Your Guests’ First Glimpse of Your Special Day
By Carly Prakapas
When caught up in the excitement of wedding planning, your invitations may not be the first things that come to mind. Your gown, the banquet facility, your honeymoon: These are the areas that usually get the most attention. However, invitations are quite important. “A sensational invitation sets the stage for a successful event,” says Jaynee Bucco, an experienced consultant and owner of invitation design company, Jaynee’s Party. A creative, personalized invitation not only gives guests an impression of you as a couple, but it also gives them an idea of what to expect on your wedding day. Make sure your invitations portray the image you are looking for without causing you any stress along the way.
Whether your wedding is going to be small and intimate or a large celebration with everyone you know, your guest list is something that you have probably been pondering over for a while. Think about the people you communicate with most often. Your friends, family and coworkers may all come to mind, but determining who you would like to share your most special day with may be the difficult part. Your guest list needs to consist of people you know well, care about, and who love you and your groom. When you are thinking about your coworkers or business partners, invite each person because of your shared friendship, not merely your association through work. Keep in mind that anyone invited to your engagement party or bridal shower should also be invited to your wedding.
When it comes to invitations, the most common concern brides have is in regard to wording etiquette. “Many brides want their main invitation to be traditional,” Jaynee Bucco comments. “However, I do believe that you can bend the traditional wording, as long as you incorporate three important things: who is inviting the guests, the type of function, and the date, time, and place,” she adds. However, if you wish to stick to tradition, any experienced wedding invitation designer will be able to answer questions you may have about wording etiquette.
If you are worried about remaining environmentally friendly, a variety of invitation companies will work with you and make it easier for you to “go green.” Find a company that prints on recyclable or 100% cotton paper. This not only saves trees but is energy efficient and reduces waste. To cut back on your paper usage, perhaps send one card to an entire family or eliminate the RSVP card, asking guests to call or e-mail their replies rather than mailing them. But don’t forget, even if you are cutting back, it is still important to order about ten extra invitations for keepsakes and unexpected additions to your guest list. You don’t want to be stuck at the last minute without an invitation for your distant Aunt Helen!
It is essential to put a great deal of thought and care into the design of your invitations. They should reflect the theme of your wedding so loved ones can get an idea of what’s in store for them during your ceremony and reception. Do the colors represent the season in which your special day will take place? Do the images illustrate the unique location of your wedding? Do the palm trees signify a destination wedding? Stay away from generic white paper with a black font and let your personality shine through your invitations with intricate and detailed designs that cater to the theme of your wedding. You can even enhance your invitation by sealing it with a sticker or a wax seal that reflects your theme and personality. After all, this is your big day. Make your invitations unique and special. Just keep in mind that prior to stamping, you should bring a sample of the invitation to the post office to ensure correct postage. Square, heavy, oversized, or dark envelopes sometimes require extra postage.
With any invitation company, order samples to ensure acceptable quality, and make sure you see a proof before you purchase. You want to be sure that your invitations are exactly what you want before you have all of them printed. Working one-on-one with an invitation designer may be helpful in making sure you get the invitations you desire. Your designer can meet with you and your fiancé to help make your vision come to life. He or she can get to know you as a couple, ensuring that your invitations are a reflection of your personalities and style. Explain the theme and tone of your wedding to your designer to make sure that your invitations give a fitting impression of what is to come on the day you tie the knot.
You want to be certain that everyone you care about will be with you on your special day. Ensure that your guests keep the day of your wedding open by sending out save-the-date cards. You can really get creative with these, sending out anything from elegant cards to fun magnets that can serve as a daily reminder on the refrigerator. Perhaps you want to include a picture of you and your fiancé on your save-the-date. Schedule an engagement photo shoot with a wedding photographer. These pictures will not only be perfect for your save-the-dates, but they will also be a great trial to see if this is the photographer you would like to hire for your big day.
Make sure you have your invitations prepared in time. They should be ordered at least three to four months before you want to send them out (five to six weeks prior to the wedding date) so they can be assembled, addressed, and mailed. Everything takes time, and you don’t want to be stressed out at the last minute. Stick to a detailed wedding preparation timeline, and you’ll be well on your way to stress-free planning.