Like every element of your wedding, you want your wedding invitations to be perfect. Unfortunately, mistakes do happen. The good news is that common wedding invitation mistakes can be prevented, especially if you know what’s most likely to occur.
Mistake #1 ‘ Not Enough Postage
Wedding invitations are heavy, definitely heavier than your average letter or card. However, every year, hundreds of wedding invitations are returned to brides and grooms because of insufficient postage.
To prevent this from happening to you, put together a complete invitation so it is ready to mail then take it to the post office and have it weighed. You’ll find out exactly how much postage is required for each invitation.
Whether you or a calligrapher is addressing all of the invitations, mistakes are very likely to happen. A hand might slip. A pen might run out of ink mid-name. You might read the address wrong. Literally, anything can happen during this stage. If you have not planned ahead for mistakes, then you’ll need to go back to your professional printer (or back to your paper supplier if you’re doing them yourself) and order more invitations or paper. Typically, this is going to cost you more per invitation because you’ll be buying a smaller amount.
The best solution here is prevention. When you place your order for invitations or paper, you should order 10 to 20 extras. That way you’ll have them when they are needed, and you’ll end up saving money on them. Even if you don’t need them, you can always hold onto them as keepsakes of your special day.
The rule of thumb for invitation ordering is that you should place your order six months before the day of the wedding. This gives your printer plenty of time to create your invitations, as well as allowing time for you to proofread the finished products, have changes made if necessary, and assemble and address them for mailing. If you don’t make that deadline, you need to place your order as soon as possible, otherwise you may not have your invitations ready in time to mail them (six to eight weeks prior to the wedding date).
If, for some reason, you can’t get your order in at six months, you may want to consider paying extra to expedite your order. Many printers will put a rush on your printing if you’re willing to pay extra (the amount extra varies from printer to printer). You may also be better off creating your own invitations at home, since you can order high-quality paper over the Internet and have it delivered to your home much faster. Also, if you’re in a rush, consider choosing very simple invitations (i.e. simple flat cards) which do not require much assembly and forget about hiring a calligrapher ‘ that simply takes too much time.
Mistake #4 ‘ Content Mistakes
One of the worst things that can happen to a couple is to bring home their finished invitations from the printer only to find mistakes on all of them, such as the misspelling of one of your names or the wrong time listed. The good news is if the printer made the mistake, then he or she will usually redo all of the invitations for free.
The bad news is that if it wasn’t the printer’s fault and/or you can’t prove it was the printer’s fault, then you’ll have to shell out all of that money for invitations all over again. And that’s not a happy scenario.
Thankfully, there are a couple of ways to protect yourself from this situation. First, print out a copy of exactly what you want all of your stationery to say. Have several people proofread the content, too. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to have those individuals sign and date the content to show they proofread it beforehand ‘ just so the printer can’t claim that version is something you created later. Take the copy to the printer and ask him to make a copy of it. You should keep the original. You could also have the printer sign and date the original to agree that copy is identical to the one you gave him.
By taking these steps, you’re minimizing your risks of making a mistake and making it easier to prove the mistake was the work of the printer.
Mistake #5 ‘ Not Setting an RSVP Deadline
In those last few weeks before the wedding, you’ll be rushing around trying to finish the last details, including getting together an accurate number for your caterers. The last thing you want to worry about are potential guests who wait until two days before the event to let you know they are attending.
That’s why you need to set an RSVP deadline and have that deadline printed on the response card itself. Ideally, the deadline should be set at least two weeks before the wedding date. People should know by then whether or not they want to attend. If you have not received responses from some of your guests by then, it’s acceptable to have someone call those individuals to determine whether or not they plan on attending. With the deadline, you’re more likely to get a larger number of responses and a more accurate final count.
While you may not be able to prevent all of the potential mistakes that can go wrong at a wedding, you can at least take steps to prevent these five common wedding invitation problems.