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Wedding Invitations Archives - New Orleans Weddings - Reception, Venue & Planning
Apr 222014

Let's be real: Weddings require a lot of stationery and invitations. After all, there are so many wedding-related events and festivities that take place throughout the couple's engagement period. Promptness is key when it comes to mailing everything in a timely fashion — so, to help you keep track of all the invites, thank-you notes, and everything else you'll need to send, follow our handy guide.

1: Engagement Party Invitation
What it is: Oftentimes a couple's parents or close friends will throw an engagement party where the couple announces the big news. Some keep the reason for the party a secret, and announce the engagement during a toast at the beginning of the evening. Others send out invitations with the reason for the celebration detailed on the cards.
Who gets one: A guest at your engagement party will probably expect an invitation to your wedding, so plan this first guest list wisely.
When to send: As soon after the engagement as possible, while the news is still fresh. If you decide to announce your engagement at the party, you'll need to come up with a good excuse for gathering so many friends and relatives together in one place.

2: Save-the-Date Card
What it is: Though save-the-date cards are not required, they are a fun way to get your guests to mark their calendar. Also, they're especially helpful when many of your guests have to make travel arrangements or if accommodations near the wedding site are limited.
Who gets one: Only those who you're planning on inviting to the wedding.
When to send: Four to six months before the wedding, or even earlier if you're planning a destination wedding that may require more extensive travel arrangements.

3: Wedding Invitation
What it is: A traditional wedding invitation suite includes the main invitation, the response card, and any other enclosure card containing helpful information for your guests (reception card, travel and accommodations card, attire card, etc.).
Who gets one: Everyone on your guest list.
When to send: Send these out between six to eight weeks prior to your wedding date.

4:Bridal Shower Invitation
What it is: The maid of honor or another good friend usually hosts the shower; oftentimes several people, usually bridesmaids, share the responsibility of celebrating the bride-to-be.
Who gets one: Everyone invited to the shower should also be invited to the wedding.
When to send: These should go out between six and eight weeks before the event, depending on how many out-of-towners are on the list. Make sure guests RSVP to one person (the maid of honor, for example) to keep numbers organized.

5: Bachelor/Bachelorette Party Invitation
What it is: Whether it's a trip to Las Vegas or something more low key, the bachelor/bachelorette parties are for the bride's and groom's best friends to celebrate their upcoming nuptials.
Who gets one: Same thing applies — everyone invited should also be invited to the wedding.
When to send: One month before the party date. Emailing and calling is acceptable, too.

6: Rehearsal Dinner Invitation
What it is: The rehearsal dinner usually takes place the night before the wedding, following the actual ceremony rehearsal, and is a time for wedding-party members to celebrate and toast the couple.
Who gets one: Close family members and anyone participating in the wedding ceremony (including your officiant), plus their spouses or dates. But it is also considerate to invite your out-of-town guests to attend as a kind gesture of thanks for traveling all the way.
When to send: Send invitations three to six weeks in advance.

7: Thank-You Card
What it is: You should send thank-you notes for all gifts received during the course of planning your wedding.
Who gets one: Everyone who has given you a gift at any of the wedding festivities (the engagement party, bridal shower, wedding).
When to send: For gifts received during the engagement party and shower, send a thank you within two to three weeks of the festivities; for gifts sent before the wedding date, send a card as soon as possible but definitely before the wedding; for gifts given on the wedding day itself, mail a thank-you note within three months; and for gifts received after your wedding, send one within two to three weeks.

Apr 162014
guide to wedding invitation enclosures

Courtesy of Cheree Berry Paper

Now that you've perfectly worded your wedding invitation, you may be wondering what else you need to include in the envelope. To help you figure this out, we've created this handy guide that explains the most common invitation enclosures.

Enclosure #1: Reception Card
If the reception is taking place at a venue other than the ceremony site, list the location and address on a separate sheet called the reception card. Of course, you can try to squeeze the reception information onto the main invitation, but if you prefer to keep the design more streamlined, then provide the details on a separate reception card.

Enclosure #2: Reply Card (also called the "response card")
Including a reply card with the wedding invitation has now become common practice. (Though, the most formal wedding invitations may not include a response card. In that case, you'll need to respond to the host with a formal acceptance note, handwritten using black ink on white paper or your own stationery, if you have some.) Typically, the reply card is a separate card with a self-addressed and stamped envelope, or a postcard (which saves paper, since you can skip the envelope). Give guests a RSVP deadline and a place to write their names and whether they're coming. (Expert tip: Since people sometimes forget to write their names on the reply card, number your guest list, and then lightly pencil the proper number on the back of each reply card before tucking it into the addressed invitation.)

Enclosure #3: Wedding Website
If you've created a website to help your guests learn more information about your wedding, list the URL on a separate card. Of course, you can also list the website on the invitation itself, if there's enough room.

Enclosure #4: Attire Card
Many of your guests will be wondering what to wear, so you can provide dress-code guidance by adding a line to the lower right-hand corner of the invitation indicating "black tie" or other attire information. But if your dress code is very specific or requires a bit of explanation (i.e., "beach chic" or "bring your dancing shoes!"), a separate card might be useful. You could also include any attire information on your wedding website, if you have one.

