5 Mistakes We Made With Our Wedding Invitations

Wedding invitation mistakes | Clary Photo | blog.theknot.com Clary Photo

Traditional wedding etiquette books will tell you that you should send your wedding invitations six to eight weeks before your wedding. Like most brides, I didn’t want to inconvenience my guests (by rushing them to respond) so I was determined to get those suckers out on time. And we made the deadline — but just barely and not without some stress. Here are the mistakes we made along the way. Can you relate at all or was sending your invitations a seamless operation?

 

1. We ordered them late.

It wouldn’t be exaggerating to say I looked at our proofs 10+ times. And depending on how you look at it, that’s either obsessing or just being a careful bride. Bottom line, we didn’t order them until a few weeks before we wanted to send them. In case you’re wondering, we went with Wedding Paper Divas’ Pure Style, and they are gorgeous!

 

2. We tried to DIY the envelopes

DIY is awesome — if you have time to DIA (Do-It-Again), after inevitable mess-ups. We decided not to splurge on calligraphy, but printing the envelopes with no time for trial and error wasn’t a huge money saver in the end. In this case, we quickly realized that our printer couldn’t handle the luxe, thick stock of our envelopes. We had to bring in professional help — and we realized this less than 24 hours before we were leaving town for five days. Luckily, I found a local stationer, Fiona Designs, on Etsy, who immediately met my future husband so he could hand off our envelopes, and then facilitated proofs (and printing) via email during our trip. They were waiting for us to assemble on the night we returned and thankfully, were perfect.

 

3. I didn’t read all the fine print.

Like many pre-designed stationers, Wedding Paper Divas gives you the helpful option to have the RSVP address printed on your reply card envelopes. In a moment of bridal brain, I skipped this step. We had the stationer print these as well, for a small additional fee, so this turned out to be merely a minor blip. But read the fine print of your entire order during the proof process (rather than just focusing on typos and spacing, like I did).

 

4. We chose bulky invitations

I knew postage would be extra, but I was surprised by exactly how much it added up for our square-shaped envelopes. With two stamps needed for each, we spent a few extra hundred dollars on postage. In the end, I was happy to do it because I really wanted this particular invitation, but I might have checked out similar styles in a more traditional shape to save the extra money.

 

5. We assembled them in one (late) night

Whether you’re engaged for just 6 months (like us) or over a year, it seems like every bride and groom has a few late nights due to wedding planning (if you haven’t, please tell me your secret!). Our first night we worked into the wee hours was the night we got back from our trip (we wanted to get the invites out the next day, which would be the important six-week cut-off). I stamped and licked envelopes for an hour straight after my better half assembled all 97 of them. By the end, I totally related to George’s fiancé Susan from Seinfeld (who died after licking too many envelopes). No one died during the process of sending our invitations, but we felt a little dead at work the next day.

Brides and grooms: Where did you get your invitations? What style did you choose? And was it a stressful or smooth process?

 

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  • Jessica
    05/16/14 at 09:42

    My fiance and I ordered our invitations from Invitations by Dawn. They are beautiful, 70 cents to send out once the envelope is stuffed with the RSVP’s and the maps to the hall. We stuffed one once we ordered and took it to the post office to be weighed. We have been engaged since July 2012 and are not getting married until Oct 3 so we have not had any late nights of cramming yet because we’ve had two years to spread stuff out. 132 invitations to go out and I believe I have 90 done already, doing little at a time. We ordered address labels from Zazzle, printed the guests name on the first set for the invitation and then printed them again for the return envelopes so we knew who was sending them back (in case they forgot to put their names) we also ordered a custom stamp with our name and address for our save the dates so we used that also on our invitations for a return address on the back and with the return envelopes we had invitations by Dawn print our names and address on that also. It’s been fun!

  • Frances
    05/17/14 at 12:57

    I ordered All in One style invitations from Invitations by Dawn. I loved the thick textured cardstock it was on, and the fact the RSVP was attached so all guests had to do was tear off the bottom of the invitation and send the pre-stamped RSVP postcard back! Many guests have told me they loved how sustainable and cute the invitation was and easy it was to RSVP. I also saved on postage this way!

  • 05/17/14 at 07:11

    I ordered my invites from Things Festive Papers, and they came out beautiful. There was some assembly required, but I got the moms together and made an afternoon of it. We were done in a couple of hours and we got bonding time in. I bought clear labels from Walmart and printed all the addresses out. It took a little extra time but saved me a ton of money.

