Your wedding invitation is an important piece of stationery for your wedding. It's probably second in importance to the most important piece of paper - your marriage license!
Your wedding invitation is the first peek into the type of wedding you're having, and doesn't just tell your wedding guest's where and when to go. It also conveys (usually implicitly) the style, formality, even dress code. So you want to make sure that special piece of card is absolutely perfect, right?! Today we have our Southern Bride Verified Wedding Stationery Expert Amanda from Be My Guest sharing her step-by-step wedding invitation proofing checklist with us. This is same proofreading process she uses for her own wedding invitation clients, so you're in for a treat.
Proofreading wedding invitations step-by-step
Finding the right wedding invitation design might have taken you hours... if not longer. But the perfect wedding invite does not just come down to the design. After spending all that time hunting for the perfect design, you want your invitations to be worded absolutely flawlessly too. It's easy to be distracted by how awesome they look when you get to see the final design with your details on it, so it's understandable how mistakes can slip through.
The thing is, small mistakes can detract from the overall design and purpose of your wedding invitation. And large mistakes (like the wrong RSVP contact details or even the wrong date) can cause all sorts of headaches and extra wedding admin.
By being thorough with reviewing your wedding invitation wording, you can save yourself money and time. That's because many invitation designers charge for multiple revisions, and even worse - if you find a big mistake once it's been printed - you'll be looking at reprinting your invitations, a huge time and money sink.
Wedding Invitations Proofreading Checklist
Have the below list handy while you review your wedding stationery. Some items might not apply to your specific needs, so just skip over them. While it's designed for proofreading your main wedding invitation, you can also use this when proofreading Save the Dates, enclosure cards, RSVP card and other wedding stationery too:
Spelling & Punctuation Details
- Grammar and Punctuation - Does it "read" properly? If you're trying to suss out the grammar and you're battling (and trust me, wedding invitations do have a whole set of random rules), then it helps to read the wedding invitation out loud
- General Spelling - Especially words that are easily confused or not picked up by a build-in spellchecker (its/it's, their/there, your/you're, were/where, to/too)
- Spelling of Names - Are your names spelt correctly? What about parents (if their names are on the invite)
- Order of Names - For heterosexual couples, the bride traditionally goes first, then the groom
- Order of Parent's Names - If you're including parents, then make sure their names are in the same order as the couple being married (i.e. if your name is coming first on the invite, then your parent's names will come before your partner's parents).
- Proper Spacing Between Words -accidental double spaces or no space at all can be distracting
- Proper Line Breaks - make sure each line breaks at a place that makes sense
- Formatting - Make sure all the text is not too close or overlapping any of the design elements - or too close to the edges
- Readability - Are all the fonts legible? Not too small or too large? (Sometimes it's better to spring for two information cards rather than jam everything onto one)
- Consistently Written Times (i.e. 1pm, 5.00 pm, two in the afternoon - doesn't matter how you choose to do it, as long as you pick one way and stick with it)
- Consistently Formatted Numbers (if you're going to spell out the date in numbers, all numbers on the main invitation should be spelt out)
No one knows your wedding plans quite like you do, so don't skip checking anything on this list!
- Correct Wedding Date - pretty self explanatory
- Day/Date Correct - Does the day match up with the date?
- Wedding Date Formatting - If you're formatting your wedding date with numbers, will there be any confusion (i.e. is 1/6/2022 the first of June 2022, or the sixth of January 2022? If you have guests from around the globe, the kiwi conventions might not apply)
- Correct Time of Ceremony and Reception - for obvious reasons, I would hope
- GPS goes to the correct addresses - include the street address for both ceremony and reception places, either on the main wedding invitation, or if you have room, on a separate information card. Type the address into your Maps app and check it directs you to the venue as expected; many guests will do the same on the wedding day
- Have you Included the City? Out-of-town guests might not be familiar with a suburb (i.e. Mosgiel vs Dunedin)
- Are all Contact Details Correct? Ring phone numbers, test emails, look up websites that you've used on your stationery
- Skip the Postcode - that's only required with an address when posting letters, and your wedding guests aren't writing letters to your ceremony site
- Photos - if you're using photographs, make sure you've provided a high resolution photo that's not stretched or skewed (and make sure your designer hasn't stretched or skewed it either, yuck)
- Directions - are they correct and easy to follow?
- Maps - Do they include the important landmarks?
Guests and Mailing Details
- Are all Your Invitee's Names Correct (Note: you might check these after you've confirmed the wedding invitation design is correct).
- Are all Your Invitee's Addresses Correct and Formatted Properly?
- Have you Included postcodes for posted invites (resending invitations is another cost you don't want to fund)
- Have you Included a Return Mailing Address - and is it formatted correctly?
- Envelope - Is your envelope big enough to fit the wedding invitation and all pieces in?
- Postage - How many stamps will your wedding invitation take to post? (Lots of people get caught out and order A5 invitations, which use C5 envelopes. These bigger sizes take 2 stamps to post - doubling your postage cost)
- Postcode - Include the postcode with your address if you are asking for postal RSVPs - we want NO excuses for why those RSVPs haven't arrived!
- RSVP date - around one month before the wedding (More tips on setting your RSVP date here.)
- Guest Names: Do you have a spot on the RSVP card for guest's to write their names?
- How do Guests Send Their RSVP? Have you included how guests should return their RSVP? Note: it might be tempting to pop down your address, phone number, email, text messaging details, smoke signal etc... but the more options guests have, the more overwhelmed some get. Keep it simple and say one or two ways, tops.
Proofreading tips for a perfect wedding invitation
Now that you've given everything a once over, get a detail-oriented friend to go through this list with your wedding invitation too. If you know what's coming next, it's easy to skim over words or fill in the blanks when something is missing. So having a fresh set of eyes take another look is an important step.
If you're feeling anxious about potentially missing something, ask for a hard copy/printed proof. This might cost a bit extra and take a bit of extra time, but it is much easier to spot mistakes on a print out, versus looking on your computer. It can also give you a bit more confidence that you've made the right choice in physical attributes of your invite, such as colour, size and card type too.
Do you need more help with your wedding invitations?
Sussing out wedding invitations is usually a one-time thing, so it's no wonder you're feeling a little lost. But never fear - I've written a ton on the topic (I've been doing this a few years now, kiddo). Here's some other articles to read:
- If you'd like more information on how to word your wedding invitations, read this handy post here.
- Information on the top wedding invitation mistakes I see is here
- Getting RSVP's in can be a frustrating experience - here's some tips on how to get your RSVPs in on time
- If you'd like help with your wedding invitations, we'd love to help - see our range of NZ made wedding invitations here - we are more than happy to help take the pressure off your wedding invite design.