Top 5 Wedding Invitation Disasters (And How To Avoid Them!)

Although not common, here are the wedding invitation issues I see most often.

My Invitations Were Ruined In The Mail! Your local US Post Office handles thousands of pieces of mail a day, from junk mail to the most expensive, luxurious wedding invitations.  All are treated equally!  All are, by default, sorted and cancelled by machine.  The machines can be aggressive and can smear your expensive calligraphy, leave black marks across your soft beautiful envelopes, and tear and bend your corners. Ask the Post Master to “hand cancel” your wedding invitations.  They will use a custom ink stamp to cancel your wedding invitations, and then sort it by hand.  Call ahead to make sure your Post Office is willing to hand cancel, and be sure to ask the best time to come in.

My Invitation Was Printed With An Error! Review your proofs carefully before printing or ordering them. When you review your proofs before printing complete the following checklist:

  • Spelling: Review EVERY word, even your names. Do not gloss over ANY text, our brains tend to fill in missing letters of familiar words. It is a good idea to read every word by syllable.
  • Completeness: Read every line, forward and backward, and be sure words are not missing.
  • Grammar/Punctuation: Is everything grammatically correct?  Is the use of commas/periods consistent and appropriate?
  • Dates: For each event (wedding, welcome dinner, rehearsal, brunch), make sure the correct 1) day of the week (is your wedding on a Friday or Saturday?), 2) day of the month, 3) month AND 4) year, is included where warranted. Also, be sure any RSVP dates indicated provide enough time for you to arrange your guest tables.
  • Details: Make sure (where applicable) food choices, dress code, hotel information and your event website are both included and correct.
  • Times: Refer to your venue contracts to confirm the correct event times are listed.
  • Titles: Make sure each and every title or designation (Mr., Mrs., Dr., Sr., Jr., Ms., etc.) is written both appropriately and correctly, with punctuation where warranted.  Make sure all names are spelled correctly.
  • Consistency: Ensure text is consistent throughout.  For example, is there an “in the afternoon” or “in the evening” after every time? Is the use of middle names or last names consistent?
  • Quantities: Review your guest list and be sure there is enough stationery indicated in your invoice for every guest/couple, and at least ten additional. For envelopes, confirm there are enough envelopes for every invitation, as well as at least 15 – 20 extra if using a calligrapher.
  • Addresses:  Confirm each and every venue address against your venue contracts or online.  Confirm the return address and response envelope address are correct.
  • Phone numbers: Where phone numbers are listed, Call the number listed and make sure it reaches the appropriate hotel.
  • Capitalization: Make sure all proper names are capitalized.

My Wedding Invitations Were Returned Because They Didn’t Have The Correct Postage! Have the post office weigh your invitation BEFORE you purchase stamps.  Then, when they are ready to mail, have the post office weigh them AGAIN, just to be sure.  Use a “forever” stamp for the RSVP card envelope, as postage could go up between the day you sent them and the day your guests return the envelope.

The Venue Changed The Time Of My Wedding And The Invitations Are Already Printed! There is such a thing as printing your invitations too early.  I have had couples insist on printing invitations eight months in advance to “get it out of the way,” and then hear from the Church or venue that they have to move their wedding ceremony back an hour because the church or venue booked another event that morning.   Its not a good idea more than six months or so in advance, and do not print until the Church or venue has assured you the time will not change for any reason.

I Didn’t Print Enough Invitations And Now I’ve Run Out! It is VERY expensive and takes time to reprint wedding invitations.  And without exception every couple ends up needing a few extra after the first round of wedding invitations goes out (i.e. someone didn’t get their invitation and needs another one sent, a guest was inadvertently left off the original list, a guest you didn’t invite asks to come (that actually happens), you meet someone you absolutely have to invite to the wedding, etc…).  Most wedding websites will tell you have at least five extra, I always recommend 15 to 20 extra to cover the unexpected.