1. Do a family count, not necessarily a head count. Make sure when ordering invitations that you order enough per household or couple not by how many people will be attending your wedding.
2. Order between 10-20 extra envelopes and invitations. This ensures that if you have a couple extra add-ins or make a spelling error on your envelope you won’t be paying a premium price for a whole new order.
3. Order any extras at the same time of invitations. If you are planning on ordering programs, seating cards, menu cards, or thank-you notes from your stationer/printer make sure to do this at the same time as your invitations. Sometimes these can be combined in a bundle, and more often than not it will save you money at least on shipping.
4. Save-the-dates should be sent out 6-9 months prior. If you plan on mailing save-the-dates make sure these go out well in advance before the invitations.
5. If you have sent a Save-the-date notice, make sure to send an invitation. I know this sounds so obvious, but many brides don’t keep track of who they have sent save-the-dates to, and end up forgetting to send the official invitation to one or two guests. Not only that, but make sure when sending save-the-dates that you aren’t going to have cut some guests due to a budget restriction. This is extremely uncouth and will make almost anyone upset.
6. Make sure to order invitations 4-5 months prior. Printing invitations can take anywhere for 2-6 weeks, and you need to give yourself or a calligrapher time to address all these invitations.
7. Know your printing options. There are a couple different styles of printing options that come at different costs. An engraved option is classical but also very expensive. Thermography is raised and looks very similar to the engraved option but comes at a fraction of the cost. Lastly, there is laser printing which is flat. However, you can use multiple colors with laser printing.
8. Don’t forget to proofread! You just can’t proofread enough. Make sure you have a couple more eyes look at your invitation before you send it in for printing. Invitations are usually not cheap, and to have a simple spelling mistake could be a catastrophe for your budget.
9. Send out invitations 6-8 weeks prior on normal occasion. Unless you are having a destination wedding or a wedding taking place over the holidays (in which 10 weeks will suffice), invitations should be sent out no earlier than 8 weeks. If sent out earlier, many of your guests may forget to RSVP because they will put it off for later.
10. You don’t need to declare where you are registered. I know this may seem like a surprise to some, but there is no need to include a registry card. There’s really not a classy way to pull this off and it just seems tacky and greedy. Don’t worry, I promise, your guests will ask either ask your parents or your wedding party where you are registered, and by all means let these people know beforehand so they can give the correct answer.
11. Before mailing out invitations, make sure to bring it to the post office to find out how much it will cost you per wedding invitation. Nothing is worse than thinking that you are mailing out invitations with the correct postage and having them all come back to your house with an ugly ink stamp saying that they could not deliver the item. I would encourage you to even mail one to yourself beforehand just to make sure that it was successful and then you can always keep that one as a memento.
12. And, no… Don’t send invitations via email. I know that a lot of things are sent via web lately, but a wedding invitation just isn’t one of those things that should be. I’ve said this before, but the invitation is one’s first impression of your wedding day. You can cut costs with it being simple and elegant in design, but please save emails for your kid’s 3rd birthday party if you must.