be more prepared and your meeting will go smoothly and your estimate will come back accurate. With help from a wedding invitation designer, you can begin to check this part off your to-do list!

Interested in scheduling an appointment with Jennifer so you can have your wedding invitations custom designed? Schedule an appointment now.