First and foremost, the wedding invitation has a job to do - clearly and simply telling guests the when, where and how of your wedding. The invitations also tell your guests about the formality they can expect; the more formal the wedding, the more traditional the invitation should be. You can choose from everything from a classic printed card to a quirky note but forget about emailing your invitations, it's not a good idea and is liable to offend some of your guests.
You can buy wedding stationery from a wide range of outlets, the high street, specialist stationers or websites. You can either buy pre-printed cards that need to be filled in or have invitations made to order, printed with all the wedding details.
Once you've ordered your invitations, expect to be sent a proof for checking and ideally get someone, like a work colleague, to read it through for obvious mistakes that you may miss. Errors spotted at a later date will be expensive.
You should ideally choose your stationery about 6 months before the big day, allowing plenty of time to organise quantities, printing, delivery, addressing envelopes and then sending them about 12 weeks before the wedding.
As well as the invitations, most couples order complimentary stationery for other parts of their wedding so that everything is in the same style and colour scheme. Although if you're strapped for cash, much of this can be made on a home computer if you have a creative friend who is willing to help out.
And don't forget to order plenty of envelopes in the exact size for each type of stationery. Many specialist companies sell envelopes with coloured inserts so you can match these to the style of the wedding.
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