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Wedding Thank You Note Etiquette

Wedding Thank You Notes Etiquette

Thank you notes are perceived as being one of the last stops of the wedding train. In a way, they are, but in order for you not to drown in envelopes, hand cramps, envelope moisteners, and gift lists, some thank you cards can be done along the way. For example, your bridal shower thank you notes should be sent out within a week, with a special note or gift to whoever hosted. Also, when you get gifts that come in the mail, you should go ahead and write your thank you note right after you open the wrapping. So what happens when you wait till after the honeymoon to send out your thank yous? Well...then you got to get a move on!

What time frame to write your thank you notes?

Some people say that newlyweds have a year after their wedding to send out all their thank you notes, and while you can consider that year mark as that absolute deadline, it is best to get them out within the first four months after your wedding. Like I noted above, thank you's for bridal shower gifts, those who hosted celebrations, or otherwise assisted with your wedding, should be sent out within two weeks.

Fuchsia/Orange Damask and Crest Thank You Cards

What do you say in a thank you note?

Even if the gift or service is coming from someone that you may not be one hundred percent chummy with, the number one concern with a thank you note is to be genuine. This means using a stationary that is not pre-written or fill in the blank. Furthermore, in your personalized note, don't exaggerate or overly gush about how their gift is your favorite, especially if its not. Then, on the other hand, don't inform them that you are returning their gift because they were the fourth person to give you a crock-pot. Simply give your appreciation for the thought and time in which they have supported your new adventure. For guests that gift you with money or gift cards, if you know how you are going to use the money, feel free to tell them. 

 

Peacock Feather Thank You

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Wedding Invitation Kits: Why Use Them & How to Word Your Invite

Purple Handmade Paper Invitation Kit

Why Use an Invitation Kit

Using a wedding invitation kit is a great idea if you are looking for a way to create a beautiful wedding invitation on a lower budget. Kits offer a variety of designs, colors, and shapes, for you to choose from and then mold into the perfect wedding invitation for your special day. Each kit will offer its own variation of response cards, invitations, envelopes, and even templates, but the catch is they will come with a limited number. This is where you need to make sure to pay attention to make sure the cost of the invitation kit will in fact be less than printing your invitation through a company. BUT $54 for 50 invitations may be a price worth the extra work, plus it leaves you room to completely personalize the wording of your invitation. 

How to Word Your Invite

So how do you word a wedding invitation? This will depend a lot on you and your preferences. One of the first things to consider is who the invite is coming from; for example are the bride and groom inviting their guests, is the invitation from the brides parents, the bride and groom's parents, or perhaps divorced parents? Traditionally wedding invitations are worded to be from the brides parents, but as time has gone on the tradition has, of course, transformed. But with so many options, there comes that many more decisions. 

From the Bride and Groom: A generic wedding invite

Cute and Sappy Quote (Optional)

Bride's Name

and 

Groom's Name

request the honor of your presence at their marriage

Day of the week, day of month, month

Year

at half after __ o'clock

Location

Address Pearl Border Ivory Invitation Kit

Sample

And we shall become as one to share every moment of our lives... 
Daisy Smith 
and 
Jacob Wask
request the honor of your presence at their marriage 
Friday, the twenty second of June 
two thousand thirteen 
at four o'clock 
Church of Christ 
1302 Westminster Avenue 
Seattle, Washington

Gold Hearts Invitation Kit

From the Bride and Groom's Parents: This wording from Invitations Consultants is ADORABLE for a winter wedding! 

The weather outside may be 
frightful, but the wedding inside will be delightful 
Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Brown 
and 
Doctors William and Sally Baker 
invite you to share in the joy of the marriage uniting 
their children 
Cindy 
and 
Matthew 
Thursday, the eighteenth of December 
two thousand eighteen 
five o'clock in the evening 
St. Joseph Catholic Church 
22 East Bay Road 
Atlanta, Georgia

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The Wedding Invitation: How to Pick the Perfect One

"Come Away With us" Wedding Invitation Wedding invitations are kind of a big deal in the world of wedding planning. Why? Wedding invitations are one of the first introductions that your guests have to your wedding. Whether the invitation you send is formal, laid-back, themed, DIY, or plain-Jane, will give your guests an idea of what to expect on the wedding day. This can lead to what kind of gifts they will buy you, how they might dress, and how long they expect to stay. It is not really a matter of which one is better, but which invitation is best for your wedding.   Silver Jacket Invitations Kit For the Formal Wedding:  A Formal wedding needs, of course, a formal invitation. Some of the best styles will be an invitation simply trimmed in gold, silver, or your main wedding color. The font would need to be clean, perhaps your names in a cursive, but clear and legible. You want everything to scream classy. It is probably best to pick a paper that is white or creme, and most definitely a hard card stock. Also, a nice touch would be to have the invitation tied in a ribbon. Don't do anything crazy; we don't want to see neon or anything resembling spandex, but a nice satin ribbon to add a light touch of color.     Peter + Kristy’s Rustic Letterpress Wedding Invitations

