Paper Protocol: Experts Share Their Best Wedding Invitation Advice
Navigating everything that goes along with sending out your wedding invitations can be nothing short of overwhelming. From guest lists, to timing, to what to include, industry experts help demystify the process with their tips.
Set the Tone with Your Invites
"As the first personalized items your wedding invitees will see from you, choose an invitation design that combines both class and creativity in a way that expresses who you are as a couple. Remember to think about your overall wedding design when selecting invitations so the look corresponds with your vision. We work to make every detail of the invitation suite gel with one another, from the cardstock and printed design details down to the font and envelope color."
— Emily Clarke, Creative Director/Founder, Emily Clarke Events
Stationery: The Detail Department
"While traditionally the bride's parents are listed as the hosts of the wedding, these days a lot of brides and grooms are hosting their own wedding and/or the groom's family is co-hosting. Keep all of this in mind when selecting the wording for your invitation, a very popular and all-inclusive option is 'Together with their families.'"
— Laura Remmert, Owner & Lead Designer, Laura Remmert Events
Stationery: Ceci New York
Less is More
"Wedding invitations are the first piece of your wedding that your guests will see. They should be valued for their design aesthetic and for their necessary information regarding the wedding weekend. Although we live in a technological age, we recommend to keep the tradition of printing the important details such as transportation and accommodation addresses for those less technologically inclined and also for the ease of your guests."
— Elizabeth Lewis, Owner & Creative Director, The Nouveau Romantics
Stationery: The Nouveau Romantics
Keep Information Separate
"Do not include your website on the actual invitation. An 'information' card included in the invitation envelope is a great place to put additional information, especially for destination weddings."
— Adam Donovan-Groves, Owner & Wedding Planner, Donovan-Groves Events
Stationery: Sarah Allen Preston Designs
Be Clear with Your Dress Code
"Be as clear as possible about the dress code. While you may know what 'dressy casual' means to you, it may leave your guests wondering. Phrases such as 'cocktail attire,' 'no jackets necessary,' or 'black tie' are universal and doesn't leave it open to interpretation."
— Beth Bernstein, Owner & Event Director, SQN Events
Stationery: Courtney Callahan Paper
Provide Directions for Your Guests
"If the majority of your guests are driving in from out of town, include a directions card in your invitations. The kind gesture will make them feel taken care of, thought of, and stress-free while getting to your wedding."
— Michelle Edgemont, Owner/Creative Director, Michelle Edgemont
Stationery Design: Lion in the Sun
Important Info Should Stay Off the RSVP Card
"Please remember that the RSVP card gets sent back to you so don't include any important information on it like dress code or the wedding website as they won't have it to reference. That information should go on its own card."
— Kristin Alexander, Principal, Esoteric Events
Stationery: Underwood Letterpress
Clarify Who Is Invited on the Envelope
"How you address the envelopes for your invitations does more than tell the post office where to deliver them! It also tells your guests exactly who is invited. If you're inviting a couple, be sure to use both of their names on the envelope. A single friend with a plus one? Put their name with 'and Guest' so they know they're not flying solo. For a family with children who are all invited, you can either use 'The Smith Family' or name everyone individually, with the parents' names on the first line ('Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Smith') and the children's names on the line below ('Susan, William, and Lucy')."
— Emily Campbell, Founder & Creative Director, Bella Design & Planning
Stationery: Richard's Notebook
"Take a moment before sending out invites to add tiny numbers to the back of your response (RSVP) cards that correspond to their row on your guest spreadsheet. That way when a guest forgets to write in their name you'll know who they are without any trouble (this inevitably happens on almost every batch of responses we receive)."
— Cassandra Santor, Owner, Cassandra & Company
Stationery: Momental Designs
Floral Design: Shawna Yamamoto
Send Out 8-12 Weeks Before
"One of our most commonly asked questions regarding invitations is when they should hit the post office. For destination weddings, a minimum of twelve weeks prior is best. For weddings being hosted locally, we recommend a minimum of eight weeks."
— Kate Ryan & Chelsea Dillon, Partners, Gold Leaf Event Design & Production
Stationery: Amber Moon Design
Work with the Post Office to Keep Your Invites Pristine
"Once the envelopes leave your hands, don't stress and 'relent' on the fact that the post office may not take as much care of your invitations as you are. Try hand canceling to prevent having a barcode printed across the bottom of your pretty envelopes."
— Stephanie Bradshaw, Owner & Creative Director, Stephanie Bradshaw
Stationery Design: Stephanie Bradshaw
Letterpress: Gilah Press