When it comes to wedding preparation, everybody talks about wedding invitations, but what about all the other terms and items that are associated with them. Below are explanations of some of the more common terms and items that you’ll probably encounter while shopping for your invitations.
It is courtesy to invite all of your guests, including those who are intimately involved in the wedding; such as the groom’s parents and the minister and his wife. Don’t forget family members who won’t be able to attend, as it is a courtesy to invite them just to inform them of your wedding. On the subject of wedding courtesy, it is important to have the correct wording on your invites, so make a couple of drafts to decide what you like best.
You should start selecting your stationery between six to three months before the wedding, to allow time to order the design, especially for bespoke stationery, and to proof-read the text, hire a calligrapher if necessary, and finally to prepare the stationery for dispatch.
Wedding Ceremony, Reception and Evening Invitations (plus reply cards) are usually sent out six weeks before the wedding, but sometimes this should be earlier, eg for overseas guests who need to organise transport and accommodation, and summer holiday weddings to allow your guests plenty of notice to work around their own holiday plans. A solution is to send out ‘Save the Date’ cards, informing your guests in advance of your forthcoming wedding, which could also match your invitations’ design.
Additional stationery required for the day should be ordered six weeks to one month before the wedding. This includes Order of Services, as well as place cards and other tableware accessories for the Wedding Reception and Evening Party, plus guest books, thank you cards and notepaper. Keep a record of your stationer’s details for easy reordering.
This type of invitation is mailed to guests as a single-folded piece (without an envelope) having the respond postcard attached to the invitation by a perforation for easy removal. Since the respond piece is a postcard, you will save on postage for the return mailing. Prices for this product normally include seals along with a printed return address on both the back flap when initially mailing the invitation and on the perforated respond postcard. For those who won’t be invited to your wedding but you would still like them to know about your marriage, you can mail them an announcement card. They can be printed on the same paper as your invitation but mailed on your wedding day or immediately after with the wording stating that your wedding has already taken place. If there isn’t enough room on your invitation for listing the details of your reception or if not all guests will be invited to attend the reception, reception cards can be ordered to match your invitations and then be included as a separate insert. Please keep in mind that this card could possibly add to your mailing cost since postage is based on weight. These cards are essential to planning for your dinner/reception since an accurate guest attendance count will be needed for food and seating preparations. The respond card along with its mailing envelope will be inserted with your invitation. Remember to include a postage stamp on this small envelope which will also have a mailing address already printed on it so all your guests have to do is fill out the card and mail it back by the date you have printed on it. These direction cards would be included as a convenience for any guests who might not be familiar with the location of the church and/or reception. This option of having your return address printed on the outside envelope can save you valuable time and ensure that undeliverable invitations are returned to you. There is a small cost involved but it also gives an address to those who might not be able to attend but still want to send you a card or gift. For a small charge, you can request your inner envelopes have a colored lining to add a special touch to your invitation ensemble. Colour choices will vary depending on the invitation style you choose. These self-adhesive labels add just the right finishing touch. They are available in many styles and are used on your outer envelope making it look like they are holding the flap down even though it has already been sealed. These are used separately from your invitations but should be included with your original order since they are usually printed on matching paper and this will save you on shipping costs. They are personalised with either your names or monogram on the front with the inside being blank for writing your thank you notes. Any leftovers can be used long after the wedding for other purposes. Blank mailing envelopes are included with them.
Not all of the above items are necessary to make your wedding invitations complete. Remember, this is your special day, so it’s your decision as to which ones you would like to include as part of your invitation ensemble.