With all the ever-changing trends in wedding attire, lighting, color and decor, the one thing that has hardly changed at all is the invitation. Actual written invitations became popular to the masses shortly after World War II when rapid industrial growth gave the common person the ability to mimic the lifestyle of society’s elite. Until that time, only the super wealthy could afford beautifully printed stationery items. Now, brides and grooms can go so far as to even print their own wedding invitations, thank you, reply cards and other inserts at home. Of course I always strongly advise against doing anything yourself when it comes to something as important as your wedding. For one thing, the smallest mistake can ruin the entire project but, mostly because couples have enough to worry about without the added stress of a DIY project gone wrong.
For picture perfect ( and stress-free) wedding invitations:
Find something that expresses your personality and/or the theme of the wedding. Ultra-formal, casual, flashy or artsy… finding the right design is not as easy as it sounds. Spend plenty of time picking out invitations that reflect your personalities and give the guest a hint of what to expect at your affair.
Save The Date. This is what gives them the first clue to your wedding style. It does not have to be the same exact style as the invitation but it should have a similar feel.
Inserts. Make sure that each invitation has a reply card with pre-paid postage. If you desire, you can also add a map, itinerary and some include an insert that has neighboring hotels and other points of interest for out of town guests.
Thank You(s).Don’t forget to order Thank You Notes to match the invitations. This is the one detail that is often overlooked… hard to believe.
Quantity. Always order extra invitations and additional envelopes on top of that. The rule is to divide total number of guests by 2 and then add 25. But, this formula will not work for everyone. A good cushion is to have 10 additional invitations in case there is a last minute change.
Font. Don’t let anyone tell you that most fonts all look the same. Monotype Corsiva is way different than French Script. If you are in doubt, defer to the expertise of your invitation specialist.
Postage. Never rely on chance. Take the invitation to the post office, have it weighed and measured with all inserts in place. When you drop them off, make sure you ask how to make sure they are hand stamped. Irregular sizes like square envelopes always require more postage. Determining the postage is especially important if you decide on boxed invitations. Boxed invitations are small packages and will be weighed and measured differently than letters.
Stamps. You can order stamps online using your own photos or you can use an attractive stamp from the post office. Seasonal stamps are nice, especially the ones that have some sentimental meaning to you.
Calligraphy. Sometimes thought of as a lost art, calligraphy is something that cannot be mimicked by any computer program and is without a doubt, the most elegant form of addressing your guests’s envelopes.
Double-check. Double check for misspelled names, typos, grammar and syntax. Wording can be tricky (especially with blended families) so, ask for help with wording if you need it and get a second opinion even if you think you don’t need one
The invitation is the first and last impression your guests will have of your wedding… make it as unique and special as you are!
-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago