Thursday, October 1, 2009

{Pro in the Know} Common Invitation Questions

Some times it feels like we answer the same questions time and time again, but of course we never mind one bit. Anything to help out our clients, we are happy to do so!  Even though the answers can actually vary based on your circumstances, these are some of the most frequently asked questions that we receive.  Hope they are of some assistance when you are working on sending our your fabulous invitations and announcements.

Picture 3

1.} Where can I find wording for my invitation pieces?
We recommend

2.} What should I set for my RSVP date on the response card?
First and foremost, find out what timeframe your caterer or venue requires and then add on a little extra padding.  We recommend no less than two weeks prior to your event date, but often times like to set it around three weeks prior.  That way it gives you enough time to call any guests who didn't respond or to let your planner / coordinator know as well.  Plus, some invites always trickle in last minute.

3.} When should I start addressing my envelopes?
There are a few good answers to this.  If you receive your envelopes ahead of time, we always recommend for you to start addressing them while your stationery is on order or being assembled by your stationer.  If you are having calligraphy work, you may want to allow for extra time based on their schedule.  You want your envelopes to be ready as soon as your invitations are ready, so you can stuff them and put them right in the mail.

4.} How much should I budget for postage?
At minimum, I would estimate around $1.50 per piece. (Invitation and reply card postage).  However, the best way to know exactly what you need is to take a completed set to the post office and have it weighed.  It's better to be safe than sorry!

5.} How soon should I mail out my wedding invitations?
The rule of thumb states:
4-6 weeks prior for in state guests
6-8 weeks prior for in and some out of state guests
8-10 weeks prior for a mix of in state and out of state guests
10 - 12 weeks prior for a destination wedding

We personally always recommend to send out your invitations around 8 weeks prior or earlier to give yourself time for them to go through the mailing process as well as time to receive your response cards.

6.} Do we have to Save the Date announcements?
Save the Dates really help your guests plan ahead and are a wonderful way to let your them know to mark your event on their calendar. Although they aren't necessary, we do believe they are very important if you have a large amount of out of town guests attending, a destination wedding, or getting married during a busy holiday.

7.} How do I inform my guests of the dress code?
First of all, it's not proper etiquette to put anything about attire on your invitations. The best way to inform your guests is by the style of invitation you choose and the amount of information you include.  A swirly spring flower invitation is going to send a completely different message than one done with gold and black metallic materials.  Also, the facility should be key to how they dress as well.  For example, a golf course wedding will speak differently than a grande ballroom at a large resort.

If it's really important to you that you do directly let your guests know and choose to forgo etiquette, some options are to write on the information card "black tie affair" or "black tie optional" or "Formal reception to follow." Which is completely up to you.

8.} Where do I put our registry information?
You don't put it anywhere on your stationery.  Traditionally it's considered very inappropriate because it puts more emphasis on your gifts and less on the importance of your guest joining you on your big day.  Old fashioned word of mouth is the best way to announce this or if you have a wedding website, that's a great place to share the information as well.

9.} Do I have to follow etiquette?

Times have definitely changed and all of these are just traditional standard answers.  We always inform our clients of what is traditional and what is considered etiquette, but allow them to choose what is best for them and their families.  As only they know what truly works, doesn't work and offends them.  If something doesn't feel normal or natural to you, find an alternative way to make it feel right.  You don't have to do anything that doesn't feel right to you, however, do think twice about how your recipients will interoperate the message.

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