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Invitations 101 with Shutterfly

Our friends over at Shutterfly are giving away two guest books and sharing their knowledge about wedding invitations with you!

6 Things You Should Know Before You Print and Mail Your Wedding Invitations


We all know that there are many different steps to planning a wedding. (And by many, we mean MANY!) The more time you have, the better. Although your precious time is probably being taken up with trying to book venues for the ceremony and reception or find out if a particular restaurant caters on the weekend, the importance of your wedding invitations should not be overlooked. These cards announcing vital wedding day information usually go out two to three months before your big day and they provide guests with a sneak peak into what that day will hold. Today, we’re talking all things wedding invitations and we’re here to help! Here are six essential items you need to know before you print and mail your invitations to your guests.

1. The Invite Design

The design has much to do with the mood of your wedding. An invitation suite should reflect the couple’s unique style, which can sometimes be hard especially since there are so many options out there. The save the date design should say much about you and your betrothed. You can go simple with a single-page invite that your guests pull out of an envelope and can quickly scan, or you can go more elaborate with folding designs that act as a beautiful display of information and engagement pictures. Customized monograms are a popular theme for 2015 and 2016, as are floral themes, damask, and geometric patterns. Whatever design you choose to go with just remember that this is YOUR day, stick to what the two of you absolutely love.

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2. Color Scheme or Theme

The colors that you choose to put on your invitations should correspond to the colors you will be using in your decorations and otherwise using to accent the locations of the ceremony and reception, as well as the attire of the wedding party. Casual elegance, pastel floral, modern and whimsical-what are you going for?! Pretty much, pick a color palette and stick with it! Your guests might even use the colors that you select for your invitation to choose what to wear or to customize a gift for you. Thus, the color of your invitations should not be left up to chance. Your wedding suite should really show the two of you off! If you do not know which colors to choose, discuss this with your significant other. As for what’s trending now, dark, moody colors are quite popular for 2015 and 2016.

3. Whether or Not to Include a Picture

While not every single wedding invitation will include a photo, it is fairly common for an engagement photo to accompany a wedding invite, if not be incorporated into the invitation itself. Make sure to schedule an engagement photo shoot well in advance of ordering your invitations so you can look over the pictures and decide which ones you wish to include. Nothing will make your guests hearts’ sing quite like a photo of the almost newlyweds. Deciding now whether you want a picture included with your invitation or if you wish for the photos to be an actual part of your invitation could save you a lot of time later. If you ask us, a picture is worth 1,000 words and can say much more than just what’s printed on your invites.

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4. The Date

The date. The big day. If you’re going to get married, it’s quite important that you know what day and hour the ceremony is happening. It’s also difficult to invite family members and friends to join in the celebration if you don’t know when it is happening. Plus, setting the date early can provide excitement and will have everyone counting down. Also, it’s nearly impossible to create a useful wedding invitation if you do not have a wedding date set. After getting engaged, you and your honey should discuss when the big day should occur. This will provide a foundation for everything, from scheduling a venue to hiring a caterer. Remember to include the accurate date—and time—on your invitations. We definitely don’t want to mix this one up!

5. The Location

Along with the when, you need to know the where if you will be providing your guests with useful information on your invitations. Because invitations typically go out two to three months before the big day, you should already have the location booked. The invitations cannot be designed until all of this information is set in stone! Once the invitations go out, it is much more difficult to correct any mistakes regarding the location of the ceremony or reception, so it is imperative that you get the address correct and already have the place reserved. Many venues take reservations for weddings eight months to a year beforehand, so the venue should certainly be booked by the time your invitations are sent out. It’s all about timing!

6. Guest Addresses

It can be difficult to track everyone important in your life. However, without a correct address, it is hard to ensure that the people you really want at your wedding receive an invitation. Sure, social media has made it a little easier to contact individuals to get up-to-date addresses, but there’s almost always a few of your guests who are difficult to reach. What a pain! Whatever you have to do, try to get the correct address for each guest. Even if it means stalking your guests for their addresses, all joking aside, even when you’re careful, some invitations are bound to come back to you in the mail. Reach out to family members and friends for particularly difficult cases. Making an honest effort to get the invitation out to a specific someone will leave you with fewer regrets and, hopefully, less stress. 

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Invitations are not the first nor the last item to check off your long wedding to-do list. These important cards serve to provide your potential guests with the vital information they need regarding your big day. As such, it is imperative that you at least know these six items before you construct your invitations, print, and mail them out. Plus, regardless of all the mechanics, designing your wedding suite should be fun. From the colors, designs, fonts and more, there’s really nothing like a charming invitation for such an exciting day. When you have all of the information available, you actually might find this process to be one of the most enjoyable to cross off of your list. Remember to enjoy the process, plan ahead and choose stationery that reflects not only your style as a couple, but your special love too! Happy designing you almost newlyweds!

Bryan Passanisi is online marketer and writer living in Redwood City, CA. He graduated from The University of San Francisco with his Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. Bryan has managed a popular wedding blog and has created viral content. He currently is a blogger for Shutterfly.

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