wedding etiquette

How to assemble your wedding invitations

After anxiously waiting, you have received your wedding stationery and are ready to get them assembled and in the mail to your guests. You realize that like many other things you have come across during the wedding planning process, that you don’t know how they should be put together. There of course, are rules to how wedding invitations should be assembled and I am here to help you!


A few tips prior to diving right in:

An example of a wedding suite containing a response card and envelope, details card, and invitation.

An example of a wedding suite containing a response card and envelope, details card, and invitation.

  • Recruit your family, friends, and wedding party to help you. Turn on some music and make a party out of it!

  • Thoroughly clean the surface of your workspace.

  • Keep food and drinks away from your workspace. Accidents happen, and having your invitations reprinted or readdressed is just too big of a chance to take. Play it safe!

  • This may sound like a strange one, but take off your nail polish. Gel is okay. I’m talking about the old school paint-and-dry variety. Nail polish can leave a streak of color when brushing your hand against the paper, and I’m sure that wasn’t a part of your design.

  • Go to the post office with one fully assembled invitation to confirm how much postage it requires. Purchase your stamps with this information. Wedding invitations have more pieces than your average mail and are on heavier paper, and 99.9% of the time require more postage than one forever stamp.


The biggest tip I can give you is to set up an assembly line. I repeat, the biggest tip I can give you is to set up an assembly line.

The auto industry invented it, countless other industries utilize it, so who are we stationers to reinvent the wheel?

Set your envelopes and enclosures into stacks on your workspace in the order that they go into the envelope. Then get to assembling!

Now let’s talk about the order of things. As Rose reminded Jack in Titanic, you start with the small silverware on the outside and work your way in to get to the larger pieces. Similar rules, along with some others, apply here.

Invitations and envelopes all stacked up and ready for assembly!

Invitations and envelopes all stacked up and ready for assembly!

  • Your envelopes should be addressed before beginning this process. Stop! Do not pass go, or collect $200 if they are not! There are multiple inserts in wedding invitations, and trying to address them after they are assembled will cause your writing to look wonky.

  • All enclosures should be facing up, with the text side facing the opening of the envelope.

  • All enclosures should be turned in one of two directions, depending on its design.

    • Enclosures that are printed landscape should all be inserted so that the text is right side up when pulled out of the envelope.

    • Enclosures that are printed portrait should all be inserted so that the text laying on its left side when pulled out of the envelope.

  • The response card should be tucked into the flap (but not inside of) of its respective envelope.

    • The response card should be pre-addressed to the wedding host(s) and should have the correct postage applied.

  • The enclosures should be stacked in size order, smallest to largest, with your invitation being the largest and the bottom the stack, and should be placed in the envelope with the smallest insert closest to the opening.

    • If you are using inner envelopes, the same rules apply, the inner envelope is simply inserted into the outer envelope.


Invite Assembly.jpg

There are endless options of adornments such as belly bands, ribbon, and wax seals. These are more often than not added at the end of the assembly process.

I hope this helped to simplify a somewhat complicated topic. Happy envelope stuffing!

xoxo,

Alexandra

How many invitations should you actually order

Number of Invites to order.jpg

You have your date set, venue booked, and guest list finalized, and you are ready to pull the trigger on ordering your wedding invitations. There are a few key factors you need to keep in mind when ordering invitations, and quantity is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle.

Quantity, as you know with every other detail, effects cost. The good news with invitations is the number of invitations you send is generally a good bit lower than the guest count number you give all other wedding vendors! (Am I your new vendor bff, yet?)

For example, let’s say your guest list is 250. A lot of those guests are married, cohabitate, or are the plus one of your guest, so the number of invitations you send may actually look more like 140. This all depends on things like if you are allowing your guests to bring a plus one, if you are inviting children, and things like that. Take a deep dive into your list before you hit the ground running, and take a look at how many invitations you truly need to send.

So here’s the skinny on how to calculate how many invitations you will need to order.

  • 1 invitation per household

  • 5-10 extras - In case you realize later that you unintentionally left someone off your guest list, or if one gets lost in the mail.

  • 2 for your photographer

  • 2-3 for keepsakes

  • 20% extra ENVELOPES - To allow for mistakes when addressing. Most, if not all calligraphers require this, but if you are addressing your invitations yourself this is a great rule of thumb!

I hope this post was helpful, and allowed you to easily cross one more to-do of your wedding planning checklist!

xoxo,

Alexandra

Addressing all of your addressing questions

I am asked all the time about the right way to properly address my client's wedding guests. And I'm not talking about their physical address. 307 Maple Street? Thats the easy part! I'm talking about how to address their names. Their titles. While there are some hard and fast rules, just like most things in life there are some shades of grey, or leeway if you will.  

Like all other things with your wedding, the formality of the event will dictate how much you need to "follow the rules". If you are having a Black Tie affair, your guests will expect that you to stick to the rules. If you are having an intimate backyard union, then you are able to be more lax and familiar with the way you address your invitations. 


Here are a few examples of the most commonly asked questions and their answers.

Addressing.jpg
  • Who uses a title other than your standard Mr., Mrs., Ms., and Miss?

    • Physicians, Veterinarians, and Denists

    • Clergy

    • Active Military

    • Judges

    • Government officials such as Mayors, Senators, The Queen (if you are that lucky!)

    • All of the above titles should be spelled out in full, such as Doctor, The Reverend, Colonel. However, (here come those shades of grey!) you can abbreviate any of these except Military titles if you would like, or if there is not enough room on the envelope.

  • What about someone with a PhD?

    • Generally speaking, those with a PhD are addressed as Mr. or Mrs./Ms., but if they are are known by "Doctor", then it is fine to use address them as Doctor John Smith.

  • What about a household with two Doctors?

    • If both members of the house are doctors, there are a few options, but the woman is always listed first. Examples: The Doctors Mary and John Smith, The Doctors Smith, or Drs. Mary and John Smith

  • Following Orders

    • Okay this one can be a bit tricky depending on the way in which you choose names to be written. I'll give you a few examples to help clarify.

      • If the names are being written with the titles in front of the names, the man's name should be written first. Example: Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

      • If only their first names are being used (while not the most popular with etiquette sticklers, it is becoming more common), the woman's name should be written first. Example: Mary and John

      • Man or woman, the person with the title is always written first. Example: Doctor Mary and Mr. John Smith


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I just gave you a lot of rules, and some with some wiggle room to reach into those shades of grey. If you ever have questions or want to to talk about the rules, just give me a shout!

xoxo,

Alexandra