Choosing the right wedding invitation is only the beginning! If you are planning on sending out invitations for your wedding, we have you some advice from the best wedding invitation designers and calligraphers in the Washington DC area. This time, though, we aren’t telling you what to do, we are telling you what not to do! The designers and calligraphers gave us some the common mistakes that they see couples making in their wedding invitations. So, lucky for you, you can learn from others’ mistakes! Best of all, they are giving you some tips for how to avoid these problems too. Here we go with the most common mistakes in wedding stationery…


Photo Credit: Kristen Gardner Photography from Megan and Chris’ outdoor wedding in VA


“One of the biggest mistakes we see couples making has to do with their timeline. There are so many creative, unique, and beautiful wedding invitation ideas available, but it takes plenty of time to create such individual and hand-created items. Some couples come in with little lead time, and end up having to settle for an invitation that is absolutely gorgeous, but does not truly show their personal style. We love when couples come in months in advance, because then we can pull together and create a one-of-a kind design for them and their options are not limited. Our advice to couples: make an appointment at least six months before your wedding to start looking at invitations and 10 months before for save the dates.” — Heidi, owner of The Dandelion Patch


“A common mistake is not ordering enough invitations. It’s 100 times easier to do an order of 80 invitations originally, than it is to do 75 and then add 5 more after the initial print run. If you anticipate sending to additional guests as replies come in, or even if you’re unsure about your total when you order, it’s always better to overestimate by a bit than to underestimate and not have enough. This is especially true if you’re getting letterpress or foil stamped invitations since the turnaround time is longer to begin with. Also, there is always a chance that the colors may not print exactly the same on the second print-run, so it’s better to do it all at the same time.” — Jenna and Elizabeth at Little Bit Heart


“The most common mistakes that I see couples make when selecting and ordering their wedding invitations generally revolve around not planning far enough ahead – if you want to have a calligrapher address your envelopes, you’ll need to make sure you have a two to three (or more!) week gap between when your invitations will be ready to pick up from your stationer and when you want to actually mail them out. Along those same lines, go ahead and contact your preferred calligrapher around the same time you are ordering the invitations – at that point you are much more likely to be able to book your preferred timeframe for calligraphy and the calligrapher can also let you know of any specific requirements they may have. For instance, I always ask my clients to provide additional envelopes beyond the number that needs to be addressed, ideally 20 percent. When clients chat with me in advance of ordering their invitations, they go into the ordering process knowing to include that buffer in their envelope count.” — Michelle, owner of Meant to Be Calligraphy


“A common mistake made with wedding invitations has to do with envelope addressing. Always order extra envelopes! It does not matter who is addressing your envelopes – a calligrapher, a printing company, or handwriting them yourself – mistakes happen.  There will be cases where a name is spelled wrong, or a friend moves to a new house right before you are ready to send out your invitations. When that happens, you will need to re-print the envelope. Calligraphers and printing companies usually require 10 percent more envelopes then needed because of situations like this. Therefore, many invitation vendors will automatically include extra envelopes, but make sure to ask!”  — Heidi, owner of The Dandelion Patch


“A mistake that we see is not having correct addresses or having an incomplete address list. We know the address list is right up there with the seating arrangement as far as level of difficulty, but it’s so so important to have this be complete and correct before you send it off to your designer. We see this a lot because we offer a mailing service and often send out the invitations directly to guests, so it’s really important for the list to be right when we receive it. There’s a few reasons for this: incorrect addresses can cause your invitations to be returned to you (that’s the worst case), misspellings or incorrect titles can slip by uncorrected (no one knows your list as well as you do, and your list will be printed as it’s written), and questions about errors or inconsistencies can add time to your turnaround since it will can hold up printing.” — Jenna and Elizabeth at Little Bit Heart


“Not using proper etiquette is a very common mistake. One of the primary reasons couples love using The Dandelion Patch is because we are experts in invitation etiquette. Did you know that the request line on the invitations is determined by if you are having a religious ceremony or not? Or that when writing “and guest” on an envelope the “g” is lowercase? There are many small details about etiquette that are easily overlooked and many websites give incorrect information. So, make sure to do your research on proper wedding etiquette or come to The Dandelion Patch and make your life easy!” — Heidi, owner of The Dandelion Patch


So there you have it! Now you know what not to do with your wedding invitations! Be sure to check out the designers who helped out with this post or check out list of the best wedding stationery designers in the DC area. For more, you can see our five tips for choosing wedding invitations or see our wedding stationery timeline.

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