|Invitation design by Eutopia Events|
First Impressions are Everything: Your wedding invitation is the first glimpse your guests get of your wedding. It should reflect your wedding style, taste, and clue your guests into what kind of affair you are hosting. Paper, color, wording—carefully selecting your invitations will create a lasting impression with your guests.
Timing is Key: Plan to mail your invitations 8 weeks prior to your wedding date (6 weeks if you mailed save-the-dates). This will allow your guests adequate time to respond. Your RSVP date should be set around when your venue or caterer needs a final guest count.
Addressing the Envelope: Invitations can be addressed in a variety of ways. You can follow tradition, or there are also some modern alternatives. Here are just a few examples.
• When addressing to a married couple, it could be written to Mr. & Mrs. Johnson or Mr. and Mrs. Richard Johnson. The inner envelope, if one, could read Richard and Joan Johnson, or simply, Richard and Joan.
• For a couple living together, but not married, you will want to address each of their names on a separate line alphabetically by last name.
• For a couple in which one is a doctor and the other is not, the doctor should be listed first, followed by their spouse’s name, for example: Doctor Maria Vazquez and Mr. Juan Vazquez.
Handwritten or Calligraphy: Invitations should always be hand-addressed, either by the couple, a friend or family member with nice handwriting, or by a calligrapher. Following this rule of thumb demonstrates to your guests that great care has been taken to personally invite them to your wedding. Invitations should not be mailed to guests with printed labels.
Spell it Out: When addressing invitations, spell out all of the words in an address. “St.” should be spelled out as “Street” or P.O. Box should appear as Post Office Box. This applies also to the State Name. House or apartment numbers smaller than 20 should be spelled out as well.
On the Return: Your return address should also be completely spelled out. However, you could have a stamp made, or have the return address printed directly on the outer envelope. The same applies to the RSVP envelope. You should never use labels.
You’ve Got Mail: This is one of the most important and cost-saving pieces—before you physically adhere stamps to your invitations, bring one complete set to the post office and have it measured and weighed. This will ensure you place adequate postage on your invitations, and that they will make it to their destination and not be returned. You should also include postage for the RSVP card. You may also want to research postage cost for your invitation prior to selection based on weight and size. For example, a square invitation requires more postage than a traditional rectangular-shaped one.
There are many resources available offering advice and etiquette guidance online, or ask your invitation designer, calligrapher, or wedding planner for assistance. Learning these details prior to sending your invitations will help with a much smoother and more pleasant experience.