1. Save the Dates Are Optional
Some weddings don’t require sending save the dates prior to sending formal wedding invitations. If you are planning a small hometown wedding with little or no out of town guests, then eliminating save the dates is a way for you to save time and money.
Save the dates are almost a requirement for some weddings, such as destination, holiday and summer weddings. Save the dates should be a priority for any wedding with a large number of guests who must make travel and accommodation arrangements. Your guests will appreciate the extra time a save the date gives them to finalize plans, schedule time off from work and avoid making other commitments.
If you happen to be on the fence about sending save the dates tell us your concerns and we will help you decide. After working with countless engaged couples we have seen and heard just about every situation.
2. First Things First
Lessen assumptions and confusion by being prepared and preparing your guests.
Finish your guest list before you start working on your save the dates. Having your guest list ready will make it easy to figure out how many save the dates you need to order and send.
It is also important to make it clear who will be invited to the wedding by addressing your save the dates the same way you would address your invitations. Specific word combinations help guests understand if they can or cannot bring a date or if they are unsure of an adult only affair. We would be happy to help you convey the right message with the correct wording… just let us know what you need help with.
3. The Right Timing
Save the Dates are generally sent 5 to 7 months prior to your wedding, however if you are having a destination wedding you may want to consider sending them 8 – 12 months in advance so that guests have time to make special arrangements.
Remember it is important to contact your Save the Date vendor in advance in order to leave enough time to design and create your save the dates.
If you’re having Save the Dates custom designed, dot & bow paperie recommends contacting your stationery vendor a minimum of 3-4 weeks before you’d like to mail your save the dates. If you’re ordering predesigned save the dates you should place your order a minimum of 2-3 weeks before your mailing deadline.
4. Include and Exclude
Include: Couple’s names, date, location – even if it is as general as a city, wedding website, and a note that a formal invitation will follow.
Exclude: Parental Names, wedding registry information, and specific times or details.
Everyone’s wedding is different so some of these tips may not apply to you specifically. If you have questions or concerns, we will gladly help you figure out your specific needs.
5. Add a Personal Touch
Save the Dates are the perfect opportunity for you to have fun and to set the tone for your wedding!
Due to their informal nature you are able to really let your personality as a couple shine. Save the dates do not necessarily have to match your wedding, although they often do. A lot of couples include an engagement picture or a magnet message, but feel free to be yourself and try something new and different.
At dot & bow we have worked with so many creative couples and had the pleasure of helping them bring their concepts to life. If you have an idea please don’t be shy about it… we’ve created holiday save the dates, bookmark save the dates, and even Pop-Up save the dates and we’re always excited to hear the next great idea!
1. Who is Invited?
Your guest list should be finalized before you or your bridesmaids begin to plan shower invitations. Invitations are the perfect opportunity to help your bridesmaids/or mother plan your shower. You, the guest of honor, should be very hands on in planning the invitation list. Knowing who and how many will help your team plan, budget and save time.
This is a big moment for you; be sure to make it clear to your team what type of shower invitations you want. Embrace the chaos, you have a lot of planning to do, try and laugh at it all and be sure to ask your team for help when and where you need it. If you want to add a specail touch to your invites include a charming note about you as a couple or a short poem.
3. Aim to Inspire
The invitation and other paper pieces should reflect the attitude and theme of the entire event. Take the design elements into careful consideration, and if you are unsure, ask your designer for help. Use the design elements to inspire decorations, cake designs, and favors. Showers have changed a lot over the last decade and the design of your shower invitation will set the tone for your event.
4. The 5 W’s: Who, What, When, Where & Why
These are very important details to include within your invitations. All of these elements will help attendees decide what to wear, if they can/want to attend, and who is hosting the event. Contact information should always be included so that guests know exactly who to contact with questions. If you are worried about cluttering the card, consider putting extra information on the back.
1. Set the Tone
Your invitations are the perfect opportunity to set the tone for your big day. Your theme or colors are a great place to start, after that all you need is Pinterest and possibly some help from a professional designer. Doing your research in the beginning is key, hiring a professional is not mandatory. There are many options when it comes to invitation sets; however, a professional can end up saving you a lot of time and heartache in the long run.
