Save the Date Cards
Save the Dates have become increasingly popular over the past few years as people's lives seem to keep getting busier. You will want to make sure that your guests keep the date of your wedding or Bar/Bat Mitzvah open when planning their schedules. Your out of town guests who have to travel to attend your special event will find your save the date announcement especially helpful for giving them plenty of travel preparation time. This is a great idea for those couples planning a destination wedding where most of the guests will have to make travel arrangements and they might be able to set their budget and turn the trip into a family vacation if they have plenty of advance notice. Knowing your date in advance can help them save money by booking their airline reservations or hotels early. Save the Date announcements are usually sent out 6 out 8 months prior to your special day. They can be sent out earlier if your wedding date is around the holidays but if you send them out too early you may risk your guests misplacing them or forgetting your wedding date. Try not to send them out in December as they may get lost in all of the holiday mail that most people receive at that time of year.
- Photo Save the Date Magnets have become a popular choice and they are a great idea so that your guests can easily stick them onto their refrigerator as a reminder of your special day. Some magnets actually show a calendar of the month of your wedding with your date circled for easy reference.
- Save the Date Scratch Off Cards are a creative way of announcing your wedding date. Your date becomes visible to your guests after they have scratched off the appropriate area on the card. These are similar to scratch off lottery tickets and will be fun for your guests.
- Save the Date Cards or postcards are the most traditional and the Carlson Craft line has so many unique and beautiful designs that you can even try to coordinate them with your wedding theme or colors.
- All designs are printed with your names and your wedding date and some will include your wedding location. Envelopes are included with all of our save the date announcements at no additional charge. Many couples will include the words "Save the Date" and "Invitation to Follow" so that the guests who aren't familiar with these will know that this is not your actual wedding invitation. (top)
The actual invitation is the most important part of your ensemble. Your invitation sets the tone of your wedding, whether it be a black tie/formal event, a casual outdoor wedding or somewhere in between. Your guests will have an idea as to what type of wedding you will be having once they open your invitation. A formal invitation should include all the information about your wedding including the day, date and year, time, location and address including city and state. You should not include the zip code as these are just for mailing purposes. Zip codes can always be printed on your map/direction card. You can include your reception information on your invitation if it is being held at the same location as the ceremony or if there is space for it. If not, it is proper etiquette to order a reception card with this information so that your invitation text does not look crowded. Monograms, engagement photos, ribbon/bows, wraps, crystals and pearls can be used to dress up an invitation and make it a reflection of your own personal style. These days most printing companies use thermography (raised ink) on their traditional invitations but Carlson Craft is now using laser printers with flat ink for many of their Pockets line of invitations as the design and text can be printed in several different colors. There are so many styles of invitations to choose from including single cards, traditional folders (folding on the left side like a book), tri-folds and z-folds. It is highly recommended that you read the online description very carefully, order a sample or view the invitations at a local stationery store before ordering online. You will want to make sure that you approve of the quality, thickness, style and color of the invitation before you place your order. The post popular style right now is the Pocket Invitation. The invitation card, along with the insert cards (reception, response card and envelope, direction/map card and accommodation card) fit neatly into a coordinated pocket folder or jacket. When your guest opens your invitation, all of the cards will be kept neat and organized until they need to refer back to them as your wedding date approaches. The Pocket invitations are impressive and stylish but you will want to order these early as most of them will require assembly with glue dots. It is recommended that you order your invitations at least 4 to 5 months before your wedding so that you will have enough time to order proofs, make changes and then assemble, address and stamp them. If you are having a bridal shower a month or two before your wedding, you may be pressed for time with working on your wedding invitations if you have to help with your shower and then write all of the thank you notes afterwards. Wedding invitations should be sent out 6 to 8 weeks prior to your wedding date. This should allow enough time for your guests to decide if they will attend and sending them out earlier than this usually isn't recommended as they might set the invitation aside and then forget about it. You can always send out save the dates if you really want to plan ahead. (top)