Enclosure #5: Map
Many couples choose to include a custom illustrated map to highlight the various locations where wedding events will be taking place. You can personalize it even further by calling out your favorite local spots (say, the best coffee shop in town); directions to the wedding may be printed on the same card.

Enclosure #6: Accommodations Card
Recommending a couple of hotels that are convenient and affordable for your out-of-town guests is a gracious thing to do; you can convey this information on an insert card or list the details on your wedding website. List the name of each hotel, plus contact information and the basic room rate (if you wish). You can also include transportation details, such as shuttle bus information, if you're providing guests with rides to the ceremony and reception.

Enclosure #7: Wedding Itinerary
If you've planned extra events for all the guests — a welcome dinner, group hiking excursion, rehearsal dinner, or post-wedding brunch, — it's a good idea to provide a weekend itinerary to enclose along with the wedding invitation. These details can also be listed on the wedding website. However, if not everyone is invited to every event, use separate invitations to avoid any confusion.

Everything You Need to Know About Your Wedding Invitation Suite

 Invites & Stationery, Wedding Invitations, Wedding Invitations and Stationery  Comments Off on Everything You Need to Know About Your Wedding Invitation Suite
Feb 272014
Wedding Invitation Suite Guide

Photos: Courtesy of Invitations by Dawn

It's not called an invitation suite for nothing! From the save-the-date to the actual invitation to the all-important thank-you note, wedding correspondence is all about pretty paper goods—and we wouldn't have it any other way! But if your head is swimming from stationery overload and you can't tell a reception card from a response card, we've compiled a helpful guide outlining everything you could need to stuff in an envelope. (We also included super helpful tips from stationery specialists and Brides Live Wedding sponsors Invitations by Dawn to make sure the mail goes out without a hitch!)

1. Wedding Invitation

Wedding invitations should be sent 4-8 weeks prior to your wedding date. And though it may seem obvious what should be written on an invite, Invitations by Dawn etiquette expert Shanna Zuelch says couples commonly (and surprisingly) forget to include key details like time, date, ceremony location and/or reception location. So check over your invite, and then check it twice! As for less obvious additions to your invitation, consider corner copy. "Corner copy is a great place for quick bits of information, such as 'reception following ceremony,' if they're in the same location," says Zuelch. "You can also use corner copy for 'no gifts please' or a note about attire."

2. Reception Card

If you have room on the bottom of your invitation to fit reception info, you may be able to save money and forgo the reception card. However, if space is tight, you will need to include a reception card with wording that indicates the formality and nature of the event. "If you are hosting a reception before 1 p.m., the first line should say 'Breakfast Reception.' Anything after 1 p.m. is just 'Reception," Zuelch advises. "Do you want to indicate a sit-down meal? The first line should read 'Dinner Reception.'"

As for the oft-contested younger guests, if you'd like to throw an adults-only affair, you should notify guests through word-of-mouth and by the names addressed in the invitation. If you must include an "Adults-Only Reception" line, do so on the reception card, and as the last line, says Zuelch.

3. Direction Card

Don't leave guests to their own devices (or Google maps) when it comes to getting to your wedding on time. "Carefully consider the font you use on your direction cards," says Zuelch. "It's important to make sure the font is easy to read for all of your guests." Even if you do send a card, you should still list the directions to your venue and its address on your wedding website.

4. Response Card

When sending response cards, don't forget to include a stamp for your guests' convenience. Zuelch advises to "number the names on your guest list, and then write that number on the back of the corresponding response card. You can then look up responses by number just in case you can't read the handwriting or someone forgets to include his or her name." When using an online response service, be considerate of older generations, says Zuelch. Be aware of guests who may not be comfortable using computers and send them a response card instead.

5. Accommodation Card

You don't have to send accommodation cards to everyone, just to out-of-town guests. "Including a deadline for making reservations on your accommodations card is optional but helpful," suggests Zuelch. "Rooms can book up fast, so it's nice to give your guests a date to shoot for." If you're covering guests' accommodations, it's proper etiquette to indicate that on the accommodation card, says Zuelch.

6. Inner Envelope

This is the place to clearly write the names of each wedding guest, "to indicate exactly who is (and isn't) invited to the wedding," says Zuelch. When placing the inner envelope inside the outer one, make sure the guests' names are clearly visible so you don't get any surprise plus-ones!

7. Outer Envelope

Don't forget the stamp! Luckily, you don't have to hand write the addresses yourself—many stationery companies offer addressing services. One final tip: "Envelope moisteners are lifesavers when assembling hundreds of wedding invitations!" says Zuelch.

Jan 082014
DIY save-the-date ideas

Photo: Yasu + Junko

Want to make your own wedding save-the-date cards but don't have a degree in graphic design? You can download templates or buy printable cards from sites like A Printable Press, E. M. Papers, and Printable Paperie. Or you can try one of these genius—and easy!—ideas.

