5 Common Wedding Invitation Mistakes (and how to avoid making them)

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 wedding invitation mistakes she comes across when couples are getting their wedding stationery designed.

Image courtesy Be My Guest

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 for my poor couples! Argh!

Be My Guest Design Ltd


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 on the wedding invite

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. When I’m designing, I typically copy & paste any information I’m sent, so I can’t accidentally type something wrong . We have a proofing checklist available here which gives you a full list of things you should be looking for.

Bonus tip – Pay a little extra and get 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 too much. But if you’re only ordering 3 or 4, then those set up costs start to sting!

On the other end of the scale, 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! For some further reading, check out Dealing with the guest list.

 3.  Overloading guests with too much information on the stationery

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 day-of 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, pandemics happen, 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. I cover this off in detail here – Setting your RSVP date – why not to set it too far out

How to avoid this mistake: Your RSVP date should be no more than 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.

5. Sending out Save the Dates when budget is an issue

My main thing is wedding stationery, so it’s a bit of a conflict of interest when I 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 only a nice-to-have.  The other issue is that once you’ve sent them to your guests, that’s it – they’re invited. It’s a bit embarrassing to have to go uninviting guests who’ve received Save the Dates.

How to avoid this mistake: If you’re on a tight budget, skip the Save the Date and 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.

Perfect wedding invitations start here

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed after reading all that, and nervous that you’ll make a wedding invitation mistake – I have a solution! Be My Guest Design has made you a helpful checklist to follow when getting ready to sign off your wedding invites. Have a look through the list and download a copy for later 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, or check out our range of wedding invitations and day-of stationery here.

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  1. We had a very early RSVP date printed on the invitations and unfortunately we are now sending them out after that date after reading different advice about how far in advance the invites needed to get out as well as delays in getting a wax seal stamp design completed. I was planning to add an extra card in with an apology and the updated RSVP date (RSVP is online and I would have the correct date there as well). Do you think this is acceptable? Do you have an suggestions for the wording of the additional card?

    Thank you,

    1. Hey! 🙂

      It’s totally acceptable to add an additional card but it doesn’t need to be an apology. I’d be more likely to have an RSVP card that is very simple and says

      RSVP to our wedding
      At (wedding website address)
      By (new date)

      Doing it this way it more instructional rather then apologetic and guests like instruction.

      The new date should be around 4-6 weeks before the wedding date so there’s plenty of time to create the seating chart, place names, and get signage/stationery made in time, and confirm numbers with catering and venue.

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