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Invitation Advice

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Wedding invitations with an earth friendly twist.

Helpful tips and general invitation advice

Wedding invitation planning and mailing advice.

Invitations are the first hint your guests will have of the nature of your event, they set the theme and mood for your wedding. When picking out styles of invitations you need to remember the invitation may be the only clue your guest will have in deciding how to dress, what to bring and what to expect.

Make sure you count the addresses and not the guests when budgeting for your invitations.

What special arrangement need to be made for my out of town guest?
Should I send them their invitations earlier then local guests?
The best thing to do is send your out of town guests a "save the date card" which contains information about the wedding as well as information about any special accommodations that have been reserved for them.
This card should be mailed out as early as one year before the wedding so that your guests have time to plan and make flight reservations if necessary.

May some guests be invited to the reception but not the wedding? Yes, this is perfectly acceptable (but not the other way around).

Is it mandatory to send a thank you to someone I thanked in person or on the phone? Yes, social etiquette says that you should always mail out a thank you note, regardless of if there was already a verbal thank you.

When should thank you notes be mailed out? A written thank you note should be sent out as soon as possible after receiving the gift. This is normally within 2 to 3 weeks of receipt.

What's the acceptable length of time in which a couple should send thank-you notes for wedding gifts? Thank-you notes should be written as soon as possible and it is ideal to start sending them out as soon as you start receiving gifts. You do have up to about three months to send them all out.

You should have a friend, coworker or family member look at your invitation draft before you give the final okay to print. You will have looked at it so many times you may not notice an error. Check the date and corresponding day as well as all of the spelling and grammar.

Wedding invitations need to be sent out 6-8 weeks before the wedding.

The response cards must always be sent with postage. Make sure you have the right amount of postage on the response cards. If you are unsure, ask your local postal worker for help.

You should never assume you are putting the correct postage on your invitation. Take one of your completed invitations to the post office and have it weighed. The correct postage will ensure prompt delivery with no postage due. There are other considerations as well; square or odd shaped envelopes require additional postage as well as lumps or bumps from bows or other items in the envelope can cause surcharges as well. The best rule is to check with the post office prior to buying and applying your postage.

Enclosing gift registry cards or notes about wedding gifts should never be done. Your family can get the message out about where you are registered.Hand canceling your invitations is always a nice touch. It looks nicer and the envelopes tend to not get as damaged in the mailing process. Smaller local postal workers may be more likely to assist you with this.

During the week mail gets set aside and sometimes misplaced so it best to mail invitations to your local guests on a Thursday. By doing this your guests receive them on a weekend and will be more likely to take the time to read and enjoy the invitation. Send invitations to out of town guests earlier in the week to allow for the extra mailing time.

Always include your return address. This will guarantee that you know if your guest has not received their invitation.

It is much more personal to hand write your addresses so we always recommend doing so. If you do not want to do them yourself you can hire a calligrapher or have a friend or family member address them for you.

Make a master invitation list on which you record, by number, those to whom you've sent invitations, their responses, and the total number of guests attending.

Envelope Addressing
Addressing your envelopes can be easier if you follow these guidelines. Review your guest list to make sure that all of the addresses are current and that all the names are spelled correctly. Always spell out the full name and address without using abbreviations. The only acceptable abbreviations are Mr., Mrs., Ms., and Jr.. Junior is always preceded by a comma.

Single Recipient:
Mr. Anthony Kaneko
578 Third Avenue West
Portland, Oregon

This is where the issue of not using an inner envelope comes into play. If your single guest is bringing a date the best approach is to send their date a separate invitation. If this isn't possible, add their dates name to the same envelope (ie. Ms. Susan Thomas). You can add the guests name underneath the main recipient. If you don't know the name of the date you can add 'plus guest' after the recipients name. This is quite impersonal so it is not recommended. Roommates that aren't partners should receive a separate invitation.
Married Couple, Traditional:

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Fulgham
345 Pine Court Lane
Seattle, Washington

Married Couple/Partners Modern:
Michael and Susan French
465 Pacific Street

Married couple different names or unmarried couple living together
Ms. Erin Wellington
Doctor Joshua Hernandez
14 181 Northeast K Street

(the names should be listed in alphabetical order)

Children over 12 traditionally receive separate invitations. You can however add them underneath the parents name on the envelope. For example:

Mr. and Mrs. Thandeous MacMillan
Alexandria Macmillan
5746 Pleasant Hill Road
Chicago, Illinois
zip code

If you are using an inner and outer envelope, the children would not appear on the outside envelope but they would appear on the inner envelope. The inner envelopes are more informally written and would be worded as follows.

Single recipient, traditional
Ms. Consantine Simmons

Single recipient, intimate wedding:
Uncle Richard

Married couple formal:
Dr. and Mrs. Thomson

Married couple, informal:
Arron and Shannon

Married couple with different names or unmarried couple living together, formal:
Lt. Andrews and Ms. Michaels

Leo and Jenny

A family, formal:
Mr. and Mrs. Rockefeller
Hannah and Ari

A family, informal:
Dave, Rebecca, Hannah and Ari

Traditionally, you would use two envelopes however, with current less formal behavior as well as with more environmentally conscious people, a single envelope is being seen more frequently. If you are only using an outer envelope the children should be listed on this envelope. Including their names is a good way to let your guests know that they are welcome to come. There are many ways to address the envelopes when children are involved. The style is up to the bride and groom and should reflect the formality of their event.

Mr. and Mrs. Robbins
Ari and Ian Robbins
896 Meridian Street

Mr. and Mrs. Robbins and Family
896 Meridian Street

Mr. and Mrs. Robbins
Ari and Ian


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