If you’re planning a wedding, choosing the size of your invitation is one of the first decisions to make. Here’s some information about popular sizes and how they correspond to guest numbers. In addition, we have compiled some tips for deciding on the best option for your needs!
Weddings are expensive, and it’s important to find the perfect balance of quality, quantity, and affordability. You can cut costs by choosing a smaller wedding invitation size that will save you money on printing fees, postage, and other expenses.
Planning a wedding can be extremely stressful, but one of the most important decisions you’ll make is what size invitation to send. Not only do different sizes cater to different budgets and tastes, but they also have implications on how many people you’re inviting.
Choosing the right invitation size can be difficult, especially when you are planning a wedding. What works best for one couple may not work for another, but some general guidelines can help make your decision easier.
Many factors go into determining what is best for you and your guests, including how formal of an event it will be, the length of time between when you want to send out invitations and when the wedding date is, and if there will be any other events (such as a rehearsal dinner) before or after the wedding.
The first thing to consider is how many people will be at your wedding- this determines the minimum amount of invitations you need to send out (typically 50). Then, after choosing the number of guests, it’s important to think about what type of event you’re having and where it’s being held.
For example, if you’re hosting an outdoor garden party, smaller cards might work better than 8 x 11″ cards in terms of space considerations and cost per invite. On the other hand, if your budget allows, larger cards may also look more elegant!
For more information on finding the perfect size for your special day, please read below!
Choosing Your Wedding Invitations
If you’re starting to design your wedding invitations, these tips will help you create your perfect invite. We’ve included everything from when to send your invites to ideas for your colour scheme and style. These tips will help you quickly cross ‘order wedding invitations’ off of your wedding checklist.
1. Start Early
Your save-the-dates should go out 8 to 10 months before the wedding. After that, it can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks—or longer, depending on how fancy you go—to print them.
While your save-the-dates don’t have to match your invites, ordering everything from one stationer can save you money and make the invitation process easier on you. So start scouting stationers 9 to 11 months before the wedding.
Aim to order your invitations about four to five months out, so they’re ready to mail 8 to 10 weeks before the wedding. If you’re having a destination wedding or marrying over the holidays, send your invites even earlier (12 weeks before the wedding).
2. Get Your Dates Straight
Include your RSVP information on the bottom right corner of your invitation or a separate enclosure, and make the deadline no more than three or four weeks after guests receive the invitations.
Check with your caterer first to find out when they’ll need the final headcount. Remember, The more time you give guests to reply, the more likely they will forget, but you’ll need time to put together the seating chart.
Plus, your final count may affect the number of centrepieces and other décor elements, which your vendors will need to finalize a few weeks before the wedding.
3. Keep Your Budget In Mind
While you’re designing your invitations, always keep your budget in mind. As you add new elements to your wedding stationery suite, make sure to track how much each of these unique pieces will cost you. This way, you won’t be hit with a surprising number when you finish creating your invite.
4. Consider Costs
The price per invite can vary widely—anywhere from $1 to more than $100. It all depends on the design, ink, typeface, printing process, paper and quantity.
Top-of-the-line papers, colour ink, formal printing techniques (like letterpress and engraving) and custom design will add to your costs, as will decorative extras like envelope liners and multiple enclosures.
That’s why it’s important to research your options ahead of time, so you can pick your priorities, whether it’s sophisticated printing and a custom design or multiple enclosures.
Also, if you’re planning to hire a calligrapher, look into the cost (think: $2 to $8 per envelope) at the same time you’re choosing your invitations, so you can account for it in your stationery budget.
5. Consider The Size Of Your Wedding
The size of your wedding will also play a big part in your wedding invitation budget. If you’re having a big wedding, make sure to consider the cost of printing so many invitations. On the other hand, a smaller invitation could be a good choice if you have many guests and are trying to stick to a budget.
6. Establish Your Wedding Style
It’s a good idea to decide on your wedding style before you design your invitation. This way, you’ll be able to create an invitation that matches your theme.
For example, if you’re going for a rustic theme, you could choose aged paper with scalloped edges. Or, if you’re going for a whimsical theme, you could use a pastel-coloured font and watercolour illustrations.
Along with listing the location and time of day, the invitation—and, more specifically, its style—hints at the formality of your wedding.
Before you start shopping for stationery, you should have an idea of the type of event you’re throwing—classic and elegant, casual and relaxed, or glam and modern—so you can choose an invitation style that hits the same note.
Then browse stationers’ websites and other couples’ wedding invitations to gather inspiration so you can give your stationer an idea of what you like.
7. Pick A Color Scheme
Think about your wedding colours too.
