who will you invite?
The rules of etiquette in mainstream weddings here in the U.S. do NOT apply to Indian weddings. For example, you would never find yourself invited to a ceremony and not to the reception, or vice versa. However, for our weddings this is perfectly acceptable, if it’s a local wedding. If you’re hosting a destination wedding, not inviting a guest to all events would be impolite, but we’ll save that talk for another post. 🙂
With that little tidbit out of the way, we can move forward with ordering. We will presume that you have your guest list actually filled out in some sort of digital format. Before finalizing your invitation order, please go back through the list to make sure you have all guests names and addresses listed. You should be well on your way to having everyone’s physical address by now. If you haven’t organized this yet, we cannot emphasize it enough, go back and create your guest list in a format you can track. We have created a Guest List Tracker to help you out.
Trip to India
As you consider wedding invitations, you may be thinking about bringing them back with you from a trip to India. Remember that they do take up quite a bit of space, so plan to pay for an extra piece of luggage (which will likely still be cheaper than shipping them to you). A possible downside of it though is that most shops will not provide proofing online. I have found that physically proofing them once in India adds a lot of stress, during a short trip that includes shopping for wedding outfits and jewelry as the top priority. So if saving money on invitations is high on your list, the best way to go would be to have loved ones help you out with this process.
tIPS WHEN ORDERING Online
Now, for those of you thinking about ordering invitations from an online supplier from India. We recommend that you order samples and talk to the company about their process before you begin ordering.
A few things to note:
- Square invitations will cost more in postage because they don’t go through the machines easily
- Scroll invitations, while they are cute, do NOT ship well here in the U.S.
- The USPS does not like the plastic cover that can be put over the invitation to protect it in the mail – again, these don’t go through the automated machines
- Once you get a sample, know that the softer/fabric type invitation envelopes can easily be damaged during the U.S. postal process (just in case using this style is important to you)
Minted Wedding Stationery promotes independent artists, plus we have found that they are easy to work with, reliable, and offer custom designs.
SUCCESSFULLY ORDERING & mailing YOUR INVITATIONS
Here is how we recommend you handle this process:
- Look online and order samples from the company you are considering.
- Once you receive the samples, narrow your choices down to your top 2-3.
- Take those samples to your local post office and actually go to the counter; have them take the dimensions and weigh your card (be sure to use the right number of inserts) to tell your postage cost. Please remember that if you are going to have an RSVP card and envelope, you need to account for that postage expense as well.
- Decide which card best suits your needs and budget.
- Use a template to create the text (see sample wording template) – make sure you have grammar and all formatting correct. Send that document as a PDF to the invitation company in India. You can look on their website for clipart (or search for online artwork) and add it to the template.
- Send this PDF to the company along with the desired invitation item number. Then, ask them to create a proof for you.
- The proof process may require a few back and forth emails, however, we have found that if you don’t do it this way, you may end up disappointed with your invitations.
- Even though you send a PDF, please triple check all spelling and grammar before you approve them for printing.
- Once you have approved the final proof, you can order the invitations.
- Expect that it should take no more than 2 weeks to arrive.
- Time saver #1. In the interim, go to the post office to purchase the needed postage. Please note that the USPS does have different stamps and usually has a couple of wedding stamp designs available every year. So please, do not just get the U.S. Flag to go on your pretty envelopes! Keep in mind that you may have to go to a larger post office or multiple locations to get the desired design.
- Time saver #2. Also in the interim, create your address labels using mail merge or Avery online so that once your invitations arrive you are ready to label, stamp and mail them. Before you merge the document, make sure your guests names are in alphabetical order, this makes it easier when assembling the actual invitations.
- Once your invitations arrive, create an assembly line (with friends and a little wine) to make the process easy. This will make the things more fun since you can sit and chat with your fiance and/or family members/friends. Ideally, break up the invitation party over the course of a few days/weekends, then send out all the invitations at the same time.
- After the invitations are stuffed and addressed, all you have to do is drop them off at the post office. We recommend taking them in so that your local mail carrier isn’t overwhelmed. All you have to do is drop them off, likely you won’t even need to stand in line.
- Sit back and wait for the comments and RSVPs to come in 🙂