Top 5 Invitation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Wedding invites or any occasion invites got you going crazy? Find out how to avoid these oh-so-stressful wedding planning snafus.

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Top 5 Invitation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them 
Whether you’re having your wedding invitations custom designed or even if you’ve decided to go it alone, purchasing invites can be an oh-so-trying process. Hopefully, you will not feel that way when working with Unique Invitations by Deborah.  Between the timing, cost calculations and diction, it’s hard not to lose track of something and make a mistake. Need some help? Here’s five things you definitely want to avoid:

1. Have Realistic Budget Expectations
Avoid wedding invitation “sticker shock” with planning and research. Before you get your heart set  on the “perfect” invite, determine your estimated number of guests as well as your bottom-line budget. Also, don’t forget to consider the cost of postage, addressing, and any additional stationary you may need (such as thank-you notes) when making calculations.  If you get the invitations addressed with your invitations, it will match perfectly (type and ink color) and if your list is correct, you will know exactly how many you need and not make mistakes.

2. Don’t Procrastinate!
A very common mistake in the wedding invitation process is not allowing enough time to choose, purchase AND print the stationary. Invitations should be mailed, ideally, eight weeks in advance, and printing often takes 3-4 weeks. So when should you order them? We say start the process no less than six months just to play it safe. Doing everything yourself? Take the amount of time you think you’ll need and triple it. (After all, you just never know if things will take much longer than expected.)  FYI…I was addressing envelopes years ago and NEVER had difficulty – this one time, my printed decided to constantly jam.  I needed to reprint everything and the new envelopes cost me $35.00.  That’s a lot of jams.

3. Order the Correct Quantity
“Correct quantity” not only means too few invitations, but also too many! When placing your order, be sure to account for late additions to the wedding, lost invites and keepsakes. It’s generally suggested that you order 10-15% more invites than you think you need. Quick tip: Avoid ordering too many invitations by organizing your guest list by couple and family rather than individually.

4. Avoid Typos (Duh!)
Proofread, proofread, proofread! Ask your grammatically-inclined family members and friends to read over your invitation proof a gazillion times, and even when they have given you the thumbs up, look over it one more time. How embarrassing would it be to send out an invitation with your mother-in-law’s name spelled incorrectly? (Can you say mortifying times ten?!?)  Remember the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding???   I highly recommend a proof of your invitation and Unique Invitations always gives you a proof of  your order before finalizing.  I had a client years ago who forgot to put “Dr.” for her father-in-law.  We had to reprint the order.  Expensive mistake.

5. Use the Right Postage
This one seems like a no-brainer, but don’t assume your invitations require the standard postage amount. Compile one complete invitation including any enclosures, and take it down to your local post office to have it weighed before placing postage on the envelope. Ask the post office to verify the size of the envelope.  Sometimes what seems like a standard size isn’t and you don’t want your envelopes returned.  You should also ask the post office about any upcoming postage increases as you may need to buy the Forever Stamp, which is good no matter how many increases are made through the U.S. Postal Service.

Please let me know if this was helpful.  I’d love to hear from you.

 
Deborah Carasso

  

Ask Rev. Jill: 3 Pieces of Advice to Reduce Wedding Planning Stress

You’ve spent months finding your wedding venue, you looked at hundreds of pictures to pick just the right photographer and your ears hurt from interviewing the DJ’s; that doesn’t even address your dwindling budget. Before that you spent most of your adult life finding just the right partner; no wonder you feel so stressed.

Bride_Groom_Cake

Photo credit: Brides.com

Have you ever felt like completely abandoning your dream wedding in Philadelphia and just running away and eloping?  Well, there are less drastic ways to manage all the pressure and strain that planning a wedding can have on you, your partner and your relationship.

As a certified professional life coach and ordained non-denominational minister, I offer three pieces of advice for couples that are approaching their wedding to not only help manage the stress, but to make their wedding planning an experience to embrace and enjoy.  Your wedding should not be an end point, but the continuation of your life together and your public expression of your committed love for each other.

While everyone you know wants to give you advice, especially your future in-laws, you need to follow your own path and figure out what is best for the two of you.  Take what is offered and use what works and leave the rest.

1.      Stay connected.  Being with the one you love is why you are choosing to have a wedding, so don’t forget to spend time with your partner while planning your nuptials.  Be sure that time spent together is not only for going over seating arrangements and first dance music.  Be clear what is important to you both and focus your time together on really being with each other.  Plan a regular date night.  Go to your favorite restaurant, or revisit all the places you went when you were first dating.  Remind each other of stories from the early part of your relationship. This will help you stay connected to each other and to what all this crazy planning is for.

2.      Take care of yourself.  You always hear it on the plane, give yourself oxygen first, and then place the mask on your child.  Well, you aren’t flying anywhere, yet, but you do need to take care of yourself first, that way you are in a better place to take care of everyone and everything that needs attending to.  Some ideas to remember – eat properly, get lots of rest, exercise and treat yourself to some indulgences like a massage or facial.  You can even do some of these things as a couple.  At the very least, every once and a while, step away from all the planning.  Take a break.  It will still be there when you’re ready to return more refreshed and clear headed.

