A beautiful invitation is the first step toward a beautiful wedding so here’s how to make sure yours is exactly right.

By Real Simple
Updated July 30, 2008
It may be best to give your parents an allotted amount of spots they can fill as they wish. If there are certain people you do not want in attendance, it’s best to have a private and honest conversation when you first discuss the guest list. Don’t insist your parents feel comfortable with the situation, but be clear about your wishes.
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1. May I see a full-size invitation printed in this font before I make my decision?

Your stationer should supply you with a mock-up.

2. What vendor will you be using?

You want the stationer to have a longstanding relationship with its vendor. Experience beats out lower costs because, for example, if there’s an error on the invitation, the stationer may be able to use his connections to have it fixed for free.

3. May I see an example of your work?

The stationer should have many samples to show you.

4. Have any other brides in this area used this same invitation or color combination?

The stationer will check the files and provide the date and an example of the invitation.

5. What will this cost to mail?

The stationer will weigh a complete sample and total the cost.

6. May I see a proof before it goes to press?

It is vital to see a proof before the final printing is done. Your stationer should be happy to share one with you.

7. What kind of discount will you give me if I order all my printed materials at one time?

The stationer will likely provide a discount. It will vary, based on how many additional items you need printed and whether the same printer will handle the entire job.

8. What is the turnaround time?

Your stationer should be able to accommodate any schedule you have in mind.

9. Do I get a discount if it’s late?

Unless the tardiness is your fault―for example, due to a last minute change―you absolutely should get a discount.

10. Who will handle assembly―that is, take care of ribbons, bows, or other decorations?

If that’s what you want, the stationer should do it herself.

11. Who will handle stuffing the invitations?

Ideally, the stationer should offer to stuff them for you, but this may involve an extra fee. If you choose to have the invitations assembled by the stationer, inspect both a prototype and several finished invitations chosen randomly from the completed pile before they are mailed. As a final precaution, have an invitation sent to your parents.