Etiquette

At Cheree Berry Paper, one of our main priorities is to ensure you glide through the wedding invitation process with class and ease! Below you will find our most frequently asked etiquette questions and answers.

Stuffing Your Invitation Set

Wedding invitations are assembled in size order similar to a wedding cake with the largest layer on the bottom and the smallest layer on the top! When stuffing your invitation set, start with the invitation first as the bottom layer. Next, tuck the reply card underneath the flap of the reply envelope and set this on top of the invitation. If you have a reception card, this would then be placed on top of the reply card and the set would be placed inside the envelope. If you have additional insert cards, assemble them according to size relative to the other inserts.

To ensure you have stuffed your invitation the proper way, remove the invitation from the envelope with your right hand. If the insert cards sit on top of the invitation and you can read the invitation without turning it, you know you have stuffed correctly.

Wording

You can certainly have fun with the design of your invitation, but a good place to stick to tradition is in the wording. It will make your parents happy, won’t confuse your guests, and really who doesn’t love a little Emily Post sometimes? That being said, getting creative or smart with the copy on the reply card is a great way to personalize your set. Browse some of our clever copy ideas here.

See below for a sample of traditional wording for a wedding being held in a house of worship:

Mr. and Mrs. John James Smith
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Emily Elizabeth
to
Mr. Jason Adam Hatch
Saturday, the first of June
Two thousand thirteen
at six o’clock in the evening
Immaculate Conception Church
Bridgewater, New Jersey

If your wedding ceremony is not being held in a house of worship, use the following template as your guide:

Mr. and Mrs. John James Smith
request the pleasure of your company
at the marriage of their daughter
Emily Elizabeth
to
Mr. Jason Adam Hatch
Saturday, the first of June
Two thousand thirteen
at six o’clock in the evening
Tribeca Rooftop
New York, New York

Traditionally, the address on the outer envelope and the reply envelope belongs to the parents of the bride or to those hosting the wedding. The reply date for your guests is usually one month before the wedding date, but this can be changed to accommodate the bride and groom’s needs.

Stamping Reply Envelopes

A major etiquette faux pas: forgetting to stamp your reply envelopes! It is traditional and customary to stamp your reply envelope before stuffing it into your invitation set so your guests can easily mail in their replies. Believe us, if you forget this step it is near impossible to steam envelopes open once sealed! If you did not read this before you mailed your invitations and forgot this step, do not panic! Give your guests a stamp back at the reception for a fun way to make light of your mishap…

Reception Cards

It is most traditional for a reception card to be used when the ceremony and reception locations are different. Reception cards should include the time, place and if necessary, address, of the venue. They can also be used to specify attire. Traditional reception card wording is as follows:

Reception
Immediately following the ceremony
Newport Beach Club
10 Ocean Drive
Newport, Rhode Island

If you are looking for a less traditional reception card, you can also use the language “Dinner and Dancing to Follow” or “Join us for cocktails, dinner and dancing.” A reception card can also be a fun place to add design elements into your invitation set! See our gallery of fun reception card ideas here.

How Many Invitations To Order

Please keep in mind that you’ll need to order one invitation set for each couple or family and not one per person that will be attending the wedding. As a general rule, your estimated quantity of save the dates or wedding invitations will be a little over half of your total guest list. Your stationer will usually provide you with extra envelopes to account for calligraphy mistakes, but it is always smart to order 10-20% extra save the dates or invitation sets to allow for any last minute additions to your list or to replace any invitations that are returned to you and/or damaged in the mail. It is never economical to reprint for a few additional pieces, so it’s always better to have a few extras on hand just in case.

Addressing Inner and Outer Envelopes

Once you become a CBP client, you will receive a calligraphy and addressing guidelines document to help you properly format your guest list, but for now, basic inner and outer envelope addressing is as follows. The outer envelope contains names of main invited guest(s) – no children or guests. The inner envelope contains names of main guest(s), plus extra guests, such as children or “and Guest.” See a few examples below:

Outer Envelope: Inner Envelope:
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Armstrong
545 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10028
Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong Married couple
Kristen and Robert Armstrong
545 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10028
Kristen and Robert Married couple – if you prefer to be more informal on your envelopes
Mr. Michael Roberts
545 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10028
Mr. Roberts and Guest Single person with guest – even better: find out the guest’s name and include it on envelope
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Armstrong
545 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10028
Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong
Miss Abigail Armstrong
OR
Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong
Abigail
Married couple with child

Hand Canceling

You’ve just spent a lot of money on your gorgeous wedding invitations so why let the post office run them through a machine? If your post office offers hand canceling, take them up on this. Hand canceling is when the post office stamps a seal over the postage as opposed to running the envelope through a machine. It will at least ensure that your invitations start the mailing process on the right foot! If you can convince your local post office to do this for you (candy usually helps!), we highly recommend it. If CBP mails your invitations or save the dates on your behalf, we’ll do our best to ensure all items are hand canceled.

Timing

Wedding invitations should be mailed about 7-10 weeks prior to the wedding date. 8-10 weeks is suggested for a lot of out-of-town guests or destination weddings. Save the dates should be mailed 5-9 months in advance depending on the date and location of the wedding.

As for when to get started on your wedding stationery, it’s always better to have more time than not enough! Contact us as soon as you have your wedding date and venue locked in place.

Monograms

Using a monogram design on your save the date or invitation can be a lot of fun and can help you truly customize your wedding stationery! But do not get carried away too fast – stick to only your first initials for any printed materials unveiled before you become husband and wife. Save your married monogram for after you officially become “Mr. and Mrs.” Think menus, cocktail napkins, drink stirrers or other day-of items at the wedding reception itself.

Inner Envelopes

Before the postal system was founded, invitations were delivered by men on foot. Often their hands were dirty or soiled and thus, so was the mail they were delivering! This led to wedding invitations being delivered in two envelopes so that the invitation and its envelope remained clean and protected. Although the mail is no longer delivered by foot (though sometimes it still feels this way!), there are still benefits to using an inner envelope with your wedding invitation set.

Benefits of Inner Envelopes

  • It adds a layer of protection in the mail as your invitation set will all be placed in the inner envelope which will then be placed into the outer mailing envelope with your printed return address on it.
  • Your gorgeous envelope liner will have more impact with an inner envelope. This is because the inner envelope has no gum and does not get sealed so our liner will be showcased to your guests in all its glory! In addition, you can use the inner envelope to print an optional fun message on the shoulder of the envelope.
  • The inner envelope allows you more room for delineating who of your guests is invited with children and/or with or without guests.

Drawbacks to Inner Envelopes

  • It is an added cost for the envelopes and for the calligraphy as both your inner and outer envelopes will need to be calligraphed.