Sending out invitations for a wedding requires a lot of thought and planning, as well as numerous questions: “What kind of stationary is the best?” “When should invitations be sent to guests?” “How should the wording on the envelope be phrased?” These are only a few of the quandaries that brides find themselves in as they prepare to invite guests. Thankfully, Ann Marlin of Cloud 9 Weddings and Papers was generous enough to answer all of these questions, and more, in this special “invitation edition” of our blog!
Planning Enough Time-
Spruce Mountain Ranch: "How far in advance should a couple send out invitations?"
Ann Marlin: “Couples should send their invitations at least eight weeks in advance, although I suggest sending them ten weeks in advance when the majority of the guests are from another state.”
Spruce Mountain Ranch: “How far in advance of the wedding should the couple ask for a reply by?”
Ann Marlin: “One month is sufficient, as it gives the couple plenty of time to reach out to guests that have not yet responded. This also allows time for the couple to send in their final numbers for catering, florals, and rentals.”
Spruce Mountain Ranch: “Should formal titles be used in writing the invitation, or are they not required?”
Ann Marlin: “It depends on the level of formality of the wedding and the couple. For the most part, I am still seeing formal titles being used on both the invitation and the invitation envelope.”
Spruce Mountain Ranch: “Are RSVP cards necessary to include in the envelope, or is an online RSVP sufficient?”
Ann Marlin: “I suggest using an RSVP card, as there is still a demographic of guests that do not regularly use a computer and instead prefer to mail in an RSVP.
Perfecting the Presentation-
Spruce Mountain Ranch: “What do you suggest for creating the perfect wedding invitations?”
Ann Marlin: “The perfect wedding invitations truly reflect the personalities of the couple and exude the overall style and formality level of the wedding. They set the tone for the wedding, so I encourage and assist couples with building an invitation suite that mirrors the overall aesthetic of their big day!
Spruce Mountain Ranch: “Is there a certain way that invitations should look (i.e. specific kinds of paper)?”
Ann Marlin: “There is not necessarily a certain way invitations need to look, but they should be well thought-through. This means taking into account the couple, their wedding style, and a cohesive look for all the pieces of the big day. I have so much fun with the wedding invitation process, and I love it when couples like to use different textures of paper, fun artwork, and shapes to make their invitations truly unique.”
Avoiding Uncomfortable Situations-
Spruce Mountain Ranch: “What are some invitation mishaps to avoid?”
Ann Marlin: “Procrastination in either ordering or mailing the invitations is a major mishap, as this can incur rush charges on ordering them, or it can require a quick turnaround for guests to send in their RSVP cards.
Spruce Mountain Ranch: “How can a couple politely indicate whether or not children are invited to the wedding?”
Ann Marlin: “I suggest using a separate enclosure card that can list additional wedding details, such as the website. This card will usually indicate in a footnote that it is an ‘adult-only event.’
Spruce Mountain Ranch: “If ‘plus ones’ are not invited, what is the best way to indicate that to guests?”
Ann Marlin: “It is indicated on the mailing envelope who the invitation in intended for. This is the recipient’s name (i.e. ‘Mr. John Smith’). However, we find that guests sometime overlook this, and will still RSVP for two.”
Spruce Mountain Ranch: “How should a couple prepare the guests for reception activities or other things they should keep in mind (For example, Spruce Mountain is a cattle ranch with lots of allergens, and guests commonly have to walk to the ceremony site. How does a couple indicate to guests to wear comfortable shoes and bring allergy medicine?)”
Ann Marlin: “This would be the perfect time to use an enclosure card that can list those items (allergy medicine and comfortable shoes), as well as mention that cellular service is limited at the ranch. I am currently printing invitations for a Spruce Mountain Ranch bride that say ‘Boots are encouraged, but please leave the denim at home.’ Sweet reminders such as this can help guests plan ahead.”
Final Words of Wisdom-
Spruce Mountain Ranch: “What other advice do you have for couples in the invitation process?”
Ann Marlin: “I recommend having fun! Couples should allow enough time so they do not feel rushed. Also, I advise using the same style and colors from the wedding invitations in the day-of paper items, such as programs, escort cards, menus, and napkins. Carrying this theme through the day, and even the thank-you notes, will help the products seem even more consistent.”
**Thank you to Ann Marlin of Cloud 9 Weddings and Papers for her expert advice! To contact Ann about planning or invitation services, reference the contact information below: