There are infinite opportunities for uniqueness with wedding invitations, which is why selecting the right invitation is often one of the most confusing aspects of planning a wedding.

Invitations are usually your first line of communication regarding the upcoming celebration, and they typically set the tone of the affair and what guests should expect. Wedding etiquette experts also say that gift-giving is subject to influence by the type of invitation received. Guests also tend to determine what they will wear to the wedding depending upon the invitation.

All of these perceptions about the wedding are made even before guests read the first line of sentiment on the invitation itself. With so much inferred meaning placed on invitations, it’s no wonder you may be nervous about choosing and sending out invitations. Here are some pointers so you’ll make the right decisions.

There are many personalization options at your disposal with wedding invitations. You’ll be able to choose the texture, color and shape of the paper, as well as the font and ink color in many cases. These selections can be combined with other embellishments, such as envelope linings, extra layers of paper, vellum accents, ribbons, and calligraphy styles. You may also be able to select a monogram or artwork to further embellish the invitation.

If your wedding will be a formal affair, choose a classic style invitation that will reflect the formalness of the affair. If your wedding will be casual, choose a design and font that expresses that feeling.

Here are some other tips to consider:

• Wait until you have definite times and locations for the ceremony and reception before submitting any wording to the invitation company.

• Type out the wording you prefer with a word-processing program on your computer. Run a spell-check and print it out and read it over several times. This will cut down on the chances for error once the wording is sent for printing.

• To know how many invitations to order, take the forecasted number of guests and divide that number by two. Then add 25 to 30 additional invitations for any single guests you may be inviting as well as to have extras on hand in case you make a mistake addressing the invitation. So if you are inviting 150 people (assuming most will come as couples), order 100 invitations.

• Many people opt to print out addresses on the invitation envelope themselves. While home printers and software packages have certainly advanced, it may be difficult to match the font and style of your invitation. Furthermore, while hand-addressing invitations is more time-consuming, it adds a personalized touch and shows you care about those invited.

• Make sure you bring an invitation to the post office to be weighed so you can determine how much postage you will need. Mail them 4 to 6 weeks before the wedding to allow for response time. It’s customary to enclose a response card with postage already applied so guests can simply drop their RSVP in the mail.

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