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As the first element of your wedding guests see, stationary should truly represent the theme of your big day. Invitation expert Lea Armstrong of Wedding Paper Divas, shares some of her do's and don't for announcements and invitations.

Is a save-the-date card necessary?

The save-the-date card is often your first announcement to the world that you are getting married and to make sure that your friends and family can join you on this momentous occasion.

This is the perfect opportunity to provide your guests with important information about the special event. So, while save-the-date cards are not a necessity, they are very important when you are planning a wedding that falls on a holiday weekend or is considered a "destination" for most of your guests.

What's essential to include in an invitation?

Wedding "essentials" would include the reception card and the response card. Other enclosure cards should be based on a specific couple's needs or special circumstances that may need to be expressed along with the invitation. We recommend that couples do not try to squeeze too many elements into your invitation or suite items like itineraries, registry information and special requests. Instead we recommend they create a wedding newsletter or wedding Web site that will allow them to include all the extra details of their event.

What are couples doing today?

Every year, we watch the monogram trend continue and wonder if they will ever cease to be popular. And while monograms still remain as popular as ever, this year we are seeing couples add a touch of boldness by extending their monograms from initials to full names.

We are also noticing a movement away from traditional and very simple cream-colored wedding invitations towards bold and contemporary colors.

When should you send a save-the-date card?

We recommend that engaged couples send save-the-date cards as soon as they set the date and decide upon a guest list. Tradition requires at least six months' advanced notice for all guests to ensure the day is reserved.


Four months before the wedding the couple should order their wedding invitations with the goal to mail out the invitations to guests six to eight weeks before the big day. However, we recommend that they don't send them out less than eight weeks in advance for out-of-town guests. Couples should also make sure to include response cards requesting that guests respond no later than three to four weeks before the event.

How can couples personalize their own invitations?

Many couples love to feature monograms, quotes and photos, as well as unique colors and fonts on their invitations. Considering this, the most important piece of advice that we can give is that when it comes to personalizing stationery do not overdo it. Pick just one or two elements that reflect one's personal style, and keep it simple.

What should couples avoid when designing an invite?

Couples love to personalize all aspects of the wedding. However, we caution that couples avoid too much personalization. Keep it simple by adding a monogram or meaningful quote. Don't try to fit so many elements onto your invitations that it takes away from the beauty of the design itself.

Tags: Brides365, invites, announcements, announcing