When you’re doing something for the first time, you’re bound to make some mistakes. Luckily you can learn from the errors of others and avoid making the same mistakes as them with your wedding invitations! Today Southern Bride Verified member Amanda from Be My Guest is covering off some of the most common mistakes she comes across when couples are getting their wedding invitations designed.
Hey everyone! Today I have my invitation designer hat on, and I’m giving you some frank advice about getting your wedding invitations sorted. Honestly I feel like a bit of a bully when I meet with my clients, as I pepper them with questions about the time of their ceremony, what they are planning to do the next day, and if they’ve got their guest list sorted yet. There are tough questions that have to be answered, as once the invite goes out, whatever is in it, is set. Many of my clients choose me because they want someone to look after the stationery side of things – which takes a big chunk of worry off their shoulders. Yet all these questions I ask often reveal more work to be done! Argh!
Common wedding invitation mistakes (and how to avoid them)
In the video below I share 5 common wedding invitation mistakes, and how to avoid them. I’ll go into greater detail in the text below too.
1. Sending out the wrong information
You need to worry about ensuring all the details are correct. This means confirming your ceremony time in advance. Making sure phone numbers are correct. You may just have one number wrong, but that’ll make all the difference and could mean an expensive reprint of your wedding invitations (or really confused guests). I’m always surprised by the number of people trying to “be organised” and book in wedding invites before they’ve even set a venue.
How to avoid this mistake: When you receive your draft wedding invitation, carefully check EVERYTHING. Get a detail-orientated friend to double check them for you too – fresh eyes spot mistakes a lot faster. As a designer, I typically copy & paste any information I’m sent into the invite, so I can’t accidentally type something wrong – so if you spot an error, it was usually in the text that was originally supplied. You can usually pay a little extra for a hard copy invitation to review – ask your designer. Many people find checking a hard copy much easier than something on the computer.
2. Ordering the wrong number of wedding invites
Plenty of couples come back to me requiring extra copies of their wedding invitations because they’ve miscounted guest numbers, some have gone missing in the post, or they forgot a guest. Printing anything comes with fixed setup costs which, spread over the average set of invites doesn’t come to much. But if you’re only ordering 3 or 4, then those set up costs start to sting!
On the other hand, it can be a really expensive mistake to order too many wedding invitations. Remember that most of your guests will be in “couples”, i.e. if you are having 150 guests, you do not need 150 invitations. Chances are you’d more likely need closer to 90-100 invitations for that size of wedding.
How to avoid this mistake: Before you get your wedding invitations printed, write a comprehensive guest list and get your families and partner to chip in with their guest lists too. Group each into couples/partners/households and count them up – then add 10-15 spare invites on top of that. You can also get your wedding invitations printed with each individual guests’ names – looks smart and saves lots of handwriting!
Further reading: Dealing with the guest list
3. Overloading guests with too much information on the invite
Striking the balance between enough information and too much information is a tricky one to navigate. The more information you give your guests, the less likely they are to read it all. On the other hand, if you want to go for minimal information, be aware that some people will be really confused! For example, we were invited to a wedding where they’d actually arranged accommodation for us. But we had no idea because all we received was a postcard which said “Save the Date” (that turned out to be the actual invite…).
How to avoid this mistake: If you want to share lots of detail, then set up a wedding website and load it all up there. Keep the essential bits on your wedding invitation and direct guests to visit your website for more information. That’ll ensure people actually read everything they need to read – and will keep those organised, need-to-know-every-detail guests happy.
4. Having a really early RSVP date
Your caterer should only need a couple of weeks notice (sometimes a month for bigger events) and your wedding stationery will need finalised around that time also. If you have a three month (or longer) RSVP date, your guest’s plans may change – work things come up, relationships break up, travel arrangements go awry. It’s annoying not having final numbers for your own sanity (and your budget), but I assure you, it’ll piss you off more having people ring a couple of weeks out saying they can’t make it anymore.
How to avoid this mistake: Your RSVP date should be a month to six weeks before your wedding. If you are concerned about wedding guests not being able to come, send a “Save the Date”. These are traditionally sent approx 1 year to 6 months prior to a wedding.
Further reading: Setting your RSVP date – why not to set it too far out
5. Sending out Save the Dates when budget is an issue
My main thing is stationery, so I’m generally an advocate for Save the Dates. However if you’re scrambling to fund your wedding, don’t bother with the extra expense of Save the Dates. Yes, they are useful, and fun, and I recommend them to a lot of people, but they are a nice-to-have. The other issue is that once you’ve sent them to your guests, that’s it – that’s your guest list. It’s a bit embarrassing to have to go uninviting guests who you’ve already send Save the Dates to.
How to avoid this mistake: If you’re on a tight budget, send an email to key guests, or give them a call to ensure they know your wedding date has been set. It’s free! If you really want to send Save the Dates, but there’s a risk you may have to scale back your wedding day, only send Save the Dates to the core group of guests that’ll attend. You can always invite someone who didn’t receive a Save the Date – but you shouldn’t not invite someone who did receive a Save the Date.
Further reading: Uninviting guests when you’ve already sent a Save the Date
Perfect wedding invitations start here!
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed after reading all that, it’s all good. I’ve made you a helpful wee checklist (below) to follow when getting ready to sign off your wedding invites. If you’re not at that stage yet, why don’t you pin this to Pinterest to save it for later? If you want more information on writing your wedding invitations, or wedding etiquette, download the ebook here.
Questions? Any wedding invite mistakes you’ve seen?
Do you have any questions about what I’ve covered above? I’m happy to help! Comment with your questions or thoughts below.