10 Things You Need To Know About Wedding Invitations

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Wedding invitations set the stylistic tone for the rest of your nuptials.

You may want to incorporate motif colours that you have chosen to feature throughout the day or give a hint of the wedding style you have chosen in the invitations – modern and glam, classic and traditional, flamboyant and quirky or with a more unique theme – all these styles can be hinted at in the style of your chosen stationery.

Here is everything you need to know about wedding invitations from the design stage to postage:

1. Know your colours
Ivory, cream or white card paired with black or gold font is the classic choice for formal wedding invitations but think about introducing colour in your choice of fonts and envelope.

2. Shape and size
A 4.5-inch-by-6.25-inch rectangular card is the traditional size and shape for wedding invitations. But you can channel a more playful or modern vibe with circular, scalloped or square shaped invitations and play around with colourful and metallic fonts or even illustrations if you so choose. The key is creating an invite that sets the tone for the rest of the wedding.

3. Legibility
Whatever colours, patterns, illustrations or fonts you decide on, the most important thing is that your wedding invitation is fully legible and includes all the essential information. So for the sake of legibility, you want to avoid using a very light font on a light background as well as darker fonts on a dark background. Avoid hard-to-read fonts like an overly scripted typeface.

4. Wording
Learn the rules to wording your invitation accurately. Traditionally whoever is hosting the wedding is listed first on the invitation. You should spell everything out including the date and time of the ceremony and reception. On traditional wedding invitations there’s always a request line after the host’s name –something like “so and so request the honour of your presence.” Make sure to double-check you’ve added everyone on your invitation list who should be included.

5. Avoid overkill
Don’t go for overkill on design and illustration as you want to list the key points on your invitation clearly: ceremony time and location, the hosts, your name and your fiancé’s name, the dress code (optional) and the necessary RSVP information. If you squeeze too much information onto the card it will simply become crammed and too difficult to read.

6. Save-the-dates
Your save-the-dates should go out six to eight months before the wedding to give your guests the requisite notice in order to plan ahead. Save-the-dates don’t have to match your invites unless you are committed to carrying a cohesive wedding theme throughout all aspects of your day.

7. Stay on schedule
You want to order your invitations four or five months before the big day so they are ready to mail six to eight weeks before the wedding. If you are having a destination wedding abroad or marrying over the holidays send your invitations out sooner, some 10 to 12 weeks before the wedding.

8. RSVP information
Include this on the bottom right-hand corner of your invitation or on a separate included sheet of card. Make the deadline no more than three or four weeks after guests will have received their invitations.

9. Calligraphy
While you don’t have to hire a calligrapher to address your envelopes, it is recommended as it looks beautiful and will make an elegant first impression. Traditionally addresses are handwritten, so unless you have impeccable handwriting, it’s best to leave the envelopes to a pro. Triple-check the invite for errors and pay special attention to the all important details like the date and time and spelling.

10. It may seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget…
If you want guests to mail back their reply cards, include stamped (and addressed) envelopes. That way they don’t have to pay for the postage. Traditionally, the return envelopes should be addressed to whoever is hosting the wedding.

By Jo Greene, Excalibur Press