Everything You Need to Know About Wedding Invitations

The following information is provided to help you in the process of selecting, ordering and mailing your wedding invitations.

When to order

Invitations or supplies should be ordered at least 3 months before the wedding date. It is wise to order at least 10 extra invitations for unexpected additions to your guest list and keepsakes.

Sources for wedding invitations

Prices and quality will vary broadly; generally, the lower priced options will be made from a less substantial, thinner paper and use a generic factory-made design. Samples should be ordered well in advance to check paper thickness and color, avoid cheap flimsy papers and papers with perforated edges.

Under $ 1 to $ 2 each

The internet is a great way to research options for invitations. Specific keywords such as "wedding invitations with calla lilies" or "chocolate brown wedding invitations" will produce better results. For an affordable invitations with a posh look, invitations can be created with a home printer using premium paper and embellishments.

$ 3-7 each

Search online for "custom printed wedding invitations" and "unique wedding invitations". Local print shops also offer invitations, printed using lithography (flat ink) or thermography which offers economical raised lettering, although it is not as crisp as genuine engraving.

$ 8 each and up

A local graphic designer or engraver can provide high end custom invitations. Engraving is a method of imprinting artwork onto heavyweight paper using a copper plate to produce a fine line and raised matte lettering; the impression is also visible from the back.

Enclosure options

Reception Card

If the reception is held at a different location from the ceremony, a separate card is ordinarily enclosed giving the location and time of the reception.

Reply Card

Reply cards simply ask your guest to check whether or not they can attend and include a stamped and self-addressed envelope or postcard for them to return. Response cards may also include a selection of entrees for the reception, allowing guests to indicate their preferences.

Two envelopes / tissue :

A second envelope is not necessary and today more brides are opting to forego using one. Tissues are unnecessary, but may be useful in protecting the envelope if you are using a hard embellishment such as charm or decorative brad.

Wedding Invitation Wording

Proper traditional etiquette dictates that the phrase "the honor of your presence" is to be reserved for weddings held in homes of worship, while "the pleasure of your company" is used for weddings in other locations. Here are some examples of typical formats:

Hosted by bride and groom:

Emma Margaret Johnson and Jack Warren Smith

request the pleasure of your company in celebrating their union of marriage …

Hosted by bride's family:

Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Johnson invite you to join them in a celebration of love

as their daughter, Emma Margaret

is united in marriage to Mr. Jack Warren Smith, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Smith …

Hosted by bride, groom and both families:

Emma Margaret Johnson and Jack Warren Smith

together with their parents (names of parents can be included here)

invite you to join them in celebrating their marriage …

Hosted by bride's and groom's families:

Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Johnson and Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Smith request the honor of your presence

to witness the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony uniting their children, Emma Margaret and Jack

Warren …

Hosted by groom's family:

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Smith request the honor of your presence

at the marriage of Emma Margaret Johnson to their son, Jack Warren Smith …

Wedding hosted by divorced parents:

Mrs. Audrey Jones and Mr. Kevin Johnson

invite you to join them in a celebration of love as their daughter, Emma Margaret

is united in marriage to Mr. Jack Warren Smith, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Smith …

When one parent is deceased:

Emma Margaret Johnson, daughter of Audrey Johnson and the late Kevin Johnson

and Jack Warren Smith, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Smith

invite you to join them in celebrating their marriage …

… on Saturday, the fourth of June

two thousand and ten

at five o'clock in the evening

St. Michael's Church Orland Park, Illinois

Wedding Announcements

Wedding announcements usually echo the style and format of the invitation, with the substitution of words such as "are pleased to announce" the wedding. They are managed on the day of the ceremony.

Assembling and Addressing Wedding Invitations

If two envelopes are being used, the smaller inner envelope is addressed with only the guest (s) name, such as "Mr. and Mrs. Grant Thompson" "Miss Johnson and Guest". The outer envelope is addressed with the guest's full name and address. Avoid using abbreviations for streets and cities. Before stamping, bring a sample of the completed invitations to the post office to determine the correct postage.

When assembling your invitations, the reply card with stamped envelope or reply postcard should be on top, then the reception card, then the invitation. If two envelopes are used, all of the enclosures are placed in the inner envelope face up. The inner envelope is placed (unsealed) in the outer envelope, with the flap facing back so that your guest sees his or her name upon opening. Bring your sealed and stamped invitations to the post office and send them on their way.