Tag: “invitation maven”

Five Common Invitation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

When designing your custom event invitation, whether it’s for a wedding, bar mitzvah, fundraising event or milestone birthday, there are a lot of things to keep in mind. There’s more to it than simply creating the invitation and placing it in the envelope. Here are the top 5 mistakes most people make when creating their invitations and some tips about how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Not including all the necessary information on the invitation

I find that some clients worry that their invitation includes too much information. However, I counter that it’s best to include all of the information your guests will need to know rather than leave something out for the sake of cutting out a few words. Of course, your invitation should include the basic details of the event such as the day and date of the event, the time the event starts, and the location of the venue, but don’t be afraid to include inserts with additional details. For example, one of the most common inserts is a Map and Directions card. Even though most cars and phones have navigation software to help guide guests to the location of your event, including a pre-printed map or printed directions in the invitation, especially if the venue is difficult to find, is a courtesy many guests will appreciate.

Other common inserts include a separate reception card, which is critical if your reception is at a different location than your ceremony, a “Weekend Events” insert with information about events taking place before and after the main event, and an “Accommodations” card, which can include information about local hotels, nearby airports, local attractions, rental car agencies, and room blocks you have reserved on behalf of your guests. Finally, don’t forget to include information about the dress code somewhere in your invitation suite, either on the invitation itself or on a separate card. People want to know how to dress for the occasion, so be sure to let them know.

Mistake #2: Not sending invitations out on time and not giving people enough time to RSVP

The number one question I get from clients is “when should I send out my invitations?” The answer is six to eight weeks before your event. If you are having a destination wedding, be sure to send them out on the eight-week end of that mailing window so that guests have enough time to make travel arrangements.

Tied in with this mistake is not giving people enough time to respond. You want to give them three to four weeks from when they receive your invitation to when you want the RSVP back to figure out if they can attend. Set the RSVP return date no later than two weeks before your event. If you mail your invitations on time, this will give guests plenty of time to let you know and it will give you enough time to follow up with guests you don’t hear from so you can give your caterer an accurate number.

Mistake #3: Not clearly identifying who is invited

The best way to let your guests know who is invited to your event is to tell them on the front of the envelope. Don’t include references to other people who live at an address on the front of the envelope, either directly or implied, unless you intend to include them in your festivities. For example, if you are inviting a couple but not their kids, address the envelope as “Mr. and Mrs. Steven Jones” rather than “The Jones Family.” If you are including the girlfriend or boyfriend of a guest, it’s best to find out the name of that person and address the invitation to both people by name. If you decide a friend may bring a guest (or a “plus one” in wedding parlance), be sure to include “and Guest” on his or her envelope.

Mistake #4: Printing your registry information on the invitation

I have had several clients who want to put their wedding registry information on their actual invitations. I strongly discourage them from doing this as it’s an etiquette no-no. Instead, as I’ve done with several clients, include an insert with a link to your wedding website (NOTE: Do NOT print the direct link to your registry on either your invitation or inserts. Rather, embed the ink somewhere on your website and make it easy for guests to find once they’re there). From your website, guests can search for more information about your event, including your registry.

Mistake #5: Forgetting the stamp on the RSVP envelope

To encourage your guests to send back their RSVP cards, make it as easy as possible for them to do so. You can do that by including a pre addressed and stamped envelope. That way, all your guest has to do is fill out the RSVP card, put it in the envelope, seal it, and drop it in a mailbox. Don’t try to save money by not including pre-paid return stamp. It’s considered a party faux pas.

When designing your invitation suite, be sure to include all the details your guests will need to know. If you’re not sure, or don’t want the information on the main invitation itself, include the information on a separate insert. When I design an invitation suite for my clients, I use a check list to make sure I haven’t left off any important details. For your FREE CHECKLIST of details to include when designing your invitation suite, click here: INVITATION DETAILS TO INCLUDE ON EVERY INVITATION. For assistance in designing a one-of-a-kind custom invitation suite, complete with all the information your guests need to know, contact Invitation Maven at info@InvitationMaven.com.

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No Right Way or Wrong Way…Only YOUR Way

I am often asked “what’s the right way to…” followed by a question about how to handle a situation one might encounter when planning a party. My answer usually is “there is no RIGHT way or WRONG way…there’s only YOUR way.” I say this because every bride and groom, every bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah child, and every honoree is unique and their special event should reflect who they are. So while there are social conventions that can help guide you, there’s no reason why you can’t get creative and have fun planning your big event.

This is even true as it pertains to your invitations.

For example, in years past, wedding invitations were very formal. They had inner and outer envelopes, the bride’s parents were listed as the hosts, and the envelopes were addressed with formal honorifics (e.g., Mr. and Mrs. John Smith). These days, however, not all weddings are such formal affairs. And even if they are, many young brides and grooms are not comfortable with the formalities associated with weddings of the past.