Think Digital

Printstagram helps you take your favorite pics from Instagram and turn them into hipster-approved mementos—many of which are totally translatable to the wedding world. (We love the idea of putting together a tiny save-the-date photo album or cards that look like Polaroids.) You can even order photo stickers—perfect for personalizing envelopes or plain stationery.

Tinybook, $10 for three, and mini prints, $12 for 48, Printstagram

Get Crafty

Get custom by working with a stationer to create a save-the-date rubber stamp. (Save money by tweaking an existing design.) Then buy paper, ink, and envelopes in the color palette you want, and get stamping!

Save-the-date stamp, $98, MaeMae Paperie

Go Natural

For this ultra-budget-friendly idea, all you need is some large leaves, a gold marker, great penmanship, and good, sturdy envelopes (so your works of art don't get crushed in the mail). It's an especially great option if you're getting married in a woodsy spot like a botanical garden, park, or mountain lodge. (Tip: Don't live near a lot of trees? Instead of foraging in your yard, you can order pressed leaves on Etsy.)

—Yolanda Crous

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10 Creative Ways to Personalize Your Wedding Invitation’s Envelope Flap

 Invites & Stationery, Wedding Invitations  Comments Off on 10 Creative Ways to Personalize Your Wedding Invitation’s Envelope Flap
Dec 192013
Wedding Invitation Personalization Tips

Photo: Philip Flicks

From exuberant liners to custom seals, here are 10 ways to make your wedding invitation suite's humblest element a bit nobler.

1. There's nothing like hand calligraphy, even if it's your mother-in-law's At $1.50 to $5 a pop, not everyone can afford a pro, so it's okay to do it yourself—just be neat. Note that elaborate fonts can sometimes make numbers unrecognizable, so the invite might not make it to its destination. To be safe, send yourself one as a test run first.

2. If you're using a wax seal, stationers recommend the plastic variety. Real wax shatters in USPPS machinery and turns into dust.

3. In lieu of printing return addresses on the outer envelopes (pricey!), use a charming custom rubber stamp. However, stationers agree that printing the RSVP envelopes is well worth the splurge.

4. Home-printed labels can be dodgy territory for wedding invitation envelopes. A better place to cut costs is on the save-the-dates, where the glitter-and-glue-with-love look ought to win over even the stodgiest guest on your list.

5. If vintage stamps are your thing, dig deep at your local post office, surf championstamp.com, or search "unused vintage postage" at Etsy. You can also contact the postageservice.com, a retro postage provider that gives aesthetic advice (in person, if you live in Manhattan) and has great suppliers.

6. Skip trolling eBay for vintage stamps—unfortunately, you'll probably end up overpaying.

7. To avoid filtering invites through a machine that can damage envelopes, call your local post office to see if it offers hand-stamping or hand-cancelling. Says Laura Sarginger of Mr. Boddington's Studio in NYC: "The first 50 should be on the house;it's five cents for each additional envelope."

8. A custom monogram turns an envelope flap into art.

9. Patterned liners aren't incrdibly expensive, but you can also DIY them with spray adhesive.

10. A graphic motif or message on the inner envelope is a fun surprise.

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Dec 062013
Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici's wedding invitations revealed

Photo: Catherine Giudici via Instagram

After The Bachelor's Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici's hilariously adorable save-the-date card was revealed (Oversized bear masks? Hologram Tupac? This pair is too much), we knew with their wedding would be a treat. As the details come together we're getting more and more excited for their Jan. 26 televised nuptials. The latest? An equally adorable wedding invitation.

See more: What Your Save-the-Date Says About You

Although more formal than their save-the-date cards, the invites, which People revealed (See the suite here!) capture their fun-loving personalities just as well as their save-the-dates did.

The front of the invitation sums up the future celebration in the shortest and sweetest way we could imagine. The card declares: "The Lowe-down: marrying, eating, boogie-ing." Our hearts nearly burst when reading the inside of the invite. "Together with their families Sean Thomas Lowe will marry his best friend Catherine Ligaya Mejia Giudici who completely adores him," the calligraphy reads. The RSVP card finishes off the package with a punch. If replying yes to the ABC-sanctioned affair, guests will select a pretty standard "Can't wait" box. But, if said guests can't attend, they'll have to reply with a chuckle-worthy "has something more important to attend than celebrating the union of Sean & Catherine."

See more: Which Celebrity Couple is Getting Married Next?

Their invitations sealed the deal: Sean and Catherine may just be our all-time favorite Bachelor couple. We love how they aren't afraid to laugh at themselves. It's clear from their cheekiness that the two are madly in love.

Catherine Giudici Bachelorette Party Instagram

Photo: Catherine Giudici via Instagram

The invites aren't the only wedding logistics in the works. According to her Instagram, Catherine just left today for her bachelorette party (see above), and with a competitive caption to boot! "Hey Sean, we can go skiing AND sunning for my bachelorette. Take that!" her post said. They're social interactions are almost too adorable to bear. Needless to say, we're anxiously awaiting the "Lowe-down" on January 26 and all of the other Juan-uary specials in the works!

—Lauren Frankfort

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