Your wedding invitation is a visual and physical representation of your love story and the way in which you are choosing to tell it at your celebration. However, the path to picture perfect wedding invitations is riddled with missteps. A few of our favorite Pittsburgh wedding stationery designers weigh in on the most common wedding invitation mistakes they see and how you can avoid them!
1.) Thinking that “it’s just a piece of paper”
A wedding invitation isn’t just another piece of mail; it’s a way to communicate lots of important information with your guests. Yes, it may end up in the garbage can after the wedding is over (although we hope it’s too pretty to throw out!), but until that day, your wedding invitation serves as a line of communication between you and the invitee.
Wedding invitations have many nuances to navigate, from how to properly address the invitation, knowing what print method to use for the right look, and understanding how the design reflects on the style of your wedding. Not only does your invitation need to tell people where to go on your big day but it also needs to guide guests in what to wear and what to expect from your wedding. Beyond these style considerations, your invitation also needs to be functional for you, like gathering RSVPs for wedding weekends that involve multiple events with different guest lists (I’m looking at you, rehearsal dinner) or finding out the dietary restrictions for your gluten-free aunt, vegan cousin, and allergic-to-everything friend. – Fresh Cut Prints
2.) Not leaving enough time
Planning a wedding is stressful enough. Do not put unnecessary pressure on yourself by getting behind timelines suggested by your vendors, including your stationery designer. Conceptualizing, revising, editing, printing, shipping, assembling, stuffing, stamping, and mailing all take longer than you think. It’s extremely important to leave enough time for each stage so that invitations are mailed in a timely manner.
Don’t underestimate the timeline. Between (currently common) shipping delays and extra time needed for things like assembly, it’s important to stick to your stationery designer’s recommended timeline and deadlines, especially if you’re going with a custom design or including specialty services, like foil stamping or letterpress. – Angela Pro Design
3.) Abbreviating words
Even if you are hosting a casual wedding, your invitation isn’t the place for shorthand. Spell words out, use your venue’s full name, and use “in the morning” or “in the afternoon” instead of AM or PM.
This applies to everything on the invitation other than Mr. and Mrs. Dates, including the day and the year, should be spelled out completely. Now, I can be a rule breaker and we can definitely use 2022 instead of spelling out two thousand twenty-two, but times should not be abbreviated and you shouldn’t include AM or PM. Your venue name shouldn’t be shortened, and you ought to spell out the full street name (including road, street, lane, etc). – Blush Paper Co.
4.) Having grammatical or punctuation errors
To avoid a cringe-worthy moment, be sure to double and triple check your invitation suite not only for proper spelling of all words, but for correct grammar and punctuation usage. It’s best to ask others to proofread them as well. It’s easy for one set of eyes to miss errors but it’s much harder for multiple sets of eyes to do so.
In terms of mistakes within the invitation itself, I often see errors in writing out numbers for the date. Two word numbers always have a hyphen in between them (twenty-two). The year is written without the word “and” (two thousand twenty-two). Finally, the only words that are capitalized are proper nouns like the names, the day of the week, and the month names. Numbers written in word form are not capitalized. For example, June 25, 2022 would be written “June twenty-fifth, two thousand twenty-two. – Fresh Cut Prints
5.) Including a zip code
There is a lot of information that just doesn’t belong on a wedding invitation, and a mailing code is one of them. Save the zip codes for the outer envelope and your enclosure cards.
Zip codes are for mailing and should only be included on an envelope. Please, pretty please, do not include a zip code on your formal invitation. You can include it on your enclosure cards, though. – Blush Paper Co.
6.) Ordering too many
Not every single person on your guest list needs an invitation. Go through your list and group guests by household to determine the actual number of invitations that need to be mailed. Knowing this will end up eliminating a lot of unnecessary printing and will save you some money!
One of the most costly mistakes I see couples make is ordering one invitation per person, rather than one per household. In reality, the number of invitations you need is almost half of your total guest list. Unfortunately, this can add up to be quite a costly mistake! – Fresh Cut Prints
7.) Including too much information
Not every single detail needs to go on your wedding invitation, and, in fact, a lot of it shouldn’t go on it. Your wedding website is a great place for more detailed information, and this should be included on your save-the-date.
Keep it short and sweet! When giving instructions or directions, try to make your point using as few words as possible. Anything requiring a lengthy or very detailed explanation is best saved for a wedding website, to which we can direct your guests. – Angela Pro Design
8.) Adding your registry information
While much about weddings has become modernized, this old etiquette rule still rings true. It is still considered improper to include your registry information on your wedding invitation as it implies that getting a gift is just as important as inviting your guests to your wedding. While they will most certainly give you something, you shouldn’t appear as if you are asking for a gift.
It isn’t polite to tell people to buy you gifts, so consider including your registry information with your invitations a huge faux pas. Even though it’s expected for a couple to create a registry, putting that information on your invitations is considered a huge no-no. It is expected to include this with your bridal shower invitations though.
The work around? List your wedding website on a details card and invite your guests to visit your website for more information. Have your registry links there, along with more important specifics for guests, like things to do around town. Wedding party members and your parents can also share your registry information through word-of-mouth. – Blush Paper Co.
9.) Not working with a professional designer
Countless online retailers offer stylish wedding invitations at an affordable price, but none of them offer the bespoke experience you’ll get from working with an independent, professional designer. Minted won’t answer your questions about invitation wording, and Basic Invites isn’t going to tell you how to properly address your envelopes. A local artist will hold your hand through the entire process, from design to mailing and every step in between.
While it’s certainly possible to handle the invitations on your own by creating or ordering them yourself, having a knowledgeable professional to guide you through the wording, etiquette, and not-so-obvious signals your invitations are sending is invaluable. Creating an invitation that speaks to the unique style of your wedding and is functional for a modern wedding while still making your grandmother smile takes a practiced hand. – Fresh Cut Prints