Wedding Planning Tip: Wedding Invitations
In our never ending quest to help you plan your beach wedding. We thought it would be useful to learn a thing or two about wedding invitations. Designing and ordering wedding invitations is something many people only do once in their life, so it’s hard to find an “expert” on the matter. So we went out and found one for you!
I recently had the chance to interview Joana Pirelli of 888-wedding-invitations, an online greeting card company specializing in personalized Wedding Invitations and more. The transcript follows:
1) I know next to nothing about “wedding invitation etiquette”. So give me the low down – who gets one, who doesn’t, how, when, and why?
The good news about wedding invitation etiquette in today’s world, is that there are choices.Wedding invitation etiquette depends on the individuals. How each person decides to word their invitations is entirely up to them. They can follow traditional etiquette – (there is plenty of advice available on that) or they can break with tradition and do something different.Traditionally, all wedding guests get invitations. That way they’ll have all the information they need in writing.
2) How far in advance should a couple order their wedding invitations?
Wedding invitations should be ordered as soon as the guest list is available – at least 4 to 5 months before the wedding. If your wedding is a destination celebration then you should give it more time.
3) Is the designing and ordering of the invitations mainly a “bride thing”, or do you see a lot of grooms get involved as well?
Wedding invitations should come from the home of the bride. Choosing and ordering the design and wording really depends on the couple. I would say that more often than not invitations become the domain of the bride and her family but we have also seen couples that are both very involved in the choice of their wedding stationery.
4) How far in advance should a couple send their wedding invitations? What about save the dates?
While Save the Dates cards are not necessary for everyone, they are a great way to give your guests time to arrange to attend the special day. For family and friends who will be traveling to the wedding location, Save the Dates allow them to book flights, and find travel deals in good time. Send them six to twelve months before the wedding. The wedding invitation should be sent at least two months before the wedding.
5) Should they be mailed or hand delivered?
Invitations should be mailed. They are likely to cost more than the regular first class as they often have enclosures. You can also choose to have them “hand canceled” which means your invitations will be processed by hand and should bypass the automated processing machines, avoiding damage. By the way, it’s a free service!
6) What types of materials are invitations available in?
Invitation stock varies depending on the type of printing chosen. We at 888-wedding-invitations use 100lb matte card stock.
7) I would imagine there are literally endless combinations of colors, fonts, stationery, fabrics, envelopes, stamps…it makes me dizzy just thinking about it! How do you help couples cut through the fog of indecision and actually get started on a design?
Couples very often have a theme or color palette in mind when they start the process of looking for designs for their wedding stationery. Working with a professional wedding invitation designer will help them clarify their ideas and set the tone by suggesting colors, fonts and printing methods. There are also companies that will design stamps to match the invitation design.
8) The invitation is traditionally from the bride’s parents, right? Is this still the case or are couples taking a more modern approach these days?
Tradition says that the bride’s parents pay for everything, so traditional wedding invitations always read that the parent of the bride requested the honor of your presence at the marriage of their daughter. Now, divorce, blended families, and non-traditional families have altered the way weddings are paid for, so the traditional wording has become much more flexible. Modern couples may choose to add opening sentiments such as “With Joy in Their Hearts,” or may choose to change the traditional “request the honor of your presence at the marriage” to something like “invite you to be a special part of the wedding of …..”
9) Who is responsible for paying for the invitations?
This depends on how traditional or modern you are. In the days when a bride came with a dowry, the bride’s family paid for wedding invitations. Today, traditions are changing and modern payment arrangements are becoming common for weddings. Today, both sets of parents often help with wedding costs. The important part is to decide who is paying for what.Because of the independence couples share in today’s society, they will often pay for the invitations themselves.
10) What is the price range of invitations?
Wedding invitation can range from $1.50 each with do-it-yourself kits to $3 or $4 each for mid-range standardized invitations on mid-weight card stock to $9 or more each for invitations that use a high-end printing process — such as engraving or letterpress, on quality handmade or silk paper.
The per-invitation cost goes up with extra folds — tri-fold costs more than bi-fold — or lining on the invitations or envelopes.
The average couple spends $659 on invitations and reply-cards, according to The Bridal Association of America. Other additions such as Save the Dates or Thank you cards will increase the cost.