Tip of the Day #20: Invitation Prep 101

Tip of the Day #20: Invitation Prep 101 If you love list management and color coding Excel spreadsheets as much as I do, this post is for you.  For those of you that aren't as keen on being the one to keep your wedding planning ducks in a row, pass these tips onto your mother or future hubby.

Guest List Management As a rule of thumb, I think all wedding guest lists should include the following basic information:

*RSVP Response Card Number *Title(s) *First Name(s) *Last Name(s) *Relationship to Bride/Groom *Mailing Address including City, State and Zip Code *Inner Envelope Name(s) (for a mail merge) *Email Address *Number of Guests Attending *Children (Optional) *Dietary Restrictions or Preferences *Out of Town (Y/N) *Table Number *Description of Gift *Thank You Sent (Y/N) *Notes *Bridesmaids/Groomsmen, Family and Bridal Party should all be highlighted in different colors

Pencil Me In Reality check: as much as you hope your guests will open and read about all details of your wedding invitation, some may forego the process of returning an RSVP card.  To keep tabs on your growing guest list, make sure you put a numerical value next to each guest on your master invitation spreadsheet (mentioned above) and then pencil in the corresponding number on the back of each RSVP card.  As you start to receive RSVP cards back in the mail and work to fill in holes on your guest list, you will be able to determine who has and hasn't RSVP'd.  This will also help to keep track of your "+1" responses.

Signed, Sealed and Delivered This tip may sound silly but  it is incredibly important that you do NOT stack invitations as you stuff and seal them with an envelope sealer.  The envelop sealer formula can drip or run and cause envelopes to stick to each other and tear the envelope paper or leave smudges.  As you seal each invitation, lay them out on a wide, flat surface (Do NOT put down on newspaper or any other print) and let dry overnight for at least 12 hours.

Worth the Weight in Gold Hurrah, you've made it to the final stage of preparing wedding invitations.  The U.S. post office offers a lot of wedding and love themed stamps that are a great alternative to standard first class and 65 cent stamps.  I also love some of the artistic stamps, including the King and Queen of Hearts and seasonal flowery offerings.

The single most important step in preparing wedding invitations is to physically take a sample stuffed wedding invitation to the post office to have it weighed.  Most wedding invitations can be mailed with 65 cent stamps but papers and invitation materials do vary in weight and size.  Also, square envelopes cost more to mail than rectangular invitations.  If you have International guests, make sure your postage is marked accordingly as well.  Once you get the green light from your local post office on all variations of your invitation, mail away!