For the Themed Wedding:

If you are having a themed wedding, do NOT miss out on the opportunity your wedding invitation presents. It is the first step in creating that fairy tale, Great Gatsby, Whovian, "adventure is out there", atmosphere. You can't send a silver trimmed wedding invitation out and then have your guests show up to a carnival themed wedding with tickets, photo booths, dancing, fire jugglers, and games. It would be misleading. Plus, there is so much fun you can have with it. If you love books and want to have the written word at the center of your wedding, send out invitations styled like library check out cards. Or, if you are like the many that fell in love with Disney's Up, why not design invitations that look like hot air balloons or like the mailbox with the his and her hand print?. A themed wedding often leads to a lot of do-it-your-own, but for the perfect invitation you don't have to do-it-your-own completely. Try finding invitation kits that will start you out with the basics and then you can add your own design to it.  

 Botanical Green Invitations Kit Brown and Ivory Invitation Kit
For the Seasonal Wedding: If you are planning a wedding around a particular season, you of course need a seasonally coordinated themed wedding invitation. This doesn't mean a fall wedding requires maple leaves on the invitation, unless, of course, you really like maple leaves. It does, however, mean that you need to look for invitation styles that keep with a certain tone to match the season. A spring wedding, for example, lends to floral designs or garden foliage, and light colors, while a fall wedding is in need a warmer tones like brown, gold, deep red, burnt orange, and other colors that are more likely to remind you of snuggling up in a blanket. In the fall, it is also a great time to play with textures. For example, you can use a burlap tie, instead of a ribbon. Or in the spring, you can play with embossed designs to add levels to your design, but still keep it light and airy. 

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Wedding Invitation Trends

You have seen them all come through your mailbox. The glitter filled ones, the polka dot print ones and the ones that come with a special treat. We are talking about wedding invitations of course! Where do you begin? So much to choose from! We came up with some inspiration and ideas for your wedding invitations below!  

Be Creative

 record player invite We thought this was a clever and interactive wedding invitation. When the invitation is folded, the card turns into a manually spun paper record player that plays a song recorded by the bride and groom. How cool is that? The invitation has a record groove cover that has a letterpressed band and a tear off RSVP card. Invitation designed by Kelli Anderson    

Be Artsy

  rifle paper invite Love the arts? Why don't you go with a hand painted or illustrated invitation. You can have a lot fun with personalizing it. For example, you can have your invitation designer paint a custom picture of you and your significant other on it! Invitation by rifle paper. You can also find some pretty illustrated ones here.  

Be Yourself

paris inspired jose villa invitation Stay true to yourself. If you are a simple person then make sure you have simple invitaitons. Your invitations and most importantly your wedding should illustrate both of your personalities! Invitation above designed by Sugar & Fluff.
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Spotting Easy Invitation Kits

Do it DIY with Easy Invitation Kits

Easy Invitation Kits

No one starts a search for invitation kits looking for a difficult or clumsy experience. The goal is always to find a beautiful invite for the right price, but it’s also important that you won’t go through fifty bucks of stationary before you figure out how to print the damn thing. Easy invitation kits are a must-have in the DIY wedding world, and they key is to do your homework before you buy. Easy invitation kits are only easy in the right hands, and you want to make sure you’re really reading through the materials before you begin on your easy invitation kit adventure. For a really spectacular set of easy invitation kits, consider purchasing a stationary set that features not only easy invitation kits, but save-the-dates, table numbers, programs, menus, and place cards. By bundling these items together, easy invitation kits make your entire wedding, and all of the accompanying stationary, cohesive and stylish.   So how do you spot easy invitation kits? Check for kits that offer complimentary tips and tricks for printing the materials. Make sure you’re always purchasing from a valid source and that all pieces in the kit are accounted for! You can always contact the seller of the easy invitation kits for more specific information.
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What to Look for in 2013