It’s now perfectly acceptable to mail wedding invitations in a single envelope. In fact, in the more than 20 years since I started designing custom invitations, I have never designed a wedding invitation with a double envelope.

Brides and grooms often address their invitations using guests’ first and last names without honorifics (e.g., Mary and John Smith). This reduced formality sits better with many millennials.

Brides and grooms often host their own weddings and send their invitations from them, not from their parents. And even when they aren’t paying for their own wedding, sometimes certain family dynamics call for brides and grooms to send the invitations in order to avoid hurt feelings. I have a current wedding invitation client who is doing just that. The groom’s father recently passed away and in deference to his mother’s feelings, they chose to word the invitation as though they were inviting everyone. Their invitation reads:

Together with our families
Jenna Marie
Daughter of Cynthia and Robert Morgan
and
James Edward
Son of Jennifer and the late Richard Jackson
invite you to join us as we exchange wedding vows

Instead of using a formal RSVP card with an envelope, many of my clients opt to use a postcard RSVP. We design the front with all of the requisite RSVP information (names of guests, accepts or declines the invitation, meal choices, and whatever other information they need to collect) and the back is printed with the return address. This not only saves the cost of the envelope, but the postage is less expensive and it doesn’t weigh as much.

One thing is clear, however, regardless of the formality of the event: a wedding needs a real invitation and a real response card. Weddings are special and while you may be planning an informal affair at an eclectic or non-traditional venue, sending a printed invitation is one tradition that still endures. But have fun with that tradition and make the invitation reflect YOU.

For assistance creating your perfect wedding invitation, bar mitzvah invitation or bat mitzvah invitation, contact Invitation Maven at info@InvitationMaven.com or visit our website at www.InvitationMaven.com.

Taco Bell is Opening for Weddings

I receive alerts for interesting wedding-related articles. Well, this one caught my eye. Apparently, Taco Bell’s Las Vegas flagship store will be opening for weddings come summer 2017!

Brides and grooms on a budget, or who really love Taco Bell…can get married at Taco Bell for only $600. They receive a Taco Bell garter, bowtie and hot sauce bouquet, as well as “Just Married” shirts and champagne.

Taco Bell is having a contest to see who will be the first couple married at their flagship store. Brides and grooms can enter at: https://www.tacobell.com/loveandtacos. They even have their own hashtag: #LoveandTacos. Voting begins March 1, 2017.

This is taking Taco Tuesdays to a whole new level!

For more information about Taco Bell’s contest, listen to the story posted here: https://www.aol.com/article/lifestyle/2017/02/20/married-wedding-taco-bell/21717957/

Making Sure Your Guests Know Who the Party is For

Who Is This Bride and Why Am I Invited to Her Shower?

I had a client a few weeks ago who shared an interesting situation with me. She received an invitation to a wedding shower but did not know who the bride was, nor did she recognize the names of any of the hostesses. Her husband has a rather large family so she assumed the bridal shower was for the fiancé of a nephew, but she wasn’t sure. Given how uncomfortable this made her feel, now that she is creating a bridal shower invitation for the daughter of one of her closest friends, she wants to make sure this doesn’t happen to her. Here is some advice I gave my client to help her avoid the same issue.

Include Pertinent Details on the Invitation

The best way to ensure that each guest knows who the party is for is to include as much information as possible on the shower invitation. This is especially important if the guest list includes extended friends and family (as opposed to close friends and family), or people the bride has never met. Include the bride’s last name, as well as the full names of each host/hostess. You can even include the groom’s full name for added clarity. That way, each guest knows exactly who the honoree is and who is planning the party.

Limit the Guest List

A wedding shower should be more intimate and casual than the wedding and really should include just the bride’s closest friends and relatives. So while it’s true that all shower guests should be invited to the wedding, that doesn’t mean everyone who is invited to the wedding has to be invited to the bridal shower. Unless the bride has a truly close relationship with someone, she shouldn’t feel obligated to invite her to her wedding shower, so if the bride or one of the hostesses doesn’t personally know someone on the guest list, perhaps that person doesn’t need to be included.  This especially goes for the significant others of the groomsmen, friends of the bride’s or groom’s siblings, and extended relatives and their spouses.

Making Sure Guests Feel Welcome

Since bridal showers are typically more intimate affairs, guests who don’t know the bride well, or who don’t know any of the other guests may feel uncomfortable attending a bridal shower. Perhaps it’s best not to include them.

Don’t Invite People Just for the Gifts

If a guest is not particularly close to the bride or groom, or if they’ve never met, it may feel like she’s being invited just for the gift. That’s never a good feeling, so perhaps that guest does not need to be included on the shower guest list. This goes back to just including people who are close to the bride and groom.

The bottom line is a wedding shower should be a time when the guests can spend quality time with the bride before her big day. A smaller guest list will result in a more intimate event, and in the end will be more memorable not only for the bride, but for her guests as well.