Wedding stationery is unfamiliar territory for most couples and ordering your invitations can be quite an overwhelming process for some. Here are a few common mistakes you can avoid to help the process run as smoothly as possible.
Ordering last minute
Have a deadline in mind early on and try your best to stick to it. I usually advise couples to send their invitations between 3-6 months before the wedding, so when enquiring with a stationer let them know any deadlines you have straight away. Bare in mind that most stationers get booked up a month or two in advance (especially for bespoke work), so make sure you get in touch with your preferred stationer at least one month before you're ready to confirm your order. To get an idea of my current lead times* are:
House collection designs: 3-4 weeks
Semi-custom: 5-6 weeks
Bespoke design: 7-10 weeks
*from the day I receive your order, to the day I dispatch
2. Not knowing your numbers
Before you contact your stationer or order online, make sure you've worked out how many invitations for the day/evening reception and any accompanying cards you're going to need. Sounds like a simple one but a lot of couples initially ask for one invitation per guest, when really they'll only need one per couple or family, so for a wedding of 150 guests you'll probably only end up needing around 80 invitations.
3. Not ordering spares
Always, always always order spares! In the print world, smaller quantities (e.g. 20 or less) are usually a lot more expensive per item than a large run of say 80-100. This is because they have to cover print set-up and admin fees. I would always recommend ordering at least 10% extra of everything, as it will save you time and potentially a large amount of money. Ordering extra envelopes is always a good idea too, particularly if you're adding special finishes yourselves such as wax seals or even just writing with a pen you're not used to, mistakes are easily made (even by the professionals!) and you wouldn't want to be short on envelopes when it comes to sending the invitations out.
4. Forgetting to proofread
Catching spelling or grammar mistakes before you send any wording to your stationer will definitely speed up the ordering process for both parties. I generally copy and paste text (particularly for details cards), so to avoid multiple rounds of amendments I advise you to check everything thoroughly before it even leaves your outbox. In terms of content, if you get stuck on what to write, some stationers will have a form or guide that can help you piece everything together. Don't forget that your main invitation should read as one line, so usual grammar rules don't quite apply (e.g. full stop at the end of every line or capitals at the start.)
5. Trying to include too much information
If you're having a details card, try not to get too carried away listing hotels and taxi services etc.. Unless you're having a destination wedding or have a lot of guests that aren't too great with Google, I usually recommend keeping it as simple as possible. That way, the more important details don't get lost on a cluttered page. The more information you want to include, the smaller the text will have to be, so be mindful of that when writing your wording as some of your guests may struggle to read anything smaller than 9pt.
6. Not checking dimensions
It can be quite hard to get a sense of size when you see photos of invitations, or even when you receive your digital proofs. This is why I always recommend ordering samples (particularly when it comes to house collection designs), just so you can get an idea whether the text will be big enough for your guests. My house collection and semi-custom designs come in A6 (¼ of A4) which can be too small for some couples, so it's always worth checking dimensions first. You can always ask if the design is available in larger sizes (all of mine are). It's also a good idea to ask for a low-res printable proof before anything goes to the printers if you can't visual how they'll look in real life.
This is by no means an exhaustive list but should hopefully have armed you with some knowledge to help the ordering process run smoothly.