Here are a few wedding trends we’re looking forward to seeing more of in 2013! Short Wedding Frocks
Long elegant wedding gowns have always been a staple during the summer wedding season, and with good reason. They’re special and beautiful, and girls the world over dream of wearing one as they walk down the aisle to meet their future spouses. Shorter, more inexpensive dresses have become, in recent years, a breath of fresh air for brides who have revised their dreams for something stylish and a little more practical. Cute and spunky, I’ll take a short cotton dress over a lengthy satin train any day. Nothing beats a summer wedding and a no-nonsense bride who’s more interested in the food and dancing than a perfect bustle. Plus, no one steps on your nice white dress when it barely reaches your knees! More Personal Wedding Favors
Hosting your guests should be your first priority as a couple, and that attitude is reflected perfectly in personal wedding favors for your friends and family. When you’re spending a hunk of your wedding preparation time developing and making one-of-a-kind favors for your guests, it reflects a selfless attitude on your part that has been trending in the wedding community (hooray!). Your wedding is as much about your guests as it is about you, and personal wedding favors are a wonderful way to express your gratitude to the people in your life who love you and support your marriage! Geeky Invitations and Save the Dates
There’s something so wonderfully endearing about a photo shoot featuring a bride and groom interpreting their favorite scenes from Disney-Pixar’s “Up,” a valiant battle between a couple and an approaching zombie horde, or – my favorite – a comic book-style invite that features an illustrated couple costumed as superheroes under a punchy wedding date headline. Invitations and Save the Dates can be a fun opportunity to express your personality and quirks to your guests, and I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of a Save the Date with two people in love smiling from inside a blow-up Death Star.
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Figuring Out Casual Wedding Invites

With wedding invites, couples often agonize over how they’ll say, “We’re getting married, want to come?” especially when the wedding is formal. But what if you’re hosting something a bit more casual? Are your invitation options at all expanded? Maybe even limited? If you’re hosting a backyard barbeque for fifty people, do you really need RSVP cards and inserts and that little piece of opaque tissue paper? Here are some ideas and a few bits of guidance…   For RSVPs:
Even if you’re trimming down your bulky invite envelope, a casual wedding invitation should probably include an RSVP card. While this is a personal choice (and the money you would save on both printing and postage is alluring), getting rid of RSVP cards in favor of email or website RSVPing is an invitation for late (or totally absent) RSVPs from your nearest and dearest. Guests are used to filling out the little card and sending it back for wedding invites. It is much too easy to forget if the little reminder isn’t calling out to them from their refrigerator every morning.
Just this once, deal with the price of postage and enjoy the rewards of NOT calling your relatives a week before the wedding to see if they’re planning on showing up. It’s worth the saved labor even with the extra printing fees. For wording:
The only info you MUST include on your invitation is where and when your guests should show up. Everything else (even the shape and dimensions of your invitation) are completely up to you. Well, full names are helpful too, even on save-the-dates. I’ve heard of families receiving super trimmed-down informal invites that featured only the first names of the happy couple – no date or return address. This is an especially helpful bit of info for your guests if you’re inviting family that hasn’t heard from (or of) you in a while. Even if you’re going informal, think of playing with the style instead of the number of words you’ve got on your inner envelope.   For inserts:
While we’re all familiar with the extra-thick wedding invitation envelope in our mailbox, not all weddings are held to this creamy, caligraphied standard. If you’re hosting a casual wedding, your invites should reflect the tone of your event. There’s no need to go overboard. Even with the invention and proliferation of wedding websites and other access points for guests, your invitation is their first guess at what to expect at your nuptials. The numerous inserts and inexplicable sheet of tissue paper is a bundle that is typically reserved for big fancy weddings. If it isn’t your style, skip it. Forget the separate reception card and hotel information and the inner envelopes - you can fit everything your guests need on one postcard if you need to. Save the postage (but send an RSVP)!
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The Secret behind Inexpensive Wedding Invitations

The Evolution of Inexpensive Wedding Invitations

Inexpensive Wedding Invitations

It’s a complete myth that you can’t find quality elegant inexpensive wedding invitations for your upcoming nuptials that fit your style. With the evolution of print media and the prevalence of online resources at your 21st century disposal, even the thriftiest bride can find inexpensive wedding invitations that fit the theme and style of her day. With resources such as inexpensive wedding invitations kits and packages, anyone with access to a printer (either one at home or in a copy shop) can create one-of-a-kind high-quality inexpensive wedding invitations. Most inexpensive wedding invitations (specifically the ones in kits) also come with other bits of stationary for your wedding.   Many inexpensive wedding invitations sets feature more than one design, depending on the option you choose. Even if you don’t like the featured design on a set of inexpensive wedding invitations, always click on them to check for additional designs.   Sets of customizable and varied inexpensive wedding invitations often also feature stationary like programs, table numbers, save-the-dates, and menus. The more cohesive and custom your stationary, the more put-together your day looks as a whole. So stop thinking that inexpensive wedding invitations have to be custom-ordered from an overpriced graphic designer and start planning the design you want featured in your own inexpensive wedding invitations!
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Getting the Wording Right: Formal Wedding Invites

