DIY Bride #5: Invitations…

So, where were we? Ah, yes. Fictitious Chris Evans and I have decided to get married, at the beach, with 100 guests (that includes kids and a wonderful dog). We are brave ones! What next? GET THE DAMN WORD OUT!
Realistically, a typical couple takes about 9-12 months of give & take to fully plan their wedding – with or without a planner. You’re going to want to tell everyone asap! Chances are, most of them already know. But really, how do you invite people to your wedding?
Without too much to think about, how ever you want. The invitations are going to be as individual as you are; just as unique; just as beautiful. If you’re looking to DIY, then there are things you may want to eliminate to save money regarding your invites. And no matter how tempting it is: DO NOT SEND ONLY VIRTUAL INVITATIONS. Don’t get me wrong, keeping a virtual copy of your invite for last minute and special circumstance guests is a very prudent step, however, for the most part: MAIL THEM. 
What I want to focus on right now is timing. You want to give enough time for the OOS’ers (Out of State – ers) who are attending to be able to make arrangements for travel. Though there are a few good reasons to forego sending ‘Save the Dates,’ but I can’t help but LOVE THEM! And I have found, the more creative the Save the Date is, the better turn-out of guests. (Side note: I was going to use the acronym ‘StD’ for ‘Save the Date’ but once I reread it, the only thing I see when I read ‘StD’ is Herpes…. and I really want my blog to be a ‘herpes free’ zone.)
I have seen all different types of Save the Dates, but my faves are the unique but practical ones. The magnet for the fridge is a good one. I’ve seen bottle openers, picture frames, and even flip flops for a destination wedding! You’re going to send the save the dates out about 4 months before your wedding, depending on the destination.
Onto the invitations themselves which go out between 6 – 8 weeks ahead of your wedding date. Traditional invitations cost more to mail, so keep that in mind when doing your budget. Things that cause the mailing to be more expensive is things like size/ shape and weight. If you stuff 800 things into an envelope with 8 pieces of vellum, the weight adds up quick.
The post office offers stamps that can coordinate with your event. Hearts, doves, music notes, not to mention Elvis and Wonder Woman, are all options open to you right now. There are things added and some taken away periodically so make sure to visit your local PO and see what they have. This is also one of those instances where you will want to be there in person. Some stamps don’t look the same on the website like they do in person. 
You could also go the extra mile and look for personalized stamps. I like Photo Stamps. Their stamps look great, the price is reasonable, and if you use the code,”USPS” when you check out, you get free shipping. I LOVE FREE. You could make the argument that the extra cost for a stamp on an envelope that’s just going to be thrown away isn’t worth it. That’s your call. I’m just the planner. I have noticed though that the charm is in the details.
That’s the easy part about invitations. The hard part: WORDING.
It used to be pretty simple because options were so limited. So and So request your presence blah blah. Now, it’s been a wonderful journey to where we are. It’s not just the bride’s family paying for the wedding, and not just the groom’s family paying for the honeymoon. Mostly now, the couples are doing it themselves. It’s not just about Man and Wife. It’s about wife and wife. It’s about man and man. What it actually comes down to: It’s about LOVE. And that’s the only thing you want coming across when wording your invitations. It’s, “We want you there to witness our commitment to each other.” It’s a celebration. It transcends the traditional confinement of the idea of a wedding. So the invitations will be as unique as you are.
Typically, if the couple is paying for it themselves solely, it’s going to be like this:
Laura Kinniburgh
Fictitious Chris Evans
formally request your presence
to witness their joining in Holy Matrimony
Add location information, date, time, etc, but for the most part, that’s it. The lady’s name goes first. Always.
If you’re paying for it but people are helping, then you want to mention those who are helping, and by how much was their assistance. Let’s say, your parents paid for the caterer and his parent’s paid for the venue. It could read like this:
Laura Kinniburgh
Chris ‘Dream Boat’ Evans
formally request you join their parents
Mom Kinniburgh, and Mr & Mrs Evans
to witness the joining of their children in Holy Matrimony
Let’s say it’s a traditional set up where the bride’s parents footed the whole bill (BLESS THEM!):
Mom Kinniburgh
formally request you join her in witnessing her daughter
Laura Kinniburgh
join in Holy Matrimony
Chris ‘My Cap. America’ Evans
Saturday, February Twenty-Fifth
Two Thousand Eighteen
That’s coming up, I better get going!
Let’s say you had A LOT of help. No one person did anything huge (like pay for the caterer) but everyone pitched in on lots (and lots) of little stuff. In this case, you would use the template as if you paid for it yourself. This is the time you would implement a program. 
I know the idea of a program can be a little daunting but I’m a big gratitude person…. I love the idea of doing little demonstrations of gratitude publicly at a wedding. It gives everyone FEELS! 😀 And that’s really the whole point of a wedding anyway, right? There are some funny and great program ideas out there!
Next time, we are going to tackle your caterer! You’re having all these people over, you’re going to have to feed them.

*This post was originally published 02/06/17*

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