Your wedding invitations set the tone for the style, theme and formality of your wedding.
Save-the-Date Cards Save-the-Date cards are informal notices sent to invited guests for events that are 4-6 months out and are especially good if the event is being held around a major holiday or the guests are out-of-town. For more information, see our article entitled “It’s In The Cards”.
Wedding Stationery Wedding stationery is made up of many different items and include:
The invitation, which is typically comprised of the ceremony card, reception card (if applicable), response card with return envelope, the inner and outer envelopes, and may include a map.
In addition, there are also ceremony programs, table cards or placecards, announcements, and thank you notes.
When should I order my invitations? Your invitations should be ordered 4-6 months prior to the wedding to allow time for printing, addressing and mailing.
How many invitations should I order? The first step is to finalize your guest list. Then, to determine how many invitations you should order, count each couple and each single guest, each attendant, parents, family, clergy and their guests. Generally each guest over 18 should receive their own invitation. It is suggested that you order 25 extra invitations to handle any last minute surprises, as well as guests from the “B” list, if applicable.
Ceremony Invitations When looking through the many invitation books and the hundreds of invitations available, choose an invitation that best reflects both of your personalities. If you are inviting all guests to both the ceremony and the reception and they are both being held at the same site, it is acceptable to include the reception information on the ceremony invitation as a corner copy. (Usually stated as “Reception immediately following Ceremony”) If the ceremony and reception sites are different or if the guest lists vary, you should include a separate reception card with the ceremony invitation.
Reception Cards The invitation to the reception after the wedding ceremony, or the reception card, is printed on a small card that matches the paper and typestyle of the ceremony invitation.
Response Cards Response cards are commonly included to enable you and your family to keep track of the number of guests who will be attending the reception. Be sure to include the matching postage-paid return envelope.
When should I mail my invitations? Your invitations should be mailed 4-8 weeks before the wedding. Be sure to weigh the complete invitation to ensure correct postage, and to confirm whether the envelope is considered standard or oversized by the post office.
Thank You Notes Brides have up to 3 months from the date received to acknowledge wedding gifts and congratulatory notes. A handwritten, personal thank you is required for every gift. The note should include a brief reference to the gift, and how it will be used in your new home. If the gift is monetary, do not state the amount, but rather mention what you plan to do with the gift, such as purchasing an item on your registry or putting it towards your new home.
Announcements Wedding announcements are sent to old friends who have been out of touch for some time, business associates, clients, people who live too far away to attend, and friends who are not included when the wedding and reception lists are limited. Announcements should be mailed the day of the wedding, or the day after, but may be sent up to a year after the wedding has taken place. Wedding announcements require no obligation to send a gift (as opposed to wedding/reception invitations).
Ceremony Programs Ceremony programs not only help personalize your wedding, but they assist guests of other religious denominations understand and follow your wedding ceremony. The programs include the names of all of the bridal party, parents, grandparents, the officiant, readers, the source of readings, musicians, vocalists, titles and composers of songs and list any special ceremonies such as the unity candle ceremony, etc.
Pew Cards Pew cards are for family members and intimate friends who are seated in specially designated pews at the ceremony. They are typically 2”x3” and simply state the pew number or “Within the Ribbons.” They may be mailed with the invitations, or may be sent out or hand delivered once attendance is confirmed.
Article contributed by Crystal City Wedding & Party Center, Corning, NY
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