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What Should I Know About Invitations?

Your wedding invitation is your guests' first peek into your wedding day, so make it shine. But with so many options available, where do you begin? Here are a few tips to help you on your journey.

How many invitations do I need?

Create your guest list. You don't need an invitation for every guest, so count separate addresses. Typically couples and families get one invitation. The exception: anyone over 18 who lives at home should get their own invitation. Consider ordering extra invitations as it’s expensive to go back and print more invitations.

How much do wedding invitations cost?

The price can vary widely—anywhere from $1 to more than $25+ apiece. It all depends on the design, paper and printing process. High-end papers, custom artwork and specialized printing processes like letterpress or engraving will add to your costs. Don't forget to consider postage too…non-standard envelope sizes and multiple enclosures can increase your cost to mail.

How to choose your wedding invitations?

The style of your invitation suggests how formal your wedding will be. Are you aiming for classic and elegant, casual and relaxed, or chic and modern? Do you want to incorporate your wedding colors into your wedding invitations—and then carry them throughout the rest of your wedding stationery (like the place cards, menus and ceremony programs) for a cohesive look? While ivory, cream or white card stock paired with a black or gold font is the classic choice for formal wedding invitations, you can add some pops of color to your paper stock, envelopes and liners.

Work with a professional.

In the age of Pinterest and DIY resources galore, why hire a wedding stationery professional? For starters, it’s the most foolproof way to end up with high quality invitations that reflect your wedding style. A professional designer has the understanding, skillset, resources, and experience to make your wedding stationery process easy, fun, and yes – even budget-friendly. While online shopping has its advantages, when it comes to stationery, it’s so important to see and touch your paper options, printing processes and ink colors and collaborate with someone who can help you with your wording and proper etiquette.

Invitation Timeline:

SAVE-THE-DATES: Order 8-12 MONTHS prior to your event so you have time to assemble, stamp, and mail. Mail 6-9 MONTHS before your event, or as soon as travel arrangements can be made.

INVITATIONS: Order 3-4 MONTHS in advance of your event, or sooner if you feel you have all the details and want to get it done. Mail your invitation between 6 and 8 weeks in advance to your event. For destination events, plan to mail closer to 10 to 12 weeks in advance.

RESPONSE CARDS DUE DATE: 2-4 WEEKS before your event date.

The optimal timing for your RSVP cards due date is 2-4 weeks in advance of the event date. Keep in mind, some guests may forget to RSVP, in which case you or your planner/coordinator will need to follow up with them, so give yourself a little extra time to chase the late replies.


We suggest placing an order for your programs, menus, place cards, napkins and any other day-of stationery no less than a month before your event date. Production time can take a couple of weeks, and this will give you enough time to receive everything before your busy event week!


Thank you cards should be sent within 3 months of receiving the gift. We suggest ordering thank you notes prior to your wedding for gifts that arrive early.

Ann Kerman is the owner of Anna Banana Creations, a woman-owned business in Oxnard, California specializing in custom invitations and stationery for every occasion and budget.

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