Wedding Season

Disclosure: I received a free membership for the service of one of these on-line greeting card services. All opinions are my own. 

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.  Shutterfly now offers wedding invitations which use to be called Wedding Papers Divas. I am no longer an affiliate with them. Since my links and many of the pictures I shared previously are no longer available I am updating this and sharing about Greetings Island.

Greetings Island has on-line and downloadable invitations, cards and more. And for a small amount a month or year you can upgrade to premium to get all of the options available and ad-free. The amazing part of this for the DIY brides is you can print your invitations at home on whatever paper you want and the invitations are free!! You just pay for the ink and paper you use. Or you can email invitations--it is a thing now to do this. They have some beautiful invitations too. The one below is only available for premium members but the one above is free!! 

 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. I also saw an average of 16 months for the length of the engagement.  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.  The summer and autumn are the most popular times during the year for a wedding.  
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 daughter 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

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.).

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.) Using Greetings Island you will have to print them yourselves or take them somewhere to be printed. There are many places you can do this. 

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. 

Now I wanted to see how the process works, so I chose this invitation because I love it (Steve won't). I went through the process of personalizing it. Then at the end you click on Next and a dropdown menu comes up.

As you can see there are three options--Download, Print, or Send On-Line. This is all free!! Oh and there are matching reply cards for free as well!

So Greetings Island offers you many designs for free or for the minimum monthly rate and you can be a DIY bride and print your own by buying some cards the size you want and envelopes or find a place to print them for you or be a more modern bride and send them out on-line. How amazing is that!! Talk about invitation savings. If I was getting married I would definitely be looking into this more. I am already thinking about it for greetings cards. I hope you will take the time to check it out and best wishes for those getting married. 

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!!