How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Invitations

After setting the wedding date and tentative location, the next important decision is choosing your wedding invitations. With a such a wide variety of wedding invitation styles and price ranges, this decision can sometimes be overwhelming. Here are a few ideas to help you choose the perfect wedding invitation for your big day.

How many people to invite.
You may not have specific numbers yet, but you should be able to set a number range of guests you expect to invite, such as fewer than 100 or between 200 to 300. The bride and groom each may have different ideas of how they picture their wedding day so it is very important to communicate your wishes and ideas regarding a large wedding (with many guests) or small wedding (family and a few close friends). With this guest estimate in mind, you will be able to decide on a budget for your wedding invitations.

Budget.
When estimating the cost of wedding invitations, setting aside about 3% of your total wedding budget would be an adequate amount. This means if you have budgeted $20,000 for your wedding, you are able to spend up to $600 for your wedding invitations. Costs for wedding invitations can range anywhere from $1,000 and up per 100 invitations on the high end or as little as $70 per 100 invitations on the low end.

Plan ahead, order early.
It’s good to start early when choosing wedding invitations. You and your partner will need time to research and discuss the various choices available for your invitations. If you look early enough, you may even have time to request samples from various companies. Ordering your wedding invitations at least 6 months in advance will give you a cushion of time to allow for printing of the invitations and correction of any errors that may occur in printing. You also need to account for the time it takes to assemble your invitations and mailing them out to give sufficient time for a response. Plan on ordering 20 to 25 extra invitations in case they are needed because of mistakes in addressing the invitations or if you find you need to add additional guests to the list.

Wedding invitation types.
There are three or four different types of stationery that are popular with most couples choosing wedding invitations. Prices for these various types of stationery vary widely because of the way the invitations are made. The following are some common types of stationery used for wedding invitations:

Thermography. This type of wedding invitation is relatively inexpensive, popular and easy to find. This type of invitation can be used for a casual wedding. Thermography creates the illusion of raised text through a printing process that heats the ink and resin chemical in a combination that causes the printed text to appear raised while the paper beneath it looks smooth. Because of the heating process involved in creating this type of invitation, the proper combination of paper and ink must be used.

Offset Printing. This type of wedding invitation uses normal, everyday print. Although the print may seem common, this type of invitation will still announce your wedding in an elegant manner.

Engraved. This type of wedding invitation is usually very expensive and reserved for very formal weddings. Engraved invitations are usually used to announce a very traditional style of wedding. This type of invitation is costly because an engraver must first carve the image or message into a copper plate, ink the plate, and then push the plate down onto the paper. This creates the raised lettering on the paper. Because of all the steps needed to create this type of wedding invitation, this method is time consuming and you will need to wait weeks for your invitations to be ready.

Embossed. Embossed invitations are very classy but also very expensive. Similar to engraved invitations, the raised print on this type of wedding invitation looks impressive but may be hard on your budget because of the technique used to create this type of invitation.

Calligraphy. This handcrafted invitation is elegant and refined but needs to be done by a skilled calligrapher who may be difficult to find. You can also look for a printer who creates the look of calligraphy on printed invitations. Obviously, the printed calligraphy is more affordable than the hand-written calligraphy but may not be as elegant as the hand-written one.

Once you have decided on your wedding invitations, make sure you order all the wedding stationery you will need, such as response cards and thank you cards, together for uniformity.

Choosing your wedding invitations should be an exciting and fun task in preparation for your big day. Keep in mind some of the ideas discussed above and choosing your invitations will be a bit easier.

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