Some couples come to us with a blank canvas, unsure of what they want and that is absolutely fine. We help walk them through the process start to finish and answer all questions along the way.
Some couples come to us knowing exactly what they want and we are thrilled to work with them to bring their focused vision to life.
Whatever the case may be, we’re able to use our years of experience and expertise to guide couples and alleviate some of the stress that comes with planning a wedding.
2. Set the Budget
Knowing your budget is key when you are starting to plan your invitations. Invitation pricing can vary from free (sending an email) to $100+ per set. We find on average couples spend $2 – $10 per invitation set.
We recommend having a set budget for all of your wedding paper/stationary needs first and then breaking it down into categories: Save the Dates, Invitations, Ceremony, and Reception. This will help you prioritize every penny.
3. Play with Your Options
Now that you know how much money you are spending, specifically on your invitations, it will be so much easier to map out the specifics. Things you’ll need to consider: the design you’d like, the size, shape, and number of pieces you’d like to include in each invitation set.
At dot & bow we offer 3 categories of invitations to help get you started within your budget:
1. Totally Custom Design
2. Designs from the dot & bow original collection
3. Designs from Carlson Craft
4. Make it Legible
The entire point of a wedding invitation is to give your guests all the information they need in order to make it to the right place and time to celebrate with you, so it’s of the utmost importance to be clear about the details. Don’t let an overpowering design draw attention away from the important facts of the event such as date & time. Choosing a font needs to be taken into great consideration for guests of all ages (especially for older guests).
5. Proper Timing
It is common for invitations to be sent out six to eight weeks prior to the wedding. For destination weddings, give your guests more time for travel preparations. We recommend sending them out at least 3 months in advance, and don’t forget your Save the Dates! We always recommend sending them out 6 to 8 months before the nuptials.
It’s important to remember as you’re budgeting that you don’t need to send an invitation to every person on your guest list. Carefully look over your guest list and determine how many households will need to receive an invitation. Be cautious when you address them… you’ll want to be sure you are clear about who is invited to attend. Experience has taught us that adding a few extras to your quantity is a great idea for a few reasons… if you realize you’ve left a few people off the guest list at the last minute, in case you spill your coffee on one or just in case you want a few sets to have as keepsakes for yourself or your parents. Many of our couples have started including their invitation sets in their wedding day photos as well.
7. Save Time, Stress & Money
We promise this isn’t just a sales pitch: research shows that having a “paper/stationary” professional assisting you with all of your paper needs will help save you time, stress, and money. Using one shop to help you will not only give you a polished look from start to finish, but it often opens up the opportunity for discounts. At dot & bow paperie, we always offer special discounted pricing for couples who choose to work with us on several different printed pieces.
8. Mailing Hacks
Request Hand-Canceling… It is a neat little service that if available should be taken advantage of. Next time you’re at the local post-office ask them about hand-canceling your invitations. It is a special stamp that says your mail is processed and it will save your invitations or save the dates from being run through the machine which can damage the original look of your envelope. There is no guarantee it still won’t be processed at some point on its journey, but it is free when available and surely worth a shot.
Another trick is to number your RSVP cards so that they correspond with your address list. This is a great tip to help you stay organized… in case guests fail to write their names on the reply card, you’ll still know who ordered the chicken! If you write small on the back of your envelope your guest will hardly ever even notice it.
9. Ink Stamps & Labels
Some couples prefer to hand-write all of the names and addresses on their invitations, but it is OK to use labels or stamps. It will save you a lot of time in the long run and although it may not seem traditional each year it is becoming more and more common.
It is also a great idea to address your thank-you notes ahead of time so if you are ordering labels or a stamp you can be sure to factor this into the overall cost ahead of time.
10. ENJOY this Process
So often we see couples stressing over every little detail – remember to enjoy the process as much as possible. Take time to remember why you are doing all of this… you’re celebrating your love and the future and that is enough of a reason to brace yourself for the ride.