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10 Wedding Invitation Mistakes That Cost You Money

Category: Beyond Wedding Invitations | Published on: Feb 22, 2016

Everyone makes mistakes, but sometimes they end up costing you. When it comes to wedding invitation mistakes, that cost can impact your budget in a big way.

These 10 wedding invitation mistakes could cost you money

Here are the 10 wedding invitation mistakes I see most often, how much it’ll cost you, and how to avoid them.

10. Being unresponsive

If you’re working with a stationer or stationery company, or even a friend doing your invites for you, you need to be responsive. When they email you or call you, it’s because they need something to complete your invitations. Your stationer might reach out again a couple days later, but generally they don’t want to be pushy.  If they don’t hear from you, your invites get put on the back burner. That can mean getting your invites later than you wanted.

9. Forgetting to stamp RSVPs

The biggest reason to stamp your RSVPs? Your invitees are more likely to return them, and you won’t have to call them to get their response. It’s also a faux pas. Your invitees will appreciate the thought.

A chevron wedding suite with a watercolor twist. | Wedding Invitations by CharmCat Stationery & Design


8. Not tracking RSVPs

The whole point of your RSVP cards is so you can know who is coming and who isn’t. Make sure your reply cards include all the info you need to know. Need to know their menu choice? Put a space on the card for it. But the biggest mistake is not tracking your RSVPs. If you don’t know who sent the RSVP back to you, it’s useless. There’s lots of tricks for tracking your RSVPs, from writing the guests’ names right on their card, to including a small number on the back and keeping track of who belongs to which number.

7. Not proofreading

While misspelling your own name might just garner laughs, putting June the 16th instead of June the 17th is a real problem. You might be able to overlook subtle wedding invitation mistakes, but anything else is going to require reprinting—and repaying.

6. Forgetting important details

In the same vein as proofreading, make sure you’re not forgetting anything. Be sure to include the address, the date, and time. And if you’re reception is different, you’ll need to include that, too.

If you forgot something, you might not need to do a whole reprint. If you can get away with a small enclosure with the additional info, it can cost less to fix.

5. Not getting one weighed for the right postage

There’s lots of things that can drive up your postage: the size or shape of the envelope, the weight of the cards, 3-D embellishments. Always take one completely done set to the post office to weigh before you start stamping. Get specialty stamps from the post office while you’re there that cover the cost of mailing.

This gorgeous wedding invitation suite features a big watercolor peony design. | Wedding Invitations by CharmCat Stationery & Design


Don’t forget to do the same for your RSVP! In this case, it could end up saving you money if your RSVP is a postcard, since you can get cheaper stamps to use on postcards.

4. Not ordering enough (or too many) invites

Here’s where it’s really important to have your guest list done and organized before you order. The best way to have your guest list organized is by invite: group people by address. You may be inviting 100 people, but once you account for couples and families, you might only need about 60 invitations.

Also don’t forget to add a few extras. My rule of thumb is 5 extra invites for every 50 invitations. Extras are for lost invites, last-minute or forgotten invitees, and posterity.

Ordering too few invitations means placing a second order—in addition to extra shipping charges, you might be looking at other fees to pull your design out and set it up again. Plus it’ll delay your mailing.

Of course, ordering too many invitations means you spent more money than you needed to.

3. Not making a realistic budget

First thing’s first; you need a budget! You might not have an idea of what a realistic budget is, and that’s okay. But you need to do your research. Get quotes. Browse around at different options and compare prices. Read my blog post about what wedding invitations cost.

If you do need 100 invitations, you need to have a realistic budget. $50 or $100 isn’t going to make it, and you’ll stress yourself out trying to meet it.

On the other hand, once you make a budget, stick to it. There’s some flexibility around your actual budget, but remember you made a budget for a reason.

2. Trying to DIY blind

There’s tons of couples out there who DIY with amazing success. They’re crafty, dedicated, and plan well. If that’s not you, then trying to DIY is a great way to invite wedding invitation mistakes.

Remember: just because you saw it on Pinterest doesn’t mean you can do it, too. #wedding #diy

Doing invitations yourself is challenging. You need to have the right supplies (computer software, printer, paper cutter), the right skills (designing, paper crafting), the time (it takes a *lot* of time), and the dedication (to keep trying). You also have to have the money, in case it doesn’t work out. Some couples pay for the DIY supplies, find they can’t do it, and then end up ordering invites anyway.

I’m not trying to discourage all DIY, but just offering a cautionary tale: go into DIYing with both eyes open!

1. The number one mistake? Waiting too long to order your invites

You may know that you need to mail your invitations 6-8 weeks before your wedding. (Or at least, you do now.) Some couples spend the first few months of their planning on the big details: location, food, date. Then they want to take a break, and sometimes that means forgetting about the invitations until it’s time to mail them!

If you’re getting catalog invitations, start the process about 5 months out from your wedding. For custom invitations, aim for more like 8. (This includes the research phase.) Learn about how to order wedding invitations here. And download my wedding invitation checklist here.

So why is this number one? Two reasons, actually.

The first reason is that it’s the most common wedding invitation mistake I see.

The second is that if you give yourself enough time, you’re less likely to make the other mistakes. Mistakes happen when we’re rushed, or when we don’t have time to do the research.

Question: What mistakes did you make on you invitations? (Or, which mistake will you now avoid :)?

— Ashleigh

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