All About Wedding Invitations

Invitations set the tone for the style, theme and formality of your wedding. Selecting the paper, style and wording is an important step in planning any wedding.


Wedding Stationary is made up of many different items. Wedding stationary goes beyond the request to attend your wedding. The "Invitation" itself is typically comprised of the ceremony card, reception card (if applicable), response card with return envelope, map and the inner and outer envelopes. In addition, there are also ceremony programs, table cards, announcements and thank you notes to consider.


Your invitations should be ordered four to six months prior to the wedding to allow plenty of time for proofreading, corrections of errors, printing, addressing and mailing. The first step is to finalize your guest list. To determine how many invitations you should order, simply count each couple and single guest, each attendant, parents, family, clergy and their guests. Order 25-50 extra invitations to handle last minute surprises, as well as guests from the "B" list (if applicable). It would also be wise to order an extra 25 - 50 envelopes for potential addressing mistakes.


Once you peruse the wide array of wedding invitations available today, you may decide to go with a traditional or contemporary invitation style. Look for designs utilizing unique papers; moir?, rice, weaves, linens and parchment, or handmade papers with flower petals, glitter of confetti. If you and your fianc? are environmentally conscious, select an invitation made from recycled paper. Whatever the case may be, choose an invitation that best reflects both you and your intended's personalities.

If your intention is to invite all guests to both the ceremony and reception and they are both being held at the same site, it is acceptable to include the reception information on the ceremony invitation. (Usually stated as "Reception immediately following Ceremony" printed in small print on the lower corner of the invitation) If the ceremony and reception sites are different or if the guest lists vary you should include a separate reception invitation with the ceremony invitation.


The invitation to a reception after the wedding ceremony is printed on a small card that matches the paper and typestyle of the ceremony invitation.


Response cards are commonly included to enable you and your family to keep track of the number of guests who will be attending the reception. They simply request that your guests confirm whether they will be attending your wedding. It is also appropriate to request reception dinner choices on the response card. Be sure to include the matching postage-paid return envelope.


As a courtesy to your guests, include a map or written instructions to the ceremony and reception sites. Maps are available from you invitation stationer. Should you choose to compose and print the map yourself, keep in mind that photocopies are not considered acceptable. A more appropriate option would be to create the map on your home computer and print it on a paper similar to your invitations.


Invitations should be mailed four to six weeks before the wedding. If many of your guests are from out-of-town or if the wedding is on a holiday, consider mailing the invitations eight weeks or more prior to the wedding. This courtesy will allow time for your guests to make the necessary travel arrangements. Be sure to weigh the complete invitation to ensure correct postage, and to confirm whether the envelope is considered standard or oversized by the United States Post Office.


Brides have up to 3 months from the date received to acknowledge wedding gifts and congratulatory notes. A handwritten, personal thank you is required for every gift. The note should include a brief reference to the gift, and how it will be used in your new home. If the gift is monetary, do not state the amount, rather mention what you plan to do with the gift, such as purchasing an item on your registry or putting it towards your new home.


Wedding announcements are in good taste, as they require no obligation to send a gift (as opposed to wedding/reception invitations). They are sent to old friends who have been out of touch for some time, business associates, clients, people who live too far away to attend, and good friends who are not included when the wedding and reception lists are limited. Announcements should be mailed the day of the wedding, or the day after, but may be sent up to a year after the wedding has taken place.


Ceremony programs have grown very popular: Not only do they help personalize the event, they assist guests of other religious denominations to understand and follow your service. Programs include the order of the ceremony, the names of all of the bridal party, parents, the officiant, readers, the source of readings, musicians, vocalists, titles and composers of songs.


Pew cards are for family members and intimate friends who are seated in specially designated pews at the ceremony. They are typically 2" x 3" and simply state the pew number or "Within the ribbons." Pew cards may be mailed with the invitations, or may be sent out or hand delivered once attendance is confirmed.


At home cards are given to friends and relatives to inform them of the address of the newly married couple. These cards measure approximately 4" x 2-1/2". For clarity it is best to state your married name on the first line, followed by the date by which you will be at the new address. For example, Mr. and Mrs. Stanton will be at home after the thirtieth of August 1234 Main Street Merriville, Ohio 44000

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