Choosing your wedding invitations should be an exciting milestone in your wedding planning, but all too frequently brides encounter hurdles along the way, which can end up making it a stressful, time-consuming and costly task. Ordering your custom wedding invitations is something you'll {hopefully} only ever do once, and for this very reason, it's pretty unfamiliar territory, leaving lots of room for potential mistakes to be made. Having spent many years creating gorgeous wedding stationery for brides & grooms all over the world, we thought we'd share our expertise and give you a heads-up on the 10 most commonly made invitation mistakes so you can steer clear...

1) Sending invitations out of the blue

Traditionally in the UK, wedding invitations are sent out between 6 and 12 weeks before the big day, however if you're getting married in the summer time, or asking guests to travel for your wedding, you may end up with a higher number of guests being unable to attend through lack of time to plan or budget. Guests may also decline your invitation due to having committed to another wedding on the same day (especially common for summer Saturday weddings). You can prevent this by sending a Save the Date card, which are usually sent 8 - 10 months before the big day.

2) Ordering your invites too late

The amount of time it takes for stationery companies to fulfil a custom invitation order can vary greatly; we deliver in 3 days but the standard industry average is around 3-4 weeks. Make sure you discuss this with your chosen supplier so you can get a realistic time frame to work to. Don't underestimate how time consuming it can be to collate all your guests postal addresses, address the envelopes and send the invitations. We would recommend ordering so that you'll receive your invitations at least 2 to 3 weeks before you want to send them.

3) Not paying enough postage

Always check with the post office how much your invitations will cost to mail. Having your guests fork out for underpaid postage at their end does not set the greatest first impression of your big day!

4) Making a blunder with your RSVP date

This is one we see all the time; either forgetting to include an RSVP date (inevitably, you'll have to chase your guests for a reply), not giving guests enough time to RSVP (don't forget, they may have some arrangements to make, including travel, childcare etc), and finally - giving your guests too much time to reply (trust us, many will forget about it if left too long). We would recommend you set a date to reply by which is within 3-4 weeks of them receiving their invitation.

5) Not being clear about who's invited

To avoid any awkward conversations or extra guests turning up unexpected on the big day, make sure you're clear about who you're extending the invitation to. You can customise our invitations to include a dotted line at the top to handwrite names on, or for a really professional finishing touch, you can use our printable name cards, cut them into tags and tie around the invitation suite.

6) Accidentally causing offence

It's a shame, but during the course of your wedding planning you may encounter some politics, passionate responses or pressure from your friends & family. For example, if you're not inviting kids, it may not be a good idea to include a line on your invites saying 'Strictly no children' - this could cause offence to parents who will naturally feel defensive about their little ones. Instead, why not phone ahead, and explain the situation with honesty and courtesy. Your guests will appreciate your effort & be more likely to respect and understand your decision.

7) Running out of envelopes

If you're hand addressing your envelopes, in all likelihood there will be a few that end up destined only for the bin. Be sure to order spares (usually an extra 10% will cover it). If you're ordering through us, you can order as many invites as you need with your invitations.

8) Missing a typo (or two!)

Proof read your invitations thoroughly, and ask at least two other people to check them over too. Bear in mind that sometimes it's the most obvious spelling errors you'll miss (like the word marriage). You wouldn't believe how many people overlook a mistake in their own name, even on a few occasions after all the invitations have been sent out.

9) Over-ordering

Time and time again, we've encountered couples who way over-ordered because they purchased one invitation per guest as opposed to one per household. On the other hand, it's also a common mistake to under-order. It's a good idea to get an extra 10% to keep back as spare as inevitably you may end up inviting extra people.

10) Forgetting to keep one back

Don't forget, invitations are the guests' first glimpse of the biggest day of your life, you'll definitely want to keep one or two back as a special memento. Our top tip is to keep it in a sealed cellophane bag (like those in which greetings cards are packaged), somewhere dry and protected like a memory box. Printed goods can discolour over time but doing this should keep it looking just as gorgeous in the years to come when you're showing your grandchildren!

We hope this post has been helpful, but if there's any further assistance or advice you'd like, we'd love to hear from you. Happy planning!