From the moment you get engaged, all of the fun planning ideas start popping up in your head and you can't wait to get on Pinterest and make your wedding board! There are so many ways that you can personalize each and every element of your wedding and one of my absolute favorite details is very often overlooked-- the invitations. This piece of paper is the very first thing your guests get to see that showcases your design, look and overall feel of the big day, and first impressions are everything! Do you remember the last time you received a letter or a paper invitation in the mail? The world is so digital nowadays! Sending hand mailed correspondence shows your recipients they are worth your time and attention. And mailed wedding invitations will never go out of style. The last thing you want is for your friends and family to misplace your invitation to the biggest day of your life in their email inbox that's jam packed with Kohls coupons and Amazon receipts. I've put together some fun ways that you can customize every part of your invitation suite and make it completely personal to you and your wedding! And a HUGE thank you to Basic Invite for sponsoring this blog post! More about them and how amazing they are at the bottom of the post!
Save The Dates - Let's first start out this post with the very first piece of stationary that your guests will receive for your wedding day. Whether you choose to have a photo version, or a graphic that matches the rest of your invitation suite, try to make it as true to your wedding theme as possible. This will give your guests a sneak peek at what's to come. You can never give too soon of notice for these but make sure the at least send them out 6-8 weeks before your wedding date! This will give your wedding guests plenty of time to book their travel, save money and ask for days off work.
Things you should include on your Save The Dates are --
- the exact date
- your and your fiancé's names
- the city or town where you are getting married
- your wedding website
Invitations - First impressions are everything! Your wedding invitations set the tone for your wedding and are the first impression your guests will have of your big day! It is one of my favorite details of the day because it is such an important part of the story! Take some time to explore different options and types to find the perfect match! This is a special detail that deserves to put some extra thought into! The best time to send these out is anywhere between 3-6 months before the actual date!
Define Your Wedding Style - Whether your wedding day vibe is preppy and colorful, casual and relaxed, glam and modern or elegant and romantic, your invitations should represent that! Start by figuring out what your style is and then choose your color palette!
Different Shapes and Sizes - There are so many different ways to make your invites unique and choosing a design that isn't a traditional 4.5-inch-by-6.25-inch rectangular card is a great way to change it up! Although, some sizes may require extra postage so be aware of that before ordering them!
Cover All The Details In Advance - To make sure your invitations are beautiful and also helpful, make sure you answer your guests questions before they come to you to ask them! You have enough on your plate to have 100+ of your friends and family come to you for your hotel details and dress code! Having these extra "info cards" in your invitation sets will keep everyone on the same page and be well informed! Things you want to include are your ceremony details, reception address if it is at a different location, a way for your guests to RSVP whether that is by mailing back a paper response card or going to your website and doing it digitally, transportation options, hotel accommodations, if your dress code is formal or casual, and if your wedding festivities are going to last all weekend, include that as well!
Don't Forget About Other Paper Goods - A nice way to keep things uniform and consistent through out your wedding paper goods is to have everything designed the same. After ordering your invitations, don't forget about your dinner menus, escort cards, ceremony programs, signs, and your thank you cards! This would be a good idea to order these in advance so you know all of the paper things are taken care of at the same time!
RSVP Respond Hack - A tip if you are sending out paper reply cards, make a spread sheet with all of your guests names and put a number next to each person. Then write that same number on the back of their RSVP card. This way if someone sends back a card and forgot to write their name, you can go back to your spreadsheet and find the person that the number matches to!
Envelopes - The designing of your invitation suite doesn't need to stop with the invite itself! Give your guests a surprise in their mailbox with a vibrant or unique envelope color that matches your overall invitation suite! This is a fun way to dress it up!
Do A Weigh In - Once you have all the elements to your invitation suite together, I highly suggest putting together a sample, taking it to the post office and getting it weighed. This will give you an idea of how much postage is needed to send them out! Depending on where you are mailing them to, some destinations may require extra postage!
