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Wedding Invitations

Wedding Invitations

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Published by WilliamMorrowBooks
Chapter 8 excerpt from Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette, 6th Edition
Chapter 8 excerpt from Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette, 6th Edition

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Published by: WilliamMorrowBooks on Feb 04, 2014
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04/13/2014

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WEDDING INVITATIONS 95
CHAPTER 8
WEDDING INVITATIONS
Sitting on each of our desks is a pile of all the wed-ding invitations we’ve ever received. They are beautiful reminders of friends whose lives we are honored to be a part of, as well as keepsakes from the terrific wed-dings we’ve attended. We are struck by how unique each invitation is and how much each one reflects the personality of the couple. Many are heavy with the weight of fine paper and assorted enclosures; some have ribbons, appliqués, or stunning envelope liners. All of them display the great thought and care that went into their selection.Invitations should convey a sense of what the event will be like, and they reflect the couple’s style and per-sonality as well. Your invitation is the first glimpse your guests receive of the style and tone of your journey to the altar.Recent years have seen a dramatic shift in the inter-est for unique and stylish wedding invitations. Modern invitations, with exotic typefaces, colors, and designs are a beautiful way to proclaim both the occasion and your style. Tradition holds strong, too, with classic, formally worded invitations engraved on heavyweight cream paper finding their way to mailboxes across the country. The special world of wedding stationery is waiting for you to explore.Not only will you be designing your invitation, you’ll also be choosing a wardrobe of stationery, which might include thank-you notes, save-the-date cards, announcements, and place cards (see Chapter 11, page 131) and invitation enclosures such as reply cards or pew cards (see Chapter 10, page 121). You’ll spend a good deal of time getting the wording of your invitation just right, and you’ll find wording for almost every situation covered in Chapter 9, page 107. And what about the envelopes? Chapter 10 will guide you through the process from addressing to assembling.In this chapter we’ll look at types of paper, invitation styles, and printing methods. But let’s start with timing!
Timing for Ordering and Mailing
The timeline for selecting, ordering, addressing, and mailing your wedding invitation is carefully coordinated counting backward from the date of your wedding—a formula that may sound easy at first but can quickly seem more complex than theoretical physics. Not to
 
96 EMILY POST’S WEDDING ETIQUETTE
worry, once you’ve established a schedule, it’s just a matter of sticking to it. To start:
 E
Set your wedding date.
 E
Plan to mail your invitations about eight weeks (never less than six weeks at a minimum) before the wedding. You want to give guests enough time to respond, but you’ll want those responses early enough to chase down any negligent guests and to give vendors a final head count.
 E
Schedule at least two weeks to address and assem-ble your invitations once you receive your order. If possible, add a few “just in case” days into your ordering and addressing schedule—just in case something unexpected delays your preparations. Count back
at least 
 two weeks from mailing day—more if you think necessary for contingencies—as this is when you want your order to arrive.You might want to have your envelopes arrive well ahead of the rest of your order so that you or your calligrapher will have plenty of time to hand address them. (See Chapter 10, page 122.) Once the envelopes are addressed, this step becomes a ques-tion of how much time you would like to have to stuff and mail the invitations.
 E
To place your invitation order in time, count backward two to three months from the date that you want to start assembling and addressing your invitations. Plan on at least two to three months for printing and delivery of engraved invitations, enclosures, and envelopes. The wait may be less for nontraditional invitations—three to six weeks—but ask your statio-ner or supplier to be sure. The turnaround for flat or laser printing may be a week or less.
 E
It’s important to see a proof of your invitation. This will add time to the ordering process (depending on the vendor you work with, this could be as fast as forty-eight hours or as long as another week or two), but you want to be sure that your invitation is letter perfect. Mistakes can happen—misspelled names, correct day but incorrect date—even with the most experienced stationers. Count back two days to two weeks from your order date; this is the date you want to have your final invitation selection and wording ready to submit.
 E
Plan for time to visit different stationers and review design and wording options. This step will vary in terms of timing; just don’t expect to walk in and take care of everything in one visit.So, if we do the math, from selection day to wed-ding day can be anywhere from twelve to twenty-four weeks or 3 to 5½ months! (These scheduled deadlines are the perfect use for electronic calendar reminders.) Now add in time to explore your design options and you can see that six months before the wedding is not too early to get started. Even if you decide to laser-print or handwrite your invitations, you’ll still need time to select attractive papers and envelopes and to develop your design.Does that mean that you can’t have a beautiful invitation if you have a short engagement? Not at all, and a good stationer will steer you in the direction of options that fit your time frame. A local printer or online vendor may be able to turn a job around in less than a week, but beware that jobs like these may incur a rush charge, and that not all printing options, such as engraving, may be available to you.
 
WEDDING INVITATIONS 97
SAMPLE TIMELINE FOR MAILING INVITATIONS 8 WEEKS BEFORE THE WEDDING DATE
 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Mos.
 
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 Wks. R M A A A * P P P P P P P P P P P P x x Pr Pr D D D D D D B B B B
 Plan on:
 Wedding Day! 3 weeks out
R
 RSVP by date 8 weeks out
M
 mail invitations 2–3 weeks
A
 address invitations 
*
 invitations arrive 3-month turnaround
P
 printing 3 months 2-month turnaround
P
 printing 2 months 
x
 invitation order date 1 week
Pr
 proofing 3 weeks
 D
 design/wording 2–4 weeks
B
 browsing/choosingUse the
Plan on
 guidelines above to create your own timetable to match your invitation mailing date.

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