Jun 11

10 Wedding Invitation Mistakes to Avoid

You’ve picked out the perfect flowers and said yes to the dress of your dreams—now it’s time to start thinking about wedding invitations! As a stationery designer, nothing excites me more than helping a couple who’s head-over-heels for each other translate their love story into a gorgeous, one-of-a-kind invitation suite. But before you jump into the selection or design phase, there are a few commonly made wedding invitation mistakes and faux pas to be aware of. I’m here to walk you through all of them!

Wedding invitation mistakes to avoid

Wedding Invitation Mistakes to Avoid

Not Leaving Enough Time

We recommend planning your wedding invitations well in advance, given that you’ll send them eight weeks before your wedding date. You’ll need time for the selection or design phase, editing, printing, and shipping the invitations. 

To be safe, earmark one week for shipping, two to six weeks for printing (with flat printing being the fastest and letterpress with additional embellishments being the slowest), and another one to three months for proofs and edits (collection designs are quicker, while custom designs take longer). All in all, you should begin planning your invitations at least six to eight months before your wedding or eight to ten months if you’re having a destination wedding. 

Not Ordering Enough Invitations/Envelopes

We advise ordering extra invitations and envelopes to avoid costly last-minute rush orders! Aim to order ten to 15 extra invitation suites for keepsakes, last-minute guests, guests who moved but neglected to mention it, or postal mishaps. Even if a guest has informed you they can’t attend, you should still send them an invitation as a courtesy (as a rule, every recipient of a save-the-date should also receive an invitation). 

If addressing envelopes yourself or using a calligrapher, order extra envelopes—10% extra for unaddressed orders and up to 20% extra for calligrapher orders.


Proofread your invitation meticulously (we recommend triple-checking) and ask several trusted friends or family members to check for typos, too. Fixing errors after printing can be expensive!

Wedding invitation mistakes to avoid

Using a Dark Outer Envelope

Dark-colored outer envelopes can pose several problems when mailing wedding invitations. Postal services often use automated machines to sort and read addresses. Since they’re harder to read, dark-colored envelopes can interfere with the optical scanners, causing the mail to divert for manual processing, which is slower and prone to errors.

Along the bottom of any envelope that goes through the mail, you’ll find a postmark code containing crucial routing and tracking information. However, this code is not easily visible on dark-colored envelopes, which can cause issues with processing and tracking the mail through the postal system. It can even cause the invitations to be rejected and set aside in a bin full of other mail until a postal worker can sort them. If this happens to your invitations, it could delay their arrival by weeks!

Purchasing Stamps Ahead of Time

Avoid buying stamps before weighing a completed invitation, or you could risk running out of postage! Once your invitations are ready, take a sample to the post office to confirm the postage rate. Embellishments like ribbons or wax seals can make the envelope thicker and add to the suite’s weight, increasing the required postage. 

If you must buy stamps in advance, it’s better to overestimate the required postage to avoid having invitations returned for insufficient funds. A typical suite uses a one-ounce stamp. If your suite contains many additional elements or embellishments, we advise exercising caution and using a two-ounce stamp. 

Forgetting to Stamp the RSVP Envelope

Each invitation suite should include a self-addressed, stamped envelope or a stamp for the reply postcard so that it’s easy for your guests to RSVP. 

Late RSVP Date

We recommend setting your RSVP deadline at least four to six weeks before your wedding. This window will give you time to follow up with unresponsive guests, provide a head count to your caterer, and arrange seating charts and escort cards if necessary. For destination weddings, consider an even earlier deadline (e.g., eight to ten weeks before your wedding). 

Not Being Clear About Plus-Ones

To avoid confusion, indicate which guests are permitted to bring a plus-one. You can do this by addressing your invitations to the specific individuals invited. For example, if you’re inviting a guest’s significant other and know their name, include it on the invitation. If allowing a guest to bring an unspecified plus-one, address the invitation to “[Invitee’s Name] and Guest.”


  1. “John Doe and Susan Dear” for a specific plus-one.
  2. “John Doe and Guest” for a general plus-one.

Not Properly Addressing Invitations for a Child-Free Wedding

To indicate a child-free event, carefully address the invitation to the parents ONLY rather than “The Doe Family.” Refrain from using phrases like “Adults Only” or “No Children” on the invitation. Instead, mention this detail on your wedding website.

As a thoughtful gesture, consider booking childcare at your guests’ lodging during the wedding. Doing this may make it easier for those with children to travel and celebrate with you.

If you’re still nervous about indicating a child-free wedding, consider including a “number attending: ___” line on your reply cards. Then, you can politely follow up if the response exceeds the intended number of guests.

Wedding invitation mistakes to avoid

Mentioning Your Wedding Registry

Your wedding invitations and enclosure cards are for inviting guests, not requesting gifts. Instead, list registry information on your wedding website. Including the URL on an enclosure card is perfectly acceptable! If you don’t have a wedding website, word of mouth is the next-best way to share registry details. 

Now that you know about these commonly made wedding invitation mistakes, you can avoid them to ensure a smooth and stress-free journey to the altar. I would be honored to join you on that journey by providing for your wedding stationery needs! Whether it’s affordable invitations shipped straight to your doorstep from our Zazzle collection or a custom-designed suite, Turnage + Watts is here to serve you. Contact me to get started with your semi-custom or custom design!