You’ve set aside a budget, neatly entered your guest list in an Excel spreadsheet, and even uploaded a cute Save the Date video to YouTube for your guests. It’s finally time to tackle the biggest wedding stationery project of all: your wedding invitations.
This can be the most exciting part of wedding planning for some (it certainly was for me, for obvious reasons), but we’ve also encountered couples that come to us feeling completely lost and overwhelmed. They have no idea what they want, what they need, or what is even out there. If this is you, don’t worry! We can take some of that stress away.
Choosing your wedding stationery vendor
There are some obvious factors you should consider when choosing the stationers you want to approach:
- Are they reputable (recommended by others, reviews online)?
- Can they produce what you need (printing capabilities, paper offerings, meeting your timelines)?
If a stationer meets that criteria, then be prepared with answers to these questions before making an appointment to visit said stationer:
- What is the theme or style that I am looking for?
- Is my wedding traditional, modern, or somewhere in between?
- From a scale of 1 to 5, how formal is my wedding? 1 = casual backyard barbecue and 5 = black tie
Having these nailed down will help you decide on the invitation companies you want to consult, and it will greatly help them, too. It’s important that the stationer has the capability of seeing and producing your vision. An invitation designer that prides itself on modern, minimalistic styles, for example, is probably not going to fulfill your expectations of highly embellished invites that come in a silk box.
The anatomy of a wedding invitation suite
Wedding invitation suites come in many, many different shapes and sizes. Let’s take a look at the most standard information pieces of a wedding invitation suite, and how they are used.
Click to enlarge!
This should help you understand which core items you need for your invitations.
Do I just throw it all in an envelope?
You could! Depending on the number of cards you have. We suggest having no more than 3 loose pieces in an envelope. If you had all four items from our graphic above (plus the RSVP envelope), imagine how sloppy it would be when your guests open the invite.
Talk to your stationer about other ways they can put the entire set together. Papertalk Press offers flat pockets, folded pockets and belly bands. All the items fit neatly together in a little package.
Speaking of envelopes…
You may not know this, but invitation sizes highly depend on envelopes sizes. An invitation can be designed to be any dimension, but if it didn’t fit any standard envelope sizes, how could it ever be mailed out?
We work with announcement envelope sizes (plus a few others), because we find that the most envelope options in terms of colours and papers are available in these sizes. These include A7, A2, and either A1 or 4 Baronial envelopes.
Our invitations fit A7 envelopes (5.25″ x 7.25″) or #10 envelopes (4.125″ x 9.5″)
Our RSVP cards fit A2 envelopes (4.375″ x 5.75″) or A1/4 Baronial envelopes (5.125″ x 3.625″)
Our save the date and thank you cards fit A7 envelopes (5.25″ x 7.25″) or A2 envelopes (4.375″ x 5.75″)
If you are unsure of sizing, or if you’re looking for a special colour for your envelopes, be sure to talk to your stationer at the same time as you are making decisions on the invitations.
Addressing your invitations
Ah, another scary part to the whole invitation process. Not only was it difficult to gather all your guests’ addresses (and I’ll bet you still have a few outstanding), now you have to worry about addressing 150 envelopes.
Envelope printing is one of our most popular options with couples, because it’s modern, clean and simple. You supply us with a template of all your guest addresses and off we go!
We’re not talking about your average Avery labels from Staples (which you certainly can do for your invitations… but we like to keep things consistent and pretty). It’s becoming more popular to use these fun wraparound labels for your invitation and RSVP envelopes. We print your guest names and addresses, and your return address, too. Not to mention that the label design matches your invitation set. Then all you have to do is peel off the backing and apply the sticker to your envelopes. Easy peasy!
Calligraphy & Handwriting
Calligraphy by www.plurabellecalligraphy.com
Traditionally, handwritten addresses were the way to go. To be honest, you can never go wrong with handwriting your addresses – as long as your writing is legible. If you’re feeling fancy, and have the budget for it, you can contact a professional calligrapher who will pen every single one of your envelopes by hand. Calligraphy is an excellent option for those with dark envelopes and want to address in white ink, since you can’t print white on a dark envelope with conventional methods.
Let us know if you have any questions regarding wedding invitation decision-making. Don’t forget to review our timeline to see when you should order and send out everything. Good luck!
We’ll be talking about modern wedding invitation etiquette next week. Not your standard Emily Post etiquette that you can read about all over the internet, but questions that real-life brides from TODAY are asking.
Planning the Paper part 1: The wedding paper timeline
Planning the Paper part 2: Budgeting for stationery
Planning the Paper part 3: Save the Dates
Planning the Paper part 4: Destination Weddings
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