Nov 14

7 Things to Know Before You Order Wedding Invitations

It’s no secret that planning a wedding can be stressful, especially if it’s your first time. You have dozens of questions without clear answers, your multi-tasking ability is being spread thin, and you’re trying to manage a budget on top of it all (sound familiar?). As a former bride, I once stood in your shoes! Then, when I became a wedding invitation designer, I vowed to help couples navigate the overwhelm of the planning process. Today, I’m sharing everything you need to know before you order wedding invitations! 

I get so many questions from couples about this aspect of the planning process. For example, when should you order wedding invitations? How many do you need? And where can you order beautiful, high-quality, budget-friendly invitations online? Stick around to discover the answers to these questions and more in today’s blog post.

Semi-custom wedding invitations by Turnage and Watts

What to Know Before You Order Wedding Invitations

Start Early – Time Goes By Fast When You’re Planning!

When it comes to wedding invitations, you’ll want to get the ball rolling early. Making a guest list and collecting the addresses of your prospective guests should be one of the first steps you take after getting engaged. Make sure to verify everyone’s address to avoid any unnecessary stress down the line.

At this stage, organization is crucial! That is why I’ve created a Guest List Tracker and a sheet of tips I share with all my couples. It explains how to keep track of your guest’s addresses and address your envelopes using proper etiquette.

You should send your save-the-date cards six to eight months before the event, while you should send your formal invitations six to eight weeks in advance. This timeline will give your guests sufficient time to decide whether or not they’ll attend, make the necessary arrangements, and RSVP.

Set a Budget (and Stick to It!)

The cost of designing and printing wedding invitations isn’t something that most couples are familiar with, and many have trouble sticking to their budget in this category as a result! The good news is there are plenty of wallet-friendly options. Set your budget first, then talk to a professional designer. They can help you figure out how to make your dream wedding invitations a reality without breaking the bank.

If you’re a DIY-er, have a small guest list, or have budgeted less for your invitations, ordering through an online stationery vendor might be the way to go! These platforms offer dozens of pre-designed invitation templates you can easily edit to make your own.

Online Stationery Vendor or Wedding Invitation Designer?

Finding wedding stationery that suits your style and tells your unique love story while sticking to your budget can be challenging. That’s why I offer custom and semi-custom options to my couples, allowing them to personalize their invitations without exceeding their budget. I offer nine semi-custom suites, custom wedding invitations, and pre-designed Zazzle collections that are beautiful, affordable, and hassle-free. If you’re unsure which of those options is best for you, I’ve created this graphic to help!

Turnage and Watts - Annapolis, MD Wedding Stationery Designer

Here’s a more in-depth breakdown in case you still need help deciding.

Online Stationery Vendor

I’ve already done the hard part of designing the invitations, getting the wording right, and coordinating with Zazzle to do the printing. All you have to do is choose the pre-designed template you love, customize it, and have it shipped right to your door! Yep – having gorgeous wedding invitations is that easy.

To take the anxiety out of ordering online, I’ve created a FREE booklet walking you through the process. It shows you how to personalize your design, which pieces you’ll need (and why!), sample wording, how to address your invitations, when to mail them, how to calculate the quantity you’ll need, and more. Of course, you can always contact me if you have any questions. I’m always here to help!

Download your Zazzle guide.

Where to order wedding invitations online

Wedding Invitation Designer

There are a million little decisions to make when creating a wedding invitation. If stressing over every detail is something you’re not interested in, you should consider hiring a professional designer (like Turnage and Watts!). 

As a first-time bride, Google searches won’t tell you everything to know about wedding invitations. Reading tons of blog posts and trying to accrue as much information as possible to avoid the pitfalls of the process is time-consuming and stressful. As the saying goes, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Sometimes, investing in a professional’s expertise is the way to go!

Moreover, there are lots of decisions to make when you order wedding invitations, from choosing a color theme, fonts, paper, and embellishments (e.g., ribbon, envelope liners, and wax seals) to deciding whether to set your RSVP online or via snail mail. Whether you choose to make those decisions solo or with the aid of a professional designer depends on your time and financial priorities!

Learn more about the semi-custom design process at Turnage and Watts.

Shop affordable wedding invitations on Zazzle by Turnage And Watts.

Order More Invitations Than You Think You Need

Invitations can get lost in the mail or returned to the wrong address, or you may decide to invite a guest at the last minute. Either way, it’s a good idea to order more wedding invitations than you need! You may also want a few extra lying around to store as keepsakes (your parents and in-laws may want some, too!). 

However, the more invitations you print, the pricier it will be. It’s best to calculate your budget with extras in mind, then go back and print them later if needed. You’ll find more information about this topic in the Zazzle guide!

Blue and white elegant fall wedding invitation

Get Your Invitations Hand-Cancelled

You’re probably wondering, what the heck does “hand-cancelled” mean? If you’re new to the term, read How to Hand-Cancel Your Wedding Invitations next!

Basically, “hand canceling” means that a post office worker manually stamps postage onto an envelope instead of feeding it through a machine. It’s crucial to have your wedding invitations hand-cancelled because they’ll likely have embellishments such as ribbons or wax seals that could easily incur damage if they went through the machine. However, note that this service usually costs extra per envelope, so you will want to factor that into your budget.

If you’re having a large wedding, I suggest dropping off your invitations in batches of about 25-30 at a time. Not only will that allow you to space out the cost, but it will be easier on your local USPS worker.

Watch Out For Fake Stamps

Recently, you may have noticed scammy ads for discounted Forever Stamps on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram or suspicious “stamp deals” on websites like Etsy and Amazon. Don’t fall for these ads!

The USPS doesn’t advertise on social media, nor do they sell stamps at a reduced cost. If the cost per stamp is lower than USPS’s prices, they’re fake stamps, and you’re about to get scammed. I can’t overemphasize this enough because the last thing you want is your invitations returned to you with just weeks to go before your wedding!

Recently, USPS has started selling on Amazon. However, the cost per stamp should be slightly higher than a regular stamp since you’re paying for the convenience of ordering online rather than making the trip to the post office. The bottom line is that you should ONLY purchase stamps from USPS or an approved provider in your area.

You can find more information about this topic on the blog and the USPIS website.

Note: Curated collections of vintage stamps are available on sites like Etsy, Little Postage House, and Edelweiss Post if you don’t want your envelopes’ aesthetic disrupted by a modern stamp. However, you will pay a premium for these, so don’t forget to factor the cost into your budget.

Semi-custom wedding invitations by Turnage and Watts

Not All Guests Are Tech-Savvy

When deciding whether to have your guests RSVP online or via snail mail, striking a balance between the two is the best way to save money and help out your guests who aren’t as technologically savvy. Many of my couples have opted to list their wedding website on their Details card to encourage most of their guests to respond online. Then, they printed a few RSVP cards for guests they knew would benefit from and appreciate the option to respond via snail mail. Everyone was happy!

I wouldn’t advise sending important wedding-related notifications through your wedding website. Your guests may not recognize the email address, or the message may end up in Spam without making it to their inboxes! If required, send RSVP-related follow-up emails from your email address. You may also opt to send a check-in email to all your guests, ensuring everyone knows where to find your wedding details and how to RSVP. 

As you prepare to order wedding invitations, I hope these tips have helped you feel more confident! With this knowledge, you’re ready to create the beautiful wedding invitations you’ve always dreamed of, abide by proper etiquette when sending them, and avoid fake postage scams. If you have a question I haven’t answered, please feel free to reach out! I’m always here to help guide you through the process.