More couples worry about the wording of their invitations than they do over any other detail of their wedding day. Wedding advice columns are always overflowing with lines like: “How should I word invitations if I’m hosting my own wedding?” or “How should I design my vow renewal invites?” Honestly, not much changes in each of these invitation scenarios if you’re sticking with a formal look. Guests expect formal invitations to look a certain way, and subtle changes in wording will keep the look and feel of traditional invites while changing erroneous information that guests aren’t even likely to notice. Take the following formal invite wording, which we’ve come to know and love:  

Mr. Joe Shmo and Mrs. Jen Shmo

Request the honor of your presence
at the ceremony uniting their daughter

 

Ms. Joanne Shmo

To

Mr. Jacob Boe

 

In the bonds of holy matrimony

 

On Sunday the Fifteenth of September
Two Thousand and Thirteen

At Four O’ Clock in the Afternoon

 

Reception to Follow     Think about revising that template if… Your ceremony is actually a Vow Renewal:
Vow renewals, like first weddings, happen when they do for a variety of reasons, most of which are completely valid. You have every right to a fun day of celebrating your unity with your family, but you have to keep in mind that a vow renewal isn’t a wedding. There are certain things you have to miss out on (bachelorette parties, bridal showers) and you should always be honest with your guests. If you signed the paperwork already, you’re married, and the invitation wording should reflect that. Think about changing:  

At the ceremony uniting

 

Ms. Joanne Shmo

To

Mr. Jacob Boe

 

In the bonds of holy matrimony   To  

At the vow renewal ceremony of

 

Mrs. Joanne Boe

And
Mr. Jacob Boe    

The hosting of your wedding isn’t clear, or you want to de-emphasize it:
Weddings used to be fully-funded by the parents of the bride, but that’s rare now. Couples are marrying later, family financial dynamics are shifting, and many couples want to make their own way in the world and are hosting the whole shebang themselves. If you still choose to word your invites so that the hosting situation for your wedding is clear, that’s completely fine. If not, think about changing:

Mr. Joe Shmo and Mrs. Jen Shmo

Request the honor of your Presence   To:  

Together with their families

 

Ms. Joanne Shmo

and

Mr. Jacob Boe

 

Request the honor of your presence…

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Using Style and Design in Sophisticated Wedding Invitations

Set the Tone with Sophisticated Wedding Invitations

Sophisticated Wedding Invitations

Though backyard barbeques and events featuring mason jars are becoming more and more popular, there are still brides working to create weddings that highlight the finer things in life. If you really don’t want guests showing up to your high-class to-do, think about utilizing the services of sophisticated wedding invitations. Sophisticated wedding invitations will feature high-quality materials with simple designs and understated elegance. Sophisticated wedding invitations will often employ some of the more traditional elements of wedding invites, such as thin segments of tissue paper between the invitation and the RSVP, simple cream envelopes, and elevated wording.   While black and white dominate the aesthetic of many sophisticated wedding invitations, there are some modern twists to the classic design. Many sophisticated wedding invitations employ the use of bold blocked colors to make an elegant statement. Shop around and don’t think that you don’t have options for your sophisticated wedding invitations.   Your sophisticated wedding invitations will set the scene for your wedding, and they’ll let guests know what to expect before they arrive. Most guests look to the invite for clues to the formality of the event, so let your sophisticated wedding invitations lead the way with grace, simplicity, and understated beauty.
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Invitation Tips, Dos, and Dont's

