Wedding Season

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Did you know the most popular time to get engaged is the month of December? So if it seems like many friends are posting that they became engaged over the holidays, it is probably true. At work the push is on for everyone to be trained to take custom print orders. I am almost through my training and I thought I would share with you some things I learned as well as my own DIY invitation. I was very much a DIY bride and our wedding was pretty casual so we were not worried about the formal standards. Now I am finding out there are many out there. On top of it I wanted to let you know that Wedding Paper Divas is offering 30% off everything right now!! Wedding Paper Divas is a member of the Shutterfly family of brands.
Wedding Paper Divas - Sitewide Sale
They offer all the paper needs you may have for a wedding, shower, etc. and 30% off is a big deal when it comes to invitations. 

 If you just got engaged you may feel a bit overwhelmed with the job of planning a wedding and not know where to start. A few things to do is to begin looking at the available invitations. Wedding invitations change year to year and what was available when I was planning my wedding ten years ago is not the same as what is available now. Also begin visiting possible venues. If you have a certain date in mind you may need to reserve it soon. Once you have your date and venue picked you can pick out save the date cards and invitations. Often couples like to have the same suite for both. On average couples are engaged for 12-13 months.(Source) I also saw an average of 16 months for the length of the engagement. (Source) We were engaged for eight before our wedding, but we wanted to get married before my health insurance would end since I was leaving my job when we got married. Most couples search for the majority of their vendors between seven and nine months before the wedding. And 50% of all weddings in 2015 occurred on only 25 days due to there only being 52 weekends in a year. (Source) The summer and autumn are the most popular times during the year for a wedding. (Source
My scrapbook page of our invitation

There are many invitation sources out there. I decided to make my own and bought kits at Michaels. I loved the laser cut design and got a bit whimsical with the wording. I had decided to have my bridesmaids (my sisters) have blue hydrangeas for their bouquets, so I backed the invitations with a periwinkle cardstock. Our invitations were wrapped with handmade papers and a white ribbon with a ring decoration.

 For the wording of the invitation I did not follow any rules. I actually googled invitation wordings and picked some of my favorite ideas and went from there. This is something I suggest for any couple. There are many options out there and it depends on how creative you want your invitation as well as how formal.
 Besides the date and venue somethings to consider are who is paying for the wedding and where is the ceremony being held. Formal invitations will list the people paying for the wedding first. For example if the parents of the bride are paying for the wedding, the invitation would begin:
Mr. and Mrs. Bride's Parents request the honour/honor of your presence at the marriage of their daugther to ....
  If both the bride and the groom's parents are paying then both sets of parents would be listed:

Mr and Mrs. Bride's Parents and Mr. and Mrs. Groom's Parents request the honour/honor of your presence at the marriage of

And if the couple and the parents are paying for the wedding the wording would be:
Together with their families Bride and Groom with request the honour/honor of your presence at the marriage
 Now you will notice I put both honour and honor in these examples. If the ceremony is in a place of worship (church, synagogue, or mosque) the formal invitation would use the word honour. If the ceremony is not in a place of worship either pleasure or honor would be used. If you are using honour on your invitations you will probably want to use favour on your response cards for consistency. For more wording ideas visit The Emily Post Institute
Textured Wedding Invitations Petal Clusters (White/Blue)
Petal Cluster Invitation in Blue from Wedding Paper Divas
Other general dos and don'ts for formal invitations include not using punctuation except for title abbreviations (Dr., Mr., Mrs.), numbers in dates and times are spelled out, and abbreviations are generally not used except for the titles (Dr., Mr., Mrs.).

Wedding Invitations Dotted Romance (White) Thermography
Now the other things to think about in invitations are the ways of printing them. Most companies offer digital, thermography, letterpress, engraved and foil-stamping. The prices for the various print go up with the length of time and processing each method offers. For example you remember the expression, "What are you waiting for an engraved invitation?" Well engraving takes the longest and therefore is the most expensive. Digital is using a printer and is the cheapest.  Thermography uses a wet ink and a powder and then heat to create a raised effect. Letterpress invitations have a unique press for the invitation. (Some companies will send you the press for your invitation along with the order.) 

Wedding Invitations Hanging Floral (Neutral) Letterpress

Foil stamping adds the bit of shine with a metallic look. This is wonderful for those who like bling and sparkle.

Wedding Invitations Diamond Sky (Gray)

Then there is also the laser cut option. One of my favorites obviously.

Wedding Invitations Peony Perfection (Purple)

The next thing to think about is the paper. Do you want it extra thick? If you are doing letterpress or engraved invitations there are certain papers you need. After all of this there are the envelopes to consider. Are you going to have an interior envelope? What kind of liners if any do you want? This is a good place to add sparkle as well. The return address on the outer envelope usually goes on the back flap. It is traditionally the person who is hosting the wedding (paying for). The other things to consider are do you want an enclosure folder, band or ribbon and all those type of extras. 

With all of that to think about it is no wonder brides tend to get stressed out. If you are planning a wedding remember the day is for you and your special partner. Try to remember what each of you want and be prepared for others to voice opinions, but stick to what you want so it will be the day you always wanted. Also remember the people who care the most about the invitation and the day are you and your partner. Most people will throw away the invitation after the wedding, so do not worry about every little detail or not being able to afford the most expensive invitation. And remember to enjoy the process and the day!! However be sure to enter the current contest over at Wedding Paper Divas to have your dream invitations and more!!

 Wedding Paper Divas - Next Real Couple Sweepstakes