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Invitations reflect the mood of a wedding. The wording of wedding invitations gives recipients an idea of what type of wedding they should be expecting to attend, i.e. very formal, formal, semi-formal or informal. They also provide information about things such as location details and times (see below). Click on Examples of Invitation Wording: Standard Formal Wording or Examples of Invitation Wording: Letterform Wording for more information about invitation wording.

Before checking out wedding invitations you must make a guest list. It is a good idea to make an "A" list and a "B" list. The people on the "A" list will be those closest to you, who you "just have to have" at your wedding. Those on the "B" list will be the people you'd like to invite but are not the most important, e.g. work colleagues. Remember your budget…

After you have made your guest list you should visit about two to four invitation specialists and have a look at samples of their various designs. To be able to determine which invitation specialist to purchase your invitations from you should also ask a number of questions. For example, ask them about costs, what kinds of printing they offer, if they provide assembly services, etc. Click on Questions to Ask Invitation Specialists for more information.

There are three types of printing methods - engraving, thermography and the use of a colour laser printer. Although they produce similar looking results, the processes are very different. Engraving is the traditional type of printing where letters are etched into heavy cotton paper and indents the back of the paper. Itís a lengthy process and very expensive. Thermography is a quicker and cheaper process which creates a raised print but does not indent the back of the paper like engraving does. For cheaper stationery, but equally beautiful, many stationers these days simply use colour laser printers.

Once you have chosen an invitation design it is time to consider the wording. Whether it is going to be very formal, formal, semi-formal or informal, make sure to include all necessary information: who is getting married, ceremony and reception venues, date and times, dress code, RSVP information, and details of the reception (e.g. whether it is going to be a lunch reception or a more formal dinner reception). It is also a good idea to provide a map to each location. These days it is quite acceptable to also include gift registry information (not on the actual wedding invitation, but a little card included in the envelope).

Make sure to have decided on an invitation design and ordered your wedding invitations at least four to six months before the wedding. That should be enough time for printing, delivery and assembly of your wedding invitations. In case there is a chance (usually there is) that not all "A" list invitees will be able to attend your wedding, you should order invitations for your "B" list as well. This will save you money since reprints are usually very expensive. It is advisable to also order more than enough envelopes in case of addressing mistakes.

When your wedding invitations have been printed, delivered and assembled, it is time to mail them. Do this at least six weeks before the wedding, a couple of weeks longer for any overseas invitees.

Wedding invitations are not the only stationery items required for a wedding. Other stationery you may need include:

  • Reply-cards and self-addressed envelopes
  • Orders of service
  • Reception programs
  • Menus
  • Seating arrangement cards
  • Gift tags for favours
  • Printed cake bags or boxes
  • Thank-you-cards

More information:

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