One of the first things a couple does when they’re starting to plan a wedding is to compile a (very) tentative guest list. You should do this before you scout potential venues, before you look at bakeries and caterers… everything. How many people you invite to your wedding will limit or expand what your options are for every other detail of your big day. You may think that you’ve only got a 30 person guest list, but your social circle grows when you actually sit down and draw out the people you want at your wedding. Here’s a quick guide to some basic dos and don’ts for your guest list, and a few tips to keep everything from spiraling out of control:   Draw up some guest tiers
You shouldn’t send tiered invitations (B-listing) or hold a tiered reception (where certain guests are only invited to certain parts of the reception), but you should tier your first draft of your guest list. Who must be invited, and who can’t be invited without inviting three other people? Immediate family (parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles) may be one tier while cousins and great aunts and uncles are another. Instead of cutting individuals (which can cause some family tension), try to cut your guest list off at a tier. Maybe you invite family but not friends – it all depends on what your guest max is. Invite all significant others
If one of your adult guests is in a relationship, you should invite the significant other. While some people may say that it’s okay to not invite someone who is only a “casual” boyfriend (or you should only invite couples together if they’re married), you begin to tread in dangerous waters when you start making those decisions and distinctions yourself. Your definition of a “serious” relationship may be different from someone else’s, and you don’t want to split up a couple who identifies as a unit in social situations. They may be offended, and you could end up with a “regretfully declines” from someone you really wanted there. Decide about +1s now
If you allow your single friends to bring guests, prepare for your guest list to grow significantly. You may alter who gets a +1 depending on various factors, such as how far your guest is traveling or if they’re attending with their families, but whatever you do, decide now what your plan is before you deliver any numbers to vendors or venues. You don’t want to quote 100 people to your venue when adding +1s would bump your guest list to 150.   Be clear on your invites
The best way to guarantee a final guest list even close to the original number you intended is to be clear in your invitations. If you aren’t inviting children to your wedding, only write the names of the adults invited on the invite, and be sure to add “(2) seats reserved in your honor” to the RSVP. If someone RSVPs with more names than you intended, make a quick phone call to your guests to clarify who the invitation was for. Most people will understand, though you should be prepared for a few “regretfully declines” when you aren’t willing to invite everyone.
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Keeping your Wedding Deadlines Straight

When you start your wedding planning, it’s sometimes hard to keep up with all the various deadlines. How long do you have to write a thank you note if someone sends you a gift six weeks before the big day? Is a year too early for a wedding website? Save-the-dates? Here’s a quick run-down on some of the more important wedding deadlines you don’t want to miss:

Your Wedding Website – 8-12 months before
A wedding website is a great way to organize the details of your wedding in a way that your guests can access and enjoy as soon as they get their save-the-dates. The website is where you’ll put details about local hotels, directions to venues, registries, and even your unique proposal story, so feel free to make one as soon as any of those details are nailed out. You can always add information as you progress in your planning and spend the extra time tweaking details.     Your Save-the-Dates – 6-8 months before Save-the-Dates are for letting your guests know to make travel plans ahead of time. If you’re having an entirely local wedding, don’t even worry about sending them. If not, it’s important to balance when you send them out. Your guests need to book hotels, find a way to get time off of work, and maybe even book an extended stay babysitter. If you’re planning a summer wedding (high traffic vacation time) or a Christmas/Thanksgiving date, send them out as early as eight to nine months ahead of time. Just don’t send them out so early that everyone tacks them up on their refrigerators and forgets about them.
It’s also important to note that you should have your guest list (mostly) finalized before you send them out. A save-the-date is as good as an invitation, and guests will be confused and potentially offended if they don’t “make the final cut” and receive an invite. Your Registry – 6 months before
You can bump that registry deadline up if your circle is into engagement parties (as the point of a registry is to let everyone know what you want and need for gift giving occasions), but there really isn’t any reason to put together a registry until someone offers to throw you a shower. You don’t want your favorite items being discontinued way before your wedding date, especially if they’re part of a set and you end up with half a stemware set.
If you do end up setting up your registry early, avoid registering for sets of things and just throw some items on it that can be purchased singularly. You can always go back and add/remove items at your convenience.   Your Invitations – 8-10 weeks before
It’s important not to send your invitations out too soon, as you don’t want them collecting dust on a desk for three months. If you didn’t do save-the-dates, however, it’s equally important that you let your guests make plans well ahead of time. Be careful, though - any more notice than10 weeks and your guests are going to forget about their RSVP date.
Your RSVP cards, by the way, should carry a date of about two weeks or so before the wedding. Ask your caterer when they need the final headcount by, and give your guests a few days of a buffer zone; you want plenty of time to make a few calls to guests who missed the deadline.   Your Thank You Notes – within 2 months… within 2-3 weeks if it comes ahead of time
Get your thank you notes done as soon as you can – trust me! Any time between a month and two months after you return from your honeymoon is fine, but you can only help yourself by doing them as soon as you can. If you wait much longer than a couple of months, a note will just draw attention to the fact that it took this long to send a note.
If you receive a gift before your wedding date, you generally have a few weeks to send a note out, but don’t wait too long; your guests like to know that everything arrived in one piece.

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