Stamps - Another fun way to add a unique touch is to have postage stamps that fit your theme and color palette! You can even design and order custom stamps online that have your name, wedding date, or whatever you want on them! Minted.com has a huge variety to choose from!
Hand Canceling Stamps - You went through all the time and patience to pick out the perfect postage stamp to use for your wedding invitations, the last thing you want is for the post office to ink up and ruin your stamps with a big squiggly line bar code on top of it! Mail machines are what mark stamps as being used, but through the process the envelopes can also get ripped, torn, bent or smudged! Hand canceling your stamps is the only way you can ensure your wedding envelopes are handled delicately. How you can prepare yourself before doing this process is first find out what your post office's policy is. Some charge an extra fee to have this manually done, and some places let you do it yourself on the side. Also, find out when their slower time of the day is for you to come in because hand canceling can take quite a bit of time, but I definitely recommend getting it done! Especially if you have oddly-shaped envelopes or if they have wax seals on them!
Wax Seals - Monograms, shapes, colors, and designs! There are so many different types of wax seals that you can use to put the final touch on your wedding invitations before they get sent off to your family and friends! You can go with the more authentic style and actually melt and stamp it yourself, or there are self adhesive seals that you just peal and stick! Artisaire has so many amazing colors to choose from!
ORDER EXTRA! - My biggest piece of advice when it comes to your wedding invitations is to always order more than you think you will need. Things come up and you might need to add a few more guests to your list and trying to hunt down your exact design and create it all over again is just a big head ache. A tip for when you are trying to figure out your rough estimate number of how many you will need to order, count how many households you are sending to, not the number of guests you have! You may realize that your order number might go down pretty significantly!
ALSO! Make sure to save a full set for yourself. Stamps, wax seals, envelopes and all! You are going to want to keep your wedding invitation to keep with your album and keepsakes to have forever! You also will want to have another full set put aside for your photographer on the wedding day! They will want to capture your invitation suite with the rest of your bridal details!
I truly wish that I knew about Basic Invite when I got married last year! Everything about this company is amazing! I was able to order a handful of samples from their site, customize them with all the colors I wanted, and they shipped to my house in no time! And I'm IN LOVE with all of the designs they offer! They have the best wedding invitations! There is literally a design for everyone, and every wedding! The customization process was super easy and really fun because you get to see the changes in real time! Thank you again to my friends at Basic Invite for this fun collaboration!! Here is a little bit more about them--
Almost Unlimited Colors - Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers almost unlimited color options with instant previews online. Once you select a design you can change the color of each element on the card to over 180 different color options. So, you can make sure the card is exactly how you want it - down to the littlest detail. This is what I feel sets them apart from almost any other online stationery company! So if you find a design that you love but the sample isn't in the right colors for your wedding, you can change it to fit your style!
Custom Samples - Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers the ability to order a printed sample of their actual invitation so they can see exactly how it will print as well as the paper quality before they ever have to place their final order. Customize it with your own names, your color palette, gold foil finish, and all of the details of your date and venue location before ordering your sample!
Over 40 Different Colors of Envelopes - Basic Invite is just as colorful with their envelopes as they are with the invitations. Customers can choose from over 40 different colors when it comes to their envelopes so that they can make their invitation stand out even before it is opened. All of the envelopes are peel and seal so the envelopes can be quickly and securely closed.
Over 900 Wedding Invitation Sets - Each of their wedding invitations is part of a set. You can find everything from save the dates to wedding invitations and enclosure cards, wedding menus, wedding programs and even matching thank you cards!
Free Address Collection Service - Use their free address collection service to request your addresses with just three simple steps. Share a link, collect addresses, and get free envelope printing.
Free Wedding Websites - Their all-new wedding websites are completely customizable just like their wedding invitations! These wedding websites are mobile friendly and super easy to use. You can instantly upload all of your wedding details along with images and a map with directions which is super convenient for your guests. Choose from 180 custom colors and even choose a design to match your wedding invitation suite!