Invitation Handbook: A Guide to Your Pressing Paper Questions
Quite possibly the most important pieces of mail you’ll ever send, your wedding invitations communicate so much more than the where-and-when details of your big day. Their design sets the tone for the ambiance of your entire day and show off your personality as a couple, showcasing the style of your day – all wrapped up in a pretty little invitation suite! You’re bound to have questions as you begin to plan the details of your invitation suite, so we chatted with some of Oklahoma’s most sought-after and talented stationers and answered your pressing paper questions. Scroll through our invitation handbook below for all the helpful info!
Photos // Emily Nicole Photo
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What paper pieces should be included in the invitation suite? The invitation suite should include the formal invitation, outer envelope, reply card, reply card envelope and a details card if needed. The details card is a great way to direct guests to your accommodations information, as well and to your wedding website to find additional information you would like them to know. The outer envelope should also include your return address and also the guest address. The addresses should be handwritten or printed in a coordinating font to your invitation.
How many invites should I order? We recommend finalizing your guest list while you are in the process of ordering your invitations. Your quantity of invitations is determined by the number of addresses you will be mailing to, rather than the number of guests attending. We always recommend ordering about 15% to 20% additional invitations and envelopes just in case there are last minute guests to add or a mistake in the addressing.
What wedding invitation terms do I need to know before starting the design process? When choosing your invitation suite, we discuss things like paper thickness, envelope sizes, printing processes, your wedding style, colors, etc. But you will be guided through all of those options and terms!
What information needs to be included on the invitation itself? A wedding invitation is issued by the host(s). The phrase “honor of your presence” is used when the ceremony will take place in a house of worship. The phrase “pleasure of your company” is used for other venues. Date, time and location of the wedding are standard for all invitations. Less formal, contemporary wording often reflects the couple’s own personal style, but the basic information still applies.
All Things Calligraphy
with The Letter Box Shop
If hiring a calligrapher for my invitation addressing, how long should I give them to have my invitations ready? It is best to book your calligraphy several months in advance of when you need it. Most calligraphy orders take around two weeks to complete.
What is the best way to prepare the guest addresses for a calligrapher? A spreadsheet works best with the address information separated into columns.
Tell us about different calligraphy styles (and which is shown here?). Calligraphy can take on different styles to look traditional, modern or whimsical. This is a modern look. Calligraphy is closely related to handwriting, so there can be a lot of variation in styles. You can even achieve a different look by placing the calligraphy at a diagonal or centered.
Where is calligraphy traditionally used? Calligraphy is traditionally used on envelopes, place cards, vows, signage and certificates. There are many surfaces calligraphy can be placed. Most everyone thinks of paper, but stones, acrylic, mirrors and even fabrics are places for calligraphy.
Timeline Questions Answered
At what point in the planning process should a couple begin working on their invitation design? It is best if the couple has already secured their venue and have an idea of how many people they are inviting to the wedding. After the venue is secured, most couples like to begin the process with their save-the-dates and then they can focus on the wedding invitation process.
When should save-the-dates be sent out? Most couples send their save-the-dates out approximately 6-8 months before the wedding. If a couple is planning a destination or holiday wedding, or have numerous out of town guests, then it is recommended to mail save-the-dates 9 months to a year before the wedding. This allows their guests to make plans and travel arrangements as soon as possible and to get the best prices.
When should wedding invitations be sent out? Wedding invitations are recommended to be mailed out 6-8 weeks before the wedding. Most couples prefer to mail their invitations out at 8 weeks.
How far before the wedding should the RSVP date be? We recommend that the RSVP date be set at 3-4 weeks before the wedding.
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Does the bride or groom’s name go first on the invitation? What about for a same sex couple? The bride’s name will go first. It is a personal preference for same sex couple.
How would you word the invitation if the ceremony and reception are at different locations? If the reception is in a different location, there would be a reception card included with the place and location.
What is the proper way to address the envelope with a return address? On the outside of the envelope, with the address on the return flap. On the reply envelope, most of the time it is the bride’s or her parents’ address.
What’s the proper way to notify guests that the date has been changed if the wedding invitation has already been mailed out? You’ll want to send a change-of-date card to guests.
Custom Invitation Design
with Laurel & Marie
What should a couple know before starting to work on a custom design with a designer? Many people are only familiar with the catalog or online version of shopping for wedding invitations: pick a style you like, customize the wording and wait patiently for your invitations to arrive, but our custom process is much more hands-on for couples who want to create something truly unique. We send samples for our clients to touch and feel materials, discuss paper options and printing methods and chat about the overall vision for their wedding. We draw inspiration from their love story, florals, mood boards and inspiration photos, often incorporating custom calligraphy and hand-painted art to create one-of-a-kind invitation suites.
How far in advance of my wedding should I meet with the invitation designer? Custom invitation design typically takes 2–3 months and invitations should be mailed about 8 weeks before the wedding, so you should reach out to your desired invitation designer no later than 5–6 months before your wedding. Semi-custom design is a bit quicker, but we always recommend getting in touch as soon as possible — our calendar does fill up quickly!
What is a proof and what details should I be looking for while examining the proof? A proof is what your custom invitation designer will send you when they are presenting their ideas to you. Once you have worked with your designer to finalize all of the design details, they will send you a final proof to review ALL of the nitty gritty details. That includes the spelling of your names, your wedding date, the address of the venue, your wedding website and the reply-by date as well as design details like the envelope color(s) you chose and the colors of the proof. If you’re having your invitations letterpress printed, the proof will be when you double-check to make sure the ink color(s) your designer is using are what you want!
What trends are you seeing in custom invitation design? We are seeing lots of fun shapes in custom invitation design! Alongside lots of circles and semi-circles, we’re also excited about the super custom shapes we’ve seen — hummingbirds, a silhouette of the couples’ beloved pet, stars, cowboy boots, state outlines, monstera leaves…you name it.
Ready to start the process? Reach out to an Oklahoma invitation designer today!
Other Local Vendors: Laurel and Marie, The Letter Box