3.      Recruit the best for your team.  Just because you have the title of bride or groom, doesn’t mean that you have any training in event planning and all that goes into the details of throwing a big party.  It is completely normal to be overwhelmed with all the decisions, even the fun ones.  Find people who know you and love you who you can be completely honest with you about your feelings around the wedding plans.  Find people who will allow you to be mad, sad and disappointed.  This doesn’t make you a “bridezilla” or the groom equivalent, this is a way to release the pressure cooker so you don’t explode.  When it all really gets to you, be sure to delegate to trusted friends and family.  Hiring quality professionals to create your dream wedding is key to reducing your stress.  When I work with a couple designing their custom ceremony, I build in time for the couple to use me to vent frustrations about any aspect of their wedding since it all impacts the tone of the ceremony.

Whether you are planning a ballroom banquet for 300 or an intimate backyard wedding, planning this important event in your life will be stressful at times.  The key is to find ways to manage the stress and stay focused on your future with the one you love.

~ Jill Magerman, Wedding Officiant, Meaningful Milestones

Reposted Jill’s article by Unique Invitations by Deborah – Jill is a fantastic Officiant – Give her a call today!!

Choosing an Invitation Specialist – What to Ask/Speak about….

 

Recently we’ve received many invitations and I’ve spoken to my clients about things they’ve noticed and had to share…

  1.  When choosing your invitation specialist, ask them questions…Normal ones are:  what’s the turnaround, how long does everything take..More important is:  Do they stand by their work?  What’s the procedure if an error has incurred?  Errors are rare (with Unique Invitations), but we’r
    e human and you should ask as mistakes happen occasionally.
  2. Recently, my client showed me a beautiful, very expensive invitation that her mother liked that she’d received.  She told her mother that there was no time.  She said “of course there is!”.  She later checked and no, there’s no time on that beautiful invitation.  This should NOT have happened.
  3. We received an invitation that I thought, for sure, it was ordered online where you do not get any guidance or suggestions.  If you ordered through Unique Invitations by DeborahScreen Shot 2018-03-11 at 11.28.58 AMonline, I will not process an order until I’ve proofed it and made any suggestions.   The state on the invitation was abbreviated.  If you look at any etiquette book, the only abbreviations allowed are Mr., Mrs. and Dr.  Streets, Avenues, Apartment and States should ALWAYS be spelled out.
  4. Another client I was speaking with, when I asked her about informal notes (thank you notes with your name on it which you can use again later), she stated that she Never received a hand written thank you note before.  We need to teach/guide people on more graces and etiquette.
  5. Always proof your order thoroughly.  When you deal with Unique Invitations by Deborah, when possible 95% of the time, I will sit with you and make you a proof instantly and then e-mail it to you to show your family/friends and be sure everything is perfect.  Check to see if you like the wording, typestyles, layout…I will then make any changes needed so that your invitations are perfect!

I would be delighted if you would contact me to schedule your free consultation where I will let you see, touch and feel the invitation you’ve chosen.  You can then see why one invitation is more expensive than another and see the true beauty of the invitation.  Often, online does not show the true beauty of the invitation.  Sometimes it looks the same but often it looks nicer or not as nice on your computer.

Call/e-mail/text me today to chat about your exciting event!!  I look forward to hearing from you.

Deborah Carasso

Unique Invitations by Deborah

215-728-0328/c: 215-470-9911, e-mail

To Professionally Address Your Envelopes or Not to Professionally Address them – That is the Question…

 

Recently we have been invited to numerous weddings/events and I have some envelopes from the past too.  Below shows an envelope printed by the Invitation company and looks lovely and totally matches the invitation.  It’s clear to read so that it will be delivered, the State is spelled out as etiquette advises – everything is done perfectly.

 

Lovely addressing in black with invitationThis envelope below was addressed on the computer and as you can see, it took a beating through the mail.  Didn’t look so fabulous when it arrived.  The State wasn’t spelled out either.   I also advise going for hand stamping from the post office and hopefully, it wouldn’t arrive so dirty.

 

Smudged addessGold lettering and invitationThe above envelope is quite lovely.  Only thing the printer wouldn’t do now (this was from a few years back) is they prefer not printing in gold or light inks so that it’s crisp and clear to read.   Notice that the addressing matches the invitation perfectly.

 

Clear LabelIf you don’t go the route of printing your envelopes, the above is the next best option (I always thought), using a clear label and printing it in a large, clear script font.  Again, the State is not spelled out and it was not hand stamped and arrived quite dirty.  If interested, this is a great reason why inside envelopes are a nice thing as it keeps your invitation clean.

 

These are the most convincing reasons to get your envelopes professionally addressed – The above came handwritten.  If handwriting your envelopes, I highly recommend purchasing a fine tip calligraphy pen, practicing printing on a 45 degree angle and write your addresses with this.  It’s won’t look professional, but will look a LOT nicer than a simple pen.  (I used to do calligraphy).  The one next to it is a  plain white small label, it isn’t centered, it’s not large print, it’s not in script, State is abbreviated and it looks like an advertisement or something like that – NOT a Wedding Invitation.

