The Lettered Olive Invitations
Invitations are usually sent out at least six to eight weeks prior to the celebration. This allows your guests adequate time to respond and gives you a good idea of your guest count. You can then move forward to arrange your tables and let your florist know how many centerpieces you will need.
Tip – After the response date has passed which is normally four weeks prior to the event wait a week and then it is ok to reach out to guests who have not responded.
Hand or Computer Calligrapy?
Depending on the formality of your wedding, you may want to have your envelopes inscribed by a professional calligrapher. It is important to let the calligrapher know when the invitations will need to be mailed so she reserve time. Calligraphy is time sensitive.
Calligraphy done by computer directly on the envelope is gaining popularity . It is less expensive and much quicker to turn around . Most of the time it is easy to match the font and the ink color from your invitation.
Your guests’ names should be written in full on outer envelopes , no nicknames or initials. Use the appropriate social titles addressing married couples as “Mr. and Mrs.”
If a man’s name has a suffix, write “Mr. Tom Brown , Jr.,” or “Mr. Tom Brown IV”; “Junior” can be spelled out on a more formal invitation.
What if both husband and wife are Doctors or have different professional titles ? If the husband is a doctor, for example, the titles will appear as “Doctor and Mrs. If the wife is a doctor, her full name would come first, as in “Doctor Mary Jones and Mr. Tom Jones.” If both are doctors, write “The Doctors Jones. If they have different professional titles, list the wife first: “The Honorable Mary Jones and Lieutenant Tom Jones, U.S. Navy.”
If a wife has kept her maiden name, her name should appear first and be joined with her husband’s using “and.”
When a husband and wife have different last names, the wife’s name is traditionally written first. Connecting the couple’s names by the word “and” implies marriage. For an unmarried couple that lives together, names should be written on separate lines without the word “and.”
If children are invited in formal invitations, a boy under the age of 13 is “Master,” not “Mr.” Girls and young women under age 18 are called “Miss.” In less traditional invitation the child’s first name and last name is written below the parents. If you are using an inner and outer envelope , the children’s name need only be on the inner envelope.
For a single woman, either “Ms.” or “Miss” is appropriate; many people find the former preferable. If you know whom he or she will be bringing, it’s more personal to include that person’s name, on a separate line or simply write and guest.
Spell out all words in an address on your envelopes. Use Street instead of “ St” , Apartment instead of # or “Apt “. This applies to city and state names as well. House numbers lower than 20 can be spelled out.Return Addresses are normally printed on the back flap when ordering the invitation.
Outer and Inner Envelopes
Sending out an invitation in two envelopes ensures that each guest will receive a pristine envelope, even if the outer one has been torn or soiled in the mail. Still, the two are not necessary; you may omit the inner envelope if you wish.
Numbering the RSVP card
It’ll take some extra time, but make a list of everyone who’s getting a wedding invitation and assign them a number. Then write that number on their response card. When they send it back without a name, you’ll be able to figure out who they are from the little number on the back.
Assembling the Invitation.
Easy to follow from Invitation Consultants.
Postage and Handling
Bring a completed invitation to the post office to have it weighed. Most invitations will require postage for at least two ounces Have a reply card and its envelope weighed as well. Your stationer will let you know that square envelopes and over sized envelopes require additional postage and will be able to advise on current postal rates. Do not take any chances, you do not want 250 invitations “RETURNED FOR POSTAGE”
Also do not forget to stamp the reply envelope if it is local invitation.
While at the post office ask what’s available for stamps, or got to usps.com You can also customize stamps through such sites as zazzle.com to go with the theme of your day or utilize a monogram you’ve chosen.
You can take your invitations to the post office and request that they be hand-canceled. Not all post offices will offer this service but it is worth a try. Machines print bar codes on the envelopes, but hand-canceling — just marking each stamp — keeps invitations neat and prevents damage that machines can cause.
Final tip – use the post office to to mail your invitations as opposed to a street mailbox. This way you are ensured the invitations will be on their way.