Mistake #1: Trying to incorporate every aspect of the wedding into the invitation design
While it’s good to give your stationery a personal element (like your venue’s amazing chandelier), less is more. “We’ve had brides who are adamant that we include the lace pattern of their dress, the architectural elements of their venue, and a motif based on their floral arrangements all in the same design,” says Matt McNary at Hammerpress in Kansas City, MO. Instead, work with your stationer to choose one.
Mistake #2: Missing typos
Ask your grammatically inclined friends to look over the invitation proof and read it carefully. You’d be surprised at what you could miss. Erika Firm at Delphine in Rancho Sante Fe, CA, told us about a bride who accidentally spelled her groom’s name wrong! The invitations printed and shipped out to guests (even though the bride and groom and both their parents reviewed and approved the proof). Take a note from copy editors and read from right to left so you don’t accidentally gloss over something that’s wrong.
Mistake #3: Using too much color
We’re all about making invites pop with bold and bright colors (think: a yellow chevron pattern or pink dahlia motif), but don’t get carried away. Always balance bright colors with something neutral, and make sure the text is visible. Kristy Rice of Momental Designs in Scranton, PA, suggests a palette of three to five colors, with one or two being neutral, such as ivory, white, gold, or tan.
Mistake #4: Addressing the envelopes yourselves
Addressing the envelopes takes time, and many stationers offer the service at little or no charge. If you decide to do it yourself, don’t do it all in one sitting. Give yourself plenty of time to avoid making any mistakes.
Mistake #5: Giving guests too much time to reply
Give guests too much time to RSVP, and they’ll get lost. Set the deadline no more than three or four weeks after they get the invitation. “Any more than that and they’ll forget they even have an event to respond to,” says Rice.
Mistake #6: Over-ordering
Keep in mind that you don’t need an invitation for every person, so take a look at your guest list and figure out how many houses you’ll be sending invites to before you give your stationer any numbers. It can cut your order in half.
Mistake #7: Or…not ordering enough
On the flip side, you don’t want to be stuck having to order more. Order at least 25 percent extra to ensure you have enough for late additions, lost invites, and keepsakes. “It is very expensive to go back to print with letterpress, engraving, or offset printing,” say Kristen Armstrong and Cheree Berry of Cheree Berry Paper in St. Louis, MO. And ask for extra envelopes too, in case of any addressing mistakes.
Mistake #8: Forgetting to put stamps on the reply envelope
It’s an obvious one but an often overlooked detail. “Seriously, it is near impossible to steam open an envelope once it has been sealed,” Armstrong and Berry say.
Mistake #9: Purchasing postage without weighing a sample
We know you’re excited to order the invites and check another thing off your list, but weighing it at your local post office first will save you the headache later. “No one wants to deal with the hassle of invitations returned because of insufficient postage,” says Rice.
Mistake #10: Waiting too long to hire a calligrapher
You should book your calligrapher when you book your stationer so the two can work together from the start. Hire too late, and you may have to pay a rush fee.