A Wedding Invitation Game Plan

Gray & coral chalkboard wedding invitation + an invitation game plan

Robert and I had a quick turnaround between us receiving our invitation order from the letterpress company and mailing our invitations to our guests so they would receive them at the three-month mark recommended for destination weddings. (For weddings that are primarily local, sending them out six to eight weeks in advance is fine.) Here’s what we had on hand to speed up the process:

  • A pen. This sounds silly, but if you’re going for a certain look, like white pen on dark paper, you need to buy a pen in advance and try it out. Make sure the thickness of the pen’s line appeals to you, and take note if there’s a delay in the ink drying; you want to avoid smearing when working with the envelopes.
  • A return address plan. If you plan on not handwriting the return address, get this segment of the plan in motion early. You can print a pretty script on vellum labels — but test this out in advance. Robert and I had a custom stamp made and bought an ink pad that matched the ink of our pen. One note: At the last minute we opted for a larger invitation size. Our custom stamp looks small on the envelope because it wasn’t made with the larger dimensions in mind.  So consider the size of your invitation when choosing the size of the return address stamp.
  • An invitation-addressing plan. I was the writer; Robert was the stuffer, stamper and sealer. I halfway thought of trying out calligraphy, but in the end I realized I’d lose my mind if I did that. I simply used my best handwriting because I had to simplify to get the envelopes out the door in time. If you’re doing calligraphy, buy the set and practice. And if you’re hiring a calligrapher, get this set up pronto.

One item I recommend you don’t do in advance is buy stamps — the only exception is for reply cards that you’re confident will cost within the normal postage rates. For the invitation itself, I recommend you go to a post office, weigh with all items inside, and ask about any potential additional charges (such as for oversize or square envelopes). Then buy postage. If you assume you know the postage rate, you risk the chance of mis-guessing and having every last invitation coming back to you, which would be a major bummer.

Also, after everything is stuffed, addressed and stamped, go back through each envelope and check off that name on your guest list. In our rush to get our invites out, Robert and I didn’t do this, and we’ve already had two questions about invitations that didn’t arrive when the others did. We thought we sent those people invitations — they’re on our list — but it’s possible their names accidentally got skipped during the envelope-addressing frenzy. If we had double-checked, we would at least have known that an invitation was sent. Live and learn, I suppose.

Find a local wedding invitation company here. And stay tuned for the final post in this series on invitations, where I’ll showcase our invitations — we are so, so happy with them!

Invitation by Wedding Paper Divas — check out the post on their blog by Jennifer and Jessica from Linen, Lace and Love on how to make your invitation your own. Read about wedding invitation wording here, and view our wedding invitation pinboard for more inspiration!

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