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!



Hand Cancelling; what it is, and why you need to do it.

From types of flowers to all of the etiquette, there is so much to learn when you are planning a wedding. Bear with me, and please add one more item to your list; hand cancelling.

Top: Postage Cancellation by Machine, Bottom: Hand Cancellation

Top: Postage Cancellation by Machine, Bottom: Hand Cancellation

I may be a bit biased, but your wedding invitations are one of the most important details about your big day. Without them, your guests would have no idea when and where to go, and what to wear. In terms of executing all of the plans you have spent countless hours on, mailing your invitations is step one in ensuring everything runs according to plan. The good news is, that to ensure your invitations are successfully delivered it only adds one step that should not take much time at all, and there is no additional charge (yay for staying on budget!).

So what does it mean to hand cancel, and why is it so important? Let’s start with the basics. A cancellation is a postal marking over the postage stamp to deface it so that it cannot be reused. The cancellation marking is most commonly applied by a machine. When the mail is fed through the machine, it scans the text to read the address of the recipient. A hand cancellation is applied by hand as a postal employee reads the address.

The machine sometimes has a hard time deciphering calligraphed script, especially if there are a lot of flourishes or if the ink is metallic. It is important to have calligraphed mail, or any very important mail (like your wedding invitations!), hand cancelled to ensure the address is read correctly for an accurate and timely delivery.

In order to have your invitations hand cancelled, you must walk into the post office and hand them to an employee at the counter and specifically request to have your mail hand cancelled. Do not drop your invitations in the box. The post office does not charge for this service. I repeat, you have to request this service, and there is no additional fee.

Hand Cancelling.jpg

In summary, here is the recipe for successful delivery of your wedding invitations.

  • Take your sealed, stamped, and addressed invitations inside the post office, and hand to a postal employee at the counter.

  • Request that your invitations are hand cancelled.

  • Go home feeling confident that your invitations will successfully be delivered to all of your guests.

Cheers to checking another planning task off your list!



Sealed with Love

Without question, my favorite adornment to a wedding invitation is a wax seal. There is just something about the way it elevates an envelope to give it a special feeling for a notable event. In this digital age we live in, there has definitely been a resurgence of old-world and handmade consumer goods. While we all love how modern convinces can save time, we also can appreciate the skill and time spent by someone that has handcrafted an item. A pizza fresh from a brick oven made with hand-tossed dough tastes much better than anything from the frozen food aisle that you heat up in your oven, am I right? The same idea applies here. An envelope sent with a wax seal is more fun to receive and open than one without. Wow your guests with a little added handcrafted touch that elevates your invitations by following the tips below!

Wax Seal.jpg

How to add a wax seal to your envelope.

Tools You Will Need

  • low temp glue gun

  • sealing wax sticks

  • envelopes - addressed, stuffed, and sealed

  • small bowl of ice

  • clean cloth

  • wax paper

  • sealing stamp

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Make sure all of your envelopes are addressed, stuffed, and sealed along the standard glued edges.

  • Put the wax stick into your glue gun and plug in/turn on. Place the wax paper underneath the nozzle to protect your work surface.

  • While the wax is heating up, prepare a small bowl of ice, and place the stamp over the ice.

  • Point the nozzle of the glue gun over the center of the envelope flap where it meets the back side of the envelope. Pull the trigger until the desired amount of wax comes out, about half a teaspoon. It should be enough to cover the circumference of the stamp once you press it down.

  • Pull the stamp out of the bowl of ice. It must be cold to attain the most crisp imprint in the wax. Be sure to wipe off any excess moisture with the cloth.

  • Place the stamp in the wax until it sets, about 30-60 seconds.

  • Remove the stamp to reveal the wax seal!

  • Repeat steps until seals have been applied to all envelopes!

  • Be sure to place the stamp in the bowl of ice and completely cool between each stamp.

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.

  • 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


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!