It’s also a good idea to choose your wedding colour scheme before you begin creating your invitations. As you’re picking your colour scheme, keep readability in mind. Make sure to pick a font colour and a background colour that complement each other.
You may want to incorporate your hues and a motif (if you have one) into your wedding invitations—and then carry them throughout the rest of your wedding paper (like the escort 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 also brighten your invites with colourful or metallic fonts, paper stock, envelopes and liners. Just keep readability in mind when choosing your colours (more on that later).
8. Consider Different Shapes And Sizes
For a unique look, consider trying out some different shapes for your invite. For example, you could experiment with scalloped edges, trifold, or even hexagonal invitations. You can also try out some different sizes, such as the tall and thin 4 x 9¼ invite.
A 4.5-inch-by-6.25-inch rectangular card is the traditional size and shapes for wedding invitations. But couples are channelling more playful or modern vibes with circular, scalloped and square invitations.
Don’t forget to consider that veering away from the standard envelope size can increase the postage—bulky or extra-large invites may cost more to send.
9. Don’t Forget The Details
After you finish designing your invite, double-check that you included all the important details. For example, make sure to mention if the wedding is for adults only, the dress code, the name and address of your venue, and where guests can find your gift registry.
As you consider colours and patterns, don’t forget about the text—the information you put on the invitation is the whole point of sending it out in the first place. Your stationery can help, but, in general, avoid light ink on light backgrounds and dark ink on dark backgrounds.
Yellow and pastels are tough colours to read, so if you’re going with those, make sure the background contrasts enough for the words to pop, or work those colours into the design rather than the text.
Also, be wary of hard-to-read fonts like an overly scripted typeface—you don’t want to sacrifice readability for pretty letters.
Also, be sure to include an RSVP section or an RSVP card. Including these details will help ensure that your wedding day goes off without a hitch.
10. Check For Readability
Some wedding invitation fonts can be a bit tough to read, and the last thing you want is for guests to have trouble making out the date of your wedding or the venue’s name!
Before sending out your invitations, make sure all of the words are legible and easy to read. You could also ask a friend or family member to check your invite’s readability.
11. Choose Your Words Wisely
Learn the rules to wording your invitation. Traditionally, whoever is hosting is listed first on the invitation. Customarily, it would be best if you spelled everything out, including the time of the ceremony. On classic wedding invitations, there’s always a request line after the host’s name—something like “so and so request the honour of your presence.” Of course, the wording can change as the hosting situation does, so make sure to double-check you’ve added everyone who should be included.
12. Proofread Every Card
Before you send out your invitations, it’s a good idea to proofread every card. Be sure to check for typos and other small errors, like extra spaces between words. It’s easy to miss small mistakes, and by proofreading every card, you’ll ensure that you’ve caught every typo.
Your stationery will send you a proof before your invitation order is printed (either a hard copy or an email attachment of the invite mock-up). So don’t just have your partner and mom read it over.
Ask your English major friend or a grammar-savvy bridesmaid to check the proof before you okay it. You’d be surprised at the things you may miss (pay special attention to details like date and time and spelling).
Borrow a tip from copy editors and read the proof word for word from right to left, so you don’t accidentally gloss over any mistakes.
13. Don’t Crowd the Card
List only the key points on your invitation: ceremony time and location, the hosts, your and your fiancé’s names, the dress code (optional) and RSVP information.
Trying to squeeze too much onto the invitation card can make reading harder, and it won’t look as elegant. So instead, leave things like directions to your wedding venue and details about post-wedding activities for your wedding website and print them on separate enclosure cards.
One piece of information that doesn’t belong anywhere on your suite: where you’re registered. The only good place to list registry information is on your wedding website.
14. Count Your Households
You don’t need an invitation for every guest. Take a look at your guest list and figure out how many houses need invitations before you give your stationer a number—you might be able to cut your order in half.
Cohabiting couples get one invitation; for couples living apart, you can either send one invite to the guest you’re closer with (and include both names on the inner and outer envelopes) or send out separate invitations. Families get one invitation (addressed to “The Smith Family,” for example).
The exceptions: Children who don’t live at home (like college students) or anyone over 18 who lives at home should get their invitation.
15. Have a Pro Address Your Envelopes
When you order your invitations, see if you can take the envelopes home immediately (or as soon as possible).
That way, if you have someone other than your stationery (say, a calligrapher) print the return addresses on your envelopes (most stationers print the return addresses for little or no charge; it’s often even included in the suite’s price), they can get a head start.
While you don’t have to hire a calligrapher to address your envelopes, we highly recommend it—it looks beautiful and makes an elegant first impression. Traditionally, addresses are handwritten, so it’s best to leave the envelopes to a pro unless you have impeccable handwriting. If you plan to do them yourself, tackle the project in a few seconds to avoid sloppiness or mistakes.
