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Wedding Invitation 101 Guide
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The Wedding Invitation

Referred To As/A.K.A.
  • Invitation Card
  • Wedding Stationery
Paper Sizes

Wedding invitations are available in a variety of sizes:

Traditional Sizes

  • 4 1/2" x 5 3/4" (petite)
  • 5 1/2" x 7 3/4" (large)

Traditional Sizes

  • 4" x 9 1/2" (tea-length)
  • 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" (small square)

Comparison Chart

View and print a wedding invitation size comparison chart.

Purpose

The wedding invitation informs your guests of the date, time, place and hosts of the wedding ceremony and is typically sent out 4-6 months ahead of time.

Send one wedding invitation per couple. Children under the age of 18 may be included on the parents' invitation. Older children, especially those not living at home, should receive their own invitations. If you are not allowing children at your wedding under a certain age, be sure to also specify that in your invitation.

For single guests, send one invite. You may write "and guest" on the inner envelope if giving that option, or send a separate invitation to the guest's date.

How many invitations do you need? Many people often think that if you are inviting 300 people, that means you need to order 300 invitations. Not true. In reality, you would only need to order around 150. Make sure to include to account for 10-15 extra for omissions, keepsakes, 'courtesy invites', and mishaps during assembly.

Some of the things to consider when preparing and choosing your invitations include:

  • Design
  • Wording
  • Tradition & Etiquette

Design

The design of the wedding invitation establishes the style or theme of your wedding.

Some couples choose a design based on colors of wedding party attire, their personal style, location of ceremony, or something that may be meaningful or special to them. When it comes to customizing your design, there are many choices.

Ink Colors

We offer a variety of ink colors to coordinate with your wedding invitation ensemble and wedding colors.

Typestyles

A typestyle is the design of your font. Want elegant script, crisp block lettering or both? Typestyles set a unique tone that speaks to your wedding style.

Ribbon Accents

You'll find a beautiful collection of plain and personalized satin ribbon, which become elegant accents to any wedding invitation.

Charms

Tie a single ribbon and charm around each of your wedding invitations for a unique, DIY look without all the effort.

Folds

Your invitation's fold adds a lot to its design and style. You'll find a variety of different invitation folds at Ann's Bridal Bargains.

Fold Types
Card
Card invitations are non-folding paper stock with the wording and design printed on the front.
Click on an image to view
Card
Stacked Card
Wrapped Card
Single fold
Z-Fold
Tri-Fold
Gate Fold
Double Gate Fold
French Fold
Seal-n-Send
Separate-n-Send

Paper Size

One thing to keep in mind when looking at invitations and paper size is the cost of postage. Some may be able to pass for a postcard which is cheaper, but others that are bigger than standard, require additional postage. If your wedding list is long, you might want to consider the paper size of your invitation.

Paper Weight

Paper heaviness is noted by the weight in pounds (#) of a ream of that type of paper. Here's a guide to help you determine the heaviness of the paper stock of your invitation:

  • Bond weight paper is a lightweight stock normally used for writing and copier paper and is perfectly suited for sheer overlays.
  • Text weight paper is thicker than bond paper and is used for items requiring a heavier weight, such as folding invitations. Text weight paper ranges from 60# to 171# per ream.
  • Cover weight paper is heavier and is the stock used for postcards and business cards. We use it for photo invitations and invitations with color options. Cover weight paper ranges from 60# to 100# per ream. Therefore, an invitation made from 80# cover stock is going to be thicker and heavier than an invitation made from 80# text stock.

Photo Invitations and Invitations with Color Options (non-folding)

Made with 80# cover paper including 10% post-consumer fibers. Features an unmatched clarity, which makes it the best choice for photo invitations and invitations printed in color. Made in the USA.

Folding Invitations and Seal and Send Invitations

Made with 100# text paper. Substantial yet light enough to create a crisp, clean fold. Features a smooth finish and impeccable quality. Made in the USA.

Invitation Cards (non-folding) and Separate and Send Invitations

Made with 171# text paper, which results in a card that feels as rich as it looks. Made with the highest-quality fibers and materials. Made in the USA.

Wording:

The invitation wording is an indication of the formality of the event which indicates how guests will prepare and dress for the event.

Informal Wording Guidelines:
  • Informal wording can be written however you want.
  • You can mix formal and informal. If you would like to spell out some abbreviations and not others, that's totally acceptable.
  • You can create a fun verse that revolves around your wedding theme. For example, an invitation to a Western wedding could say "Rounding up all friends and family for a grand ol' celebration on March 20, 2010."
Formal Wording Guidelines
  • You may use Mr. and Mrs. in their abbreviated form when referring to the hosts.
  • Use formal names (no nicknames). Include middle names for the bride and groom.
  • Spell out abbreviations. (Examples: Court, Street, Avenue and Road would all be spelled out.)
  • Spell out all numbers except house numbers and apartment numbers.
  • Spell out times. For example, 6:00 PM would be six o'clock in the evening.
  • Use line breaks instead of commas.
  • British spellings are more formal. A word such as honor would be spelled with an "ou": honour.

For formal and informal wording ideas, visit VerseIt.com or see our verses. We have a variety of verse ideas and options featured on our invitations throughout the website, or check out the selection available when you start personalizing your invitation.

Etiquette

  • The hosts of the wedding issue the wedding invitations. Their names will appear in the invitation wording.
  • Traditional and/or formal wedding invitations are issued by the bride's parents.
  • It is acceptable for the groom's parents, the couple or even other relatives to issue the wedding invitations.
  • Wedding invitations should be sent 4-6 weeks before the wedding.

Ways to Save

5 Things to Know Before Ordering Wedding Invitations

  • Q: What is the average invitation budget? A: Invitations are usually around 3% of the total wedding budget.
  • Q: Which enclosures will you need? A: A Response card (RSVP) and reception card and the most commonly included enclosures. Map cards and a multi-purpose card may also be included to cover any additional information that doesn't make sense to include on the invitation. Refer to our Quick Guide to the Wedding Invitation Ensemble if you're unsure of what you need.
  • Q: How many invitations will you need? A: We recommend ordering 25 extra for mistakes and add-ons.
  • Q: Do you know all your wedding day information? A:Places, times, directions, etc.
  • Q: How formal is your wedding? A: The formality of your wedding affects the wording on your invitation. Refer to Wording Guidelines above.