Wedding mishaps are pretty much unavoidable. But it’s better if your mishap is something your guests will easily overlook, rather than misspelling your mother-in-law’s name (yes, we’ve seen it all!). Here are 10 wedding invitation mistakes to avoid:
1. Not Leaving Enough Time
Pull out your calendar, count 8 weeks back from your wedding date, and you’ll have the ideal date (with wiggle room) to drop your wedding invitations in the mail. But keep in mind your invitations need to be chosen or designed, edited, printed, and shipped first! To be safe, subtract another 1 week for shipping, 2-5 weeks for printing (flat printing being the fastest, a foil stamped suite with ribbons/liners/hang tags/wax seals being the slowest), and another 1-3 months for proofs and edits (a Collection design being the fastest, Custom designs the slowest). TL;DR: make sure you start thinking about your invitations at least 4-6 months before your wedding date. For destination weddings, get started 6-9 months in advance.
2. Not Ordering Enough Invitations/Envelopes
Don’t forget that rush-ordering 10 extra invitations at the last minute is going to cost way more than ordering a few extra up front. I suggest ordering at least 10-15 extra invitation suites. You’ll want a few for perfect-looking keepsakes that haven’t been through the mail. You’ll also want some for last minute guest additions, guests who moved but forgot to mention it, or — knock on wood — postal service mishaps. (Etiquette tip: even if you know in advance that a certain guest can’t make it, you should send them an invitation anyway, as a courtesy. If you’re sending save the dates, each person who received a save the date should also receive an invitation.) As for envelopes, if you are addressing them yourself or having a calligrapher address them, extras will be required. We include 10% extras with all unaddressed envelope orders, but calligraphers may need as much as 20% extra.
Triple-check, then have several other people triple-check … typos can be pricey to fix once everything is printed!
4. Not Ordering Samples
There’s a huge variety in price for wedding invitations, and there’s a reason, too. Purchase a sample first so you can see the paper and printing before placing your order.
5. Purchasing Stamps Ahead of Time
Unless your stationer has weighed a sample that is assembled exactly like the one you’ll be sending, do not purchase stamps ahead of time. Instead, once your invitations are completed, take one to the post office to confirm the rate. An invitation might weigh enough for just a forever stamp, but add a little ribbon and suddenly you have a thicker envelope that requires extra postage (even though its weight may still be ok!). If you must order stamps in advance, it’s better to spend a little extra on postage than to have your invitations returned for insufficient funds.
6. Forgetting to stamp the RSVP envelope
Don’t forget! A self-addressed, stamped envelope for your reply card (or a stamp for your reply postcard) is a must.
7. Late RSVP Date
You’ll want to hear from your guests one month before your wedding date (or even farther out if you’re having a destination wedding). That’s because you need to allow time to follow up with unresponsive guests and give your caterer a head count (and maybe guest menu selections, too), and perhaps order escort cards and/or a seating chart.
8. Waiting Too Long To Book A Calligrapher
Calligraphers book well in advance, and may need weeks to address all of your envelopes. Make sure you reach out to calligraphers at the same time you start shopping for your invitations.
9. Mentioning that Kids Aren’t Invited
I know, you really don’t want kids at your wedding. But guests know that if their kids weren’t mentioned on the envelope, they weren’t invited. If you’re still nervous about it, consider including a “number attending: ___” line on your reply cards, so you can politely follow up if the attendance number is higher than it should be. You can also mention on your website that you're happy to help connect guests with babysitters.
10. Mentioning Your Wedding Registry
Remember that your invitations (and all enclosure cards within) are for inviting your guests, not asking for a gift! Your wedding website is the perfect place to list registry information, and including the url on an enclosure card is perfectly acceptable. If you don’t plan to have a wedding website, word of mouth did the trick for generations!
Still have questions? We're happy to help! Start shopping the Hello Tenfold Wedding Invitation Collection today.