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Wedding Planning

Wedding Invitations

 

One of the first and most important steps in the planning of the wedding is inviting people. Who wants a wedding without their family and friends there to celebrate with them? It is essential to get a few things right when preparing those invitations to ensure that everyone you want will make it on your special day.

Choosing the right invitation for your wedding will give your guests an idea of what is to come. It will help set the tone of your entire celebration, so you will need to take some time and decide what you would like your invitations to say about you and your dream wedding.

Many brides get caught up on the proper etiquette for invitations. While etiquette is important, there is no need to fuss over it, as you can quickly look up the proper format and wording online or in any bridal magazine. What is really important, however, is that your invitation matches your expectations for your wedding. For example, don't send out extremely informal invitations, and then expect your guests to somehow understand that you've planned a formal black tie event!

Once you have chosen the style of wedding you would like to have, you can then choose your invitation. Some invitations require many different inserts and envelopes, and these would be considered more formal. Others contain just a simple notice, and a postcard style reply card. All invitations, regardless of style, should be addressed neatly and include vital information such as directions and the time of your wedding. If you are not having a reception, you can send out announcements rather than invitations.

When ordering your invitations, keep in mind that you only need one per couple or family. You may want to send older children who live at home an invitation of their own. Make sure to order fifteen to twenty extra invitations for mistakes and for those few you may have forgotten on your list. Also keep in mind that oversized invitations may require extra postage, which can add up to a small strain on your budget. Remember that you will need to factor postage for the return envelope into your budget as well. Skipping the stamp on those is impolite, and not a place to try and save money.

Before you make your choice, it is a good idea to look at several different styles. Any good stationery shop will have catalogs of invitations to choose from, most specific to weddings. Please be sure to read the description for each invitation, as some may not be suitable for your needs. Some are only available as blank cards, and cannot be used for machine printing.

If you're planning a budget wedding, you might choose to design and print your own wedding invitations and thank you notes. If you or your family members have any artistic ability, you may be able to create a beautiful invitation using calligraphy and some art. You can then have your invitation duplicated onto fine stationery, and the results could be both beautiful and meaningful. This idea probably works best for an informal wedding, although it could work for something more traditional depending on the skills of your family member or friend. What a wonderful way to personalize your invitations! You can also use free software to design them on your PC, and then print them with your own printer. A $50 printer can print super quality pictures.

The invitations should be sent out four to six weeks prior to the wedding date. This will ensure that guests have ample time to prepare their schedule and traveling. You may want to include some recommended hotel accomodations for your out-of-town guests.

If you prefer that only adults attend your wedding, then simply address the letter to the adults or parents. When the card does not specify 'and family' or the children's names, a guest should not assume that the children are invited. Since some guests may be unaware of this 'unwritten rule,' you may want to print 'Adult Reception' on the invitation. Try to avoid phrases such as 'no children' or 'adults only', which is improper.

Another neglected rule of thumb in invitation preparation is that it is improper to list where a couple has their gift registry on the invitation. Rather, pass the word through family and friends. If someone asks you where you are registered, feel free to tell them without feeling impolite. Many people feel at a loss when searching for wedding gifts, and would prefer to purchase something that the couple wants or needs.

 

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