Settled on your wedding invitation design, but wondering how to put all that stationery together and make sure the sending goes as smoothly as possible? Bryan Passanisi from Shutterfly guest blogs this week with his tips.
After spending all that time, money and effort to come up with the perfect invitation for your big day, there is nothing worse than realizing that your invitations were damaged or didn’t make it out on time. To avoid these common traps, couples can take the following steps to ensure that they have done all within their power to ensure that their invites get where they are intended to be at the proper time.
1. Get Started Early
One of the biggest mistakes couples make is not allowing enough time to design, order, receive and send all of their invitations. This is a process that can take months in some cases. To avoid this, simply ask for a set timeline from all vendors you have hired to get the job done. This includes custom designers, printers and calligraphers. Additionally, ensure that you are protected if things fall through and a vendor does not fulfill their responsibilities. If you start early, you will be better prepared to handle any situations that may arise, including finding a new vendor to fill a need.
2. Stuff Your Invitations
Once you have received all the components of your invitations, you are ready to stuff the envelopes. Again, having enough time is key to sending these wedding invites out on time. Assembling, addressing and stuffing all the envelopes can take more time than many couples realize. In some cases, planners may conquer this task for you. If not, or you do not have a planner, call up some friends and the job can get done in no time.
For those who wish to keep to tradition, invitations are usually assembled in the following ways:
• The invitation acts as the base, with other enclosures stacked on top in order from largest to smallest.
• RSVP cards are placed under the flap of the reply envelope.
• The stack should be placed in the inner envelop facing outward so that guests can read the invitation as they remove it from the envelope.
• The inner envelope, which remains unsealed, is placed inside the outer envelope so the guests’ names are facing outward.
If you have opted for a less traditional invitation and wedding, inner envelopes may be an additional expense you do not need to include.
3. Put Stamps on All Reply Envelopes
There may be no worse way to start out a wedding than to indicate that you expect guests to cover costs that you yourselves should take on. This is usually done when future brides and grooms fail to stamp RSVP or other reply envelopes. To make sure you do not offend anyone and that you make it as easy as possible for guests to respond, simply take the time and money needed to stamp your reply envelopes. The envelopes should also have the return address already on them so guests are not left scrambling while trying to learn where to send their information. RSVP envelopes or cards are usually light and may cost less than a standard stamp to mail.
Weighing a complete invitation at the post office prior to placing postage on all invites can be a life-saver. It will save you the embarrassment of invites being returned for insufficient postage and ensure that you are able to stick to your wedding timeline.
5. Choose Hand-Processing
Mail center machines are only meant to process envelopes of certain sizes and shapes. If your invites do not stay within the 3.5 x 5 inch to 6.125 x 11.5 inch measurement, or if it is an odd shape, you will be required to pay an extra non-machinable fee for each invite you send. However, larger invites, such as boxed versions, won’t have an extra hand-process fee, but they will cost more to send overall.
To ensure the best outcome for your wedding invitations, it is better to just opt for the hand-processing and pay the extra fee. Sorting machines can be very tough on invitations, and may bend or ruin them during the sorting stage. Simply opting for the extra processing fee can save you a load of money in the long run by keeping all of your invites intact so you do not have to scramble and send replacements for those that were destroyed. Hand canceling is another option you may want to take. While it is free, some post offices may not be able to guarantee that your invites won’t go through the processing machines anyway.
Including postage is obviously a no-brainer. However, there is no better way to complete the look of your wedding invitations than including a personalized stamp. Many online photo printing shops offer customizable postage stamps for very reasonable prices. Couples can include a picture on the stamp, or opt for their names and wedding year. It is a nice way for couples to finalize their wedding invitations in a unique way.
Although there are no guarantees in life, following these tips may be just what you need to get your wedding invitations out on time and to the right people. It may take a bit of effort and time, but it will be well worth it when celebrating your big day with those you love.
Bryan Passanisi is an online marketer and writer living in Redwood City, CA. He graduated from The University of San Francisco with his Bachelor degree in Marketing. Bryan has managed a popular wedding blog and has created viral content. He currently is a blogger for Shutterfly.
(All images provided by author.)