The outer envelope will have glue on the flap and it is used to mail your invitation and insert cards. Blank outer envelopes are always included with your invitations at no additional charge. The flap of your outer envelope can be printed with your return address in case an invitation should get lost in the mail or if an invitation cannot be delivered due to an incorrect address. Many couples choose to have the guest's name and address printed by a calligrapher by hand so it is recommended that you order 25 extra envelopes in case of errors. You may need to book an appointment in advance for this service and find out how much time they will require to address your envelopes before making your decision to hire them. Many of the invitation companies now offer this service so that the name and address on the front of your envelope will match your return address on the back flap. You can even use the same lettering style and ink color to match your invitations. You usually need to have your guest list on an Excel file so that you can upload your list on a special web site so that the envelopes can be printed at the same time as your invitations. Prices can range from $1.00 - $2 per outer envelope depending on which line of invitation you are ordering. Allow up to an extra week for production time during the busy season if you plan to use this service. (top)
The inner envelope does not have glue on the flap and is included with most traditional invitations at no additional charge. Some of the more upscale invitation lines (Checkerboard) will offer inner envelopes for an additional charge and many of the vertical tea length and the pocket invitations do not have the option of having an inner envelope. You will just write the specific names of those who are invited on the front of the inner envelope and this is where you can add "and Guest" to the name of a single person that you are inviting if you are allowing them to bring a guest. Adding an envelope liner to your inner envelope is an inexpensive way to dress up your invitation. Envelope liners come in many colors and textures and are glued into the flap area of the inner envelope. They usually aren't offered on outer envelopes since the guest usually tears open the outer envelope and this will ruin the look of your pretty lined envelope. The inner envelopes don't seal so this is the ideal place for the liner as they guests usually save this envelope to hold the contents of their invitation until they need to refer to it again. (top)
Use of the tissue paper is an old tradition that dates back to the day of the quill and ink pens. The tissue was placed over the wording to blot the wet ink and keep it from smudging. Since there is no chance of ink smearing with today's printers many of the invitation companies no longer include the complimentary tissue paper with their ensembles, although most of them still sell it for a small charge. (top)
The reception card is an insert card that gives all of the information your guests will need regarding your reception. It should include the time, location and the full address if the reception is being held at a different location than the ceremony. You can also add your wedding website address to your reception card if you have one, so that guests can refer to it for more information. (top)
The response card is an enclosure card that your guests will fill out and return to you to inform you if they are able to attend your wedding. If there is a choice of entree, this should be included on your response card. Some couples include their email address on this card if they want to give their guests the option of responding by email. A response envelope is always included in the cost of the response set. The front of this envelope is printed with the name and address of the person/people who will be keeping track of who is attending your wedding or special event. It is proper etiquette to apply the postage stamp to each envelope so that the guest can mail it back to you. (top)
Map or Direction Card
The map or direction card is used to provide directions to your ceremony and reception. There is also the option of having the directions printed on one side of the card and a map on the other. Camera-ready artwork is often necessary when duplicating a map. (top)
The accommodation card lists the hotels that you have reserved for your guests to contact if they will need hotel accommodations. It's helpful to include the hotel address and phone number, hotel web address and the discounted rate so that your guest will not have to call to get this information. If there is a deadline that the rooms have to be reserved by to receive the discounted rate you should include this date on your accommodations card. (top)
Place cards are small folders or cards that are used at the reception to list the guest's names and table number if you choose to have assigned seating. Most reception places will have a special table set up at the entrance of the room for you to set up the cards on. (top)
Menu cards are used at each place setting to inform your guests of the menu choices they will have at your reception. The appetizers, salad, soup, and entrees can be listed in detail on this card. You can also include a list of the beverages and dessert choices. Although menu cards are not a necessity they can make a formal event more elegant and they will certainly impress your guests. (top)
Personalized wedding programs will add a personal touch to your ceremony. Wedding ceremony programs include a cover and insert pages to personalize with your gospel readings, songs, bridal party and even a personal thank you note to your family and guests. The wedding program fans are perfect for summer weddings. (top)
The informal note is printed with your names, a monogram or simply the words "Thank You". The inside is usually blank so that you can write a personal thank you note. These come with blank envelopes but you can also have your return address printed on the flap. (top)