When it comes to formal, traditional wedding invitations, there are entire books written on how to design wedding invitations.
It’s easy to get excited, overwhelmed, and back again!
Here are a few tips we tell all of our couples:
1. COUNT CAREFULLY!
Count addresses, not guests. Many guests are coupled. Always add 25 extra for singles and last-minute additions. If you are short invitations and need to reorder, it can be very costly. It is much less expensive to order extra in the initial order than to reorder after the fact.
2. TRIPLE CHECK THE PROOF!
Before your wedding suite is printed, you will receive a digital proof to scale and in color. Borrow a tip from copy editors and read the proof word for word from RIGHT to LEFT so you don’t accidentally gloss over mistakes. Read names, dates, times all very carefully. Have others read it as well. Once you sign off, any costs incurred in reprinting due to missed errors are your responsibility!
3. POSITION THE BRIDE’S NAME FIRST—UNLESS THERE ARE TWO GROOMS.
As with most etiquette traditions, this stems from when the bride’s family hosted the wedding and thus invited guests to witness the marriage of their daughter and her future husband. While hosting norms (and who pays) have evolved over the years, it’s still standard for the bride to be first on the invitation, and for her initial to be on the left/first for monograms. Of course, if you’re having a same-sex wedding, this rule can happily be thrown out the window, and you and your partner will decide which of you will be first.
4. DO NOT INCLUDE THE WORD “AND” IN THE YEAR OR “AT” BEFORE A TIME.
These are very common grammar mistakes that are essentially typos. Nobody wants a typo on a wedding invitation! Years are properly written as “two thousand nineteen.” Do not include “at” before a time—it’s considered redundant. The ceremony/start time should be written “five o’clock in the evening” and not “at five o’clock in the evening.”
5. SPELL OUT NUMBERS.
I know this is a hard one if you’re drawn to design-forward invitations that beautifully display your wedding date as a number. But if proper etiquette is your priority, you would ALWAYS spell out numbers such as times and dates. With that, I can be flexible; if you have your heart set on a design that displays the wedding date itself, then go for it! But please, PLEASE, spell out the time! Like zip code faux pas, writing “5:00 PM” is considered very improper, and should always be written as five o’clock. BONUS TIP: Anything after five o’clock is considered the evening, and anything before is the afternoon.
6. HAVE A PRO ADDRESS YOUR ENVELOPES!
Hand calligraphy is so elegant and makes an absolutely beautiful first impression. You will most likely never have anything hand-drawn again in your lifetime, so splurge on it for the wedding! You do not want all of our hard work to be delivered looking like a corporate mailing to your guest’s mailbox! At the minimum, opt for computerized calligraphy, which is laser printed and more cost-effective if hand calligraphy isn’t in your budget.
Lastly, HAVE FUN! There may be a lot of “rules” when it comes to weddings, but the most important thing to keep in mind is the marriage and life you’re building.