  • tanya
    05/17/14 at 05:56

    I made ours from start to finish but we only had a small wedding (28 guests). We want some different and turned out beautiful. I took about a week to make them doing a different step each night and about 3/4 of them were hand delivered.

  • highglossweddings
    05/17/14 at 08:37

    We had an invitation designer do ours – she was GREAT!! We met once and went over designs & wording, and she showed me samples stock. Then she emailed me a few different proofs after a wee bit of back & forth tweeking they were perfect… ordered them and in about 2 weeks they arrived, we chose to assemble ourselves which was a simple task of taping the 2 layers together but saved a bit of $! we also had her make matching favour tags & signing cards to go with our Photo Backdrop guest book… it was great working with a designer one on one and really getting what we envisioned!!

  • Sarah
    05/18/14 at 07:58

    We printed ours at home with a kit we got from the craft store. Pretty simple and it cost us only once stamp each! The only times I had late nights were when I was working overnights and had nothing to do (I work front desk at a hotel and overnights I don’t tend to have much work to do for the first few hours) so I brought my invitations that needed to be addressed or place cards that needed to be made.

  • 05/19/14 at 12:12

    We ordered our invitations from MagnetStreet and they came out just absolutely lovely. With all the customization options, the colors of the wedding, which had been nye impossible to match, were matched, lickety-split.

    The thing I would change if I could go back… if you know you’re going to send out a few more later, but don’t have addresses yet, or there are some last minute additions, or you’re doing a dreaded ‘B’ list – order the invites all at once and order extra, because a limited run of 10 or 25 will cost you almost as much as the original 100 did. That was an unpleasant surprise. You might be out 20/40 dollars if you don’t need them, but they could cost an extra $200 if you do.

  • cherise
    05/25/14 at 01:40

    lol i died when I read number 5. licking envelopes is nasty its called a glue stick people lol but great tips non the less

  • primandpauper
    05/25/14 at 11:13

    Wow, you licked 97 envelopes in one night? I’m with cherise… but for us it’s called wet your finger with some water and run it along the envelope glue. End of story.

  • Kristi
    02/04/15 at 02:19

    I sent mine out last week and instead of risking paper cuts, I used a Qtip dipped in a small bowl of water. I’d replace the Qtip with a fresh one every 8-10 invites or so to avoid cotton getting onto the envelopes.

  • 05/28/14 at 01:13

    I had MANY of the same problems you listed. I’m a graphic designer so I created the invitations myself. But that didn’t really make things any easier on myself considering I’m also a perfectionist. We just BARELY made out 8 week deadline, and that is including two all nighters in one weekend. I will definitely avoid labels in the future. They were the ultimate pain. My fiance was a big help, and I am gratful for that. My one major mistake, forgetting to mention the reception is adult only. So now I’m making awkward phone calls to family members that send back RSVPs that include their children.

  • Alex
    06/19/14 at 11:41

    I’m a graphic designer and my FI had a background in design as well, so for our invites we created a big fold-out poster, and the RSVP was either by phone or online at our wedding website (which my web developer MOH set up for us). It was all kind of shockingly simple. By not spending on cardstock or metallic ink we managed something that was still REALLY striking and different, and we were able to pay the printer to fold them for us (huge time saver).
    For our save the dates we created postcards and hand wrote the addresses…no envelopes required.

    I mean we’re “outside-the-box” people and our guests expect that, so they aren’t exactly solutions that will work for a traditional wedding, but the point is that a little creative problem solving will go a long way!

  • 08/25/14 at 02:36

    Is do it yourself that difficult? I was actually considering DIY cards for my own wedding but now my confidence seems drained. I loved the blog post. I wonder how many couples understand the significance of such a blogpost. It helps couples to be prepared.

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  • 09/26/14 at 07:16

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  • 10/02/14 at 12:57

    The wedding dress and bride should be the central focus of attention for the wedding.
    Most women today still have the belief that wearing pearl wedding jewelry brings not just luck,
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  • 01/12/15 at 02:02

    Does anyone have any ideas on planning a bridal shower in the brides home state, but she lives in another? I.e. Can we ask guests to mail gifts directly to her home,, then what will she open at the shower? Thx

  • Candace
    02/05/15 at 02:27

    anyone know where to order the invitation pictured?

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Escort cards are extremely easy to personalize and an excellent way to bring in your wedding day colors -- from calligraphed seating cards set atop a textured linen to apples tagged with each guest's name or small personalized bundles of lavender tied off with string. Other ways to display escort cards: Pin them to a clothesline, post them on a board covered in color-coordinated ribbon, or incorporate them into your cocktail hour using personalized stirrers tagged with guests' names.
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