Choosing stationery for your wedding invitations is very exciting for new couples because it gives your guests a first look at what your wedding will be like as well as giving them all the key information they need for your special day. It’s important to make sure that everything about your invites is well-done so you’re sending the appropriate details to the right people, and that you’re avoiding major design mistakes. By knowing what the most common mistakes are, it’s easier to avoid them and make sure your invites are perfect.
1. Having a Cluttered Design
You definitely want your invitations to have personal touches, like a map of your wedding location or a little photo, but you should know that less is more in most cases. If you try to cram everything in from a certain pattern to a flowery script and images of your dogs, it can look like way too much detail, cluttered, and overwhelm your guests. Speak with your stationer to plan what your invitation design will look like and find a happy balance with only a couple of elements that you love.
2. Failing to Spot Spelling Mistakes
You want to ask your friends to review your invitation, especially your friends that have a keen eye for detail and the English language. Surprisingly, you’ve probably missed a spelling mistake or a typo by reading it too many times, and your stationer might have missed it too. Although it won’t make or break your wedding, it’s certainly avoidable and doesn’t take much time or work. It could lead to RSVPs not getting sent to the right address, or guests turning up at the wrong venue.
3. Using Too Much Color
If you don’t want a plain white or ivory invite, it’s natural to add some bold colors or soft pastels, but the main thing is to not get carried away. Similarly, to the first point, if you go overboard it will be too flashy and overwhelming. Simply use bright colors, balance them out with muted, pale backgrounds, and make sure the text is easily readable. Your color palette shouldn’t include more than three to five colors, including one or two neutral ones.
4. Addressing all the Envelopes
You want to do certain things yourself, but addressing envelopes is a task best left to the stationer. Addressing envelopes takes a lot of time and attention to detail, and you may be too stressed or busy for this task. Most stationers will address the envelopes themselves for no extra charge. However, if you insist on doing it yourself, do it in multiple sessions so you avoid being rushed and making mistakes.
5. Having Too Much Time for an RSVP
If you give your guests too long to reply to your invite; whether they’re attending or not, you’ll most likely never receive the answer. The invite will get lost or, they will forget completely about responding. Set the deadline for responding only about 3 to 4 weeks from the mailing date. This gives them time to arrange their plans without forgetting about their reply altogether. It also gives you enough time to finalize your numbers for the seating chart and catering company.
6. Not Ordering the Right Amount of Invitations
Another big problem is ordering either way too many or too few invitations. Look at your guest list and figure out how many households you need to send invites to, as opposed to how many people. This can actually reduce your order by half and save you a lot of time and money. Order about 25 percent more than you need so you have extra for keepsakes, lost or damaged invites, and any late guests. You should do the same for the envelopes, in case you make a mistake addressing them.
7. Putting Too Much Information
Finally, you want to give information without giving inappropriate details. For example, links to your website, registry, and preferences for wedding guests (i.e. adults-only) are all faux pas. If there are exclusive events like bachelorette parties or rehearsal dinners, also refrain from adding these.
8. Not Including Pre-Paid Postage for your Reply Envelopes
Even though guests can reply digitally, by email or text in this day and age, adding the option of a physical, handwritten R.S.V.P. is a nice personal touch for your prospective, invited guests. As well, some of the guests you are inviting may live far away, in different countries, where they can’t inexpensively ring you to confirm.
Physical invitations also confirm your address with guests who mightn’t have heard from you for a while, and a collage of replies from your guests could look beautiful in your wedding album. But if you forget to put pre-paid postage on the invitations you send, don’t be surprised when a few unexpected guests turn up at the event, with their underpaid R.S.V.P.s lost in the mail. Or perhaps they’ll choose to correspond through different electronic means, like the faithfully memorized email address you made, or your old phone number.
9. Holding off on Hiring the Calligrapher
If you do choose to hire a professional calligrapher to work on your invitations, they’ll truly produce stunning-looking work that will be a keepsake for years to come, for you and for many of your guests. But if you do want to employ a professional calligrapher, make sure you hire them early on in the development of your wedding invitations, at around the same time as you begin to search for your stationer. This way, they can work together on the invitations, producing beautiful invitations that truly capture what you want for your wedding’s aesthetic. Also, sometimes if you hire your calligrapher too late, they will request a rush fee, even though weddings are expensive from the get-go.
This is an important day and you want to make sure your guests are clear about the details of the ceremony, while avoiding awkward missteps and confusion.