While using printed labels is an easy (and affordable) option, handwriting each address is more formal and more personal. In addition, it shows your guests you want them to be at your wedding so much that you took the time to handwrite (or have a calligrapher hand-letter).
But if your penmanship is more like chicken scratch and you don’t have the budget for a calligrapher, you can print the addresses from your computer using digital calligraphy software.
16. Put a Stamp on It
It may seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget: If you want guests to mail back their reply cards, include stamped (and addressed) envelopes.
That way, they don’t have to pay for the postage. Traditionally, the return envelopes should be addressed to whoever is hosting the wedding; however, if your parents are technically hosting, but you’re keeping track of the guest list, you can use your address instead.
And you can find customizable stamps to coordinate with your design. Tip: Rates change from time to time, so check before you add those stamps to ensure adequate postage.
17. Print Extras
When you go to print your invitations, be sure to print a few extras. Maybe an invitation will get lost in the mail, perhaps a guest will lose their invitation and ask for another one, or perhaps you’ll have a last-minute addition to your guest list.
Printing extra invitations will make it easy to deal with all of these scenarios.
It’s expensive to go back and print more invitations after the fact. So instead, order enough invitations for your guest list, plus 25 extra in case you need to resend an invitation, want to put some aside as keepsakes (trust us, your moms will want at least a few) or plan on sending invitations to a B-list.
Tip: If you have a lengthy B-list, consider ordering a second set of invitations with a later RSVP date. And even if you’re hiring a calligrapher to address your invitations, ask for extra envelopes in case of returned invites or addressing mistakes (calligraphers generally require an additional 15 to 20 per cent).
18. Send Them On-Time
Typically, save the dates go out about eight to 12 months before the wedding, followed by your invitations six to eight weeks before the big day. If you’re having a destination wedding, try to send your invitations out about two to three months before the wedding.
This will give guests plenty of time to book plane tickets and hotel rooms. If you’re planning on sending out wedding announcements after your ceremony, try to send them no later than a month after the wedding.
With so many great wedding invitation sizes available, it’s easy to find the invite that’s right for your wedding. After you’ve chosen your wedding invitation size, you’ll be all ready to create a beautiful invite that will get your guests excited about your big day.
19. Don’t Forget the Rest of Your Suite
Order your menus, programs and thank-you notes with your invitations. That way, your stationery can include all of the pieces in one order, which may save you money and time.
It’s also a good way to ensure all your stationery has a cohesive look, even if you want to vary the design slightly for each element (switching the dominant colour or alternating between two patterns, for example). Also, don’t forget those small items like favour tags and welcome bag notes.
20. Remember Your Thank-Yous
Track RSVPs as they come in using a guest list manager tool or spreadsheet. Include a column where you can note what each guest gives you. Then, as the wedding gifts start rolling in, begin writing your thank-you notes, so you don’t fall behind.
For any presents received before the wedding, you should send a thank-you note within two weeks. For those given on or after the wedding day, give yourself a month.
21. Do a Weigh-In
While you probably can’t wait to drop those wedding invitations in the mail and check another thing off your to-do list, weighing a sample invitation (enclosures and all) at the post office first could save you many more to-dos later.
Trust us; you don’t want to deal with the hassle of returned invitations because of insufficient postage. And while you’re at the post office, ask about hand-cancelling your invites.
This involves a stamp that says your mail is processed (instead of running your invites through the processing machine like regular mail, which could bend or even ruin them). While hand-cancelling is free, check with your local post office first to ensure that it has the handstamp.
And keep in mind that while most post offices try to keep hand-cancelled mail separate from regular mail, there’s no guarantee your invitations won’t go through the processing machines. To ensure they don’t, you can pay a non-machinable fee to have them hand-processed—it will guarantee your mail will be sorted by hand.
Standard Wedding Invitation Sizes
Unsure what wedding invitation size is right for you? Here are some of the most common wedding invitation sizes, along with the envelope sizes to pair them with.
There are lots of different wedding invitation sizes to choose from. To help you decide which size is right for you, here are some of the most popular wedding invitation sizes.
1. 5 X 7
You can never go wrong with the classics. This is the standard wedding invitation size, and it has plenty of space for every important detail. There’s also space to add unique embellishments or a photo of you and your significant other.
2. 6 X 8
This larger invitation is a good choice if there’s extra information you want to include on your invite. For example, if you’re planning a destination wedding and want to include information about the location, this invite has the space you need to provide all these details.
3. 5 X 5
This size is a bit more contemporary, making it a good choice for a wedding with a modern theme. Since this invite is smaller, make it pop by using bold, complementary colours in your background and font. You could also pair this small but sleek card with a bright or metallic envelope.