Here’s another thought I have – we received an e-vite for an event.  I highly DO NOT recommend this at all and would prefer any of the above envelopes with invitations to that.  With an e-vite, we do not have an address to send a present, we don’t have a printed copy to bring with so that we arrive at the correct location.  An e-vite may be ok for casual things, maybe, but the printed invitation is always BEST.

When planning your big day, there are expenses.  Some you can minimize and some, I, personally, do not recommend.  The company that I deal with has professional addressing which matches your ink color (unless light) and type and my favorite, the ink doesn’t smear.  The cost for the outer envelope, after discount, is only $1.12 each – not a lot of money.  I also have an awesome calligrapher who is only $1.50 each.

I hope that this is helpful.  Contact me to chat, schedule an appointment, pick my brain – I’d love to hear from you. While trying to watch your pennies, I also have a wide range of affordable, lovely invitations – We should talk!

Schedule your Free Consultation today!!  Have an awesome day!

Deborah Carasso

Unique Invitations by Deborah

As you can see from envelopes above, I’m located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  lol

 

 

How to Address Formal Invitations

Check out our guide to addressing wedding invitation envelopes correctly—according to etiquette.
by Amanda Black

Determining the appropriate way to address your wedding invitation envelopes can be a tricky process. As a rule of thumb, the outer envelope of your wedding invitation should be more formal, with titles and full names, while the inner envelope is more informal, leaving out first names or titles and last names (if you’re very close to the guest). Find even more ways to address your wedding invitation envelopes below.

At Unique Invitations by Deborah, you can, on most invitations, use their addressing software so that when they arrive, the invitations are all addressed in the same typestyle and ink color and my favorite, the ink doesn’t smear like calligraphy.  The price is excellent as well.

A Married Couple

On the outer envelope:

Mr. John and Mrs. Samantha Holt

Or

Mr. and Mrs. John Holt

On the inner envelope:

Mr. and Mrs. Holt

Or

John and Samantha

A Married Couple With Different Last Names

List the person you’re closest with first on the outer and inner envelopes. If you’re similarly acquainted with both, list them in alphabetical order.

On the outer envelope:

Mr. John Holt and Mrs. Samantha Thuente

On the inner envelope:

Mr. Holt and Mrs. Thuente

Or

John and Samantha

An Unmarried Couple Living Together

As with a married couple, both names should be included on the envelopes, but in this case, each name gets its own line.

On the outer envelope:

Mr. Joseph Hirsch
Ms. Rebecca Strecker

On the inner envelope:

Mr. Hirsch
Ms. Strecker

A Same-Sex Couple

Use the same rules you would for any other unmarried or married couple. If the couple is married, list the names on the same line.

On the outer envelope:

Ms. Celine Elgin and Ms. Jacqueline Purcell

Or

Celine Elgin and Jacqueline Purcell

On the inner envelope:

Ms. Elgin and Ms. Purcell

Or

Celine and Jacqueline

A Married Woman Doctor or Two Married Doctors

If a woman uses her maiden name professionally and socially, the envelopes should read:

On the outer envelope:

Dr. Anne Barker and Mr. Peter Underwood

If she uses her husband’s name socially:

Dr. Anne and Mr. Peter Underwood

If both parties are doctors, you can address the outer envelope:

Doctors Anne and Peter Underwood

On the inner envelope:

Dr. Barker and Mr. Underwood

Or

The Doctors Underwood

Those With Other Distinguished Titles

Apply the same rules you use for doctors for military personnel, judges, reverends and so on. If both titles don’t fit on one line, indent the second line.

On the outer envelope:

The Honorable Jane Kelly and Lieutenant Jonathan Kelly, US Navy

Or if they’re both captains in the military:

Captains Jane and Jonathan Kelly, US Navy

On the inner envelope:

Judge Kelly and Lieutenant Kelly, US Navy

Or

The Captains Kelly

Children and Families

Younger guests can be included on the inner envelope of their parents’ invitation by their name(s)—they should not be addressed on the outer envelope. For girls under 18, use “Miss.” Boys don’t need a title until they’re 18—then they’re addressed as “Mr.”

Mr. and Mrs. Michael Abraham
Daniel, Jeffrey, Miss Brittany and Miss Kelly

Children 18 and Older

They should receive their own invitations (unless they’re living at home with their parents).

On the outer envelope:

Ms. Audrey Abraham

Or

Mr. Jack Abraham

On the inner envelope:

Ms. Abraham

Or

Mr. Abraham

Note: If you don’t include each child’s name, you’re implying that children are not invited. That said, don’t be surprised if some guests still mistakenly assume their children are welcome. If you’re concerned this will happen with your guests, ask your immediate family and bridal party to help spread the word that the wedding will be adults only and add the message to your wedding website. In the end, you may have to follow up with guests who don’t get the message via phone to gently explain the situation.

Reposted by Unique Invitations by Deborah

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