Save-the-Date Cards, Invitations and AnnouncementsSave-the-date cards are informal notes sent out to guests to alert them about an upcoming wedding -- less elaborate and less expensive than invitations. Save-the-date cards might announce your engagement and wedding date without specific RSVP information. Invitations, on the other hand, are generally more formal and designed to collect RSVPs. Finally, announcements are sent out after your wedding to friends, family and acquaintances who were not invited to the wedding or who were unable to attend. While recipients of wedding invitations are traditionally expected to send a gift even if they cannot attend, recipients of announcements are not.
Classic Designs for Wedding InvitationsThe formality of your invitation should match the formality of your event. A traditional, formal wedding calls for a matching invitation, with elements such as:
- Ecru or white cards
- Engraved text
- Simple typeface
- Names and address written in calligraphy
"The honor of your presence is requested at the marriage of John Doe to Jane Smith, Saturday,the fifteenth of July two thousand and two at half after two o'clock at the First Baptist Church, Cary, NC."
Designing and Buying your Wedding InvitationsA good place to start when designing your invitations is to look at samples of other invitations. All companies offering invitation designs will also offer samples of their work; flip through and see if anything appeals to you. What kind of mood would you like to evoke with your invitation? Formal and classy, sweet and romantic or fun and funky? Would you like to incorporate your wedding colors into your invitation?
Other tips to keep in mind while designing your invitations:
- Most companies let you request samples before buying invitations.
- It's considered impolite to refer to gift registries.
- When addressing the cards, write your guests' full names and salutations. Also, it's considered bad form to use printed address labels.
- Consider sending a map with the invitation; otherwise, send one once guests have accepted.
- If you want to invite kids, include them on the invitation; if they're 16 or older you could send them their own invitation. If you don't want children at your wedding, say so explicitly to avoid any misunderstanding.
- Order your invitations four to six weeks before mailing, and mail six weeks before the wedding date.
- Make sure to order extra envelopes in case you make mistakes while addressing them.
A few money-saving ideas:
- Assemble the invitations yourself.
- Stay away from expensive engraving and metallic inks.
- Pick a standard size for less expensive shipping.
- Use postcards for RSVPs; postage is cheaper!
Where to Buy North Carolina Wedding InvitationsSalutations (Chapel Hill and Charlotte\): Fine stationery store offering all kinds of cards, notes and gifts.
A Fine Line Studio (Asheville): Fine engraved stationery and invitations.
Mindy & Angie's Fine Paper (Wilmington): Stationery company specializing in weddings.
Frances King Stationery (Raleigh): Gift store and stationer in the Piedmont offering invitations and many famous name brand papers.