I asked Pam Hosni of JP Stationery to provide me with some wedding stationery design and planning tips. She offered some wonderful insights that I am happy to share with you!
The “save-the-date” is your first announcement to the world that you are getting married! Let your guests know you when and where - at this point, the city and state names are enough information.
Pam recommends that you give your guests four-months advance notice, especially if your wedding is during the summer. For destination weddings, she recommends about six to eight months notice since your guests have their own planning to do (i.e., getting visas or passports and settling on a budget...most of your guests are likely to stay longer to enjoy more of that white sand in Playa del Carmen, Mexico :).
As far as the design, Pam says that it does not necessarily have to conform to your wedding theme or colors. She encourages brides to take a relaxed and fun approach when designing your announcement!
Number of invitations to be ordered
Believe it or not, 99 percent of couples make the mistake of ordering the same number of invitations as their number of guests. The rule is simple: count everyone on your guest list and divide by two - the reason is that you are inviting at least two people per invitation (sometimes this will be a couple and sometimes this will be a friend + one guest). Also, be sure to order extra invitations up front (as many as one-third of your base order) for several reasons: submitting a second order of invitations is more expensive; you will want extras on hand in case some get damaged; you will want to include an invitation in your scrapbook; and, you may choose to send a second round of invitations if you receive some unexpected "regrets" from your invitees.
RSVP's: Mail or Internet?
Traditionally, an RSVP card with a stamped envelope should accompany your invitation so your guest can send a response. If your wedding is within the United States, this is the rule of thumb to follow. Should you have a lot of international guests potentially attending your wedding, the better idea is to have them RSVP via your wedding website. Make sure your final guest count includes both sources so you don't miss anyone!
According to Pam, less is more. A clean design is elegant and makes a statement. The less wordy, the better.
When reviewing invitation proofs, have another set of eyes looking at it. Make sure information is accurate (such as dates and wedding location) and, of course, make sure your names are spelled correctly!
What if you want to provide useful information for your out-of-town guests - should you try to fit this on the back of the invitation or add an extra insert? The answer is neither. In this case, you should simply add your wedding website address to the invitation. Once at your website, guests will be able to find all the pertinent details about your event: hotel rates, directions, gift registry, things to do during their stay, main tourist attractions, etc.
Choosing your wedding invitation design
A prudent approach to your invitation design is to choose something that will stand the test of time. While it may seem like a good idea to go with a hot or trendy design concept, you may look back and regret going in this direction.
Use classic fonts in charcoal tones. Check different colors palettes to make sure the combinations you are choosing are a good match. Also, stick to your wedding theme and add your own twist of creativity.
For more wedding tips, please give me a ring to 703.690.1075.
Happy Fourth of July and Happier planning!
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