Life Events

Life events pose a unique challenge because each is a new or infrequent occurrence for which many people have little or no prior experience.

A wedding is no exception to this rule.

When planning your wedding, a little dose of commonsense advice can help
tremendously.

Here is our advice on this topic.
/ Marriage / Wedding /

Wedding Invitations and Announcement Cards

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A wedding invitation must include some basic facts: it announces the wedding (who is getting married), who is hosting (typically, the parents), and details on the ceremony (where the ceremony will be, and the time and date). Of equal importance and where great attention needs to be given, the invitation lets your guests know what style the wedding will be.

You can order invitations at department, stationary, or some jewelry stores, although online sites are increasingly popular and often less expensive. There are many weights of paper, colors, sizes and script styles to choose from. Envelopes should be lined, and including a piece of tissue is an elegant touch. A slightly oversized, thick envelope (once stuffed with the invitation) will cost more to mail but also signals an elegant wedding. If you want the most traditional invitation, you should consult a good etiquette book to help you choose the proper wording for your particular circumstances. Non-traditional invitations can add a personal touch.

Hand engraving on copper plates is the most deluxe and expensive printing process. Machine engraving looks like hand engraving to all but an expert. Thermography is less expensive and very popular; it gives the same raised letter effect. Offset printing is only suitable for informal weddings. An invitation hand written by the marrying couple or their parents on fine stationary is most suitable for a very small wedding.

Order about fifteen more invitations than your guest count (remember that couples receive only one). Invitations should be sent six weeks before the wedding. You need to know how far in advance your supplier needs to have your order so that you have time to place and receive your invitations in time for addressing. If time is tight, the envelopes can often be delivered early, allowing you to get a head start on addressing them.

If the reception is to be held at a location different than the ceremony, a separate card is inserted with the time and place. The most conservative invitations will not include a response card, but these small enclosures with their stamped return envelopes make it easier for guests to reply and can result in a more accurate head count.

Wedding announcements -- different from wedding invitations -- can be mailed to anyone who was not invited to the wedding but would like to know of it. They are especially useful if the wedding is to be small. They are mailed after the ceremony and do not require a gift of the recipient.

A "save the date" e-card is also helpful, especially for out of town guests who may want to make hotel and airplane reservations well in advance. Since wedding invitations are mailed only six weeks before the wedding day, there might not otherwise be enough time for those coming from a distance, especially if the wedding is held during the "peak visitor season" for your area. An ecard can be personalized to reflect the style and colors of your wedding.
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