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I spend a lot of time looking at wedding invitations. If you didn’t know me, you’d probably think I’m wedding obsessed, but I’m not. I’m not engaged or even looking to get married soon. I just love invitations, specifically letterpress invitations, but invitations nonetheless. I have been working in the custom printing industry for about twelve years now. Wedding invitations have just come to be something I know. Hopefully, one day this will be the easiest part of my own wedding planning process, but for now, I thought I would share my top five tips on wedding invitation suites.

1. Don’t Wait Around - This is big. You should be ordering your invitations at least four months before your wedding, but the sooner, the better! At Penny Post, we suggest you buffer in at least a month for ordering, proofing, printing, and shipping of your invitations. Now it is more critical than ever with the increase in weddings for 2021 and 2022. The weddings that were postponed due to COVID-19 in 2020, plus the 2021 weddings have created an influx. Add to this the decrease in staffing that happened in 2020 due to slower sales, and the result is more work for fewer people. We are lucky to have great vendors at Penny Post, keeping us up to date on any delays, and fortunately, we haven’t seen many. I urge you though, this goes for a holiday card and gift orders too, don’t wait!

2. Break Up Your Invitation Suite - There are a lot of elements when it comes to wedding paper goods. The general list of items you will need includes: save the date, the wedding invitation, reception card, response card set, details card, menu, program, escort cards, and table numbers. My suggestion is to break this down into three separate orders. Order 1: Save the Date, Order 2: Wedding Invitation and accompanying cards, Order 3: Day-of Materials. This may sound more complicated, but it actually takes some pressure off. When you order the Save the Date you will probably not have all the information to write out the details and response information which will go in with the wedding invitation. Similarly, when you order your wedding invitations, you likely won’t have all the specifics for the wedding program or menu. Instead of panicking to get it all done at once, do it in pieces. You’ll spend a little more on shipping, but it will keep you on the right timeline. The last thing you want to do is wait until you have the specifics for your menu and end up sending your invitations two months late.

3. Use Your Budget Wisely - This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is something I coach a lot of clients on. When it comes to an invitation budget, you should have priorities, and your priority should be the invitation itself. This is where the bulk of the budget should go. It is the first glimpse of what your wedding day will be, the showstopper, and the piece that will be kept by you and your family members for years to come. If you want to splurge, this is the piece to do it on. Don’t worry about your response card, that comes back to you in the mail anyway. Make your invitation shine (literally and figuratively). You won’t regret it.

4. Honor The Host - A wedding invitation is sent by the person(s) inviting you to the wedding, and it should be written as such. If your parents are paying for the wedding, they are inviting the guests, and their names should be on the invitation. “Mr. and Mrs. John Doe invite you to the marriage of their daughter…” If you and your fiancé are hosting your wedding, you will start with your names “Jane Doe and John Smith invite you to celebrate their marriage…” The term “Together with their families” should be used when multiple parties are hosting and paying for the event. Obviously, there are exceptions to every rule, but in general, if the event is being hosted by someone specific, it is courteous to give them credit on the invitation itself.



5. Don’t Fuss With Matching - When I first started working on wedding invitations, there was a focus of making sure the invitation colors match the bridesmaids’ dresses. It can be easy to fall into that trap of wanting everything to match. But beware of the added stress this could cause. While the invitation is the first glimpse of your wedding, it is only one portion of the entire event and day. I would like to meet a guest at any wedding who goes up to a bridesmaid to inform them that the red on their dress doesn’t match the invitation. After I meet them, I would kindly ask them to get lost, because frankly, the day is not about consistency in color, it is about celebrating the newlyweds.

The important thing to remember is a wedding is a celebration. Try your best not to let unnecessary stress into the mix of things. When it comes to invitations, Penny Post has you covered. We will work with you to make sure you get what you want and need. We have staff who are trained to assist and guide you through the whole process. Our goal is to make you happy, and that should be your goal too.

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About the author: Jenn Burch is an Alexandria native and a third-generation Virginia Tech Hokie. She recently completed two master’s degrees at Virginia Tech’s Alexandria campus in Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture. She worked for various corporate retailers for a decade and a half before landing happily at Penny Post. With approximately twelve years in custom printing, Jenn is Penny Post’s resident expert in all things wedding and stationery.

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