Once the wedding date has been set, many soon-to-be-married couples quickly find out that the business of planning a wedding is a far cry from the excitement of the proposal. Your wedding is probably the largest event you will ever host and arrange, and the prospects of planning one can be daunting. Even if your budget includes a wedding planner, you will have to make a hundred little decisions, all of which are expected to add up into the wedding of your dreams. After the date, venue and general budget for the wedding has been decided, the first task at hand is to prepare the wedding invitations. Couples often don’t know where to begin, but a little planning is all you need.
Before you get into the details of style, font and paper weights, the first thing you need to work out is the timing. There are several important dates to plan for, namely, finalizing of the wedding invitation cards, mailing the cards, and the RSVP deadline. Working backwards from your wedding date, decide when you want to send out wedding invitations. Wedding planners and etiquette advisors recommend mailing them out between 6 and 8 weeks before the big day. However, with the busy lifestyles people lead today, you need to give your guests as much notice as possible if you want your wedding to be well-attended. This is even more crucial if you are having a destination wedding. The RSVP date for guests should be three weeks or more, prior to the wedding. This will give you time to invite other guests to replace the ones who can’t attend.
Since your cards must be addressed and ready for mailing two months before the wedding, at the latest, this means you should begin wedding card planning at least six months before the wedding. There are so many things to be considered, after all, from design concerns, to addressing issues, and, of course, costs. After looking at the options and deciding on a design, get quotations from several printers. When you’ve settled on a printer, you will need to approve the sample before going ahead with the order. With work and other commitments factored in, this will take you quite some time, so planning ahead is extremely important.
The other major decisions you will have to make are related to your overall wedding theme and budget. Since your wedding invitations are a prelude to the actual event, it’s important that they reflect your plans for the big day. If you are going for a big traditional wedding, there are more rules to follow with your wedding cards. On the other hand, many couples want a more personal and informal wedding, and their cards reflect this. Talk to your partner and decide exactly how much of the budget you want to put towards the cards. Some couples spend a considerable amount of money on getting the most extravagant cards, while others want to spend their wedding budget elsewhere, for example, on the reception entertainment or their honeymoon.
Wedding planners, printers and even your family might try to influence your decisions about your cards, as well as other wedding-related decisions. However, the main thing is that you and your partner are happy; it is your day, after all.