STA­TIONERY SCHOOL

Enough of the pretty, onto the prac­ti­cal. Here, all your in­vi­ta­tion need-to-knows.

New Zealand Weddings - - PLANNING -

PER­FECT TIM­ING

AS A GEN­ERAL RULE, AIM TO SEND YOUR SAVETHE-DATES SIX TO EIGHT MONTHS BE­FORE THE WED­DING, AND IN­VI­TA­TIONS AT LEAST EIGHT WEEKS BE­FORE­HAND. HOW­EVER, IF YOU’RE GET­TING MAR­RIED OUT OF TOWN OR OVER­SEAS, AL­LOW­ING 10 MONTHS FOR SAVE-THE-DATES AND 12 WEEKS FOR IN­VI­TA­TIONS WILL MEAN GUESTS HAVE PLENTY OF TIME TO CON­FIRM TRAVEL PLANS AND AC­COM­MO­DA­TION. RE­QUEST RSVPS NO LESS THAN THREE WEEKS BE­FORE THE WED­DING.

TRIPLE CHECK

Be­fore your in­vi­ta­tion is printed, your sta­tioner will send you a proof. Get your groom to read it over, and then en­list the ser­vices of a gram­mar-savvy friend to do a fi­nal check. Pay par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion to the ac­cu­racy of dates and tim­ings, web­sites, any di­rec­tions and, of course, spell­ing. Top tip: when you are do­ing your fi­nal read, ro­tate the in­vi­ta­tion 180 de­grees, and read it line by line in an up­side­down po­si­tion. This will feel odd, but it's a sure-fire way of slow­ing your eyes down, and mak­ing sure you pick up any spell­ing mis­takes.

GROUP IT UP

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 THE FI­NAL COUNT DOWN. COU­PLES WHO LIVE TO­GETHER GET ONE IN­VI­TA­TION, WHILE FOR COU­PLES LIV­ING APART YOU CAN EI­THER SEND ONE IN­VITE TO THE GUEST YOU’RE CLOSER WITH (AND IN­CLUDE BOTH NAMES ON THE EN­VE­LOPE), OR YOU CAN SEND OUT SEP­A­RATE IN­VI­TA­TIONS. IF YOU ONLY WANT TO IN­VITE SOME MEM­BERS OF THE HOUSE­HOLD (FOR EX­AM­PLE, YOUR FRIENDS BUT NOT THEIR CHIL­DREN), THEN IN­CLUDE THOSE YOU ARE INVIT­ING BY NAME. FOR EX­AM­PLE, “KAREN AND MARK SMITH”, NOT “THE SMITHS”.

THE BA­SICS

De­sign­ing your own in­vi­ta­tion? Write a quick check­list to be sure it pro­vides all the es­sen­tial in­for­ma­tion be­fore hit­ting ‘print’: Both of your full names and, if you like, your par­ents’ full names The fact that you’re invit­ing the guest to your wed­ding The cer­e­mony and re­cep­tion venue names and ad­dresses The cer­e­mony start time (there’s no need to in­clude the re­cep­tion start time un­less there is a gap be­tween the cer­e­mony and re­cep­tion) The dress code (op­tional) The RSVP dead­line and any in­struc­tions If you aren’t in­clud­ing a sep­a­rate in­for­ma­tion card, add the URL of your wed­ding web­site.

GET­TING IT DONE

HOW YOU GO ABOUT DE­SIGN­ING AND PRINT­ING YOUR STA­TIONERY DE­PENDS ON THE LEVEL OF CUSTOMISATION YOU’RE AF­TER. MOST WED­DING STATIONERS OF­FER CUS­TOM AS WELL AS TEMPLATED DE­SIGNS, WHILE STA­TIONERY SITES SUCH AS WED­DING PA­PER DI­VAS AL­LOW YOU TO CRE­ATE YOUR OWN DE­SIGN ON­LINE, US­ING READY MADE TEM­PLATES.

PENNY SAVERS

A great in­vi­ta­tion de­sign is the ul­ti­mate way to set the scene for your big day – but that doesn’t make the (of­ten hefty) ex­pense of de­sign­ing, print­ing and send­ing your in­vi­ta­tions any eas­ier to swal­low. To min­imise costs, choose a sim­ple, light card stock and skip any ex­tras such as en­ve­lope lin­ers and cus­tom ink colours. Ask your guests to RSVP by email in­stead of by post, and in­stead of an ex­tra “in­for­ma­tion” card (which of­ten in­cludes travel and ac­com­mo­da­tion in­for­ma­tion, or venue di­rec­tions), point guests to a web­site that in­cludes these de­tails in­stead. Be sure that your in­vi­ta­tions will fit in­side a stan­dard “medium” en­ve­lope size (130 x 235mm with a thick­ness of 10mm) to min­imise postage costs, and don’t for­get to in­clude the cost of stamps ($1 per stamp) into your over­all sta­tionery bud­get. Lastly, be sure to or­der an ex­tra few in­vi­ta­tions – it’ll cost more to go back and print ex­tras should you make a mis­take while per­fect­ing your cal­lig­ra­phy skills!

Want to add a spe­cial touch?

NZ Post al­lows you to de­sign your own stamps, us­ing your own imagery, for an ex­tra few cents per stamp.

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