A wedding invitation is a formal, professionally-printed letter, usually written in 3rd person style, which invites its recipients to attend an upcoming wedding ceremony.
Its primary function is to convey essential information such as who is getting married, when it will happen, and where it will take place. Additional details often include dress code requirements, accommodation information, venue directions and website URL.
Choosing the right invitation is just as essential to the wedding planning process as is finding the perfect dress, photographer or caterer.
Other than providing basic information, wedding invitations may also serve other important purposes. Namely, they aid in setting the tone, and creating anticipation for the big day.
Setting the Tone
The chosen invitation’s design and wording, help the invitees to envision and get an initial taste of the big day and what it holds in terms of style or theme.
Invites which provide an accurate reflection of the event, can set the tone and hint to guests what type of event they will be attending, whether it is a formal or a more relaxed occasion.
Creating Excitement and Anticipation
Most of the anticipation starts to build the moment the invitation is received in the mail.
A traditional wedding invitation is usually fancier and more finely-crafted than regular invitations. Therefore, this instills in the reader a sense of urgency and the desire to not miss this special celebration.
Making the Right First Impression
As the famous slogan says “There is no second chance to make a first impression”.
Wedding invitations are the very first visual component of the event that most guests will be exposed to, and it shows them how much care, thought and effort have been put into them.
It’s the first glimpse into the celebration and as such it indirectly gives invitees a general idea of what to expect and prepare for.
The Ultimate Keepsake
There are many wonderful and creative ways to turn a wedding invitation into a timeless cherished keepsake that will preserve the memories of the happiest day of a couple’s life.
It can be placed in a special album with the rest of the wedding photos or it can be framed and become a unique piece of wall art that will decorate the husband and wife’s home.
When to Send?
Many grooms and brides-to-be struggle with the question of how far in advance they should send their wedding invitations.
Consider giving people more time to plan, mark their calendars or make future flight and hotel arrangements.
For a local wedding, invitations are typically sent around eight weeks before the event, with an RSVP deadline about two or three weeks prior to the event.
If it’s a destination wedding or if guests are spread far and wide, more time should be given – around six to twelve months ahead of time.
When to Order?
Since the invitations need to be mailed approximately two months before the big day, ordering them four to five months before the event takes place will give the couple enough time and help them avoid last-minute shopping pressure or stress.
Wedding Invitation Enclosures
Enclosure cards are additional stationery items sent in the same envelope with the actual invitation and intended to deliver specific wedding information to the guests.
These smaller-sized paper inserts offer a good way to keep the invitation itself clean, professional, organized and clutter-free.
The following list outlines the common enclosure card types:
If the reception is held in a location different from the ceremony site, this card provides sufficient room to fully detail the venue name, address and time with any other required information.
A response card usually comes with a self-addressed pre-stamped envelope or a postcard.
It provides a convenient way for guests to reply and inform the couple if they will attend the wedding and how many family members they will bring with them.
The main purpose of a wedding RSVP is to give couples at least a general idea how many guests will actually come to the event and prepare accordingly.
Wedding websites are a popular way to inform the guests about every aspect of the wedding.
A small card that carries the site’s address will make it easy for them to find and use it.
Dress Code Card
If the dress code is very specific, unique or requires a more detailed explanation, a separate card might be useful.
Map & Directions
Even in the digital navigation age, enclosing detailed written directions with an illustrated map of the area can be very helpful.
It’s a great way to instruct the guests how to get to the ceremony location, reception venue or any other relevant points of interest.
Includes recommendations about affordable hotels and transportation options in the area of the wedding venue.
Wedding Invitation Printing Techniques
To some, it may seem like a small and trivial detail, but the printing method the couple eventually chooses for their wedding stationery has a very meaningful impact on the quality and style of the finished product.
The wedding stationery industry uses several technical processes to manufacture the invites.
There are so many options and each technique offers its own possibilities regarding how the final outcome will look like.
In most cases, the selected method is highly influenced by the customer’s personal taste, individual style and available budget and sometimes the decision will dictate the design and type of paper the customer can use.
Here are some of the most common methods:
- Digital Printing
- Offset Printing / Lithography
- Foil Stamping
Paying for Wedding Invitations with PayPal
Even though PayPal is one of the most popular payment methods on the internet, many invitation makers have not adopted it yet.
However, a fair number of players in this market do accept PayPal and hopefully, their number will increase with time.
Before Choosing: Features to Consider
In order to make sure that you receive optimal benefit from using this type of service, it is crucial to conduct proper research and verify that certain features that you need are actually being offered by the providers that you consider.
Doing so will help you decide which company is the best fit for your individual needs.
Such features may include:
- Payment via PayPal
- Free sample kit
- Online editor
- Instant previews
- Complete suites