When it comes to wedding invitations, there is a surprising amount to consider: booking dates, the invitations themselves, RSVPs, envelopes, stamps. You might like the idea of a nice invite sent to guests by mail, but you probably don’t want to chase people for RSVPs. Or maybe you want to keep your hands clean and don’t want to touch a piece of paper (better for the environment and for your peace of mind). So where do you start, especially if you want to keep it simple? Here’s what the experts and people who have been there say you should keep in mind when coordinating wedding invitations.
When should you actually start planning your invitations?
Without being overly ambitious or overly procrastinating, experts say you should start thinking about your invitations as soon as you’ve booked your venue and have a rough idea of who you’re going to invite, from nine to 12 months old, says Emilie Dulles, designer. stationery and wedding invitation printer. This doesn’t mean that all of your booking dates and invitations have to be designed and mailed a year before you say ‘yes’, but it’s good to think about which route you’re going to take: totally digital, totally physical, or a combination of the two – and whether you’re going to hire a designer or use an online tool.
If you don’t have a concrete vision of how you’d like the invitations to look, Dulles suggests opting for a more “classic” design: white card stock with traditional calligraphy or font detailing who, what, where. and when the wedding. Platforms such as Minted, Zola, and The Knot offer a number of date creation and invitation templates for couples to choose from and order entirely online. According to Dulles, reservation dates should be mailed as soon as you’ve booked the venue, finalized an approximate guest list, and the hotel block has been booked – between six and 12 months.
“Wedding invitations should be printed and mailed at least two to three months before the wedding and at least three to four months before weddings welcoming international guests,” says Dulles.
If you’re going digital, there are a number of online services to choose from. Paperless Post, Minted, Joy, Evite, and Greenvelope offer both customizable design templates and layouts for your dates and invitations.
You should plan to send an online reservation six months before the wedding and online invitations two to three months before the event, says Katie Brownstein, director of marketing and communications at Joy. And you should have RSVPs for all of your guests two weeks before the wedding date.
How it worked IRL
For her 2018 wedding in Blaine, Wash., Lilia, 28, took the online route and used Greenvelope. Not only were digital invitations more durable, Lilia was able to make edits to her list on the fly, giving her friends last-minute plus-ones. Lilia loved the way she could add links to the digital invitation, directing guests to other important information like the couple’s wedding website, location, and their registry. Because the invitation was in an email, she felt it allowed guests to ask questions immediately and encouraged easy and open communication. “A lot of time, money and effort is spent on paper invitations, and I fully understand that it’s a nice touch point, but I think it’s not the most valuable area I wanted. make an effort, ”says Lilia. “For us, we wanted to be more sustainable and didn’t see the value as much and digital seemed a lot easier. “
And if you go the physical invitation route, know the process of sending out the invitations. If your invitations require assembly, set aside a weekend and ask friends to help you out, depending on the size of your wedding. “I never really understood how much we were putting in each envelope,” notes Christian, 31, of Queens, New York. “The invitations we selected were beautiful, but they took a long time to prepare and it was tricky. Not so much fun. Also take the time to check the invitation. Read it, have your partner read it, and run it with a friend or two. “We spent so much on invitations and then realized we forgot to take the time. We had to resend digital invitations and we still had a million questions about when people should come, ”says Diana, 32, of Boston, Massachusetts.
The best hacks to reduce hassle
Fortunately, in uncertain times, digital invitations are more acceptable than ever. Guests are also faced with this strange new world, so they understand that there may not be formal booking dates and there may be last minute invitations. That said, if you have a family that has ideas about etiquette, then you may have heard a lot of unsolicited advice on where, when, and how to send invitations.
If so, consider hybrid style invitations. “There is something beautiful about opening a wedding invitation in the mail, and a lot of my clients still go this route, but sometimes printed invitations can be expensive and time consuming. Even collecting mailing addresses can seem like a full-time job! Notes Heather Odendaal, owner and manager of Weddings by Bluebird in Whistler, British Columbia. His solution: “I’ve seen couples choose a hybrid model of sending invitations by mail to key guests and sending digital invitations to the vast majority of guests.
And even if you go 100% postal mail on the invitations, you can embrace the technology. “Consider sending your guests a meeting invitation – with the hidden guests, of course – to make sure they are aware of the deadline for confirming your attendance at your wedding,” says Odendaal.
According to Brownstein, one of the easiest ways to manage a guest list is to use a digital tool. Joy, The Knot, Zola, and others allow couples to collect addresses, track when save dates and invites have been sent, manage RSVPs, and collect meal choices.
Additional reporting by Anna Davies.
Emilie Dulles, designer-printer of stationery and wedding invitations
Katie Brownstein, Director of Marketing and Communications at Joy
Heather Odendaal, Owner and Director of Weddings by Bluebird