Thursday, November 5

Invitations: Ordering

{Cartouche Espresso Invitation by Martha Stewart via eInvite}

Ordering your wedding invitations:

When to Order

Order your invitations as soon as your date, time and place have been confirmed. Three to six months before the ceremony is what most expert planners suggest. The more time you give yourself, the less harried you'll feel and the more carefully you'll make decisions. Give yourself or your calligrapher at least a month to hand address, assemble, and stamp the invitations and reply envelopes.

The Value of a Preview

Look for a printer or on-line dealer who offers CheckMate Preview technology so that you can see an actual copy of your invitation--with all your custom changes--before you order. CheckMate lets you personalize the invitation of your choice with your own wording, ink color and lettering style, and then shows you an actual copy of your creation almost immediately! If your store does not offer CheckMate, ask the staff to request a paper proof from the printer before the ensemble is printed. There is usually a charge for each proof you order and it takes a few days to a week to receive. If you don't like what you see, you'll need to make changes and order another proof.

How Many to Order

To calculate the number of invitations to order, count one invitation for each of the following:

  1. Couple (married or living together)
  2. Family with children under 18
  3. Each child 18 years old or older and still living at home
  4. Single guest
  5. Fiancee/fiance of a guest
  6. Invited boy-or-girl friend of a guest

For example, in a house with one set of parents and five children (one child 17, one 14 and three children 18 and older), four invitations would be sent. One would be sent to the parents with the name of the 17 year old and the 14 year old on the line below the parents' names (on the only envelope if using a single envelope or on the inner envelope if using a double envelope set), and one each to the three siblings 18 and older.

After calculating the number of invitations, as noted above, add approximately 25 invitations to your order: 10-12 more for keepsakes, plus extras for the last-minute guests (and there will be last-minute guests.) Reorders later can be costly. Also, depending on how large your order is, add 25 to 50 additional envelopes in case of mistakes in addressing.

When to Mail

Most established wedding planners agree that you should plan to mail your invitations six weeks before the wedding. Make sure you have one completely assembled invitation weighed at the post office to determine the correct postage. When you return with your invitations stamped and ready for mailing, ask to have them hand canceled. After all the care you put into selecting and addressing your envelopes, you'll want them to arrive in pristine condition for your guests' full enjoyment.

Destination weddings:

***Remember, if you are having a very detailed itinerary, more planning and foresight come into play!

Save the Date is a must:

Once you have chosen your destination and the date, you’ll want to inform your guests so they can plan their travel and lodging. Eight to nine months in advance is plenty of time. Save-the-Date Cards will tell them where and when the wedding will be held, and will give them their first glimpse of the celebration to come. More research on the bride and grooms end comes in advance of this. Watching flight pricing trends and scheduling accordingly to make it easier for all of you guests and their pockets, after all, you want them all there celebrating with you!

Getting there: invitations & the extra touches:

The perfect invitation will allow your guests to share your excitement the moment they open the envelope, and introduce the whole destination wedding idea. Your Invitations formally present your theme, setting the tone for your wedding. Response Cards are a simple way for your guests to secure their place at your celebration — and you’ll have a count of how many are attending. If your reception is to be held at a different site than the ceremony, you may want to send Reception Cards as well.

When they open your invitations, your guests will be excited and want to know where to go and what to do. A wedding blog or website can be helpful to give them the opportunity to peruse collected information you have already researched about the area. To make it easier once they arrive, have custom Direction Cards to all your wedding events. When traveling, you may be hosting more than just a reception. To help your guests enjoy all that your perfect locale has to offer, you may want to send Invitations for special activities to bring people together.

Destination weddings require a lot of separate pieces. When you combine your wedding ensemble, the magic is in the details! Some invitation sets are designed to keep your guests organized — and your invitations neat — with Custom Folders or Pockets that hold all the pieces of your wedding ensemble.

Schedules, agendas, programs and more:
How do you make your guests feel at home when they’re far away? A gift basket filled with local goodies will give them a warm welcome in their hotel room. To show your appreciation and bring your guests into the warm embrace of your event, include a Welcome Letter either in the gift basket, or by itself. You can also collect local maps and guidebooks for your guests, and suggest activities to do in between your events. Carry your wedding theme over to these and other materials, adding details that make your personality show through. These personal touches and thoughts go a long way. It is a nice way to greet everyone after their efforts and planning to be there to celebrate with you.

Have a little fun, go here and see your names on an invitation instantly!

Next: Wording your invitation

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